Step By Step Guide to Packing Your Kitchen

A modern kitchen in a home.

The kitchen is probably one of the most challenging rooms in your house to pack. There are so many small and odd-shaped items to account for when packing the kitchen. Here is a step-by-step guide to save your sanity while packing this important room.

Gather all your supplies. You will need sturdy boxes of multiple sizes. The trick is to keep each box under around a 40lb limit whenever possible. Have plenty of unprinted newspaper or packing paper on hand. The ink on standard newspapers can bleed onto your belongings, causing discoloration, so be sure to choose the unprinted variety. Bubble wrap is suitable for wrapping fragile or breakable objects before placing them in a box. It can be used for dishes and glassware in the kitchen. The most time-saving tool for packing is probably a tape gun dispenser. It allows you to seal the bottom and tops of all your boxes quickly. Be sure to have a permanent marker or a pack of labels to place on all the boxes after they are packed.

Set aside a box for kitchen essentials. You can pack the majority of your kitchen up to about a week in advance of your move, but you will need to leave out some essentials to get you through the days surrounding your move. The bare necessities are a few dishes, mugs, cutlery for each family member, a good pan, a cutting board, and the coffee machine. Add any other kitchen items you can’t live without for a few days to this pile as well.

Start by packing less frequently used kitchen items like vases, serving dishes, special occasion items, wine glasses, wall hangings, cookbooks, and small appliances. Before packing each item, think about the last time it was used. If you haven’t used it in the previous six months, don’t pack and move it.

Pack the drawers and shelves. Sort your silverware according to type and give each group a tight wrap with a rubber band. If you have a cutlery tray, it is easiest to use plastic wrap to wrap around the tray and then place it flat inside a box—stack pots and pans with the smaller ones nestled into the larger ones. Add a piece of packing paper between them to prevent scratches. Keep like-items together as much as possible to make unpacking easier.

Wrap each plate or bowl separately before placing them in a box. Once you’ve wrapped a few plates, stack them and fully wrap the entire stack together. Place the stack into the box vertically instead of horizontally for the best protection. Use whatever material you have left to pad the bottom, sides, top, and empty spaces of the box – your extra packing paper or towels are perfect for this as they will need to be packed anyway. Extra room in boxes can cause them to collapse.

It is best to pack glasses and stemware in a divided box. Even with dividers, you’ll still want to wrap each item in packing paper. Don’t pack anything on top of glasses as they are too fragile. Fill out the box with packing paper and label “this side up” and “fragile” to help keep your cups and glasses safe while in transit.

Zippy Shell storage centers are equipped with climate control and added security to keep your belongings safe and secure. When you are ready, we can redeliver your storage container or move it to your next destination.

4 Packing Tips From the Professionals

A man packs boxes in his living room

Many special life occasions call for packing your belongings away – remodeling, relocating, downsizing, extended stay house guests, heading off to school, or extensive travel. Of course, you want all of your belongings to be intact at the end of their time spent packed away in boxes. We hope to alleviate some of your worries with these great packing tips from the pros to make packing as smooth as possible.

  • Be particular about the boxes that you use. Every box needs to be in good shape and sturdy enough to protect your belongings. Before packing, check all boxes for bugs, cracks, tears, or pre-existing water damage. Double tape the bottom of any box that will contain fragile or heavy items. Cardboard boxes are most commonly used because they are inexpensive, stackable, easy to label, and recyclable. But if you are planning on storing your items long-term in a place that is not climate controlled, you may want to consider using plastic bins. They will protect your belongings from moisture, heat, and pests.
  • Never skimp on packing materials. Packing paper is relatively inexpensive and can be used to wrap objects or crumpled up to fill empty spaces in boxes. Packing peanuts made of small pieces of styrofoam can also be used to fill empty spaces. Fragile items should be wrapped before filling your box with packing peanuts because they do not provide enough cushion on their own. Bubble wrap is best used to wrap around delicate or fragile items. You will still need to use crumpled packing paper or packing peanuts to fill the box around the bubble-wrapped item. You can save money by using packing materials that you already have on hand. Thick household blankets can be used in place of moving blankets, and towels or clothing can be used to wrap items before packing.  If boxes are not tightly packed, there is the potential for shifting and damage. So pack boxes as tightly as possible and fill any leftover space with your packing materials.
  • Protect odd-shaped items that will not fit in a box. The best thing to do is to wrap these items as securely as possible. Protect delicate elements and protruding parts with bubble wrap, covering the entire piece in moving blankets, and secure everything with packing tape or plastic wrap.
  • It is important to remember that not all of your belongings should be packed in a box. Important personal documents should be placed into a locked box or briefcase and transported with you. Items such as aerosol cans, fertilizer, pesticides, charcoal, disinfectants, ammunition, fireworks, pool cleaning chemicals, paint thinner, fire extinguishers, car batteries, and gas cans are considered too hazardous for moving. You can consider giving these away to neighbors before moving or properly disposing of them. Your delicate, leafy friends will almost certainly not survive a trip in a portable storage container or moving truck. You will be better off moving your plants yourself or gifting them to a friend before moving.

With Zippy Shell, you get the peace of mind your belongings will stay safe when stored at one of our secure warehouse facilities. When you are ready, we can redeliver your storage container or move it to your next destination. We want to make moving and storage simple for you and your family, so give us a call today to see how we can help you!

Eliminate Safety Concerns on Moving Day

A young couple holds their newborn baby

The average moving day usually passes without incident or injury, but moving can be more physically challenging than most people realize. Protecting yourself and everyone involved with your move should be a top priority on moving day, especially if you have opted for a do-it-yourself move. On moving day, protecting yourself and your loved ones is even more important than protecting your belongings. Find out how to eliminate safety concerns with these top suggestions.

  • Dress appropriately on moving day. Extra thought should go into your shoe selection for the day. Select fully closed shoes that are comfortable but will also offer protection, flexibility, and traction. While you also want your clothing to be comfortable and flexible, avoid wearing clothes that are too baggy as they can easily get caught on things. Wearing high-quality work gloves will give you a better grip on items and protect your hands throughout the day.
  • Sturdy boxes are a must. Weak or overused packing boxes can break down when being carried, leading to an injury to the foot or toe. Before packing your boxes, double tape the bottom with strong packing tape to minimize breakage risk.
  • Don’t overpack your boxes with heavy items. As a general rule, smaller boxes should be used for heavier items such as books. Larger boxes should be used for bulkier items, not necessarily heavier items. Each box should not be packed to exceed over 50 lbs.
  • Prevent injury by using proper lifting techniques. When lifting a box or other heavy item off the ground, squat down, bending at the knees, never at the waist. Slowly lift by straightening your hips and knees, not your back. Carry heavy items close to your body while keeping good posture. Avoid lifting heavy objects above shoulder level unless you absolutely must.
  • Hand trucks or dollies are a safer way to move boxes or heavier items. When loading a stack of boxes onto a dolly for safety, be sure you have straight, balanced, fully aligned stacks that won’t topple over once you start rolling. Place heavier boxes at the bottom of each stack for stability. Also, make sure the top box is not blocking your view and that it is at least partially resting against the bars so that it won’t slide off.
  • Eliminate tripping hazards by keeping all hallways and pathways clear on moving day. The outside path leading to the storage container should be kept clear of debris, mud, water, snow, and ice.
  • If your moving day involves children, pets, or anyone with special needs, arrange for help to keep everyone safe. Ask a trusted neighbor, grandparent, or loved one to care for them on moving day or at least part of the day. Moving a day with a baby can be especially challenging. If baby proofing can’t be done right away, create a smaller space in your new home that is safe for the baby until you can get it completed.

If you have a move coming up this spring, give Zippy Shell a call. We would love to explain how our moving and storage services can help you achieve a smooth and stress-free move. We look forward to hearing from you!

6 Tips on Preparing and Transporting Food for a Move

food

While this may be a seemingly odd topic to discuss, it really is an important task to consider for an upcoming move. Depending on if you make reservations or make weekly trips to a large food membership club, you have an investment of food items residing in your kitchen. In a similar fashion to packing up your clothes or household items, you need to determine what to keep, what to donate, what to toss and how to transport it to your new home. Here are 6 tips on preparing and transporting food for a move.

  1. Sizing up the new digs: How does your new kitchen size up to your old one? If you are moving from a one-bedroom apartment to a 5-bedroom house, chances are your kitchen will be larger and include more pantry space. If the situation is the reverse, you can pretty much bank on a smaller kitchen. Knowing how much space (fridge/freezer and pantry) you will have dedicated for food will help determine how much to keep, donate and/or toss.
  2. Clean out the fridge/freezer: Prior to the move, start decluttering your refrigerator and freezer. Toss out spoiled and expired items. Consider eating up as much of the food as you can in the days before the move to eliminate items being moved. The distance to your new home will determine what you should do with the remaining food. If you are on the road for days, you may want to donate or toss. If your move is less, grab a dependable cooler and ice your items down. If you are moving your fridge, it will need to be unplugged for at least 24 hours to ensure it is properly thawed prior to a move.
  3. Pantry purge: Decluttering is the key task with a pantry purge. As with the fridge/freezer purge, toss out spoiled and expired items. If space is an issue with transporting, donate dry and boxed perishable items to a shelter or soup kitchen. For items traveling with you, prevent spills by sealing boxes and lids with tape. You can also transfer items into airtight containers for extra safety measures.
  4. Eliminate glass: Consider donating, tossing out or transferring food contained in glass bottles or jars. If these heavy items were to fall and break, the mess won’t be pretty and could potentially ruin any dry and boxed items. If you must take these items, place at the bottom of moving boxes or coolers and surround with bubble wrap or softer items to cushion the glass.
  5. Pack lightly: Food items can become heavy quickly, especially with any glass bottles or jars on board. Store heavy items in smaller boxes and be sure and tape up boxes securely so items won’t fall out.
  6. Destination arrival: Unpack any items in ice-filled coolers immediately on arrival to avoid spoiling. Unpack dry and boxed perishable items when convenient. Create a shopping list to replace the items you had to donate, toss or eat to keep from spoiling.

Arrive at your new destination with your food items intact with these preparation and transportation tips. And remember, if you need to store some non-perishable items that aren’t making the move with you, consider a climate-controlled facility with Zippy Shell!

9 Tips to Help You Move with Houseplants

A woman cares for plants in home.

According to Webmd.com, houseplants act as natural filters to catch allergens and other airborne particles. In layman’s terms, rooms with houseplants have less dust and mold than rooms without. Other benefits of houseplants, besides aesthetic appeal, include first aid, relaxation, air purification and more! So, whether or not you have a green thumb, you have a reason to make a trip to your local nursery! But now that you have a move scheduled, there are steps to take to ensure your houseplants arrive at the new destination safely. Here are nine tips to help you before, during and after a move.

  1. Transfer into plastic holders: Transfer plants from decorative pots into plastic holders to avoid breaking. Wrap breakable decorative pots in paper, bubble wrap or linens and pack tightly away for the move.
  2. Inspect plants: Inspect and treat any plants with pests. You don’t want to transfer them to your next destination.
  3. Prune away: Keep your plants healthy and looking better by trimming back any dead or protruding limbs.
  4. Large plants: The safest way to move with large plants is to use packing paper or sheets to gently cover them. This will help protect leaves, limbs and branches from bending or breaking during the move. If moving during chilly temperatures, this will also help protect the plant from the cold.
  5. Pack in boxes: To help avoid plants from falling over, place them snugly in appropriately sized boxes. Place newspaper or bubble wrap around the base of the plant so it won’t shift during the move.
  6. Extended travel: If traveling more than a few days for your move, avoid putting plants in the trunk of your vehicle. Keep them near a window if possible so the plants have sunlight and fresh air to keep them healthy.
  7. Unpack first: Unpack your plants first when you arrive to your new destination. Remember plants are living things so they need to breathe and adjust to the new environment.
  8. Remove from box: If a large plant is stored in a box, cut the bottom of the box and carefully lift the box over the top so it will slide with the grain of the leaves and branches to avoid breakage.
  9. Adjustment period: Once you have moved in and established a location for your plant, water it on a regular basis and give it time to adjust to its new environment. It should recover and acclimate to its new surroundings in a few days and continue to thrive.

Continue enjoying the many benefits of your houseplants by reducing the risk of damage during a move with these nine tips. And remember, if you need to store some items that aren’t making the move with you, consider a climate-controlled facility with Zippy Shell! We can also help you make a local or long-distance move possible! Whatever you needs, Zippy Shell makes moving and storage simple.