MAKE A LIST AND CHECK IT TWICE
Before beginning to pack up your belongings, make a list of everything that you need to store. Once you’re finished (or as you go along), mark off things in terms of priority of storage. I personally recommend a star next to anything absolutely crucial, a dash next to anything important, and anything else, leave blank. When you finish, go down the list and look for items with no symbol next to them that you can cross out as being unimportant. Before you move your belongings into storage, try holding a yard or garage sale to sell these items, set them aside and list them in an online auction site such as Ebay, give them away to a local thrift store, or simply throw them away. You’ll be saving yourself money and effort in the long run.
KEEP A CATALOG OF ITEMS
Label all your boxes with a letter before you start packing. Then, as you place each item into its box, mark the letter next to the item on the list you made before. When the boxes are sealed up, keep this list in a safe place. This way, when it comes time to unpack the items later, you’ll know exactly what is where. This can save you lots of time, especially with heavy items, because you can transport each box to exactly where its contents are needed. This can save numerous trips back and forth bringing armloads of unsorted items to where they belong.
PACKING IT ALL UP
Put the heaviest and most fragile items (that cannot be crushed) on the bottom. A good idea is laying a couple sheets of bubble wrap under the first layer of items at the bottom of the box. Then, build up from there. Place clothing and other soft items in last. Folding clothes, blankets, etc. can make them far easier to store in a small space. Remember: the less boxes you need to store, the less storage space you need to rent. The less space you rent, the less money you spend!
Remember the game Tetris? All the blocks were square for a reason. The goal here is the same. When you can, put many small items in a suitably sized box, bundle papers together, et cetera. Keeping objects geometric means you can avoid empty spaces and maximize the amount of items fit into each box. Remember not to exceed the weight limit of the box, or you could end up with a big mess and damaged items on your hands.
PUTTING IT IN STORAGE
You’re in the home stretch. Determine which items you’re likely to need to get out first. The ones with the highest priority are likely to be things like important papers. Arrange your boxes in the storage container in such a way that these items are at the front, on top, and easy to get at. Items like furniture and things you’re unlikely to need for a long time can go in the back or the bottom. Don’t overstack, and make sure the box you put something on is strong enough to support that weight.