Packing Tips

Packing Specific Items

Packing is best done by the experts, but if you are doing your packing yourself, here are some helpful tips.


Make sure that all appliances are clean and dry before you store them. Leave appliances slightly ajar to prevent mildew.


Sheet, blankets, towels and pillows can be packed in large boxes. The mattresses should be packed in mattress bag.

Books and records

Pack in small boxes so they are not too heavy to pick up. Make sure the box is filled to the top. Books should be packed binder-side up, records standing on end.


Should be packed in a sturdy box. Place 3 to 4 inches of crushed paper in the bottom of the box. Take 3 dinner plates and wrap them together butcher style with at least 3 sheets of paper between each plate. Place the wrapped plates on edge in the bottom of the carton. Repeat until the entire bottom is filled. Start another layer by placing 3 to 4 inches of crushed paper on top of the packed plates. Smaller plates or glasses should be on top.


Remove all breakable and loose items from the dresser. Clothing can remain in the drawers.


Pack small, expensive items such as stereo equipment, TVs, camcorders, in the back of the storage space in unmarked boxes. Place large items such as furniture and beds in front of them.


One box should contain essential items you will need right away at your new home. The telephone, paper towels, toilet paper, paper cups, baby items and a flashlight are some items you made need immediately. This box should be marked “LOAD LAST” …it will be the first box off the truck at your new house.

Fertilizer, grass seed, potting soil and ice melt

Must be packed in a box to prevent spillage.


Do not pack aerosols, paint, oil, gasoline, flammables, propane, sterna, bleach, firearms or ammunition. Do not pack anything that is flammable, combustible or anything that may leak or spill.


Should be in sealed containers. Do not pack anything that will leak or spill. Do not pack aerosols (Pam, furniture polish, etc.) or flammables (sterna, lamp oil) and do not pack perishables. Canned goods should be packed in small boxes.

Frequently used items

Be sure to store frequently used items at the front of the unit to avoid having to search for them.

Garden tools

Garden tools such as rakes, brooms, and shovels can be bundled in groups of 3 or 4 and taped together.


Cans must be emptied and washed out. Run lawnmowers or small engines until it is empty of gas.

Get boxes!

You can purchase boxes from the office at Mill Creek Self Storage we have the best prices in town. Consider getting “sets of boxes” for safer stacking and to save money. Try to keep your boxes in uniform sizes. They are much easier to stack that way and saves space.

Have plenty of:

  • Tape
  • Packing paper (unprinted newspaper works well)
  • Bubble wrap
  • Markers
  • Scissors

Get started

Start in the rooms that are least used, such as the basement or garage, and pack your way to the bedrooms and kitchen so that these rooms will be packed last.

Glasses and breakables

Wrap two glasses of the same size together with 2-3 sheets of paper between them. Stemware should be packed individually. Place the wrapped glasses upright in the box. Never lay glasses on their sides and always pack them at the top of the box. Wrap other glass and breakable items in plastic bubble wrap and cover them with linens for additional protection.

Glass tabletops and glass shelves

Glass tabletops and glass shelves (from inside hutch, curio, etc.) must be removed and packed. These also should be packed in picture boxes. Large glass table tops should be wood crated (ask you mover for advice).


Remove ashes from charcoal grills and remove the propane tank on gas grills.


If your belongings are worth storing, they are worth insuring. Check with your homeowners or renters insurance to see what may be covered. Also check with your storage facility to see if they offer insurance coverage. If they do, make sure you can pay for the coverage each month along with your storage rent, thus allowing you to conveniently make just one payment each month for both you rental space and insurance.

Keep a list

Label boxes on all six sides and keep a list for easy reference. This will save you time if you have to look for something in particular. Make a complete list of all goods stored. Include a description, model number, and serial number. To prove ownership, keep all sales receipts, proof of purchase, owner’s manuals and warranties. A photo or videotaped record of your stored goods is also helpful. Keep all records in a safe place away from your storage space.


Lamps should be wrapped in bubble wrap and placed standing upright in the box. Fill the rest of the box with small sofa pillows or small individually wrapped knickknacks from the room. Be sure to put lots of crushed paper around all items to prevent them from shifting in the box. The shade (with the harp) should be packed separately in another box. Pole lamps do not need to be packed just wind up the loose cord.


Remove the plate from the microwave and pack separately. Small microwaves should be pack in an appropriately sized box. Large microwaves can be pad wrapped by the mover.

Packing & organizing your storage unit

Utilize all the space in your unit. Make a plan as to how you are going to arrange your items. A good plan will save you the time of having to rearrange your unit. Leave an aisle in the center of your unit so that you have a walk way to the back of the unit.


Keep boxes off the floor. Use pallets, 2 x 4’s, plywood, any thing that will keep your items off the floor of the unit as concrete can “sweat” and cause damage.


Pictures should be packed in specially designed picture boxes. Wrap the picture in bubble wrap. Stuff crushed paper in the bottom of the picture carton, insert the picture, then fill the top and sides of the box with more crushed paper to keep the picture snug.

Pots and pans

Pot and pans should be wrapped individually to keep them from clanging together. They can be packed with other non-breakables such as utensils, plastic ware and dishtowels.

Pre-packing for storage

Start early.
As soon as you know you will be moving, start packing.

Seasonal clothes

Keep out of season clothes accessible, you may have your belongings in storage longer than anticipated.

Set up a work area in the room

Lay your paper out on a flat surface. Have your tape, scissors and marker at your work area. Pack items only from the room you are working in. Seal the box securely (make sure the bottom is sealed also) and mark the room and the box contents on the side of the box.

Stacking Boxes

Always put heavier boxes on the bottom, and the lighter boxes on top of the heavier boxes. This will prevent boxes from being crushed.

Stacking furniture

To save even more space store couches on end, and stack chairs seat to seat. Use the inside of appliances and drawers to store smaller items. When stacking furniture use paper pads in between the items to avoid scratching. Disassemble items such as tables, bed frames, etc. (This will also save you space.) Wrap and label all pieces for an easier time when you have to reassemble them. Put all the hardware in bags and mark the bags accordingly.

Stereo components

Stereo components should be disconnected and prepared for shipping (see your owner’s manual.) Pack them in their original boxes if you have them. If not, pack them in an appropriately sized box with lots of crushed paper all around. You may pack two or three components together keeping plenty of padding between them.


Wrap them with pads or blankets. Wind up and secure the cord.

Thinking inside the box

All the boxes should be filled to the top to prevent them from crushing in transit. Pack the heaviest item on the bottom and lighter items to the top. Fragile items like lampshades and dried flower arrangements should be pack individually.

Trash cans

Shovels, hoes, rakes and hoses can be stored together in empty trash cans. Stack extra cans inside one another.

Please do not store any food items. This will prevent any unwanted “guests”.
Do not give out your password, gate code or any information to anyone that is not listed as having “Access”.

Packing tips from Walla Walla Self Storage

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