Packing Hints and Tips from the Professionals

Organized living can make life a lot easier by saving you a lot of time and effort searching for things. At times storage can become a big issue even if you own a basement or a store room in your house where you have plenty of space to keep your belongings intact. This usually happens when you are unable to store the goods systematically.

If you're like many Calgarians and live in a small apartment or you've inherited some of the family heirlooms you may need to rent one of our self-storage units, if so our storage experts are always here to help you with packing advice when. Packing and good organization when using a self-storage facility can be an easy task if you learn to pack like a professional.

Below are some of our handy packing tips that will help keep your items safe.

Here's a list of packing supplies that will come in handy:

  • Plastic bags and labels for easy identification.
  • Foam peanuts, Styrofoam pellets or "popcorn".
  • Tissue or craft paper for delicate packing jobs.
  • Clean newsprint for general use cushioning.
  • Corrugated paper and/or bubble wrap for figurines and fragile items.
  • Gummed tape (1 1/2 to 2 inches wide) and tape dispenser.
  • Markers and labels for identifying contents of cartons.
  • Notebook and pencil for carton identification log.
  • Scissors and/or box knife.
  • Packing boxes in sizes ranging from book boxes to wardrobes.
  • Mattress bags

A Few of Budget Storage's Packing Tips:

  • Close your boxes securely using Strong Tape.  Proper closure of your package is just as important as adequate cushioning. To close a box securely, use a strong tape at least two inches or more in width.  Always use professional packing tape that is a wide, strong, clear or brown tape. For example masking tape and scotch tape are not strong enough to support the weight of a fully packed carton. You'll need to tape all cartons both on the top and bottom -- don't just fold the end flaps closed.
    • Pressure sensitive plastic, clear or tan - the most convenient and widely used
    • Water activated paper tape - the least expensive, put can be a bit messy without a special dispenser
    • Pressure sensitive reinforced (strapping) tape - strongest, but more expensive
  • A wide variety of materials can be used for cushioning and protection. Budget Storage sells all the moving materials you'll need for your packing. Please note Old Newspapers have been printed and the ink will come off and stain the things you're wrapping, possibly permanently. Don't use old newspaper!
    • Air encapsulated plastic (bubble pack)
    • Expanded polystyrene (peanuts) [Note: may not be suitable for heavier products that tend to shift toward the bottom of the package while in transportation.]
    • Corrugated dividers
    • Dish Pack Box
    • Paper (10lb & 25lb) [Note: Paper is only suitable for lighter products. It tends to flatten when used as cushioning for heavy products.]
  • Protect your items inside the box with cushioning materials.  It's important to properly cushion the contents of each carton. Wrap each possession separately and fragile items need proper separation from each other and clearance from the corners and sides of the box. This will prevent against damage and protect the contents from shock and vibration which can pass from the outside of the box to the contents.  Proper cushioning material, combined with a strong outer container, will help protect your belongings. Use enough cushioning material to ensure that the contents cannot move easily when you shake the box. Several inches of cushioning material all the way around should do it.  Extremely fragile objects require special packaging for safe shipment.
  • Use Corrugated Boxes or clear plastic bins and ensure each carton is cleaned before you use it for packing. Boxes obtained from grocery or liquor stores are not always clean and  they may not withstand the weight of the items that you'll be putting in them. Plus boxes from the stores can come in odd sizes which tend to make loading more difficult. Use a new box large enough to allow room for adequate cushioning material on all sides of the contents and choose  the right box strength which can handle the weight of  its contents. Never exceed the maximum gross weight of the box or you may lose your contents out of the bottom when you lift it.
  • Take an inventory of what you pack.  Note where packed boxes are to go, especially those that need to go to storage.
  • Start packing several cartons each day a few weeks before your move. By pacing yourself the job won't be so overwhelmed and you'll be more organized. Remember, only pack the items that won't be needed before your move.
  • Pack on a room-by-room basis and do one area of the room at a time. It's best not to mix items from different rooms in one box and make sure you label your boxes.  The last area to be packed should usually be the kitchen. Many items here are used on a daily basis right up to, and including, moving day!
  • Use Proper Labeling.  To minimize confusion and to make retrieving items from storage easier, keep these important points in mind:
    • Mark each box with the name of the room it came from and a brief description of contents (you'll appreciate this when you're looking for that important something!). It's also a good idea to put an inventory sheet together pin pointing the location of each box on a chart and leave it taped on the door in the storage unit and a copy at home.
    • Avoid marking or labeling over a seam of closure or on top of sealing tape.
    • Mark fragile boxes to give everyone a clue of which ones they really shouldn't drop or kick around.  Identify the "Top" of fragile boxes if the contents might be damaged by storing the box on the sides or bottom.  The "Top" should be the most stable orientation of the package as it rests on a flat surface.
    • Consider buying a pack of colored stickers and color coding the boxes by room or by type of item (clothes, etc.).
  • Make sure you call and speak to one of Budget Storage's helpful staff to help you decide the right size unit to fit your storage requirements.  Our friendly storage experts will ensure they help you every step of the way.  Our indoor storage facility is heat controlled, offers 24/7 security and best of all we offer the lowest rates in town for any comparable storage facility in the Calgary area.

    Call us today to find out more details (403) 274-1413.

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