Whether you’re storing equipment for your business or at home, packing it right is a very important first step. If you’re storing stuff for a business, you probably already have certain procedures in place for equipment storage. If not, come up with some basic policies to get everyone on the same page. Proper packaging involves more than just stuffing things in boxes. While it may seem time-consuming, taking the time to properly package everything the right way can save you from needless frustration and unpleasant surprises later. Regardless of what equipment you’re storing, here are some basic packing tips that can help you keep everything safe and organized.
Use Large Boxes
Even if you can fit items into smaller boxes, it’s best to stick with large boxes for equipment. The only exception is smaller things like plugs and external hard drives that can be wrapped individually and combined in one box. If you’re not planning on transporting your equipment, carefully label each box. This makes it easy to find stuff when you need it without frantically tearing open each box.
Create an Area of Storage
If you have a significant amount of equipment to store, boxes aren’t practical. Create a large enough place for storage. If you plan to store equipment at home, this is usually the garage or attic. Plan ahead and clear enough space to meet your current and anticipated storage needs. Your storage area should:
• Be well-lit
• Include clear signs and labels
• Have unobstructed pathways
• Be free of boxes stacked more than two layers high
Choose the Right Packaging
Cardboard boxes work great for temporary storage. If you’re going to store equipment on a more permanent basis, you’ll want to opt for storage containers. Choose plastic storage containers that are strong enough to be easily moved. You also want to make sure the lid closes tightly to prevent damage from moisture and other possible contaminants. Additional packaging options include:
• Crates – If you have larger pieces of equipment that need to be stored, wooden crates tend to be fairly strong. You can also easily prepare a crate for shipping should you need to transport or send your equipment to another location.
• Clear Plastic – Clear plastic storage containers come in all shapes in sizes. The benefit of clear plastic is that you can easily find what you need.
• Barrels – If you have equipment that needs certain plugs and other smaller parts for it to work properly, a barrel is a convenient packaging choice. You can store a large piece of equipment and a bunch of small accessories with enough room for packing materials.
Choose the Right Packing Materials
From ripped newspapers to plastic bubble wrap, there are many choices for packing materials to keep your equipment safe when its stored. Computer equipment should be wrapped in plastic wrap to prevent accidental breakage. You shouldn’t pack items that can easily be damaged in the same container or box. If you want to go green, use recycled corrugated cardboard and cornstarch-based packing peanuts to cut down on your carbon footprint.
While it may seem like a pain in a certain part of the anatomy to take the time to package your equipment, it’ll pay off when you need to find something. If you’re running a business, a well-organized storage space makes it easy to find stuff quickly. This allows you to get back to running your business as quickly as possible. If you’re storing equipment at home, proper storage puts everything in one convenient location. Finally, keep a list or make a spreadsheet of the equipment you pack away for inventory purposes.