Packing & Storing Valuables

By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

Moving - Moving BoxesFor most everyone, someday, you are going to need to pack and move or pack and store, all or part of your things. When it’s time, it's crucial that you've acquired the skill of packing valuables and delicate items--you don't need your wedding china turning up broken, or your wool sweaters with lots of moth holes. Packing for storage in San Antonio, even in the short term, demands some care for the specifics.

One important detail that needs to be attended to is the location to store your things. If your storage needs correspond with a move, when you are coasting down the highway contemplating which storage facility is right for you, continue driving. You've already selected a mover for trucking your life to a new residence, why not confirm with them to see if they offer storage, too? Most professional moving companies provide warehouse storage--with the same seasoned crew to help you organize your stored boxes and furniture that packs and loads the moving truck for your move.

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

Even if you're not moving, you could need extra space--if you've inherited some things, if you have a fledgling who is moving back home—numerous things can happen that necessitates more space for a while. Or, if you are contemplating moving and decluttering your home, you will want to create the image of hardly-lived in space, so out of season clothes, small furniture you fall over in the dark, and the items you need to essentially live your life, all should go into storage until you move in San Antonio.

Moving - Moving BoxesAfter you have figured out where to store your belongings, the next chore you need to consider is how to pack them for safe storage. The technique to packing crystal, dishes, and other delicate items is to wrap each piece separately. You may do that with a couple different kinds of padding or insulation, it's really up to you which you prefer—as long as plates and glasses are sufficiently secured from knocking against each other, use what works for you. Newsprint (different from newspaper, newsprint is the plain tan 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 will discover that mixing and matching contingent upon the individual item works best. Use small, heavy duty boxes for delicate items. Be careful that you don't wrap too tightly; things must have a little air space inside the wrap.

Some more things that require special care when moving into storage are not always things that you'd consider.

Here is a short list:

  • Albums--Yes, they are making a resurgence. If you're a collector you are familiar with how treasured they are, and if you're a casual listener who likes listening on a turntable you know how hard it is to find replacements. Albums that are going to storage for any length of time in the spring or fall must 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 whatever you store, but with a few exceptions 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 do not unpack more hole than sweater. Moths aren't as much of an issue in cooler climates, but tossing 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 is dry and cold the leather cracks.
  • Art--Art is in the eye of the beholder, so you're going to be as deliberate of your child's 1st grade paintings as the curator at the Met is of his on-loan Picassos. For the kiddo's art projects, buy 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 will be okay. When your art is real, have the paintings professionally crated and packed, and use climate and humidity controlled storage. Since the frames of many heirloom pieces are as valuable as the paintings themselves, protecting them is vital.
  • 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. Keep the hanging hardware and crystals in a box, and either have the lighting itself crated, or wrapped for transit and then hang it in storage--most units have hangars across the ceiling to hang light fixtures and other things from.

And indeed, we are aware that you have the best intentions of going through all those boxes of college papers and credit card offers from 1996 and getting rid of all the junk. Fortunately, A-1 Freeman Moving Group will always have storage in San Antonio for you, until you can get that done.