If you are planning to pack away a lot of stuff in storage, you will probably need several boxes handy. Boxing up items is an art in itself, and this particular process will require a bit of thought and planning. Take some time to do it right and follow these tips on how to box up your stuff, and you reduce the chances of anything going wrong when it comes time to place your stuff into storage.

One of the most important things you have to know is how to make up a moving box. Used boxes should be easier to work with as the top flaps have likely already been folded down during the previous use. With new boxes however, you will have to fold down the top flaps yourself. After you have done this, you should then fold out the box into its actual shape. Turn the box over and fold the bottom flaps together and use as much tape as necessary to secure the flaps. Once you are confident that the bottom flaps will hold up, you can begin filling up the box with your stuff.

Not all your things will fit neatly into a moving box. Some items–particularly large and flat ones–are better stored in a “mirror” or “picture” box. These boxes are specifically designed for mirrors, framed pictures or painting, and the like. They are better suited for large, flat items, since they will keep them safe and secure with a minimum of jostling. Such boxes are also usually safer for fragile items, since the shape will indicate that special care should be taken when handling them.

The actual packing of items is another important consideration. In general, heavier items should go into smaller boxes. You should also avoid packing several heavy items into a single box. In addition to reducing the risk of breakage and/or injury, keeping heavy items contained in its own box will also make it easier to handle.

Always be aware of how heavy each individual box is getting as you pack it. Even if it is nowhere close to being full, you should check it frequently to see if it can still be lifted easily. It is way too easy to keep filling up a box with stuff only to find out later on that no one can carry it! When this happens, you will have to unpack the box and repack it all over again, which can cost you time and possibly even money. In general, if a box is too heavy for one or two people to lift, you should probably consider repacking it.

You might find that a little creativity goes a long way when you are packing up your boxes for storage. Many people pack a box by fitting items snugly in between each other. In addition to maximizing the amount of space available, this will also prevent the items inside from being jostled around while the box is being carried or transported to the storage facility.