I know the dollar signs are racking up in your brain. Packing up and moving a home requires time and a few necessary purchases, but there are also DIY solutions to help cut the need to spend.
You have blankets, towels, and linens right? Some of them you will want all in one box so you can sleep on sheets when you get where you’re going. If you have any extras they make wonderful packing material and can substitute packing paper for several items.
Newspapers aren’t always free but some neighborhoods send subscriptions at no cost. Some coffee shops and businesses have small local papers you can pick up for free when you grab your morning coffee. Start saving these as soon as you know you’re moving until you have a nice stack ready to go.
You probably already have a handful of rubber bands somewhere around the house. Make use of them to wrap silverware, utensils and other like items together. Be sure to use a towel or paper towels between the object and the band to give it an extra layer of protection!
Everyone hates picking up the box with all the books. Thankfully electronics are taking over and books may not be as much of a packing pain point as they are now. That being said, books can be packed separately into various boxes. Put a layer of books at the bottom of a box destined for lightweight items. This will help not only spread out the weight of the books, it also balances the boxes so they’re more uniform in weight. Plus it helps fill empty space that lightweight items usually end up leaving.
When storing your stuff long term there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you will want to upgrade your packing materials to plastic containers and specialized boxes to keep them better protected. Pallets are a definite must for long-term storage as well. Investing in a few light-weight, but sturdy racks where you can stack things may also be beneficial, not to mention re-usable in your new space. Labeling your items is another important part of long-term storage. Be sure to keep a master list somewhere that you’ll be able to find it (but separate from the storage unit). No one else will know exactly where everything is without coming through you first.
There are other precautionary steps you may want to consider for long-term storage such as ensuring the facility you are renting your unit from has security measures in place and offers a Tenant Property Protection Plan that will cover your property in case something happens. You’ll also want to organize your stuff in a way that will make it easy to access for you and difficult for thieves to find anything valuable. Put the expensive items in unmarked or ‘code’ marked boxes so it’s not clear where it is and put them in the back where they’re harder to get to.
If the move is going to be quick you may not want to invest in plastic storage bins and fancy boxes. Whatever you do, make sure you are properly wrapping your stuff in some kind of packing material (or towels) to keep them from breaking. Labels will be your best friend for a short-term moving/storing experience. You’ll most likely be unpacking things sooner than later and may want to forego the tedious task of creating a master list. You’re less likely to forget the specifics in a short amount of time.
Check back with us soon for the third and final part of the Ultimate Moving Guide!