So you’re all set: you’ve went ahead and rented a mobile storage unit, it’s been professionally delivered by a local storage company and you now have the moving flexibility you need for your upcoming move in Charleston.
Now comes a rather important, but often overlooked part of moving with portable storage: proper packing and loading.
During a traditional move, you’d hand those expertly packed items and list to a moving company for them to load onto their truck, but since you’ve decided on the DIY moving experience, you’ll now be handling the loading of your items into your mobile unit.
Before you start loading, there are a few optional things you can get to help make your move easier and add additional protection for your items once loaded:
You can use the moving blankets to line the storage unit and/or wrap your appliances and furniture to help protect them from scratches and add additional padding for them. The bungees and tie-downs can be used to help hold your larger items in place and the hand truck is definitely handy for moving around those larger items.
You’ll want to start loading some of your larger or heavier items like appliances and any small machinery you may have, like refrigerators, freezers, weed-whips, etc. It’s always a good idea to drain these items of any fluids before loading it up in your storage unit as it would be a pain to pack everything up nicely and reopen your container to find wet boxes or everything smelling like fuel or oil!
In fact, no hazardous, flammable or perishable material of any kind should be loaded in your storage unit.
Save yourself some worry by taking special attention to this tip — anything to help reduce your stress levels is a must during a move.
Now, using your moving blankets, wrap up your larger items like appliances (remember to drain!) and large/heavy furniture. Load them up in your dolly or hand truck (if they are too large for your dolly, you can always ask a local moving company to give you a hired hand with those items) and load them up in your container either at the back or against the wall, however best they fit together and try to distribute the weight throughout the container if possible. Use bungees or tie-downs for added stability, especially with top-heavy items.
One thing that many Lowcountry movers do is use a mattress to build a pseudo-wall to section off areas of their containers. Beds and mattresses are somewhat awkward items to pack around other items, so using them as a divider is a nice way to pack them and add additional protection.
Couches and chairs are also awkward, but one way you can maximize space is to load them up seat-to-seat. For example, load your couch first and then stack chairs upside down on them so that the seats of the chairs are on the seats of the couch. They’re not the easiest things in the world to load, so do your best to maximize the space around them.
Now that you have most of your larger and more awkward items, start filling in the gaps with boxes, pillows and any additional moving blankets you may have left. Put non-essential boxes further in the back, such as boxes with extra towels, bedding, clothes and any other items you won’t need right away if you ever unload.
That being said, put any small bags of important items (kitchenware and utensils, fresh clothes, etc.) near the door so they’re there for you when you unpack. This way, if you don’t want to unpack everything right way, you won’t have to tear everything apart to get these items at your new location.
To make sure your hand truck or dolly is readily accessible, make it the last thing you pack.
Once that’s done, lock up your container, call your mobile storage company for pickup and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done!