The kitchen is the most difficult room to pack and store, this is because of the number of bits and pieces found in the kitchen, from your kitchen utensils, appliances, crockery to your cutlery. Whether you’re relocating or thinking of storing excess kitchen items in a self-storage facility, this article will provide you with some smart tips to help you pack your kitchen stuff easily.

Smart tip 1: Discard items you don’t need or use

Similar to our “Simple and easy bedroom packing guide”, we suggest you sort out your kitchen items. The easiest way to do this is to separate essential items from non-essential items. Essential items are those that you use regularly, we’re talking your kettle, a dinner set, specific pots and pans, and some kitchen utensils, so make sure you create an essentials box to house these. These are items that you’ll most likely need on your first night of relocation, so make sure you set these aside to prevent them from being accidentally kept in your storage container.

For items you don’t use often or don’t want to take into your new home, you have 3 choices:

  1. Use a self-storage solution like Smartbox to stow excess items
  2. Consider donating unused or new items to charity or give them to your family and friends
  3. Discard old, worn out, unusable and unwanted items

Smart tip 2: Equip yourself with the best packing materials

Now that you’ve sorted out your items, it’s time to purchase the right packing materials, these include:

  • Cartons in different sizes
  • Packing paper and bubble wrap
  • Packing tape and dispenser
  • Moving blankets or protective cloths
  • Markers for labelling boxes (black and red)
  • Tea towels
  • Fragile tape (optional)

These items are available at our Box Shop and to help reduce your self-storage cost, Smartbox also offers storage kits which consist of cartons in different sizes, rolls of packing paper, bubble wrap and more.

Smart tip 3: Pack specific items accordingly

Start with packing items that you use less often

Try to pack items you don’t use often, this may include various food containers, special dishes, baking tins, wine glasses, mixing bowls and vases. Remember to include unopened liquor bottles and cooking oils. To prevent damages, we recommend wrapping each item individually. And for unopened food items such as canned food, certain condiments and long-life food items, you may want donate these to charities such as OzHarvest or Foodbank.

Packing your drawers and shelves Now, time to pack your drawers and shelves. Remember to toss unwanted items and goods that you haven’t used in the last 6 months. If you have any recipes books laying around, stack those flat,

horizontally, and with the same sizes. Place heavier books in the bottom with lighter ones on top and create some cushioning using crumpled packing paper or bubble wrap.

Packing pots and pans

To find the right box for your pots and pans, take your largest pan and place it into a box with its lid, and if you can close the box, then the box is big enough to fit your items. We suggest that you create cushioning in all carton using clean, crumpled packing paper, and to wrap the items in bubble wrap or several sheets of packing paper. Also, we recommend that you pack the corresponding items together as it’ll make unpacking easier and quicker.

Packing crockery, cutlery and knives

Before you start packing, it’s important that you create cushioning in the box using bubble wrap or crumpled packing paper. For your plates, make sure you wrap them individually with packing paper and place them vertically not horizontally. This prevents you from placing other items on top and provides maximum protection. For cutlery, wrap silverware in non-acid tissue paper to reduce tarnish, and sort them according to their type. To prevent them from falling out, use a piece of string and place them in a smaller box and seal it with packing tape. For knives, it’s crucial that you wrap them in bubble wrap or tea towel to prevent accidental injuries. Remember to pack knives in a separate box and don’t mix them with other utensils.

Packing appliances

Before packing your appliances, remember to unplug, clean and dry them. Ensure that they’re completely dry to prevent mould and mildew. Next, disassemble or remove its content, clean and wrap them as well. Where possible, pack them in their original packing to provide maximum protection. For your fridge, don’t forget to defrost and empty it and to prevent food waste, try to eat perishable items 1-week before your move or storage. Then, remove, clean and wrap its glass shelving before placing them in large boxes. Wipe bigger appliances clean and then use moving blankets or protective cloths to wrap them. Also, always have a buddy to help you carry heavier items. Of course, you may choose our Packing and Loading Service, where our expert removalists will assist you in packing your valuables to withstand any potential forces during transportation and storage.

Some more tips:

  • Use crumpled paper to fill any gaps in the boxes to reduce vibration during transport
  • Label each carton properly. Use a red marker or fragile tape to label cartons that houses fragile items.
  • Do not pack flammable liquids or hazardous materials including gas bottles, lighters and batteries.
  • Always wrap items individually to provide maximum protection.

If you’ve realized that you’ve ran out space at your home and now need extra storage, then call Smartbox. Smartbox is the handy, mobile and easy way to store your excess belongings. We have affordable rental storage costs that allows you to choose the storage duration to help you save money. Our experts in removals storage are happy to answer all your questions about our mobile self-storage solution, so get in touch here.  

If COVID has taught us anything, working from home involves from more than having a reliable internet connection, a table and a computer. Distraction is imminent including your furry friend, children and let’s face it, procrastination − there are plenty of things that can sway your concentration. Luckily, some of us are now back at the office, so there’s no need to keep excess items in your home. Or maybe, you now see the importance of having a quiet and productive space and now want to upgrade your home office in case another lockdown comes around. Whether you’re thinking of transforming a bedroom, a backyard suite or a specific nook in your home, or you want to reclaim the space, this article can help you pack your home office items like a pro.

Back it up

This may seem like common sense, but trust us, back up all your important data! We suggest that you back up your files online via Google Drive, Dropbox, One Drive or Box. Online back-up is much safer as it’s not susceptible to theft, fire and hard drive failure. Most of these services are free, so make sure you check them out before you start packing.

Take a photo

Before you touch anything in your home office, especially your computer, take a photo. This will help you when it’s time to set it back up. We suggest you take a picture of the wires attached to your computer to help you remember where things are supposed to go.

Detach and remove wires, cables and cartridges

Now that you’ve documented where things are supposed to go, it’s time to start packing. Start by turning off the switch to prevent electrocution, then disassemble all the wiring and cables, wind them up and bundle them together. From there, make sure you label them clearly and to pack the cables together with their respective devices. Also, remove any liquid ink or cartridges from your printer and set them aside in a small box.

Reuse original packaging

Where possible, pack your electronic items in their original packaging as they’ll provide optimal protection. Otherwise, wrap each piece in bubble wrap before placing them in a box that has some cushioning in it and fill any gaps with soft, old clothing or more bubble wrap to help protect them and to act as a shock absorber. For monitors, we suggest you use old blankets rather than bubble wrap to protect the coating.

Pack it right

Always remember to use the right box for the item you’re packing. For example, use medium to large boxes to pack books and archive boxes for documents. When packing books, remember to place heavier items on the bottom and to create cushioning and to fill any gaps with packing paper to reduce vibration.

Also, to reduce strains, place the box in a low table around waist height as this will help prevent back injuries. Finally, limit the maximum weight of each carton to 15kg to make it easier to lift and transport them. 

Use a self-storage solution

If you’ve decided to retain your home office equipment, consider a rental storage solution like Smartbox. Smartbox is an on-demand and convenient self-storage solution that can help you stow your items securely. Our Baby Box or Standard Box has enough space to fit all your office equipment and furniture, but if you’re unsure which size you need use our Space calculator to find the right Smartbox storage container for you. We’ll drop your Smartbox on your front yard, ready to be filled and will pick it up when you’re done. We’ll then take it to our secure storage facility, where it’ll be surveilled 24/7. Plus, our self-storage costs are affordable with prices that won’t break the bank. To learn more about Smartbox visit our page.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing some pro tips to make packing your belongings easier especially if you’re considering of placing them in a self-storage facility. This week, we’ll be covering simple bedroom tips to help you pack and move your bedroom objects.

Sort out your bedroom

This step may be easy or difficult particularly if you don’t know what to pack, the solution is to perform a quick audit. Organise the items you want to keep and discard, but how do you decide what to keep? Simple, ask yourself this question: “Does this object bring you joy?”

Yes, the famous question coined by decluttering guru, Marie Kondo. This question is perfect and makes choosing the items you want to keep easy, why? Well, if you go through each item on your bedroom, ask yourself this question and if you answer ‘yes’, then it might be an item that is of sentimental value, brings your comfort or is something you use regularly, meaning it’s worth keeping.

Now that you’ve sorted which items to keep and which to discard, separate them into two files and place them into different sides of the room ready for the next step!

Get the right packing materials

Some may argue that is the first step, but we disagree. Purchasing packing materials after you’ve sorted out your belongings can save you money, as you don’t need to purchase too many cartons, packing papers and bubble wrap. Packing materials to purchase include:

  • Packing cartons in different sizes. Remember to purchase a Port-a-Robe to make packing your suits and dresses easier.
  • Packing paper and bubble wrap to wrap fragile items
  • Packing tape and dispenser
  • Scissors or Stanley knife
  • Black and red markers
  • Fragile tape (optional) 

Many of these items are available at our Box Shop.

Prepack bedroom items

If you’d like to pack even quicker and think that you need pack more than once a year, you should consider prepacking your bedroom items. For example, if you’re packing or moving during summer then you can prepack your winter items. This speeds up the packing process and will help you save space at your new place. Make sure you label these cartons properly to make it easier to find them when the season comes around.

Packing your clothes

We’ll be dedicating and publishing a whole article on how to pack your clothes shortly, so only the most important tips will be included in this article.

If you don’t want your clothes to be wrinkled or damaged, make sure you pack them right, you can do this by:

  • Using clean cartons only – don’t use carton that have been used to store food
  • Don’t use plastic bags – plastic bags trap moisture leading to mould and mildew
  • Wash and fold your clothes
  • Use the correct packing carton such as a Port-A-Robe for your suits and dresses
  • Don’t vacuum pack – some fabric needs to breathe, and vacuuming can lead to damages
  • Keep pest out – let’s face it, mothballs smell terrible, so invest in cedar balls instead

Packing bedroom furniture

The most important step when storing bedroom furniture is disassembly. It’ll not only save you space in your container, but it’ll protect them from them damages as well. Make sure you wrap smaller items in bubble wrap and larger items in old blankets or protective packing covers. For your mattress, invest in a mattress cover as it’ll protect your mattress from any environmental damages, will prevent pests and ensure that your mattress stays in tip-top shape during storage. If the idea of disassembly and packing sounds strenuous, ask Smartbox about our Packing and Loading Service. Our experts will ensure your items are packed and protected during storage.

How to pack your TV and books

Your TV

If you have a TV in your bedroom, then it makes sense that you want to keep it safe when moving or storage. If you’ve kept the original packing, then feel free to use that, just ensure that you check the box for any damages or holes. Otherwise, use a sturdy carton with plenty of padding and cushioning materials such as crumpled packing paper, then seal the bottom and top with packing tape, and fill any crevices with more crumpled packing paper to limit movement and vibration.

Books and other small items

First things first, ensure that you use sturdy cartons and to seal the bottom with packing tape to prevent your valuables from spilling out. Other key tips include:

  • Reserve the bottom of the box for heavier books or items, with lighter objects on top
  • Place the books flat and not with the spine facing upwards, this will damage the binding
  • Pack books of the same size
  • Where relevant, wrap them in packing paper or bubble wrap
  • Fill any gaps with more crumpled packing paper
  • Place a final layer of packing paper or bubble warp for more protection
  • Seal and label the box with your name and a brief description of the contents
  • Keep the maximum weight around 15kg to make it easier to transport and for safety reasons
  • Always bend from the knees and not from your hips

Smartbox, the smart mobile self-storage solution

If you’ve realised that you need additional space, contact Smartbox for our on-demand, convenient and secure storage solution. Smartbox can be used as a furniture storage to stow large items such as your mattress, cabinets and wardrobes. We understand that attaining self-storage price can be time consuming, so we made this easier with our Instant Quote feature as well as our Smartbox Size Calculator to ensure that you only pay for the space you use and need. So, if you’ve ever wondered “what self-storage solution is near me” or “how much moving boxes near me cost”, then simply fill in our forms and we’ll provide you with a quote instantly.

Is your home looking like an empty nest? Are you thinking of moving to a smaller home? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Research from the Productivity Commission* found that approximately 20% of Aussies aged 60 and over have sold their home and moved to a less expensive and smaller space.

The reason for downsizing includes to comfortably retire, to experience the sea/country change, or simply to move to a property that’s easier to manage. But how do you decide which items to keep and let go.  

Smartbox has helped thousands of Aussies downsize, thanks to our convenient and secure mobile self-storage solutions in Melbourne and Sydney. Here, we share some tips that may help you if you’re thinking of downsizing.

  1. Assess your new home – Before you start, make sure you get a copy of your new home’s blueprint or layout. This will provide you with information such as room sizes and the number of doors. Also, it’ll give you an idea of what will fit in each room and what won’t, making it easier to consider which items to keep and let go.

  2. Go through each room – Now, back to your current address, walk around and go through each room. Start with the rooms you use the least, this includes spare room/s, laundry and the garage. These rooms are often used for storage meaning there are plenty of objects that you don’t need to bring at your new place. Visiting each room helps you keep items that are useful, practical or sentimental.

  3. Measure everything – While you’re going through each room, equip yourself with a measuring tape, and measure all the items you want to keep. This will help you plan the layout of your new home.

  4. Track how often you use things – Next time you’re looking at that burger chair or that kid-size bed, ask yourself “when was the last time anyone has used this?” If you’ve used it recently, the next questions to ask is how often, why and what’s purpose does it serve? If you can’t answer any of these questions, then odds are this item can hit the curb.

    Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, items that have a sentimental value or have been passed down are always worth keeping. However, if it’s a large item or if you’d prefer that it’s store at a secure place, you may want to think about self-storage or a rental storage facility.

  5. Double duty items - Anyone who’s watched The Block or have visited a display home knows that the key trend in new homes and home renos is open plan living. Open plan living is where you remove partitions between rooms to create a large shared space. But how does this relate to downsizing? Now that you’re moving into a smaller home, you need to find ways to generate open spaces or at least an illusion that it’s larger than it is. One of the ways you can do this is to take double duty items. Some example of double duty items includes:

    Wine racks – use them as towel rack.

    End tables or side tables – to store smaller items, and to place desk lamps or vases. You can even go one step further and use it as a side bar, which is a sure fire hit at your next party.

    Narrow cabinets – maybe your new home is lacking storage space to hold kitchen equipment or linen, this is where narrow cabinets can help. You can use cabinets to store things such as fine china, glasses, towels and linens.

  6. Digitise – Do you have countless photos displayed at your current home? Are you finding it difficult to find space to display or store them? Then, digitising may help you. Digitising is perfect for converting your precious images into something that’s smaller. We suggest getting in touch with your closest scanning specialist to find out how you can turn loose photos, albums, cassettes and VHS tapes into digital copies.

  7. Consider a self-storage solution – If there are still items that you’d like to keep but want your new home to be clutter-free, then you may want to consider self-storage, especially for bulkier items such as couches, beds and tables where furniture storage may help. Self-storage is perfect for those who are looking to downsize and keep their valuables.

    The mobile storage solution offered by Smartbox is the ultimate in self-storage convenience. Our storage container or Smartbox is fully enclosed and weatherproof, ideal for storing your precious belongings. We’ll deliver your Smartbox, so there’s no need to haul back-breaking boxes in your car. You can even use our pack and load service, so there’s no need for heavy lifting. We’ll work with you to ensure that your valuables are packed and protected to withstand any potential forces during transportation and that it last the duration of its storage period.  

If you’re thinking of Downsizing and need additional storage space, contact us to find out how we can help you. Simply call us on 1300 880 800 to learn more.  

*Productivity Commission findings available in ABC News

Unless you are getting professionals to pack your precious wine collection, you will need to take special care to ensure that it is packed properly to preserve the wine’s character and to avoid breakage.

Things you will need

First, take stock of your collection. Once you know how many bottles you have, you can make sure you get good quality and the right quantity of packing materials.  In addition to wine boxes, you will need packing tape to secure the boxes, packing paper to protect the bottles, permanent markers and labels. You can buy these from SmartBox. Just log into and place your order.

Whether you own a large collection or a small assortment of wines, it is important to document your inventory before you pack. In fact, this is an important step in the moving process regardless of what you’re packing. With your wine collection, you should document the name, vintage and year of each bottle. To be especially thorough, you may want to take pictures of each bottle but ensure that the label’s details are clearly visible in the photograph. If the collection is expensive, this process will help with any potential insurance claim.

Pack your bottles into specially designed wine boxes that will keep the bottles separated. The boxes have individual cells/slots with Styrofoam dividers to cradle the bottles snugly and prevent them from knocking against each other during transit. The boxes come in two sizes for either six or 12 bottles. As wine bottles are heavy make sure the bases of the boxes are sturdy enough to support the weight of the bottles. It is recommended to use smaller sized boxes as they will be easier to lift and transport. Before putting the bottles into the slots, check that the caps are tight. Once you have placed the bottle into the slot, fill any empty spaces with packing paper.

If you do not use wine boxes or a wine shipping crate to pack your wine bottles, another option is to use regular moving boxes. When using regular boxes, you will need to take special care because they do not have the separate cells/slots that wine boxes and crates have to protect the bottles. This makes it important that the wine bottle is carefully wrapped before placing it in the box. Wrap each wine bottle with two or three sheets of packing paper and secure the paper with tape before placing it in the box. Take particular care to wrap the necks of the bottles as this is the most vulnerable part and more likely to break. Ensure to cushion the box with sheets of packing paper before placing the wrapped wine bottles in the box.

Label the boxes “fragile, handle with care” and “this way up”. Place the labels on all sides of the boxes so that they do not get mishandled. When transporting the wine boxes, ensure that you do not stack one over the other. Stacking them will increase their chances of them toppling over and getting damaged during the move. It is best that you place the boxes on the floor of the vehicle it is being transported in.

Know your wine

Wine needs to be transported at the correct temperature without the bottles being jostled around too much. Each wine varietal has a special way and temperature at which they should be handled and stored to preserve their character. Some wines need to be transported upside down while others could lie horizontally. If there are corks they should be kept moist or they will dry out, shrink and let oxygen enter the bottle and ruin the wine. Champagne and sparkling wine needs to be packed upright.

It is imperative that you find out the specific requirements of the wines you are transporting. If you are packing more than one type of wine, you will need to find out the requirements for each type and ensure that they are transported accordingly as some wines are more sensitive to temperature than others. You will need to know your wine, know its special features and needs and how to care especially for each bottle if you are going to enjoy the libation at destination or if you will need to tip it out. If you are planning to transport the wine during summer or winter, you will need to consider about how the extreme heat or cold could affect your wine. Remember you can’t transport open bottles. If you have any, it is best you finish them or give them away.

Most wines will need to settle after being in transit. Sommeliers refer to this as “bottle shock”. The flavour is altered when the bottle has been shaken and exposed to varying temperatures. So, if your wine was in transit for a few hours you should wait for at least seven days before opening them. If the wine’s journey took a day, wait a couple of days more before opening them. If you just need to store your wine collection safely, then SmartBox has the solution for you. You can place your precious wine collection in a mobile storage unit, lock up the unit and call us to collect and store it. We will store it securely and what’s more is that you can access your stock and grab a bottle or box for times when a celebratory event calls for it.