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Packaging Materials

It goes without saying that you’re going to need suitable packaging material in order to store your things securely.  Unfortunately the sheers amount of choice out there means it can be very difficult for storage users to work out exactly what they need and where to find it. This can lead to storage users acquiring too much packaging material or paying too much.

There are four factors to consider when buying packaging materials; the cost, quantity, type and the environment impact.

Quantity

Not a science and more of an art; trying to estimate how many boxes you are going to need can be a tricky business depending on the amount of possessions you intend to  store.  Online packaging providers offer ‘standard’ packages that are available for everything from a single bed apartment to a 5 bedroom house. 

If you do opt to order a ‘standard’ pack then make sure the packaging supplier packaging supplier will buy back any unused packaging material, or preferably not charge you through the nose if you require any additional material.

Cost

As a general rule of thumb; if you buy branded packaging from a self-storage facility its likely to cost more than independent suppliersindependent suppliers.  It pays to take your time and carry out an online search to find out who is offering the best deals.

Types of packaging material

Gone are the days when packaging consisted solely of cardboard boxes and cello tape.  Now the options are endless with everything from 'bubble wrap' to 'wardrobe boxes' on offer. What you use to package your items depends on the items and type of storage you intend to use.  Heres quick summary of the main types of packaging material you may require;

Cardboard Boxes
The staple of storage.  More often than not you’ll be using cardboard boxes for storage.  It might be an idea to check with your locals supermarket for free boxes they may have available from time to time - only choose the undamaged sturdy ones though.  Cardboard boxes come in various shapes and sizes and can cost anything from £1-4 each.

Wardrobe Boxes
As an alternative to storing clothes in a suitcase cardboard boxes that function like wardrobes have appeared on the market.  Inside you’ll find a rail to hang your clothes as you would in a regular wardrobe.  Ingenious? Yes, but the down side is that wardrobe boxes can be expensive costing up to £15.  Are your cloths that important?  Oh they are?  Ok.

Archive Boxes
Basically bigger and stronger cardboard boxes that are used by businesses to store filed records until they are no longer needed.  Expect these to be slightly most expensive  than regular cardboard boxes.

Protective Sheets
Dust sheets are used for - you guessed it - to protect your storage from gathering dust.  Even if a storage space looks dust free you better off shelling our a few pounds to buy some dust sheets especially if you have soft furnishings to protect.  Dust sheets are widely available and should cost no more than £5 per sheet. 

Bubble Wrap
Bubble wrap is used to protect precious and delicate items from knocks, scraps and scratches.  One of the more costly items when it comes to packaging so buyer beware.  If you have a considerable amount of delicate items to protect you’ll save money by going for a bulk roll to begin with and topping it up by the meter if required.  Bubble wrap will cost between £1 and £2 per meter.

Protective Bags
Everyone owns a mattress or a sofa so if its moving house then it’s likely you’re going to need a few protective bags.  Specifically designed to protect large soft furnishings.  Should cost no more than £5 per bag.

Packaging Tape
Strong and very very long.  If you need to seal a box or three pick up a roll of packaging tape and its job done.  Got to get through a ton of boxes?  Pick up a tape gun as well and you’ll be flying.  The tape will cost no more than £3, add a tape tape gun and it’ll be closer to £10.

Foam
Where bubble wrap falls short foam takes up the baton.  Sharp corners and the edges of wooden furniture are usually bound in foam when being taken from place to place.  A specialist item that is not widely available.  Google it...

Tissue
Where bubble wrap is too heavy handed tissue paper is on hand to offer a more delicate option.   Typically used to keep crockery or furniture apart whilst stacked to avoid rubbing and scratching.  A word of warning though; make sure the tissue is acid free otherwise your more delicate storage items maybe damaged in the long run.

Environmental Impact
Almost everyone who uses storage - whether its self-storage, container or lock-up - will use a considerable amount of packaging material; more specifically cardboard boxes.  Many packaging material providers understand the need to source the raw material they use to make boxes from renewable sources but in our opinion this doesn’t go far enough.

Its clear that many cardboard boxes are only used once and then end up being stored or discarded when they could be re-used in the future.  So the message to packaging providers is to consider incentivising clients to return unused boxes so as to reduce the negative environmental impact associated with the storage industry.

Where can you find suitable packaging material?

We have scanned the horizon for a packaging provider that meets the highest levels of environmentally friendly packaging whilst offering the greatest choice.  Our search ended when we stumbled across our friends at eco-boxes eco-boxes who provide an extensive packaging materials that are not only made from renewable sources but are also returnable.

A nice cup of tea and a biscuit at the end of unloading my things? Now thats social.

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