Packing & Storing Valuables

By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

Moving - Moving BoxesFor almost everyone, someday, you're going to have to pack and move or pack and store, all or some of your household. When that time comes, it's imperative that you have grasped the skill of packing valuables and fragile items--you don't want your wedding china coming back in pieces, or your wool sweaters destroyed by moths. Packing for storage in Little Rock, even in the short term, requires some care for the specifics.

One important detail that needs to be attended to is where to store your items. If your storage needs correspond with a move, when you are cruising down the street pondering which storage facility is right for you, continue driving. You have already picked a mover for trucking your belongings to a new home, why not confirm with them to see if they provide storage, too? The majority of professional moving companies offer warehouse storage--with the same experienced crew to help you organize your stored boxes and furniture that loads the truck for your move.

If you are moving out of the country, or your move is not long-term, you'll want a spot for any boats, jet skis, or motor homes that are too large to move with you. You can store those big things with your moving company, and again, you can usually park them on the premises or park them in the warehouse—it's your decision.

Even if you are not moving, you could benefit from putting items in storage--if you have inherited some things, if you've got a son or daughter who's boomeranging back to your houseback in the nest—lots of things can happen that necessitates more space for a while. Or, if you're thinking of moving and decluttering your residence, you will want to create the image of hardly-lived in space, so pictures of the family, small furniture you trip over at night, and the things you need to basically live your life, all must go to storage until after your move in Little Rock.

Moving - Moving BoxesOnce you have figured out where to store your items, the next chore you must think about is how to pack all of your things for safe storage. The secret to packing crystal, glass, and other easily breakable things is to wrap every item by itself. You can do that with a couple different selections of packing supplies or insulation, it's really your call which you prefer—as long as everything is sufficiently secured from banging against each other, use what you like best. Newsprint (not 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'll realize that mixing and matching determined by 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 further items that must have special care when going to storage are not always things that you'd consider.

Here is a short list:

  • Albums--Yes, they are making a resurgence. If you are a collector you are aware how treasured they are, and if you're a casual listener who likes listening on a turntable you are aware how tough it is to find replacements. Albums that are going to storage for any length of time in the spring or fall need to 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 any 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 a decent amount of mothballs, cedar blocks, or both so you do not unpack more hole than sweater. Moths are not as big of a problem in colder climates, but putting in a few mothballs never hurts.
  • Shoes--Leather shoes need to be in a humidity controlled place, particularly in a locale 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 will be as cautious of your kid's pre-school drawings as the curator at the Met is of his on-loan Picassos. For the kiddo's art projects, get a large flat plastic box, 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 heirloom pieces are as valuable as the paintings themselves, protecting them is imperative.
  • Mirrors--Like art, many antique 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. Place the hanging hardware and crystals in a box, and either have the fixture itself crated, or secured for transit and then hang it in storage--most units have bars across the ceiling to hang light fixtures and other things from.

And of course, we recognize that you have good intentions of going through all those piles of college papers and credit card offers from 1996 and shredding all the junk. However, A-1 Freeman Moving Group will always have storage in Little Rock for you, until you can get that done.