Planning a trip for the family that’s longer than your average two-week annual jaunt to the beach is an exciting time for everyone. What to do with your possessions to keep them safe while you’re away, however, is something that often gets overlooked. Of course, you can simply shut the front door and set off, but these days we’re all a little more security conscious than that. On a longer trip you might want to think about packing up at least your most valuable possessions and putting them into storage for safe keeping.
- Sturdy, well built boxes are your best friend. Choose more smaller ones rather than fewer big ones. Smaller boxes are easier to carry and there’s less chance of filling them so full that the bottoms fall out when they’re lifted.
- Use good packing tape to seal them. Cheaper tape tends to come unstuck over time, which will leave boxes in danger of falling apart when you come to collect them.
- Protect delicate, valuable items with bubble wrap rather than newspaper or tissue. Paper is fine, however, to use as a cushion between crockery items. Fill gaps in packed boxes with extra padding to stop things rattling around.
- Label every box as you fill it. Arm yourself with a black marker pen and list the contents on the outside of the box. You may think you’ll remember, but faced with a dozen identical boxes later on, you won’t.
- If you’re storing furniture that comes apart, you’ll save space by disassembling it. But remember to tape the fittings to the furniture so they don’t get lost.
Depending on how much you’re putting into store, you may need to ask a removal company to help or hire a van if your own vehicle isn’t big enough. Make sure you arrange dates as early as possible so you’re not panicking at the last minute. If you’re taking on the services of a man with a van for removals, find out if you’ll need to help with the loading and unloading. If so, try to make sure you’ve got plenty of helping hands, along with someone to watch the kids if they’re too young to help out. Kids love helping, so if they’re old enough, allow them to carry some lighter things themselves. It’s all part of getting ready to go away, and will make them feel more a part of the planning.
Self storage is perfect for those times when you want somewhere secure to put your valuables. Local and convenient, storage facilities are easy to get to and have late opening times so you can get on with storing in the evenings if necessary.
Terms are flexible too, with rental periods from as short as a week. For those with just a few items, rooms roughly the size of a telephone box will perfectly fit the bill, while at the other end of the scale there are units that will hold a house full of possessions.
An alternative is to ask family or friends to store boxes for you, but some might not relish the responsibility of taking care of the items that are most precious to you. Professional storage that takes security seriously gives everyone peace of mind, and leaves you free to simply enjoy your trip, knowing everything will be safe until you get home.
Drew writes for Big Yellow Self Storage. For more packing, storage and home removal tips, see their website or blog.