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Storage Tips

Before you move

  • Get started on your planning and packing at least a week before the big day. That way overlooked details won’t turn into emergencies.
  • Get help whenever possible. Contact friends or services to line up what you need, whether packing, loading, or unloading.
  • Pick up moving supplies at Seaport Storage Center. We have a complete line of packing boxes, bubble wrap, moving blankets, and other necessities—available for purchase seven days a week.
  • Start packing with items you know you won’t need until after you’ve moved. You’re welcome to get a head start on your move by visiting your space at Seaport Storage Center to drop off smaller items that fit in your car.

How to pack your household items

General guidelines:

  • Use moving pads or blankets to protect the finish on appliances and furniture, or any other items that can’t be boxed.
  • Don’t skimp on padding and other protection for anything you pack.

Appliances and electronics:

  • Washing machine. It’s important to immobilize the tub by stuffing towels or linens inside it to prevent damage to the agitator. Be sure to remove all the hoses and store them separately in a small box.
  • Dryer. If it’s a gas dryer, contact your gas company to get it safely disconnected. You can put the exhaust hose in the box with the washing machine hoses.
  • Refrigerator. To reduce the chance of mold or mildew growing inside your refrigerator during storage, defrost it and towel-dry the interior. You may also pack small, lightweight items inside, but avoid heavy items that could damage the interior. Seal the doors closed with shrink wrap.
  • Small appliances. Use the original boxes to pack small kitchen appliances such as toasters, coffee makers, microwaves, and other kitchen utilities. Or buy boxes and packing material at Seaport Storage Center. Measure them first to make sure you get the right sizes.
  • Home electronics. Home theater or stereo components such as receivers or CD or DVD players should be packed upright in separate cartons that are big enough to leave ample space all around each device for protective padding material such as bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or even old newspapers.
  • Televisions. It’s really best to pack these in the original shipping box. If you don’t still have them, you can get heavy-duty TV boxes at Seaport Storage Center for extra protection. Make sure to pack styrofoam peanuts (which offer the most resilient cushion against impacts) all around the TV, keep it upright, and don’t stack anything on top of it.

Hard-to-pack items:

  • Bicycles and baby carriages or strollers. To prevent staining other items, cover any oily parts such as bicycle chains with rags. You can reduce the size needed to store these items and make tham easier to handle by lowering the seat and handlebars on bicycles or folding up strollers and the like as much as possible.
  • Lamps. Seaport Storage Center has many different sizes and shapes of boxes and packing materials to accommodate all kinds of lamps. Box up lamps separately with wrapping paper and bubble wrap as padding. Pack the shades separately as well, and be sure not to wrap them in newspaper, as the ink can stain fabric. Pack light bulbs separately.
  • Clothing. Get wardrobe boxes to hang suits, dresses, coats, and other clothing that you don’t want to wrinkle. A dresser makes an ideal moving or storage container for other clothing and you can even wrap small breakable in the clothes. Pack the drawers full, but watch the weight. Really heavy loads can loosen or even break the bottom of a drawer. Don’t use tape to seal the drawers; it can destroy wood finishes. Shrink wrap is harmless and more secure.
  • Mirrors and pictures. Seaport Storage Center offers an adjustable box, specifically designed to protect these fragile items. Be sure to carefully wrap each item before you box them; we recommend bubble wrap for the best protection.
  • Tools and gardening equipment. Drain hoses, coil them as tightly as possible, and then tape them together. Bunch tools together and tape or shrink wrap them, or wrap and pack small tools into boxes. Avoid packing too many heavy tools in one box: it’s hard to move and the box may come apart.

Other items:

  • Books. Only be stored and moved in small 1.5 cubic foot book boxes. Larger boxes may fall apart and are difficult to lift safely.
  • Rugs. Clean your rugs before storing them. Roll them up with some mothballs inside, and then use rope or shrink wrap to bind the rolls together.
  • Tables. Remove the legs of large tables if you can, and wrap them separately to protect from scratches and prevent damage to the joints. Completely wrap tables in large furniture pads or old blankets to protect the finish.
  • Beds. Disassemble the bed frame and tie the rails and crosspieces together with rope or tape. To protect other items, be sure to pad the ends of the rails. Use tape and a marker to help remember how the pieces fit together. Or take a digital photo of the pieces laid out in the right order. Keep mattresses clean with protective bags from Seaport Storage Center, and wrap the headboard in paper or bubble wrap.
  • Chairs. Stack armless chairs and rope or tape them together. Use chair covers or furniture pads to protect armchairs.
  • Glasses and dishes. You’ll need an adequate supply of packing paper and bubble wrap to wrap each glass and dish separately. Then pack them into a dish pack box with cell dividers. This is especially important for fine china.
  • Kitchenware. Don’t use anything larger than a medium box (3 cubic feet) when packing pots, pans, and utensils. You won’t be able to lift a bigger box. Protect your fine cookware with wrapping paper or bubble wrap.

On moving day

  • Get your rental truck as early as possible. You want enough time to get used to the operation and to make loading as stress-free as possible.
  • To make sure your everyday essentials are easy to find when you get to your new place, load them last.
  • Pack your personal necessities in a small box or suitcase to carry with you.
  • Consider using a safety moving belt to protect your back while lifting and shifting heavy items, and use your knees to spare your back and help prevent injury.
  • To assure safety when moving large or heavy items, make sure you have enough help.
  • Consider renting a hand truck if you don’t have one. It saves a lot of time—plus aches and pains–when you have lots of boxes or several large appliances to move, or if you’ll have to walk a ways to load or unload the truck.

Loading the truck:

  • Park the truck on a flat and level surface. After extending the moving ramp, secure the end hooks to assure stability.
  • Load evenly! Keeping the height of the load as consistent as possible from front to back reduces the likelihood of shifting.
  • Load large items first. Put the heaviest items along the front wall of the moving van. Balance the load by putting heavy items like the refrigerator and washer/dryer on opposite sides of the truck. Lean mattresses against the side walls of the truck to act as padding for other items (especially large pieces of furniture).
  • Don’t skimp on furniture pads. They’re a lot cheaper than refinishing or repairing your valuable possessions.
  • Once you’re done loading the large or heavy items, begin loading your boxes and hard-to-pack or awkward items.
  • Never put a heavier box on top of a lighter one. The lightest and most fragile things should always be on top. For the most part, this means that books should always be on the bottom.
  • Use the spaces between boxes of various sizes creatively: try to fit awkward or odd-shaped items in between. This can reduce shifting and help make the best use of space. A good example is putting smaller items in the spaces left by furniture legs or desks.

Moving things that can’t be stored

  • Hazardous and flammable materials. It is illegal to move such materials, or to store them in our facility. Your local trash collection agency, fire department, or other authority can give you instructions for their safe disposal.
  • Pets. Always use a pet carrier, especially if you must put your pet in the moving truck. This keeps the pets safe and protects your belongings. Bring a leash for safe pet bathroom breaks, don’t leave the animal unattended for long periods in your truck or car (especially in hot weather), and make sure your pet has access to water at all times. Most animals won’t eat under the stressful conditions of a move, and some may actually require a mild sedative to lessen the trauma of moving. Consult your veterinarian.
  • Plants. Water them first, and use plastic bags with air holes to help them retain moisture and protect the foliage. If the temperature in the truck goes above 85 degrees for more than a couple of hours, cool the plants down by stopping and opening the back door for a time. In cold weather (below 40 degrees F), make sure the door is sealed properly to prevent damage to plants. You can’t store live plants. They’ll die because there’s not enough natural light in storage facilities.

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