Packing & Storing Valuables

By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

Moving - Moving BoxesFor most everyone, sooner or later, you're going to have to pack and move or pack and store, all or a portion of your belongings. When it’s time, it is imperative that you've acquired the packing valuables and breakable items--you don't want your plates and dishes coming back broken, or your wool sweaters with more moth holes than fabric. Packing for storage in Atlanta, even in the short term, necessitates some attention to detail.

One important detail that needs to be decided upon is where to store your possessions. If your storage needs correspond with a move, when you are coasting down the road wondering which storage facility is best for you, keep driving. You've already selected a mover for hauling your life to a new home, why not check with them to see if they offer storage, too? Most professional moving companies provide warehouse storage--with the same seasoned crew to help you organize your stored boxes and furniture that packs and loads the moving truck for your move.

If you're moving internationally, or your move is not long-term, you'll want a plan 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 garage them inside—it's up to you.

Even if you are not moving, you might need extra space--if you have inherited some things, if you've got a fledgling who is moving back home—lots of things can happen that necessitates more space for some time. Or, if you are thinking of moving and trying to declutter your home, you'll need to create the illusion of hardly-lived in space, so everything on the counters, small furniture you fall over in the dark, and the stuff you need to generally live your life, all must go to storage until after your move in Atlanta.

Moving - Moving BoxesOnce you have picked where to store your stuff, the next task you should consider is how to pack them for safe storage. The secret to packing crystal, glass, and other easily breakable items is to wrap every item by itself. You could do that with a couple different kinds of supplies or insulation, it's really up to you which you want to use—as long as plates and glasses are sufficiently secured from banging 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, Styrofoam peanuts, foam padding--any and all will work, but you'll find that mixing and matching determined by the individual item works best. Choose small, heavy duty boxes for delicate items. Be careful that you do not wrap too tightly; things need some air space inside the wrap.

Some additional things that must have special care when going to storage aren't always things that you'd think about.

Here is a short list:

  • Albums--Yes, they are making a comeback. If you are a collector you know how prized they are, and if you are a casual listener who likes listening on a record player you know how tough it is to find replacements. Albums that are going to storage for more than a few weeks in the spring or fall must 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 for the most part it comes out the same way it went in. Wool and wool blends need to be packed with some mothballs, cedar blocks, or both so you don't unpack more hole than sweater. Moths are not as huge of a problem in colder climates, but throwing in a few mothballs is still a good idea.
  • Shoes--Leather shoes must be in a humidity controlled place, particularly in a locale where humidity is high. They will mildew when it is 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 careful 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 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 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 crucial.
  • Mirrors--Like art, many older mirrors are in highly 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 light 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 going through all those boxes of college papers and credit card offers from 1995 and shredding all the junk. However, A-1 Freeman Moving Group will always have storage in Atlanta for you, until you can get that done.