Packing & Storing Valuables

By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

Moving - Moving BoxesFor almost everyone, at some point, you are going to need to pack and move or pack and store, all or a portion of your things. When it’s time, it's crucial that you have grasped the art of packing valuables and fragile items--you don't want your favorite mug turning up in pieces, or your winter coats with more moth holes than fabric. Packing for storage in Houston, even for not very long, demands some attention to detail.
 

Early on, a detail that must be attended to is a place to store your possessions. If your storage needs correspond with a household move, when you're coasting down the road wondering which storage facility is best for you, continue driving. 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? The majority of professional moving companies provide warehouse storage--with the same seasoned crew to help you organize your stored boxes and furniture that packs the moving truck for your move.

If you are moving internationally, or your move is not long-term, you will require a spot for any boats, jet skis, or motor homes that are too big to move 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're not moving, you could benefit from putting items in storage--if you've inherited some things, if you have a son or daughter who's boomeranging back to your houseback in the nest—any number of things can happen that requires more space for some time. Or, if you are contemplating moving and trying to declutter your home, you will need to create the appearance of hardly-lived in space, so everything on the counters, small furniture you trip over in the dark, and the things you need to basically live your life, all must go to storage until after your move in Houston.

Moving - Moving BoxesOnce you have picked where to store your stuff, the next task you need to consider is how to pack all of your things for safe storage. The secret to packing crystal, dishes, and other fragile items is to wrap everything individually. You could do that with several types of supplies or insulation, it's really for you to decide which you pick—as long as plates and glasses are sufficiently secured from bumping against each other, use what you like best. Newsprint (not newspaper, newsprint is the plain tan 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. Choose small, heavy duty boxes for fragile items. Beware that you don't wrap too tightly; items require some air space inside the wrap.

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

Here is a short list:

  • Albums--Yes, they are making a resurgence. If you are a collector you are aware how prized they are, and if you're a casual listener who likes listening on a turntable you know how tough 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'll 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 some mothballs, cedar blocks, or both so you don't unpack sweaters full of holes. Moths are not as huge of an issue in cooler climates, but putting in a few mothballs is still a good idea.
  • Shoes--Leather shoes must be in a humidity controlled environment, particularly in a locale where humidity is high. They'll 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 are going to be as deliberate of your children's kindergarten paintings as the curator at the Met is of his on-loan Picassos. For the kiddo's art projects, buy 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 will 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 lots of heirloom pieces are as valuable as the paintings themselves, protecting them is imperative.
  • Mirrors--Like art, many older mirrors are in highly 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. Keep the hanging hardware and crystals in a box, and either have the fixture 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 good intentions of picking through all those stacks of college papers and junk mail from 1995 and shredding all the junk. Fortunately, A-1 Freeman Moving Group will always have storage in Houston for you, until you can get that done.