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 a portion of your household. When it’s time, it is crucial that you've acquired the packing valuables and delicate belongings--you do not want your plates and dishes arriving back smashed, or your winter coats with more moth holes than fabric. Packing for storage in Little Rock, even for a short while, requires some attention to detail.

One important detail that needs to be decided upon is a place to store your items. If your storage needs go along with with a move, if you're cruising down the highway wondering which storage facility is right for you, continue driving. You've already selected a mover for hauling your life to a new house, why not verify with them to see if they provide storage, also? Many professional moving companies offer warehouse storage--with the same seasoned crew to assist you in organizing your stored boxes and furniture that packs and loads the moving van for your move.

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

Even if you are not moving, you could benefit from putting items in storage--if you have inherited some things, if you have a fledgling who is boomeranging back to your houseback in the nest—any number of things can happen that requires more space for a while. Or, if you are pondering moving and trying to declutter your home, you will need to create the illusion of hardly-lived in space, so pictures of the family, small furniture you fall over in the dark, and the items you need to generally live your life, all should go into storage until after your move in Little Rock.

Moving - Moving BoxesOnce you have figured out where to store your items, the next thing you must consider is how to pack all of your things for safe storage. The trick to packing crystal, china, and other delicate things is to wrap each piece by itself. You could do that with a few different types of padding or insulation, it's really up to you which you want to use—so long as each piece is appropriately secured from bumping against each other, use what works for you. Newsprint (different from newspaper, newsprint is the plain brownish paper that comes in large sheets at any moving supply or big box store), bubble wrap, Styrofoam peanuts, foam padding--any and all will work, but you will discover that mixing and matching determined by the individual item works best. Use small, heavy duty boxes for delicate items. Beware that you don't wrap too tightly; things require a bit of air space inside the wrap.

Some additional items that must have special care when going to storage are not always things that you would think about.

Here is a short list:

  • Albums--Yes, they are making a resurgence. If you're a collector you are aware how treasured they are, and if you are a casual listener who likes listening on a record player you are aware how difficult it is to find replacements. Albums that are going to storage for more than a few weeks 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 want to wash and iron the items that you store, but for the most part it comes out in the same condition it went in. Wool and wool blends need to be packed with a decent amount of mothballs, cedar blocks, or both so you don't unpack more hole than sweater. Moths are not as huge of a problem in cooler climates, but tossing in a few mothballs never hurts.
  • Shoes--Leather shoes need to be in a humidity controlled place, especially in an area where humidity is high. They'll mildew when it gets 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 careful of your kid's 1st grade drawings as the curator at the Met is of his on-loan Picassos. For the kiddo's art projects, get a large flat plastic tub, 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 the real thing, get 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 crucial.
  • Mirrors--Like art, many older 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. Keep 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 know that you have good intentions of sorting through all those piles of college papers and cancelled checks from 1996 and shredding all the junk. Just in case, A-1 Freeman Moving Group will always have storage in Little Rock for you, until you can get that done.