When you’re getting ready for an extended trip, there are so many things to keep in mind. Before we left for our years of travel abroad, we moved out of our Manhattan apartment and placed our most important belongings in a storage facility in the Bronx. To cut down on storage costs, we sold or donated non-essentials, only hanging onto things we couldn’t live without (like the china that’s been in my family for three generations!).
Preparing your things for long-term storage can seem like a daunting undertaking, but these five tips from our favorite New York movers make the job quick and easy. They’ll also help to relieve your anxiety when you unpack upon your return.
Before you start packing up the items that you want to keep, consider parting with some of the things that you don’t want to hang on to forever. Purging can be a challenge, but it will be easier to store things if you have a bit less of them. As you go through your closet, consider getting rid of the things that you haven’t worn in over a year. You might be able to make some extra money if you sell furniture or kitchen items that you no longer use. As you go through your pantry, donate items to free up storage space and to spread some good will.
There are several steps that you can take to make sure that your furniture comes out of storage looking as good as it did when it entered. Vacuum any upholstered furniture to keep it clean and smelling nice, and consider washing some pieces with mild soap and water. Let things dry completely before storage, and apply a coat of furniture polish to wooden pieces. Sealed wood will reduce the risk of mold developing.
Selecting the right containers for your things is important. Imperial Movers NYC recommends using new boxes as previously used boxes may be compromised on their strength, which could lead to damage of your belongings. Also, do not store things in plastic bags, for they can collect moisture. Moisture build up can result in damaged goods or mildew forming.
There are several things that you can do as you’re packing to make the unpacking process smooth and easy, and a labeling system can make a huge difference. Be sure that you have all of your supplies ready before you start labeling, and consider using different colors for the different rooms so that you can tell where a box goes at a glance. You might want to label both the top and sides of a box for quick identification of contents. Think through what you’ll need first when you arrive at your new destination, and consider placing those items in well-labeled containers up front for easy access.
Having a master plan for your storage unit can make both packing and unpacking faster and less frustrating. Create a chart or list as you go for quick reference when you’re ready to unpack. Think about which season it will be when you return from your trip, and you’ll be able to place the appropriate clothes and seasonal items towards the front for quick access. Consider having survival boxes of sheets, towels, and some kitchen utensils right at the front so that you can unpack and settle in for your first night right away.
Packing for an extended trip can be a chore, but these five tips will make the transition smoother and less stressful. You can enjoy your trip and come home again.