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Packing Advice

Packing list

  • Cardboard or plastic storage boxes
  • Sticky packaging tape
  • Tape dispenser
  • Retractable trimming knife
  • Bubble wrap
  • Cling film
  • Newspaper
  • Self-adhesive labels
  • Marker pens
  • String

Advice on packing

  • Invest in good quality sturdy boxes and packing materials – box strength degrades with use. If you buy boxes of similar sizes it’ll be easier to stack them and will save you space.
  • Box everything that you can.
  • Fill boxes to capacity wherever possible to avoid breakages but don’t make them too heavy – remember you’ll have to lift them. Fill spaces with paper, towels, bubble wrap or polystyrene chips. When stacking boxes, lower levels need to be sturdy. Heavier boxes lower down, lighter on top. Boxes that are only partly filled may tip over or collapse.
  • Label all boxes clearly so you can identify the contents. Label them on more than one side so you can see what’s what quickly. Mark ‘Fragile’ on any boxes containing breakable items.
  • Pack books flat to avoid damaging their spines. Clingfilm is a good way to hold books or small objects together and you can still see what’s what. It makes carrying them easier too.
  • Don’t store damp or wet items as this can cause water damage, mould and mildew.
  • Large appliances need care before placing in storage. Make sure you defrost fridges and freezers thoroughly before storing. Tie doors up for the move, although you should leave them slightly ajar once in storage to stop mould forming and help ward off bad odours. Drain washing machines before storing them and tie down hoses, leads etc.
  • Wrap all fragile items and breakables such as dishes, glasses, ornaments etc. separately. Paper will do but bubble wrap is better. Pack them tightly into strong boxes, filling any gaps with paper or filler. Avoid putting heavy items on top of fragile ones.
  • Consider buying wardrobe or clothes boxes – you can hang the clothes in them and they’ll keep their shape.
  • For the best protection for mirrors and pictures in a self-storage facility, wrap them in a protective covering such as bubble wrap and stack them on their ends. Mirrors and pictures should never be stored flat. Mark them as ‘Fragile’.
  • Separate lamp bases and lampshades and wrap them for protection.
  • If you’re storing upholstered products such as mattresses and sofas, it might be a good idea to invest in covers, bags or sheeting to give them some additional protection. Stand sofas and mattresses on end wherever possible to save space and don’t stack too much on top of soft furnishings. Mattresses are best stored on the long end.
  • If you’re storing a few items of furniture on top of each other a simple dustsheet or cover placed between items will minimize scratching and damage.
  • Dismantle furniture such as beds and tables before you store it to save space. Wrap and cover furniture sections and keep them together, clearly marked, for quick retrieval. Put components such as screws and bolts together in a plastic bag, mark them clearly and tape to the relevant piece of furniture. Store large pieces of furniture vertically to save space in the facility.
  • Chairs can be stacked seat to seat to save space. Cover chair legs with protective wrapping for extra protection.
  • Spray your wood furniture with a good quality furniture spray before storing it to give it some added protection.
  • Electrical equipment such as TVs, stereos and computers should be packed in their original boxes wherever possible. If this isn’t possible, pack them into boxes that are about the right size making sure that you pack gaps with paper etc.
  • If you’re storing items with fuel tanks such as lawn mowers and cars etc., drain the tanks before you put them in storage.
  • You can tie tools and long-handled items in bundles. Don’t store a brush resting on the bristles.
  • Don’t store vacuum cleaners with the bag in – throw it away before you store.
  • Treat leather items with a leather conditioner before you store them.
  • If you do store loose photographs, place them between pieces of clean cardboard and tape them together to avoid curling.
  • Think creatively and you’ll make more space. Plan to use furniture drawers as an extra box (they are especially good for fragile items) and you can use the inside of wardrobes to store boxes. Kitchen appliances such as stoves and fridges can also be used in this way.
  • Seal all your boxes with packing tape. This will help keep dust out of the contents.
  • In all but the smallest units, try to create an aisle and leave enough room to be able to get round the back.
  • Store your largest items first.
  • If you’re stacking your unit high with boxes, put the heaviest boxes at the bottom to avoid unstable stacks and damage through compression.
  • Stack boxes and similarly sized items together to save space.
  • Try to assess what you’ll need to access frequently and keep it at the front of your unit.
  • Fill anything that’s hollow – i.e. wardrobes, drawers, washing machines and fridges with small boxes and other items to maximize your available space. Don’t put items you will need into boxes inside furniture.
  • Make sure to stack boxes and containers so that you can see the labels you put on them.
  • Don’t store anything in the facility that you’re not sure is sturdy vertically – if it seems wobbly store it horizontally.