Moving Day – Time to Pack and Preserve

Posted on Dec 27 2011 - 10:18am by David Decker

Moving day can be one of the most stressful days you’ll ever encounter. Between all of the packing and cleaning there’s hardly time for a resting moment. One of the biggest struggles is packing all of your belongings safely, and, more importantly, so they’ll last. Photos may be “safe” in a shoebox, but chances are they won’t make it past a leaky pipe or years of being stored neglect. With these easy tips, you can help pack even the most fragile of items with peace of mind, and store them for years afterward.

Pick up a few dozen plastic sleeves – the kind with slots for photos and hole punches.  Pictures can then be inserted into the sleeves and put into a three ring binder for easy displays.  But for those that won’t be in plain view, you can save money by using albums you already own, or envelopes.  Make sure any albums are free of glue or magnets (avoid taping photos into place). Envelopes should be acid, sulfur, and peroxide free. These pictures can then be placed in a water-resistant container for safe long-term keeping.

Other things to avoid: excessive contact with skin and light, which can fade and damage photos.

Breakable Items
Depending on what you’re dealing with, an item may be as easy to pack or store as wrapping it in a T-shirt or two which also helps save on space .  But when it comes to belongings that are more fragile and valuable, a little more care must be taken into account. One option is to use bubble wrap or foam peanuts, which can protect almost any shaped item. But if glasses or ceramics are being stored long-term, investing in specialized boxes may be a better option. These boxes are not only thicker, but come with compartments for wine glasses, bottles, dishes, etc., so pieces cannot budge or touch one another. These can be attained from a moving company, purchased online, or at a local shipping supply company.

For moving, dry and pantry items are easily thrown into a box and packed away for future eating. But for frozen or refrigerated foods, it’s not so simple. If it’s a short move, put what you haven’t eaten in a cooler and pick up a bag of ice. But for longer moves, you may not be able to keep the food fresh. Take what you haven’t opened to a local food bank and offer it as a donation.

For storing: A good way of keeping track of dates on pantry items is by marking the date it was bought, as expiration dates are often hard to read. For homemade canned items, be sure to mark each batch with a date, and then pull from the oldest products. Homemade jellies and sauces are generally good for a year once sealed. But, once they’re opened they mold much quicker due to lack of preservatives.

For more moving and preservation tips, be sure to check back in.  Have tips of your own? I want to know about it!