It’s move-out season again and students are packing up their belongings to carry home, ship home, and/or put in storage. Here are a few tips from Uncle Marty’s on how to pack up safely:
- Fragile Items: Wrap fragile items like dishes, glassware, and electronics individually. Often, you can use your own towels, blankets, and/or clothing as cushioning: wrap your glasses in socks; use t-shirts to separate plates; wrap a hoodie around that ceramic bowl. Place fragile items at least two inches apart from each other with cushioning between, and then make sure your fragile items are not near the edge of the box you’re packing them in. Also make sure there’s nothing too heavy on top that could crush the items below and that there’s enough cushioning at the bottom of the container to absorb shock when dropped.
- Liquids: If you must ship or store liquids, first make sure each container is sealed securely. Then, wrap the container in a towel, hoodie, or other absorbent material. Finally, double bag the wrapped container in a press-seal bag so that, in case there are leaks, nothing else in the package will be damaged.
Keep in mind that liquids are heavy, and often cost more to ship or store than the liquid is worth. Some liquids, like alcohol and perfumes, are prohibited in storage facilities and shipping systems, so we advise giving away or disposing of those types of liquids.
Shipping carriers and storage companies can charge clean-up fees of $10,000.00 or more if liquids are found coming out of a package in transit, or if liquids damage another shipment in a storage or shipping facility. It’s often not worth it to take the risk, so when in doubt just leave liquids out.
- Printers: If you’re packing up a printer, remove the toner or ink cartridge(s) first and bag them separately. When printers encounter vibrations in shipping or pressure in storage, installed ink and toner can leak into the inner workings of the printer and cause damage.
- Box Selection: Be careful what boxes you use. Boxes advertised as “moving boxes” are usually made of lightweight cardboard and are not designed to survive the rough shipping process or pressure of boxes stacked on them. These are often found at Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, etc. Yes, they may be fine if you’re just moving from one apartment to the next, but if you’re shipping or putting your items in storage, we recommend boxes rated for shipping, which are much sturdier and are the only type we sell at Uncle Marty’s Shipping Office.
Keep in mind that the shipping cycle can be rough. Conveyors don’t respect “This Side Up” or “Fragile” markings, and boxes can drop three to four feet from conveyor to conveyor, as well as travel at high speeds and can be hit by packages of up to 150 pounds traveling behind them on the conveyors or landing on top of them in sorting bins.
- Taping Boxes: Use true packing tape, not masking, duct, or office tape. Duct tape can split on a seam and masking tape is just too weak, however official packing tape is designed for box sealing. Make sure to fold the flaps so that there’s a center seam (not a pinwheel pattern), which means that two opposite flaps should fold in, then the other two opposite flaps should fold over them and meet in the middle. Tape that center seam, then tape the two edges, top and bottom. The tape should form an H (or I, depending on how you look at it).
If you have any questions on how to package particular items, reach out to the team at Uncle Marty’s Shipping Office. Our staff are all trained as AMBC (Association of Mail & Business Centers) Certified Professional Packing Specialists and we can advise you on how best to take care of any challenge you may be faced with.
Uncle Marty’s also sells over 60 sizes of boxes, as well as any kind of packing material you may need for move-out season. We are even offering box and packing material bundles (https://unclemartysoffice.com/bundles/) this year to make your life easier. We can also professionally package your items if you’d like us to, and offer shipping services with FedEx, DHL, and USPS.
Our storage rates are excellent and our storage service is consistently given top reviews! When you store with Uncle Marty’s, you know who has your stuff, that it’s kept safe, dry, and secure, and that you can trust us to give it back to you in great shape. Plus, you’re supporting a locally-owned small business! Check out our storage options at https://unclemartysoffice.com/storage/
We hope you have a great end of the semester and get packed up safely. We’re here if you need us at 206A Dryden Road in Collegetown (next to PokeLava), and you can also check us out at unclemartysoffice.com, on Instagram @unclemartysoffice, and on other social media platforms too. See you soon!