1. Be Prepared. Gather all the packing materials you need BEFORE you start packing, including boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, mattress bags, furniture covers, and so on. The last thing you want is to run out of tape while you're packing. Manhattan Mini Storage has all the supplies you need, and it's no problem to return what you don't use.
2. Protect the Family Jewels. Take extra care with valuable items that can break! This includes dishes, glassware, ceramics, mirrors, and other fragile items. Wrap them individually in bubble wrap, and then secure them in the box with packing peanuts, bubble wrap, or newspaper so there is no space for them to shift around.
3. See a Specialist. When possible, use boxes especially made for the items you are storing. For instance, use small boxes for books, dish boxes for dishes, and art/mirror boxes for mirrors or paintings. Okay Fashionistas - this means you'll need wardrobe boxes for your fabulous clothing.
4. Size Matters. The weight of the contents should determine the size of the box. Heavy smaller items, such as books and records, should go in smaller boxes. Lightweight larger items, such as blankets and pillows, can go in the largest boxes.
5. No Breathing Room. Make sure cartons are firmly and fully packed, with heavier items on bottom and lighter ones on top. Pack books on their side, not on the spine. Fill boxes completely - this makes them stack more easily, and maximizes your storage space.
6. Watch Your Weight. Keep all boxes to a maximum of 50 pounds to allow for easier lifting.
7. Seal the Deal. Be generous with packing tape, using enough on your boxes to create an airtight seal.
8. Take Cover. Use a mattress bag to protect items such as box springs and mattresses, and use furniture covers for chairs and sofas. (Be sure to vacuum the upholstery before you cover the furniture.)
9. Make a List, and Check It Twice. Save yourself stress when it's time to retrieve items from storage - label each box with a number, and keep a list of what is in each box.
10. Ace Your Space. To make the most of your storage space, use common-sense strategies like keeping the most-needed items toward the front of the room, creating an aisle for easy access, storing couches on end, and using the drawers of furniture to store items.