Start packing well ahead of your move so you can pack a couple of cartons a day.
Pack one room at a time. Label each carton with its destination (bedroom garage, storage, etc.) before you seal it.
Be sure that the bottoms of all your cartons are secured and will hold the weight of the contents. Packing tape or gummed tape holds more securely than does masking tape. Pack heavier items toward the bottom of the box and lighter items toward the top. Try to keep a per-box weight of 50 pounds or less; it makes moving a lot easier.
Make sure you have enough wardrobe boxes. You really don't want to fold all of you hanger clothes. If the boxes still have some space, consider filling them with lightweight items like shoes, pillows and bedding items.
Pack some clothes from bureaus in boxes or suitcases so the bureaus won't be too heavy to move. Consider the clothes as packing material in between breakable items or to fill spaces in other boxes.
For china, use dish pack boxes and place all plates on edge, layer bubble wrap in between. Wrap each glass or cup in a piece of bubble wrap and tape. Put a layer of packing material on bottom, sides and top.
If you've collected lots of books over time, it's a great time to reevaluate what you really want to keep. Never pack more than 30 pounds of books in a box. Use small boxes and pack books flat so the corners won't break.
For prints, mirrors, artwork and glass use mirror boxes and wrap in bubble wrap. Put tape across the front of the mirrors like an X to keep pieces in place in case the glass breaks. Fill the sides of boxes with packing material.
Light and miscellaneous items such as pillows, bedding, small appliances, toys, kitchen and bathroom items can be packed in medium and large boxes. Pack your stereo, computer, VCR, etc. in their original boxes.
Load furniture first and boxes last in the truck. It will make it easier when you unload at your storage space.
Load your upholstered furniture early. It's easier than fighting space with it later. Load on top of cardboard with soft material and wrap with blankets to protect upholstery from dirt.
Build "tiers" from the floor to the ceiling of the truck using heavier pieces such as dressers, washers and dryers as your base. Load your heaviest pieces on the driver's side. Use rope to tie off every few tiers. That will prevent the load from shifting every time the truck accelerates or brakes.
Load and tie off your mattresses against the last tier. It's a good way to secure your load. Use mattress covers to protect them from dirt.
Disassemble as many items as possible in preparation for the move. Place parts and screws in plastic bags and put in a drawer to be easily located.
Odds and ends such as bicycles, lawn chairs, barbecue, etc should be loaded last, cushioned away from the rest of the load. Bundle and tape long handled garden tools, mops, brooms, etc. together. Use your car for small items.
1. Store items you'll need most often at the front of the unit.
2. When you pack your storage unit, create a center aisle for access to all items.
3. Do not place boxes directly on concrete floors, but use pallets or skids to prevent moisture absorption.
4. If you're storing tables and other furniture, remove legs and store tabletops and sofas on end, to save space.
5. Old photographs tend to curl over time. To keep them flat, place them between two pieces of cardboard and tape them together.
6. Drain gasoline and oil from lawn mowers and other items with small engines.
7. Common sense and state laws determine what may be stored. You alone control access to your storage space; therefore, never store live animals, perishables, liquids, explosives, flammable liquids and fuels, toxic materials, or other items that need a controlled environment.
8. Use trash cans to store shovels, hoes and rakes.
9. Mattresses should be covered and stored flat on level surfaces.
10. Use protective covers and treat wood surfaces before storing.
11. When storing metal items, to retard rust, wipe all metal surfaces with a rag containing a few drops of machine oil.
12. Pack blankets, draperies, and dress clothes on the hanger in a wardrobe box.
13. Always use high quality locks on your unit. Locks are available for sale-just ask your site manager for a recommendation.