When Madonna sang about living in a material world, we bet she wasn’t thinking about cardboard boxes and bubble wrap. But it’s true: when it comes to moving, whether it’s to a new home or to a StoreLocal Self Storage in Northcote unit, using good packing material and clever packing techniques can make all the difference.

Here’s what you need to know.

Boxing clever

Nope, a box is not just a box. This is a hard lesson to learn, especially if your prized collection of hardcover Harry Potter first editions just broke on through to the other side of the bottom of a flimsy second-hand cardboard container, right as you were carrying them over a puddle.

Before packing, make sure that you choose the right boxes, depending on the weight, size and fragility of the items you are packing. Not all boxes are made equal: some of your options include book and wine cartons (sturdier and stronger), the classic tea-chest boxes and even boxes that will suit your bike, golf-bag of plasma screen TV. StoreLocal Self Storage in Northcote stocks a wide range of boxes and packing materials.

When you’ve decided on the boxes you need, remember these StoreLocal Self Storage in Northcote tips:

Reinforce the bottoms of the boxes with packing tape.
Pack the heaviest items at the bottom of the box, and lighter ones towards the top.
Don’t pack too many items into a box – especially when it comes to books.
Fill any empty spaces in a box with fabric items, such as dishtowels or clothing, to prevent the items inside from moving around.
Make sure that the top of the box can close properly after you’ve packed it. If it can’t, you’ve stuffed it too full!

Paper trail

Wrapping items in paper before packing them adds an extra layer of protection. And yes, you could simply use old newspapers – but do you want to risk it discolouring, staining and leaving residue on your precious mohair cushions? Of course you don’t. So rather opt for colourless butcher paper, or, in the case of any kind of art, sculpture, or, say, bone-china tea set, wrap it in acid-free tissue paper. Even better: after covering an item with paper, add an extra layer of bubble wrap to insure against knocks and bumps.

Shrink-wrap can be used for all kinds of things, including covering furniture upholstered in fabric. But for wooden furniture, rather opt for soft blankets, as wrapping wooden items in plastic can influence the wood’s ability to “breathe”, and lead to damage and warping. If you’re dead set on covering it in plastic anyway, wrap it in a blanket first to create a barrier between the wood and the plastic.

Stick ‘em up

Even the most tightly wrapped parcel can eventually unravel if you don’t tape it up. And as sturdy as a box might be, taping up the bottom adds some security. Look for high-quality packing tape that is strong and long lasting. It can be opaque or clear, and you can even get “fragile” tape to put on the outside of boxes containing precious and fragile items.

If tape is overkill for your situation, use rubber bands to hold loose items together.

Remember to buy a stack of “fragile” stickers as well to paste on the outside of relevant items and boxes.

At StoreLocal Self Storage in Northcote, we have a wide variety of packing materials available, including special combination packs that include a range of packing material depending on your needs. Talk to the team at StoreLocal Self Storage in Northcote, and we’ll get the best deal for you.