Packing & Storing Valuables
By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
One of the first details that must be decided upon is a place to store your items. If your storage needs go along with with a household move, when you are coasting down the street contemplating which storage facility is right for you, continue driving. You have already selected a mover for trucking your stuff to a new house, why don’t you verify with them to see if they offer storage, too? Most professional moving companies have warehouse storage--with the same seasoned employees to assist you in organizing your stored boxes and furniture that packs and loads the moving van for your move.
If you are moving internationally, or your move is not long-term, you'll want a place for any boats, jet skis, or motor homes that are too large to go with you. You can store those large items with your moving company, and again, you can usually park them on the premises or store them inside—it is your call.
Even if you are not moving, you might need to store items--if you have inherited some things, if you have a fledgling who's boomeranging back to your houseback in the nest—lots of things can happen that requires more space for a while. Or, if you are pondering moving and trying to declutter your house, you'll need to create the image of hardly-lived in space, so everything on the counters, small furniture you trip over in the dark, and the stuff you need to generally live your life, all need to go to storage until after your move in Tulsa.
After you have decided where to store your items, the next chore you need to think about is how to pack them for safe storage. The trick to packing crystal, dishes, and other easily breakable items is to wrap everything separately. You may do that with a few different selections of padding or insulation, it's really for you to decide which you want to use—so long as each piece is appropriately secured from knocking against each other, use what works for you. Newsprint (as opposed to newspaper, newsprint is the plain brownish paper that is in large sheets at any moving supply or big box store), bubble wrap, packing peanuts, foam padding--any and all will work, but you will realize that mixing and matching depending on the individual item works best. Select small, heavy duty boxes for fragile items. Take care that you do not wrap too tightly; items require some air space inside the wrap.
Some further things that require special consideration when moving into storage are not always things that you'd think about.
Here is a short list:
- Albums--Yes, they are making a resurgence. If you're a collector you are familiar with how prized they are, and if you're a casual listener who likes listening on a turntable you know how hard it is to secure replacements. Albums that are going to storage for more than a few weeks in the spring or fall need to 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 whatever you store, but for the most part it comes out similarly to how it went in. Wool and wool blends need to be packed with a decent amount of mothballs, cedar blocks, or both so you do not 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 should be in a humidity controlled place, especially in a climate where humidity is high. They will mildew when it gets damp or humid, and when it's dry and cold the leather cracks.
- Art--Art is in the eye of the beholder, so you're going to be as cautious of your children's kindergarten drawings as the curator at the Met is of his on-loan Picassos. For the kiddo's art projects, get a big flat plastic crate, 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 wrap them with sheets, beach towels, or moving blankets, and they will be okay. When your art is real, have 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 imperative.
- Mirrors--Like art, many antique mirrors are in extraordinarily valuable frames. Treat them like the works of art that they are.
- Chandeliers—Take off the crystals, and wrap them in a big zip lock bag. Place the hanging hardware and crystals in a box, and either have the lighting itself crated, or secured for transit and then hang it in storage--most units have bars across the ceiling for that purpose.
And of course, we recognize that you have the best intentions of going through all those piles of college papers and cancelled checks from 1996 and shredding all the junk. Just in case, A-1 Freeman Moving Group will always have storage in Tulsa for you, until you can get that done.