Packing & Storing Valuables
By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
One important detail that must be thought about is where to store your things. If your storage needs go along with with a household move, if you are meandering down the road pondering which storage facility is best for you, continue driving. You've already hired a mover for trucking your belongings to a new residence, why don’t you confirm with them to see if they can provide storage, also? Many professional moving companies offer warehouse storage--with the same experienced employees to assist you in organizing your stored boxes and furniture that packs and loads the moving truck for your move.
If you are moving out of the country, or your move is not long-term, you'll want a place for any boats, jet skis, or motor homes that are too big to go with you. You can store those big things with your moving company, and again, you can usually park them on the premises or park them in the warehouse—it's your decision.
Even if you're not moving, you may still need to store items--if you've inherited some things, if you have a fledgling who is boomeranging back to your houseback in the nest—any number of things can happen that necessitates more space for a while. Or, if you are contemplating moving and organize your house, you'll need to create the illusion of hardly-lived in space, so out of season clothes, small furniture you fall over in the dark, and the things you need to basically live your life, all should go into storage until you move in El Paso.
After you have picked where to store your stuff, the next thing you should think about is how to pack all of your things for safe storage. The trick to packing crystal, dishes, and other easily breakable items is to wrap every item individually. You could do that with a couple different kinds of packing supplies or insulation, it's really for you to decide which you want to use—as long as each piece is sufficiently protected against bumping against each other, use what you like best. Newsprint (different from newspaper, newsprint is the plain brownish paper that comes in large sheets at any moving supply or big box store), bubble wrap, Styrofoam peanuts, foam padding--any and all will work, but you will discover that mixing and matching contingent upon the individual item works best. Choose small, heavy duty boxes for fragile items. Be careful that you don't wrap too tightly; things must have a bit of air space inside the wrap.
Some further items that need special consideration when going to storage aren't always things that you'd consider.
Here is a short list:
- Albums--Yes, they are making a resurgence. If you are a collector you know how valuable they are, and if you're a casual listener who likes listening on a record player you are aware how difficult it is to secure replacements. Albums that are going to storage for any length of time in the spring or fall should be in a climate and humidity controlled facility.
- Clothing--Cotton clothing and most synthetic blends are hard to damage. You will need to wash and iron the items that you store, but with a few exceptions it comes out the same way it went in. Wool and wool blends need to be packed with an overabundance of mothballs, cedar blocks, or both so you don't unpack hole-filled sweaters and coats. Moths are not as huge of a presence in colder climates, but putting in a few mothballs is still a good idea.
- Shoes--Leather shoes need to be in a humidity controlled place, particularly in a climate where humidity is high. They will mildew when it gets damp or humid, and when it is dry and cold the leather cracks.
- Art--Art is in the eye of the beholder, so you will be as cautious of your children's 1st grade paintings as the curator at the Met is of his on-loan Picassos. For the kiddo's art projects, get a large flat plastic box, and layer the pages between acid-free paper. (You can get it at a craft store.) For framed prints, you can either stand them up against the wall and cover them with sheets, beach towels, or moving blankets, and they will be okay. When your art is real, get the paintings professionally crated and packed, and use climate and humidity controlled storage. Since the frames of a lot of older pieces are as valuable as the paintings themselves, protecting them is vital.
- Mirrors--Like art, lots of older mirrors are in very valuable frames. Treat them like the works of art that they are.
- Chandeliers—Remove the crystals, and wrap them in a big zip lock bag. Secure the hanging hardware and crystals in a box, and either have the lighting itself crated, or wrapped for transit and then hang it in storage--most units have bars across the ceiling specifically for that.
And indeed, we are aware that you have great intentions of going through all those boxes of college papers and cancelled checks from 1996 and shredding all the junk. However, A-1 Freeman Moving Group will always have storage in El Paso for you, until you can get that done.