Packing & Storing Valuables
By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
One of the first details that needs to be thought about is a place to store your things. If your storage needs correspond with a household move, when you're coasting down the street contemplating which storage facility is best for you, don’t stop. You have already picked a mover for trucking your life to a new residence, why not verify with them to see if they offer storage, too? Many professional moving companies have warehouse storage--with the same seasoned employees to assist you in organizing your stored boxes and furniture that packs the moving truck for your move.
If you're moving internationally, or your move is not long-term, you'll require a plan for any boats, jet skis, or motor homes that are too large to go with you. You can store those vehicles with your moving company, and again, you can usually park them on the premises or garage them inside—it's up to you.
Even if you are not moving, you could benefit from putting items in storage--if you've inherited some things, if you have a fledgling who's boomeranging back to your houseback in the nest—any number of things can happen that requires more space for a little bit. Or, if you're pondering moving and decluttering your house, you will want to form the image of hardly-lived in space, so out of season clothes, small furniture you trip over at night, and the things you need to essentially live your life, all must go to storage until after your move in Atlanta.
After you have picked where to store your stuff, the next task you need to ponder is how to pack them for safe storage. The technique to packing crystal, dishes, and other easily breakable items is to wrap everything separately. You could do that with several selections of padding or insulation, it's really up to you which you want to use—so long as each piece is adequately protected against banging against each other, use what you like best. Newsprint (different from newspaper, newsprint is the plain tan 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'll realize that mixing and matching determined by the individual item works best. Choose small, heavy duty boxes for delicate items. Take care that you do not wrap too tightly; items require a bit of air space inside the wrap.
Some additional items that need special care when going to storage are not always things that you would think about.
Here is a short list:
- Albums--Yes, they are making a resurgence. If you're a collector you are aware how valuable they are, and if you are a casual listener who likes listening on a turntable you recognize how tough it is to secure replacements. Albums that are going to storage for more than a few weeks 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'll need to wash and iron the items that you store, but most of the time it comes out similarly to how it went in. Wool and wool blends need to be packed with some mothballs, cedar blocks, or both so you do not unpack more hole than sweater. Moths aren't as big of a presence in colder climates, but tossing in a few mothballs is still a good idea.
- Shoes--Leather shoes should be in a humidity controlled location, particularly in a locale where humidity is high. They'll 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 are going to be as cautious of your children's pre-school drawings as the curator at the Met is of his on-loan Picassos. For the kiddo's art projects, buy 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 cover them with sheets, beach towels, or moving blankets, and they'll be okay. When your art is the real thing, get the paintings professionally crated and packed, and use climate and humidity controlled storage. Because the frames of many antique pieces are as valuable as the paintings themselves, protecting them is crucial.
- Mirrors--Like art, a lot of vintage mirrors are in very 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. 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 to hang light fixtures and other things from.
And by all means, we recognize that you have the best intentions of sorting through all those boxes of college papers and credit card offers from 1995 and throwing out all the junk. Fortunately, A-1 Freeman Moving Group will always have storage in Atlanta for you, until you can get that done.