Packing everything up in boxes is a standard way to contain your items and protect them while they're in storage. But just because an item is inside a box does not mean it is entirely safe from crushing and other damage. To keep your items safe, you must pay close attention to how you pack the boxes. Here are six guidelines to follow.
1. Choose Corrugated Cardboard Boxes
All boxes are not created equal. Thin boxes that manufacturers use to contain their products do not offer as much protection as thicker, corrugated cardboard boxes made for packing and storage. If you bump a flimsy box into a corner, the items inside may be damaged. You also cannot stack thin cardboard boxes as securely as corrugated ones.
A good place to find corrugated cardboard boxes is from a moving company or packing supplies company. You may find some of these boxes available for free at warehouses and stores, but look carefully to ensure the cardboard is thick and sturdy before you take them.
2. Tape Your Boxes Shut
Simply folding the box in on itself is not sufficient. Heavy items will fall right out of the base of a folded box. Always tape your boxes shut on both the top and the bottom. Use wide packing tape that sticks readily to your boxes. Good tape is labeled with its thickness in millimeters (mil). Look for tape between 1.9 and 3.1 mil for the most security.
3. Line the Box With Bubble Wrap or Paper
The box itself won't offer a lot of padding or protection if you bump into a wall when carrying it, or if you accidentally drop the box - which can certainly happen when you are tired after a whole day of moving.
You can make the box more protective by adding a layer of bubble wrap along its inside. If you don't have bubble wrap on hand, crumple up some tissue paper and place it in the bottom of the box before putting any items inside.
4. Wrap Fragile Items Individually
When dealing with fragile items like mugs, glasses, and picture frames, do not just stack them with tissue paper or bubble wrap in between. The layers of padding may shake loose as you carry and load the boxes. Instead, wrap each item individually in bubble wrap or tissue paper, and secure the wrapping with masking tape.
5. Don't Pack Boxes Too Heavily
When you rent a storage unit, you may feel pressure to fit as much as possible into your space. This translates to packing as much as possible into each box. But while packing each box to the brim might be good for space-saving reasons, it's not always the best strategy. Boxes that are too heavy are more likely to fall off a stack or put too much pressure on the boxes below them.
When packing a box, pay close attention to make sure it does not get too heavy. If a box is getting heavy to lift, stop adding items, and fill the rest of the space with tissue paper to keep the box from caving in.
6. Stack Boxes Carefully
Once you have all of your boxes packed, you must also pay attention to how you place them in your storage unit. Here are a few guidelines for safer stacking to minimize damage.
- Put the heaviest boxes on the bottom and the heaviest on top.
- Place stacks directly next to one another to make them less likely to tumble.
- Line up the corners of boxes so they do not press down on one another and damage the items within.
Boxes don't always offer the best protection for your stored items, but they certainly can if you follow the tips above. If you are looking for a storage space for your boxes in the Reno area, contact All American Storage.