As something of a gypsy journalist, I’ve moved a couple dozen times, coast to coast and border to border, over the years, ever thankful that the Internet came along in time to allow me to indulge my wanderlust. However, like most who’ve experienced the divine disorientation of relocation, I’d always had a fixed destination on the other end.
Due to an unusual convergence of events, my wife and I sold our home above list price in just four days on market, with absolutely no clue where we would next call home. Our good fortune immediately morphed into an adventure all its own, as we worked for the first time with the storage end of a moving and storage company.
Trust me: moving to nowhere is every bit as unnerving as it sounds.
If you thought it was a challenge to help pack up a long-haul truck and race it to the other end, try dividing your worldly possessions into the essentials you can fit in your van and the stuff you won’t want or need for an indeterminate period of time.
Here are seven tips we learned the hard way about the art of moving to nowhere, thanks to our crack storage team at Blocker Transfer & Storage in Clearwater, Florida:
With a conventional point-to-point move, your belongings are typically billed by weight times miles traveled. But when your stuff is headed into storage vaults, you’ll be billed monthly based on the number of vaults you need (we used 11). Packing for volume rather than ease of transit is a whole different paradigm – one that involves far fewer but insanely heavy boxes.
2. Paper is your friend
I know it’s tough to swallow paying a buck a pound for unprinted newsprint, but considering the weight some of your possessions will be under in storage, our Blocker team assured us that paper is your friend. Crumple it, stack it, stuff it – but by all means, use plenty of it to cushion your stored items.
3. Strange bedfellows
Probably like you, we tended to use those tall wardrobe boxes for exactly that: wardrobe. But for storage? Fahgettaboudit! Our hanging clothes will spend the next few months with a motley assortment of yard implements, wall shelves, electronics, lamps and shades.
4. Don’t mess with glass
Also probably like you, we toyed with trying to save a few bucks by packing our table glass tops, mirrors and framed art ourselves. Trust me: don’t. Once we witnessed the alligator wrestling that went on as our team did it right, we were all too happy to stand back and watch.
5. Don’t store it; replace it
If you have stuff that’s going to cost you more to store than to replace, sell it, donate it or put it to the curb. We did all three with everything from lawn furniture to a beat-up coffee maker.
6. Protect your walls and floors
Given the weight involved in packing for storage versus transit, it’s a good idea to pack and stage your boxes in your garage or throw down tarps to protect your carpets and floors. Our moving crew even installed spring-mounted pads to protect our doorframes and a wooden loading ramp from our front door to eliminate damage to our stone pavers.
7. Spring for delivery and setup
Once you see cardboard stretched to the limit with the weight of some of these monsters, trust me: you’re going to welcome help to unpack and set up at the other end.