Fortunately, there are some things you can do to ensure that that you have an anxiety-free move for both you and your furry (or feathered) friends. Here are a few tips for managing your move with your pet:
Prep your pet before you pack
- If you’re moving to a nearby location, make the effort to take your pet to visit the new neighborhood and get familiar with the new environment. Maybe there’s a fire hydrant, or patch of catnip growing somewhere that your pet will just love. However, keep them on a tight leash. Pets are always a flight risk if they get scared – and you don’t want to have to search for them in an unfamiliar place.
- Give your pet a chance to sniff about and get acquainted with the house and yard. Take about an hour or so to let them, well, do what pets do.
- If you’re making a long-distance move where you will not have the same veterinarian, take your pets for a medical pre-screening or checkup, making sure they’re on-record if an emergency arises.
- Take the time to get your pet a new identification tag with your new address. If they somehow manage to make an escape, you’ll want them sent to the right place.
Packing with your pet
- The day you officially start putting things into boxes it’s going to be chaos. Items could be delicately balanced or stacked – and space for simple footing can come become a premium. Set a room aside for your pets and keep them there while you pack things up. Dogs can usually be kept in a fenced in area outdoors – depending on the time of year and the climate in your region – but cats are generally better left indoors.
- Consider hiring a pet sitter for the day – so you can spread out and pack. It’s easier than ever to find loving, in-home pet care specialist using sharing-economy services like Rover.com.
Traveling with your pet
- 1.During shorter moves, you will want to stop for a few minutes about every hour and a half to allow your pet to have a potty break and a chance to stretch their legs. For long-distance moves, give your pet a 30-minute break every six hours or so.
- For safety reasons, take a picture of your pet the day you travel. Again, it’s all too common for pets to disappear during a move. Having recent photos is a good emergency measure to take in the event of this unfortunate scenario.
- Talk to your pets. Tell them what’s going on and ask them if they’re doing okay. While they may not understand what you’re saying, they’ll appreciate the attention and will feel comforted by it.
- After you arrive, take the time to get your pet squared away by setting up their favorite toys or bedding items in a new “safe-room”
- Keep your pet extra close for the first 24-48 hours. Again, they will need a close eye over them initially in case of flight.
- Try establishing a routine of sleeping, eating, and going potty as quickly as possible. The sooner you slip into good habits, the easier it will be for your pet to adjust to their new surroundings.
- If you didn’t have the opportunity to visit your local vet prior to moving, do it once you’ve settled. Again, having your pet’s medical information on record will only help streamline things in the event of a real emergency.
- Go for frequent walks. The more familiar your pet is with the neighborhood, and the more you’re seen together by neighbors, the less likely your pet is to become lost.
While moving can sometimes be for the dogs, following these tips should help make your move smooth, safe and much less stressful for you and your pets.
Student Packing and Storage Tips
There are certain items that should be placed in storage versus what should be taken home with the student. Personal items such as spring/summer clothing, jewelry, accessories and toiletries should be taken home. Also, if students will need certain equipment such as computers, printers, electronics, TVs and other electronic equipment, take them home during the summer months. Self storage is great for storing books, furniture, mattresses, comforters, linens, kitchenware including plates, pans and glassware, mini refrigerator and other kitchen appliances and just about anything else students don’t need over the summer.
By the end of the school year, college students might need a reminder about how to properly pack their items for home or to place in storage:
- Books should be packed horizontally in a sturdy smaller box. Storing books vertically can damage the spines of the books.
- Clothing should be packed in clear plastic boxes or new cardboard boxes. Do not use grocery store boxes as these can contain food and other residue that can ruin the clothes. Wash all clothing before packing them for storage.
- Hang winter coats, heavier quilts and blankets and store in wardrobe boxes.
- Pack glasses, plates and dishes in bubble wrap or plain newsprint in sturdy cardboard boxes. Do NOT use regular newspapers as protection as it can leave a print residue on the items. Place heavier items at the bottom of the box and lighter objects at the top of the box. Place filler material between the pieces. Once the boxes are packed up to within an inch of the top, add filler material and then completely seal the boxes with packing tape before storing.
- Clean out all appliances before placing in a storage unit. Leave the door to a mini-refrigerator open while in storage to allow for air flow.
- Label each box with the contents of the box on all four sides and the top of the box. If you are storing plastic boxes, tape a list of the contents to the outside of the box. Create an inventory list of the items that you have stored listing the contents of each box that you are storing.
- Utilize all storage space by storing items vertically and in stacks whenever possible.
Using your storage unit right
Over the years we’ve been tenants in several storage units, because sometimes you just need more space. There’s lots of reasons to rent one, but there’s also lots of tips and tricks to pick up along the way that they don’t mention at the front desk when you sign up! Here’s a few things we’ve learned in our adventures of paid storage, all of which we wish we would have known before hand …
1. Wrap What You Can : Each time we use a storage unit, we wrap what we can in industrial plastic wrap. That way, we know that things are sealed up tight and it won’t collect dust or creepy crawlies while it’s doing time.
2. Label, Label, Label: Even though you know exactly what you’re putting in your storage unit at the time you open it, that doesn’t mean in 6 months when you need back in it that you won’t be digging for ages and opening random boxes until you find what you’re after. Label everything. The hidden, the obvious, and you can even go as far as to make a checklist that hangs inside the door telling you where something might be.
3. Plan For Temperature Changes: Although this might not be an issue in some parts of the country, there are a few things that don’t like the cold or the heat and should either be double wrapped or well insulated or not stored at all. Electronics, vinyl records, old photos (if humid), things of that nature all come out a little less awesome when not stored properly.
4. Protect The Space: While we’re concerned about protecting what we put in the unit, protecting the unit itself is also important — there can be heavy fines for scarring the unit during your tenancy. If you rent one to use for, say, your freelance furniture flipping or restoration business, make sure to plastic off the walls and floors to catch glue drips and sprays (not that we’ve ever accidentally spray painted the inside wall pink before…. oops).
5. Bust Out Your Tetris Skills: Even the smallest storage unit can hold a great deal, just make sure you use the space wisely which means packing things all the way to the ceiling. Bringing in plywood to lay across several boxes can help stabilize layers as your stacking it up, up and up! It will take the pressure off the tops of your boxes and help keep things safe.
Packing for self-storage
Packing for self-storage is an art and you’ll need to put some thought into it before you begin. After all, one of the primary advantages of using a self-storage facility is the fact that you can continue to access your items even in storage.
The first thing to remember therefore is to pack in such a way that you can find things at a later date quickly and without unloading absolutely everything you’ve put away. Make an inventory of what you’ve packed and where it is as you go along. Other packing and storage preparation tips include:
- Make an estimate of the replacement value of each item you store to help with accurate insurance policies and in case of unforeseen damage in the self-storage facility.
- Invest in good quality sturdy boxes and packing materials – box strength degrades with use. If you buy boxes of similar sizes it’ll be easier to stack them securely in the self-storage facility and will save you space.
- Box everything that you can – everything that is left unboxed in a self-storage facility will get dusty and potentially dirty.
- Fill boxes to capacity wherever possible to avoid breakages but avoid making them too heavy – remember you’ll have to be able to lift them. You can use materials such as paper or towels or can buy special packing to fill spaces if necessary. Depending on the space you opt to rent from your self-storage facility, you might be stacking boxes on top of each other and the lower levels need to be sturdy enough to take the strain. Boxes that are only partly filled may tip over or collapse.
- Label all boxes clearly so you can identify the contents and keep an inventory. Label them on more than one side so you can see what’s what quickly. Mark ‘Fragile’ on any boxes containing breakable items.
- Don’t be tempted to fill large boxes with heavy items such as books as they’ll quickly become impossible to carry and may break. You can buy small book boxes from your self-storage facility that will do the job just as well. If you do pack heavy items in a large box put in just a few and then fill the box up with lighter items.
- Don’t pack items into sealed plastic bags, as humidity can cause mildew.
- Pack books flat to avoid damaging their spines.
- Don’t store wet items in a self-storage facility as they can cause water damage, mold and mildew.
- Large appliances need care before placing in a self-storage facility – make sure you defrost fridges and freezers thoroughly before storing them otherwise you’ll be leaving yourself open to water damage. Tie doors up for the move, although you should leave them slightly ajar once in storage to stop condensation forming and help ward off bad odors. Drain washing machines before storing them and tie down hoses etc. Appliances should be clean and dry and it’ll be worthwhile wiping the insides over with bicarbonate of soda before you store them.
- Wrap all fragile items and breakables such as dishes, glasses, ornaments etc separately. Paper will do but bubble wrap is a good investment. Pack them tightly into strong boxes, filling any gaps with paper or filler. Try to avoid putting heavy items on top of fragile ones in a self-storage facility.
- If you’re going to be storing clothes think about buying wardrobe or clothes boxes – you’ll then be able to simply hang the clothes in them and they’ll keep their shape. It’s not wise to simply put your clothes in bin liners in a self-storage facility as moisture can get trapped inside when they’re sealed and your clothes could be ruined.
- For the best protection for mirrors and pictures in a self-storage facility, wrap them in a protective covering such as bubble wrap and stack them on their ends. Mirrors and pictures should never be stored flat. Mark them as ‘Fragile’.
- Separate lamp bases and lampshades and wrap them for protection.
- If you’re storing upholstered products such as mattresses and sofas in a self-storage facility it might be a good idea to invest in covers, bags or sheeting to give them some additional protection. Stand sofas and mattresses on end wherever possible to save space and don’t stack too much on top of soft furnishings. Mattresses are best stored on the long end and should be ideally raised above floor level or laid on protective sheeting.
- If you’re storing a few items of furniture on top of each other a simple dust sheet or cover placed between items will minimize scratching and damage in a self-storage facility.
- You’ll save space if you can dismantle furniture such as beds and tables before you store it in a self-storage facility – make sure you keep hold of all the bits so you can get it all back together again! Wrap and cover furniture sections and keep them together, clearly marked, for quick retrieval. You can put components such as screws and bolts together in a plastic bag, mark them clearly and tape to the relevant piece of furniture. Store large pieces of furniture vertically to save space in the facility.
- Chairs can be stacked seat to seat to save space. Cover chair legs with protective wrapping for extra protection.
- Spray your wood furniture with a good quality furniture spray before storing it in the facility to give it some added protection.
- Electrical equipment such as TVs, stereos and computers should be packed in their original boxes wherever possible. If this isn’t possible, pack them into boxes that are about the right size making sure that you pack gaps with paper etc. Make sure you tie down the player arm of a record player and secure your turntable.
- If you’re storing items with fuel tanks such as lawn mowers and cars etc in a facility, expect to be asked to drain the tanks before you put them in storage. Fuel is one of the few things that you CANNOT store in a self-storage facility.
- Wipe down metal objects and tools with a little oil before storing to avoid rust formation.
- You can tie tools and long-handled items in bundles. Don’t store a brush resting on the bristles.
- Don’t store vacuum cleaners with the bag in – throw it away before you store them in the facility.
- Treat leather items with a leather conditioner before you store them.
- Think hard about whether you really want to store photographs in a self-storage facility. If you do store loose photographs, place them between pieces of clean cardboard and tape them together to avoid curling. Photographs will suffer temperature damage and, if the facility you have chosen is not climate controlled, you might want to keep them out of storage to avoid losing them.
- Think creatively and you’ll make more space. Plan to use furniture drawers as an extra box (they are especially good for fragile items) and you can use the inside of wardrobes to store boxes. Kitchen appliances such as stoves and fridges can also be used in this way.
- Seal all your boxes with packing tape before you put them in a self-storage facility – this will help keep dust out of the contents.