How to Pack Up Your Moving Van and Storage Unit

If you've decided on a do-it-yourself move, you're probably not looking forward to packing up your moving truck or storage unit. We can't promise it will be fun, but we can provide some tips to protect your stuff while it's on the way to your new home.

Filling a Moving Van:
You've already sorted through your stuff to decide what you're taking to your new home, so don't let them get broken in transit! Follow these packing guidelines:

• As you pack your items, prepare an inventory list to keep track of them.

• Wardrobe boxes are ideal for storing clothing and function as a make-shift closet. These boxes have metal bars to hang clothes on, keeping your clothes organized. Your shoes, bags and other smaller items can be placed at the bottom of the box.

• Place your mattresses and box springs along the side of your container. Shield them with protective bags.

• Wrap your mirrors and pictures with bubble packing to protect them from damage. Do not lay them flat, as this could increase the chances of breakage. It is wise to put them next to your mattresses or alongside your mobile unit for protection.

• To protect your items from being scratched or damaged in any way, use blankets, bubble packing and paper pads.

• Fill up all the boxes, and make sure you close them securely. The contents in half-full boxes is (are) likely to shift or break on the road.

• Pack the truck according to the weight of your items -- place the heavier items on the bottom, and continue with the lighter items on top of them.

• Pack heavy items (books for example) in smaller boxes rather than big ones, to make it easier to move them in and out of the container.

• Large boxes are best for packing lighter items; this way you can move many items in a single box.

• In order to prevent the items from shifting and breaking inside the container, pack the items as densely as possible.

Packing Your Storage Unit:
No one wants to pack up their storage unit and return to find a moldy couch. Here are some tips to keep your unit in tip-top shape:

• In order to protect water from entering the storage container and damaging your items, use a plastic sheet, tarps or plywood to seal the container.

• Try to distribute the weight evenly on all sides when packing a mobile storage unit.

• Heavy appliances are a challenge to pack and move. Many are also very expensive and should be cleaned to remove any dirt from them before being stored. Make sure that the appliances are completely dry before packing. Store them in an area that will avoid the formation of mildew. Pack lightweight items inside the appliances carefully so that they are not hard to find when needed again. Secure any moving parts (doors, etc.) with strong industrial tape.

• Secure your storage unit with a strong, commercial-grade padlock after you finish filling it.