Packing & Storing Valuables

By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

Moving - Moving BoxesFor almost everyone, sooner or later, you are going to need to pack and move or pack and store, all or a portion of your belongings. When that time comes, it is vital that you have mastered the skill of packing valuables and fragile things--you don't want your plates and dishes coming back broken, or your winter coats with lots of moth holes. Packing for storage in Tulsa, even for a short while, requires some concern for the details.

One important detail that must be attended to is a place to store your things. If your storage needs correspond with a move, when you're meandering down the street wondering which storage facility is best for you, continue driving. You have already hired a mover for hauling your stuff to a new house, why not check with them to see if they offer storage, also? Many professional moving companies provide warehouse storage--with the same experienced crew to help you organize 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 will 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 simply park them on the premises or store them inside—it is your call.

Even if you're not moving, you might need extra space--if you have inherited some things, if you've got a fledgling who is boomeranging back to your houseback in the nest—lots of things can happen that requires more space for some time. Or, if you're thinking of moving and organize your home, you'll want to make the appearance of hardly-lived in space, so out of season clothes, small furniture you fall over at night, and the stuff you need to essentially live your life, all should go into storage until after your move in Tulsa.

Moving - Moving BoxesAfter 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 delicate stuff is to wrap everything individually. You can do that with several types of supplies or insulation, it is really your call which you prefer—as long as everything is sufficiently protected against bumping against each other, use what you like best. Newsprint (different from 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 delicate items. Beware that you do not wrap too tightly; things must have some air space inside the wrap.

Some additional things that require special care when moving into storage are not always things that you would realize.

Here is a short list:

  • Albums--Yes, they are making a comeback. If you are a collector you know how valuable they are, and if you are a casual listener who likes listening on a turntable you recognize how hard it is to secure replacements. Albums that are going to storage for any length of time 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 with a few exceptions it comes out in the same condition 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 problem 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 an area where humidity is high. They'll 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're going to be as cautious of your child's kindergarten paintings 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 will be okay. When your art is the real thing, have the paintings professionally crated and packed, and use climate and humidity controlled storage. Since the frames of lots of antique pieces are as valuable as the paintings themselves, protecting them is vital.
  • 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. Secure the hanging hardware and crystals in a box, and either have the light itself crated, or secured for transit and then hang it in storage--most units have hangars across the ceiling to hang light fixtures and other things from.

And of course, we recognize that you have great intentions of going through all those stacks of college papers and junk mail from 1997 and getting rid of all the junk. Fortunately, A-1 Freeman Moving Group will always have storage in Tulsa for you, until you can get that done.