Founded in 1890, Hansen Bros. Moving & Storage the parent company of Portabox has successfully weathered many history-changing events including the Great Seattle Fire, WWI, the Spanish Flu of 1918, the Great Depression, WWII, the 2008 recession, and 9/11 among many other public crises. We are taking the current COVID-19 threat very seriously and will promptly adhere to any and all directives from local, state and federal government officials. Hansen Bros. and Portabox have been categorized as an essential industry business (moving & relocation) within the current mandate established by Washington State Governor Jay Inslee.

As essential services, we will maintain normal operations until such time as either company management determines we must close our offices or we are directed to do so by a governmental authority. We are taking extensive precautionary measures including the adoption of all CDC guidelines and the establishment of our own policies intended to minimize health risks for all customers, employees, contractors, vendors, and community stakeholders. We are proud to be able to support the needs of our customers during this crucial time but are prepared to quickly change course as required.

Stay safe together with Hansen Bros. and Portabox

The COVID-19 crisis is fluid and there are many uncertainties and factors outside of our control that may, with little or no advance notice, impact our delivery of moving & storage services. Please be aware the current crisis could potentially result in small inconveniences such as a delayed project start time or significant inconveniences such as the complete rescheduling of services.

Although there are many unknowns to be navigated, you can be certain that Hansen Bros. and Portabox will be timely and transparent in our communications regarding servicing your moving & storage needs, and our professional relocation consultants will work diligently to offer creative solutions in the event your project is impacted by the current health crisis.

Steps We're Taking:

  • Company-wide Implementation of all precautionary measures recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
  • Office staff and crews are being monitored daily for symptoms and/or known exposure by management and asked to go home, contact their healthcare provider, and self-quarantine as directed. Staff that experience symptoms and/or aware of exposure when not at work have been directed to stay home and notify their supervisor.
  • Office staff and crews are receiving daily briefings on precautionary measures and have been directed to follow them on and off the job.
  • Office staff and crews are being instructed to maintain appropriate “social distance” of 6 feet minimum between one another, customers, and all other people.
  • Office staff and crews are being provided with appropriate hand sanitizer and surface disinfecting supplies. They have been directed to disinfect truck cabs and moving equipment between each move to the best of their ability. These supplies will continue to be replenished as we are able, based on availability from retailers.
  • We are limiting visitation to our branch offices. If you wish to purchase moving boxes or supplies, please simply call in your order and we will happily deliver to your vehicle outside.

We are all in this together.  The team at Hansen Bros. and Portabox is proud to continue offering our services in accordance with the necessary precautions outlined above. We are here to make the process of storing belongings seamless & safe for you.

How to properly pack family heirlooms for storage

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Nothing is more cherished in a household than family heirlooms, often passed down through generations. These items come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and each tells its own unique, personal story. And just as they are all unique, each is valuable in its own right. Some items, such as rings and bracelets, may have significant monetary value paired with their history. Other items, like photo albums or scrapbooks, probably aren’t worth much in terms of money, but carry an immense sentimental value. As you pass them down through the family, their value and importance grow. And this is exactly why you must do everything in your power to protect them. One of the best ways to do so is to place them in Renton self storage, away from endangerment. And that’s why we’re here today. Join us as we tell you how to pack family heirlooms for storage.

Important family papers require a gentle touch

You might think that pieces of paper will be just fine sitting in a cardboard box in storage. However, in practice, this is anything but true. As far as packing family heirlooms for storage goes, paper items are among the most vulnerable ones and require the most attention. If exposed to too much light, moisture, or heat, they can easily fade away and crumble. So, before you place your documents, old money, or letters in Seattle mini storage, make sure they’re prepared. The best way to keep papers safe is to place them in acid-free envelopes or archival folders. If you want to handle them, make sure your hands are completely clean of any oils and lotions or use special cotton gloves.

old letters on a table
Acid free paper does wonders for preserving old documents, so be sure to get some before you pack family heirlooms for storage

Natural oils coming from the skin can leave permanent stains on paper surfaces and speed up their deterioration. Another way to admire your documents and letters without touching them is to place them into transparent binders or clear sheets. These will allow you to look at them and handle them without coming in direct contact with the delicate paper. Just make sure that the binders you use are also of the acid-free type. If you still want to share your document heirlooms with your family without taking them out of the storage constantly, make a few copies, and hand them out.

Books and scrapbooks can survive for quite a long time in a storage unit

Just like paper documents, books don’t really do well around heat and moisture. This makes sense since books are essentially bound pieces of paper. With that in mind, packing them for storage follows a similar pattern. Before packing books for storage, it is important to clean them thoroughly. This is best done with a soft brush or a dry soft cloth which will wipe away any dust or grime that has accumulated over time. It is important to note that the cloth should be absolutely dry because paper can quickly absorb moisture. Once the books are clean, place each book in an individual archival bag, and leave the bag open for air circulation. Then, store your books into a few acid-free boxes. Ideally, the boxes should be on an elevated surface, such as a table or a shelf, and not on the floor.

person holding a family album before packing it for storage
Albums and scrapbooks require special attention because of their fragility

Photo albums and scrapbooks are family heirlooms that require similar steps if you wish to pack them for storage. The big difference comes in the fact that your ancestors probably used whatever paper or glue was available at the time to make them. This makes the situation somewhat difficult, as you must do your best to keep the heirloom intact. If your album or scrapbooks has any metal fasteners or paper clips in it, do your best to remove them as the metal can stain the paper. Alternatively, you can take them to a professional restorer to stabilize their condition and improve longevity. In order to keep everything in place, and prevent the photos from falling off the pages, place a sheet of specialty acid-free paper between each page. Lastly, just like the books, put your albums into individual bags, before placing them in acid-free boxes.

Properly clean family jewels and ornate heirlooms before you pack them

When it comes to preparing jewelry heirlooms for storage, there are a few basic practices around. In most cases, people aren’t sure how to approach this, but it is actually quite simple. Before you place your family heirlooms in some of the portable storage units nearby, think of how to preserve them. Do keep in mind that some things like jewelry need special attention and that home methods simply won’t work. Toothpaste and bleach, as some sources may suggest, will do nothing for your jewelry except damage the precious metals and their patina. Instead, take them to a reputable jeweler who will do a proper job. Once everything is clean, wrap your silver items in special cloth bags, and keep them separate from other heirlooms. Diamonds and other precious stones should be separately wrapped in archival tissue which will prevent tarnishing. Once your jewels are packed, place them in an acid-free box and seal them properly.

photo taken before someone packs family heirlooms for storage
Let a professional clean your jewelry before putting it in a storage unit

A few added tips on how to pack family heirlooms for storage

Once you pack family heirlooms for storage, you need to ensure they are in optimal conditions at all times. First and foremost, you need to think of security. Given how precious your heirlooms are to you, you want to remove any potential risk of disappearance or theft from occurring. If you give PortaBox Storage a call, you can rest assured that all of your precious possessions will be safe and sound at all times. Since family heirlooms can be delicate, you should never store them in places such as basements or attics. Ideally, you need optimal conditions within the unit, which will perfectly suit the items you intend to store.

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