Get ready to learn your pack drill

Like most things, packing your possessions safely is an art - so here are some tips to make sure you keep your prize possessions in good condition moving house or while in self storage.

Always make sure you have plenty of packaging materials - including boxes of varying sizes.

Pack the heaviest items, like books, in the smallest boxes. - fragile

Always use brown packing tape - it's cheaper and stronger than thinner tapes and does the job properly. Here are some more handy hints:

  • Don't skimp on your boxes - strong, good quality cardboard or plastic boxes with lids are the best
  • Double tape the bottoms and tops of boxes
  • Don't under or overfill boxes - they will collapse or cause other boxes stacked on them to topple. Have some small boxes or plastic 'airbags' to fill out the gaps
  • Label or number boxes so you know what's in them
  • Don't put fragile items in the bottom of a box - cushion the bottom with some bubble wrap or less fragile items and then back the breakable items in the middle to protect them from bumps and scrapes
  • Make sure fragile items are wrapped and taped in to bubble wrap - if you don't tape them they may fall out the ends when you pick them up.
  • Clean any machinery or tools before storage and then spray with WD40 or wipe over with a light film of cheap oil to protect metal parts from rust
  • If you are storing furniture, pack the spaces under tables or in cupboards to double up your space and keep costs down - but move furniture when the drawers and cupboards are empty to avoid straining the joints.
  • Don't put heavy items on sofas or soft furnishings but do use a dust cover
  • Wrap pictures, photo frames and mirrors in bubble wrap for storage units
  • Don't overpack boxes so you can't lift them or so they split
  • Pack smaller items in to larger boxes - but keep an eye on the weight - it's easier to move several larger boxes than lots of small ones.
  • Get a skip and throw away your rubbish - many people waste time and money carting rubbish from their home to a storage unit and back again
  • Protect furniture legs by taping bubble wrap or cardboard tubes around them
  • Leave microwave, fridge and freezers open for ventilation and to avoid bad smells building up

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