Storage Tips & Tools

packing_a_box-smallStoring your belongings is just one of many aspects of the moving process. Whether this is your first move, or you have several under your belt, you are more than aware how stressful and time-consuming moving can be.

To make your move less daunting, and to ensure your belongings will remain in good shape while moving and in storage, we have created a list of helpful tips and tools.

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The first step to take when preparing for an upcoming move is just that — prepare. Planning ahead will make packing, moving and storing much easier for everyone involved.

Moving requires much more than packing, moving and storing your stuff. You must remember all the other things in between. This 8-week, handy planning timeline will help you get everything in order for your upcoming move.

Moving Timeline

8 Weeks

Paperwork: Start getting organized. Any paperwork you have for your move should be kept together in a folder or in a cloud-based account.

Sort: Go through your belongings and decide what you want to keep, what you want to toss, and what you would like to donate. Any items you’d like to keep but don’t have room for in your new home can be placed in self storage.

Garage Sale: If you have items you have no need for, but would rather not donate, why not host a garage sale? Any profit you make can be put toward moving expenses.

Check out Move It’s blog on how to prepare for a garage sale, here.

7 Weeks

Notify Schools: This is an appropriate time to contact your children’s schools, notify administration of your upcoming move and obtain school records. You should contact your family’s physicians for medical records, too. If you have pets, contact your veterinarian for their records as well. 

6 Weeks

Research: Now is a good time to start researching moving companies. You can hire professional movers and a moving van. U-Haul has a program,, which is strictly for hiring loaders/unloaders without the truck.

Learn how to choose the best moving company, here.

5 Weeks 

Supplies: Begin gathering plenty of sturdy, corrugated boxes, packing paper, bubble wrap, sealing tape, marker pens, packing peanuts, etc.

Check out Move It’s blog on moving boxes.

We suggest getting about five to seven assorted sizes of boxes per room (e.g. bedroom, living room, dining room, kitchen) and approximately three boxes per bathroom. For maximum protection, purchase good packing tape that is specifically designed for sealing boxes and containers. Label all boxes with a marker, specifying the box’s contents and room they will go; be sure to label whether or not the items are fragile. 
Move It Self Storage has a full line of U-Haul brand boxes and packing supplies available for purchase at many of our facilities. You can order the supplies online and pick them up on-site.

Find moving supplies near you.

Other Supplies: We also encourage you to get furniture covers and shelving that you can use during the move and in your storage unit. Furniture covers or blankets should be used to protect your furniture from accidental damage during the moving and storage process. If you plan on storing your boxes long-term, shelves will help support your boxes to keep them from collapsing.

4 Weeks

Book Moving Company: You’ve had a couple of weeks to research moving companies, and it’s time to make a decision. Confirm the correct time, date and any other details of your move with the company.

Storage: At this point, you likely know what items you want to store. Contact a convenient, reputable storage facility to reserve a unit. Don’t be afraid to ask a staff member questions. They can help you determine which size unit will best fit your needs and budget. Ask yourself whether or not you will be storing your items for a long or short period of time. Short-term renters in mild climates can normally use the more inexpensive non-climate controlled units, while long term renters, those in more extreme climates, or those storing electronics or other temperature sensitive items may want to consider a premium climate controlled unit. Size is another consideration. If you won’t need to access your items the entire time that they are in storage, you can usually get the smallest size that will suit your needs, but if you need constant access to your items, you may want to get the next larger size to leave room for a “hallway” down the middle of the unit to give you easy access to your items. Not sure what size or features you need?  

Our size estimator can help find the right unit for you!

Packing, Part 1: Begin packing non-essential items, such as out-of-season clothing and equipment.

Notify Utility Companies: Contact your utility company, cable/internet/phone company, gas company, etc, and begin the process of closing your accounts. You can also get a headstart on setting up accounts at your new place.
This is also a good time to notify your landlord, if you rent.

3 Weeks

Car Service: Have your car serviced to guarantee it’s in good driving condition for your move. You don’t want to break down during your journey with all of your belongings in tow!

Pets: Make arrangements for how your pets will be transported to your new home.Transfer Insurance: If you have an insurance policy on your home, contact your insurance agent about having your policy transferred to your new residence.

Find out how to make a move easier on your pet, here.

2 Weeks

Packing, Part 2: This is the best time to start packing what’s left. Pack your boxes evenly, with the heaviest items packed on the bottom and the lightest items on top. Fill boxes completely to avoid having them collapse when stored, but don’t overfill them because that could make them bulge and tip over when stacked.

Boxes: Use the right size of box for your items. A large or extra large box may hold a lot of items, but may be too heavy to lift when full. Small and medium boxes should be used for heavier items, while large and extra large boxes are great for towels, linens, and other light-weight items.

Packing: Packing paper, bubble wrap, towels, or similar items can be used to fill in the empty spaces in your boxes. Fragile items should be well protected with bubble wrap or packing paper in clearly labeled boxes to avoid accidental damage. If you choose to use newspaper, it’s best to get inkless paper so it will not rub off on your belongings. After boxes are sealed, they will be ready to move or store.

Keep in mind these fun, clever packing tips when moving.

Storage: You are most likely ready to relieve your home of some clutter. Take this opportunity to move items you are storing into your storage unit.

Learn how to organize and maximize your unit’s space with these tips. 

1 Week

Confirm: Confirm all moving details with EVERYONE. This includes the moving company and the storage facility. Remember how we said plan ahead? Double and triple-checking will help reduce the chance of delays and other hiccups.

1-2 Days Before

Pack Suitcase: Pack a bag for any essentials you will need easy access to during your move.

Paperwork: Have all moving paperwork on hand for moving day.

Moving Day 

Last Check: The day has finally arrived! Before heading out, make one final sweep of your home and say your goodbyes.

Stay Calm: Remember to be patient and do not rush. There are always a few kinks during a move, so be prepared.

Check out these safety tips to help you avoid injuries during a move.