How to Pack Your Belongings for Long-Term Storage

Storage units are widely available and they’re a cost-effective way to keep your items safe until you need them again. If you need to keep some of your household possessions for an extended period, you should learn how to pack them properly and keep them from getting damaged. Read on to learn how to pack your belongings for long-term storage.

Long-term Storage Units

Before you pack your belongings for long-term storage

Make a selection

Storing things for a while means that you will not need them, at least for some time, but that doesn’t mean you should pack absolutely everything. Quite the opposite, you should only pack those items you are sure that you will use again. Go through your entire household and make a selection of items that belong in storage Brooklyn.

Make inventory

Once you put certain items away, it’s easy to forget what those items were. Make an inventory list of all the stored belongings, and you can use it in case that some of the items getting damaged or lost.

Inventory of Your Belongings for Long-term Storage

Use sturdy boxes

Getting proper storage containers is important for keeping your items safe while being in the storage unit. The best option is to use plastic containers because they are sturdy and easy to seal. You can also get recycled ones if you prefer an eco-friendly move, and recycled containers are also available for rent. In case you don’t like the idea of using plastic containers or you can’t get ahold of them, simply use cardboard boxes instead. Just make sure to inspect each box before using it for storage – it should be in good shape without any signs of damage.

Check public storage policies

Any items that are hazardous are not allowed in the storage unit, so always check the restrictions and make sure you’re compliant. If you need to keep any sort of flammable, corrosive, or explosive items, it’s better if you store them elsewhere or move to your new home.

Prepare items

Before you go ahead and pack your belongings to be stored away for a while, you should prepare them. Every item needs to be clean and dry because putting the dirty or wet item away can lead to mildew and eventually damage all the other things in the storage unit.

How to pack your belongings for long-term storage

We’ll look into several most-common items that are being stored and tips for packing them.

Clothes

Placing your clothing pieces inside wardrobe boxes or hanging them on garment bags is the best option to keep your clothes in the best shape. That will avoid wrinkles and dust and it’s especially recommended for your high-end pieces of clothing. For storing voluminous pieces like winter jackets or duvets, consider using vacuum bags to save space and keep them protected.

Furniture

Use furniture cleaner to clean all surfaces before putting a furniture piece away. In case it’s bulky or too big, disassemble furniture and keep all the small parts in plastic bags, then keep them together with the piece they belong to. You can protect furniture legs by using bubble-wrap or specialized material like furniture cover. Wrap the entire piece of furniture to protect it from dust and mildew by using packing materials or items that you already have in your household, such as blankets.

Mattress

The best thing to do is to get a mattress storage bag that will keep the mattress away from moisture and dirt. If you can’t find this type of bag, use another type of sturdy plastic to cover it entirely and seal it with tape so no parts of the mattress are exposed.

Roll-packed Spring Mattresses

Appliances

As mentioned before, all the items you’re storing need to be completely dry. When packing large appliances like a fridge or a freezer, you’ll have to defrost them and make sure they’re dry. Wipe the insides by using baking soda to avoid odors. When packing a washing machine or a dishwasher, drain them completely and double-check if they’re completely dry. You should secure cables or leave them inside of the appliances, and wrap each item by using packing materials to make a protective layer.

Electronics

Electronic equipment is sensitive and it can easily get damaged if not stored properly. If you have original boxes, it’s best if you use them. But, if you don’t, wrap them with packing paper and then use bubble wrap for an extra layer of protection. Make sure to add crumpled paper or bubble wrap to fill in voids inside the moving box, and seal the box.

Packing Electronics in Bubble Wrap

Books

Books should be packed carefully because mildew or any type of moisture can get to them easily and destroy them while being in the storage unit, especially if you’re going for a traditional one. Wrap them using packing paper, and stack them horizontally inside the box. Always use smaller boxes when packing books, otherwise, they can get too heavy and break the box. Use tape to seal all the openings and protect them from moisture.

Breakables

Packing your fragile items always requires more effort than packing the usual items. For example, china, glassware, and other breakables that you want to store will have to be packed with extra caution. Start with wrapping each item individually using packing paper, which will protect it from scratching. Then continue to cover it with bubble wrap, which will protect it from breaking. When the box is full, add paper, bubble wrap, or any soft fabric to fill in voids and seal the box using tape. Eventually, clearly label the box as “fragile” to be aware that it needs to be handled gently.

Label Electronics Fragile

Artwork

Using a storage unit to keep your artwork can be a good idea, but each piece of art has to be protected and stored properly. Use packing paper and follow by using bubble wrap to wrap each piece individually. Use packing tape to make an X across the “face” of the artwork, and get professional packing supplies, such as cardboard corners and picture boxes to pack them the best way possible.

Moving to Brooklyn on a budget

Excited about moving to Brooklyn? You certainly are as moving to the Big Apple is a really big thing. This is where they say the wildest dreams come true. No matter what you wish for or work for, you’ll be having your best shot at it in New York. So let’s go then! Of course, it’s easier said than done as New York City is one of the most expensive places in the country. How to save some money and still move over there? Moving to Brooklyn on a budget maybe? Not so fast!

Although it is not easy, it is certainly not impossible to move to Brooklyn on a budget.

Brooklyn used to be a cheap alternative to moving to Manhattan, but things have changed quite a lot. Prices have been rising in Brooklyn, rents have gone up and costs of food and life, in general, keep getting higher and higher. Is it all over? Fortunately not, as there’s still a chance to move to Brooklyn on a budget. It’s not as easy as it used to be, but it’s manageable. Here are some tips to help you do it.

Brooklyn Bridge
Moving to Brooklyn? Challenges ahead!

You either compromise on the size or location when moving to Brooklyn

There are three main things we’re all looking for when searching for an apartment: location, size, and price. Every New Yorker will tell you: when renting an apartment in NYC you must give up on at least one of those, right at the start. Yes, some people rent a spacious apartment in a great location and pay a fortune. But most of us either end up with a small apartment in a bearable location or with a bit larger one that’s too far away. Sometimes, you might even need to come to terms with a small apartment in a horrible location. It happens. That’s New York.

Spacious apartment does not always have to be really spacious

Another thing to keep in mind is that a “spacious apartment” has a very different meaning in New York City and almost anywhere else in the States. What’s “big” and “spacious” in Manhattan or Brooklyn is “big” and “spacious” nowhere else. The sooner you accept that, the better you’ll be off to search for your Brooklyn apartment.

Brooklyn was not always that way, but – things have changed. It started with the Brooklyn areas that are closest to Manhattan, which have been gentrified 15 years ago. As one could have expected, rents have gone up since then. Some of them are now as expensive as their counterparts in Manhattan. So the only option you have now when moving to Brooklyn is to search for your new apartment away from these areas. To know where to look for, make sure to check NYC Police Precinct reports and your neighborhoods’ median rents. That should give you an idea of what it looks like to live in a particular neighborhood.

Classifieds are not always trustworthy

This may catch you off guard, but there are many posters who simply lie about their apartment location. They would tell you the apartment is in a lovely, safe neighborhood, but once you get there, you find out that it’s actually miles away – and not in such a great neighborhood at all. Don’t get discouraged when something like this happens. Just hang on and keep searching. Searching for an apartment in Brooklyn is usually quite challenging. You should be ready for that even before you move to Brooklyn.

Moving to Brooklyn
It’s usually either the size or the location of your apartment – you choose.

Negotiating with your broker

Did you know this is an option? But let’s start with stating the obvious: wherever you’re coming from, you’ve probably expected that your landlord is going to cover the broker’s fee. After all, this is the way it’s done anywhere in the world (or at least in the States). Yet, the day has come, you’ve just started looking for an apartment in Brooklyn and to your dismay, you’ve found out that things are being very different in New York (yet again!). In this city, a fee is usually associated with the listing.

Is there anything you could do about that? Not really, but some changes have been rolling out by themselves. The situation is now almost favoring prospective tenants. Landlords are starting to think more about their own competition and are sometimes willing to pay half of the fee or even the total of it, as they want to keep the tenant. Moving to Brooklyn has got somewhat easier in that regard.

What’s the standard broker’s fee in Brooklyn?

It’s 15% of your annual rent. But the great news is that according to the New York state law you’re allowed to negotiate with the broker, so you might end up reducing the fee to just one month. How about that?

Do you want to avoid brokers all together?

It’s possible upon moving to Brooklyn, but it’s not so easy. You should check exclusive listings since most of them do not require any fee or look for an agency that works with no-fee inventory. Where can you find those? You might want to check PropertyNest, Streeteasy or Zillow.

Another way to deal with this is to consider a month-to-month rental until you get a chance to learn more about Brooklyn and to find out the places you’ll really love.

Brooklyn streets - something you will see right after moving to Brooklyn.
Everyday life in Brooklyn

Less is more

As apartments in NYC (Brooklyn included) come in small sizes, you won’t be able to take with you all the stuff you had while you were living in – any other city that’s not New York. You’d be much better off to leave it all behind, as many things as possible.

This will help you achieve a few things:

  • Save some money as fewer things mean lower transportation costs.
  • Save some more money as that also means lower packing costs (should you decide to hire professional assistance).
  • Earn some money if you sell some of the stuff you no longer need. You could do that both online and offline.

Don’t be afraid to get rid of your car

You can survive living in Brooklyn with no car, 57% of its residents are doing just that, while 55% of New Yorkers overall are doing the same. If you choose the right neighborhood, it will only be up to your preference to keep your car or to get rid of it. You could decide to sell it and rely on the subway. Or if you ever need a taxi, make sure to hail a classic yellow cab or use Uber of Lyft. Do not use any of the private car services if you don’t want additional costs.

Hire professional movers in order to save money when moving to Brooklyn on a budget

Most people think that hiring movers is the most expensive thing in the whole moving process. However, if you are about to move for the first time, chances are going to make some costly mistakes. Professional movers know the right lifting, packing, and transporting techniques that reduce the risk of damage to a bare minimum. Furthermore, they know how to exactly calculate which moving truck will they need, how much gas, and how much time will they spend. They are efficient, have tons of experience, and will reduce the moving stress as well. So, if you want to save some money, we advise you to hire professional moving companies Brooklyn.

Movers Carrying Moving Boxes
Hire professional movers for your moving to Brooklyn

Get packing supplies for free

Packing and moving boxes are synonyms for moving houses. You will need a lot of moving boxes and other packing supplies in order to perform a successful relocation to Brooklyn. So, we highly recommend that you try and get moving boxes for free. Here are some ways in which you can do this:

  • Craigslist – This platform is full of ads for selling many different things. However, it also has a section `Free` where people usually offer their leftover moving boxes.
  • Your friends and family – Do you know someone who has recently moved and does not know what to do with the moving boxes. It is a perfect opportunity for you to save money and help them get rid of packing material.
  • Local grocery and liquor stores – Stop by your nearest grocery and liquor store and ask them for some moving boxes. They would be delighted to share them with you, and you will save money when moving on a budget to Brooklyn.

Use what you already have at home

The trick to moving on a budget is to use your resources carefully. You will need moving boxes Brooklyn, packing paper, bubble wrap, labels, permanent markers, moving blankets, etc. Before you head off to the store, check out what items you already have in your household. Although there are numerous advantages of using bubble wrap for packing, it can easily be replaced by your old blankets, linen, and towels. Furthermore, you should first use up suitcases and bags that you have before moving on to moving boxes. Finally, packing paper is no better than an old newspaper that you can use to cover your items and protect them from damage.

Plan ahead in order to move to Brooklyn on a budget

The key to moving on a budget is to plan ahead. When you know exactly what is your next move, it will be easier for you to save money. For example, you know that most people move in summer and spring, thus making moving with professionals more expensive. Instead, choose to move on off-season and your move will be less expensive. Ask around and get several moving quotes Brooklyn. Good luck!

Moving from NYC to Chicago

Moving from NYC to Chicago is a bittersweet transition. The city on Lake Michigan is one of the most extensive metro areas in the US and has much to offer to any newcomer who wishes to settle. Great dining, spacious city parks, bountiful museums – the Windy City has all it takes for cozy urban living. But before you make the final call to leave the beloved NYC, we advise getting some basic info on this vast Illinois city. We must state that moving to a new city is never simple and surely represents a stressful process. And moving to Chicago, with 77 different communities and neighborhoods to choose from, takes some serious planning. However, there’s no reason to bite your nails. The array of housing options, employment opportunities, and amenities make the shift worthwhile.

If you are planning on moving soon and consider Chicago a solid option, read the following text.

Continue reading “Moving from NYC to Chicago”

How to Reduce Food Waste When Moving

Many things need to be done when you are moving, and the last thing you think about is food in your refrigerator. It is wrong to throw away food that is still good for consumption, but at the same time, it is unnecessary to keep all food supplies that you do not need. For that reason, here are some suggestions that can help you to reduce food waste when moving. There are a few necessary steps to complete this part:

  • Create an inventory of all food you have;
  • Get rid of expired food;
  • Use leftovers as much as you can;
  • Share your non-perishable food with friends, family, etc.
  • Give away extra food to charity organizations.

Start making your meal plan

A few weeks before your move starts, make a meal plan which will save your money and reduce food waste. Like this, you will make your purchasing easy and practical because you will not buy food that you do not need. Before you go shopping, always check what sort of ingredients you have in your kitchen to ensure leftovers can be used before you start making a new list for food.

Make an inventory of your food

As we said before, the main thing you should do is to check what sort of food you have in your home and create an inventory list. Take a look in your fridge, freezer, drawers, every secret place, and start sorting all food content together. For instance:

  • Frozen food: Vegetables, meat, etc.
  • Liquid food: dressings, sauces, olive oil, cooking oil;
  • Refrigerated food: eggs, milk, cheese, cream, butter, etc.
  • Canned food: fruits, vegetables, soups;
  • Cooking/ Baking supplies: salt, sugar, dry pasta.

When everything is sorted, it will be simple to start with the next step by checking the expiration date.

Moving List Dorothy & Martha Moving NYC

Check the expiration date

The expiration date labels are something that consumers should check before purchasing any food. One of the reasons is in the microbiology and physical stability of the food and using them before they expire can give you more nutrients. Take extra precaution when deciding to eat food after the expiration date because sometimes that can cause serious health problems like food poisoning. Meanwhile, after separating all food that you have in your home, go through items and put aside all the food you will consume days or weeks before your moving.

Eat perishable food first

Perishable food is the sort of food you should consume first to avoid unnecessary waste. That is one reason not to buy more food before already eating what you have in the fridge, or use it to make a tasty dinner for your family, friends and make a phenomenal party before leaving.

Reduce Food Waste When Moving

Give non-perishable food

One smart way to prevent waste is to give non-perishable food to your friends, neighbors, or local charity. Moving to another place is a great way to share food with people without any wrong feelings about it because the primary reason is you cannot take all that food with you because of the higher cost of transportation or lack of space. At the same time, when you have too much non-perishable food in your kitchen, consider donating to the places like local charity. In this way, you will do something good for your community and people who really need it.
Before donating food, make sure that items are not opened and check if the expiration date is still valid. Many moving companies Brooklyn are collaborating with charity organizations, and they will donate your food for free, especially if they are part of the organization as Move for Hunger.

Prepare food that you will take with you

When you are done decluttering your food, it is time to start packing the food you are taking. Choose the right moving boxes Brooklyn. There can be all different sorts of food. For that reason, you will need to pack them properly. So, how to do that?

  • Frozen food: moving frozen food is not an advisable option, but in case you really need to take it with you, the best solution is to use coolers to transport it. Without a cooler device, frozen food will start to melt and become rotten. It can create damage to the other items you are carrying with you.
  • Dry food: packing dry food is less trouble than dealing with frozen food. Before you start with packing dry food in the cardboard box, do not forget to seal all open boxes or plastic bags with flour, sugar, salt, rice, pasta, etc. Afterward, set them in the zip lock bag to make sure there is no chance of spilling during your relocation.
  • Food in glass containers: this kind of food can be risky for transportation because of glass bottles or containers. Therefore, wrap your glass bottles with few layers of packing paper. The next step is taping paper bundles and keeping them secure from unwrapping before placing them in the box. If there is space between a cardboard box and bottles, put some crumpled paper inside to prevent moving and shifting inside the box. Also, do not forget to label boxes with food. Like this, you can identify them quickly after arriving at your new home.

Prepare food for travel to your new home

Moving day is very energy draining. In that way, you will need to think ahead and prepare food to keep your energy levels up. One more thing, you will probably have some additional help during your moving date from your friends, family, or professional movers. That’s why it will be great to prepare at least some snacks or sandwiches, same as beverages, as a token of gratitude for their hard work.

Two Young Male Movers

How to Pack Books for Moving

The ripped pages, bent spines, dog-eared corners, or water damage can be the real nightmare for every book lover. That is why they are taking moving and packing their precious possessions very seriously, which requires time to be done properly because some readers can have thousands of books in their valuable collection. To prevent unnecessary headaches, here are some tips on how to pack books for moving.

Packing Books for Moving

Sort out your books

When you are an avid reader, separating books can be very difficult because every book has its unique value. However, do not forget that moving companies are charging based on the weight of your possessions, which means that carrying an entire literary collection can be very expensive for you. The next question that comes across is: “what to do with a book you are not taking with you?” Well, few options can help you with it.

  • Donate your books: this is one of the options that you can consider. Check with the public library – they will be more than happy to get this kind of gift.
  • Sell your books: in the past, people were organizing a yard sale, but now the internet is a more popular option. The best sites for selling online are BookScouter, Amazon, Half price books, etc.

Prepare boxes and supplies for packing

Choosing the right size of boxes is very important in this process. The best choice will be the medium or small-size cardboard boxes because if you are using bigger sizes, they will be too heavy to move. Carrying 3 to 5 books is not too scary, but imagine that you need to move boxes with 30-40 books inside. That can be really heavy to carry around. The only way is to use smaller cardboard boxes and divide the weight. Ask around where you can find free moving boxes Brooklyn.

Heavy Duty Tape on Cardboard Boxes

Pack books for moving by size

Group your books by similar size before placing them in the box. When they are nicely placed and organized, you will have more space and clarity when unpacking them. When you’re packing hardcover books or books with high value, always protect them with bubble wrap before placing them inside the box.

How to pack books properly?

Depending on which material is on the cover of books and their actual value, you will choose what sort of supplies is needed and which technique to use for packing. For example, the best method for paperback books is to place them in flat piles or sets so that the paper edges facing upwards. Otherwise, if you pack them with the paper edges facing down, pages will start to bend. When you are packing hardcover books or books with high value, you will need a delicate approach. The best solution will be to place books in an upright position with a piece of paper among them, or you can wrap each book with bubble plastic before placing it inside the box and avoiding damage to their covers. In case you have high-value items, do not forget to insure them before you move.

Before closing the box, if there is any remaining space, add some crumpled paper, because, during transportation, books can shift easily and cause damage.

Label your boxes

The next step after you close the cardboard box is labeling moving boxes. Write what kind of content is in the box. For instance: “Books, This End Up.” In that way, there will be less trouble when you get to the new home and begin unpacking. Also, secure a cardboard box with double layers of tape. Like this, you are preventing breaking of the cardboard box in case it’s super heavy. Besides, in some situations, you can use a suitcase to transfer your books. One more advantage of using a suitcase is that it has wheels, so carrying heavy books will be much easier.

Markers for Box Labeling Boxes With Books

Pack your books inside the truck

When it comes to packing your belongings inside the truck, the golden rule is to place heavy boxes on the bottom of your moving truck or another vehicle. The books are heavy items, and during transfer, if they are not secured properly, they can roll over and create damage to other belongings. Therefore, it is very important to keep them on the floor of the truck.

If you need to use storage

When you need some free space for a short or long time, renting storage is a good option, but when you are leaving books there, then you should consider some things as:

  • Duration of the storage period: This is a very important factor because if they are exposed to an environment like humidity and pests for a long time, they get ruined, so maybe you should choose climate-controlled storage.
  • Check the potential risk for rodent issues: this can be one of the main problems when the storage is in the basement. Rats have ever-growing incisors, and to control their length, they need to chew on something. For that reason, choose some hard and safer material where you can store your books.
  • Never store boxes directly on the floor: this can create huge damage to your possessions, especially your books. To prevent water intrusions keep the cardboard boxes out of the ground because they can catch condensation when left on the floor. However, when everything is protected correctly, your belongings can stay in storage for an extended period.

Climate-controlled Storage for Storing Books

If you have any antique books in your possession

Packing antique books can be a little tricky because they can be old or rare editions. It is necessary to take security measures to protect from damage. Otherwise, they will lose value. Here are some steps that you should follow to avoid the potential risk of ruining them:

  • Clean your hands before touching any antique books.
  • Use gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints on the covers.
  • Keep food and drinks away from the antique editions during the packing.
  • Leave small gaps for air circulation to prevent condensation.
  • The darker containers are better options because exposure to the light can damage them.
  • Consider hiring antique movers.

In case you have any doubts or need help with packing, our moving company Dorothy and Martha, with their professional staff, is here for you.

 

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