Packing & Storing Valuables

By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

Moving - Moving BoxesFor most people, someday, you're going to have to pack and move or pack and store, all or a portion of your household. When that time comes, it is vital that you've acquired the packing valuables and breakable items--you do not want your wedding china coming back in pieces, or your winter coats destroyed by moths. Packing for storage in Little Rock, even in the short term, necessitates some attention to detail.

Early on, a detail that needs to be attended to 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 picked a mover for hauling your life to a new house, why not verify with them to see if they can 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 loads the moving truck 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 big things with your moving company, and again, you can simply park them on the premises or garage them in the warehouse—it is your decision.

Even if you are not moving, you may still benefit from putting items in storage--if you have inherited some things, if you've got an adult child 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 are contemplating moving and trying to declutter your home, you'll 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 things you need to generally live your life, all must go into storage until after your move in Little Rock.

Moving - Moving BoxesOnce you have decided where to store your items, the next thing you should consider is how to pack all of your things for safe storage. The secret to packing crystal, china, and other fragile stuff is to wrap every item 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 sufficiently secured from bumping against each other, use what works for you. Newsprint (different from newspaper, newsprint is the plain off-whiteish 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. Select small, heavy duty boxes for breakable items. Beware that you don't wrap too tightly; things need a little air space inside the wrap.

Some additional items that must have special consideration when going to storage are not always things that you'd think about.

Here is a short list:

  • Albums--Yes, they are making a rebound. If you're a collector you know 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 with a few exceptions 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 don't unpack sweaters full of holes. Moths are not as huge of a problem in cooler climates, but putting in a few mothballs never hurts.
  • Shoes--Leather shoes need to be in a humidity controlled location, especially in a locale 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 are 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 older pieces are as valuable as the paintings themselves, protecting them is crucial.
  • 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. 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 indeed, we know that you have the best intentions of going 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.