Assuming this isn’t your first rodeo, you already know that moving is hard, especially in NYC. It can be even harder if you’re not moving directly to your next place and have to detour to a storage facility.

This means instead of moving once, you have to move twice. It can be difficult, yes, but it’s possible. Here are nine moving tips to help make your transition to storage as smooth as possible.

1. Don’t Start Moving Your Stuff to Storage Until You’re Ready

To prevent a difficult weekend of going back and forth to storage over the course of two days, many people attempt to move out over the course of 2–4 weeks. But guess what? Packing your belongings in a storage facility over the duration of several weeks will become the equivalent of a long, grueling game of Tetris. No matter how good you are, your storage unit will have pockets of unutilized space if you go this route.

Avoid this by waiting to pack your unit until you’re absolutely ready. This will help you better plan where each box and item of furniture needs to go, and will likely prevent you from having to get an extra unit.

2. Keep the Books You Know You’re Going to Read

Don’t get rid of anything you know you’re going to miss, but if you’re just holding on to a book because you think you should read it, let it go. How many times have you gone to the library or bookstore instead of picking up what was already on your bookshelf? Do yourself a favor and donate those books. You won’t miss them, and you’ll be giving them away to people who likely would love to own them.

3. Keep Only the Clothes You Actually Wear

The clothes that most people actually like to wear comprise only about a week’s worth of a wardrobe—and that’s it. They have drawers stuffed with items that rarely see the light of day. Keep only the clothes you wear regularly, and free up all that drawer—and storage—space by donating the rest.

4. Purge Anything That Doesn’t Make You Happy

Why lug around items that don’t bring you joy? Just because a possession is yours doesn’t mean you have to put it in a box and store it. You’re allowed to get rid of junk drawers in your kitchen, storage bins underneath your bed, and baskets with random odds and ends on top of your coffee table. No, really, you are…

5. If You Can Safely Take It Apart, Do

Tables, nightstands, bookshelves… If you have a screwdriver and five minutes, dismantle it. Set aside a small box and designate it as your hardware box. Put every piece of hardware in clearly marked Ziploc bags and start packing them in as you make your way through your stuff. If you can, keep the box with you between moves so you know exactly where it is when it’s time to start putting everything back together.

6. Let Professionals Do the Heavy Lifting

A company that offers packing services will keep you from needing multiple storage units. The best part: a professional packing and moving service can do everything in one fell swoop. Your time, your health, your wallet, and your belongings will all benefit. Contact Flatrate.com to get a free quote.

7. Store Items Inside or Underneath Furniture

If you’re moving a refrigerator or a wardrobe, put boxes and loose items inside of them. You’ll be amazed at how much extra space this grants you! Storage units and storage facilities can be competitive to acquire, so once you’ve snagged one, make the most of it.

8. Vacuum Sealable Bags are Your Best Friends

Blankets, coats, seasonal clothes can all be drastically reduced in size with a simple vacuum-sealable bag. Don’t waste eight boxes to store that closet full of blankets and heavy coats. Dial that down to two or three when you use vacuum sealable bags, a stack of which costs around $20—a worthwhile investment.

9. If Possible, Use One Box Size and Organize By Weight

If you use boxes from anywhere and everywhere, you’ll find your stacking ability in storage suffers. If you only use one or two sizes of box, it will be a lot easier to go vertical. Stick with medium and small boxes—too large and you won’t be able to lift them once they’re full.

Next, organize by weight. It’s tempting to throw boxes on top of one another while you’re in the midst of filling up your storage. However, if you do this, inevitably heavier boxes will crush the lighter ones beneath, and the whole enterprise will topple over. Simple rule of thumb: keep the heavy ones on the bottom and the lighter ones on the top.

Whatever your moving or storage needs, we have the resources to make the process efficient and stress-free. Contact FlatRate today to get your free quote.

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