The recent pandemic may have stalled or stopped business operations across many cities in the U.S. and abroad, but not all plans have been abandoned: people are still retiring, houses are still being listed for sale, employees are still being relocated and families are still planning to move into the starter or bigger homes they closed on before the panic set in.
And one business that can help all these folks out – with minimal interaction and indefinite storage options – is MI-BOX Moving and Mobile Storage.
Located in Melbourne, the business caters to home and business owners, as well as customers with storage needs, said Jennifer Ernst, who owns the business with her husband John Ernst.
The two decided to reinvest dividends from a business sale in 2018 and have been running MI-BOX ever since.
The concept is simple and sound: MI-BOX delivers a storage unit to a home or business, allowing the customer to set the timing for (and duration of) the move. The self-storage units come in three sizes: 8-feet, 16-feet and 20-feet, and each unit is placed using a patented system that gently places containers on any surface in any weather that will not damage the resting surface or landscaping around it. (Instant quotes are available on the MI-BOX website at www.getmibox.com).
Another advantage that Ernst said is especially compelling in these times is that customers do not have to deal with teams of people coming in and out of their home or business to assist with the move.
“The MI-BOX system allows our clients to move at their convenience, using single contact moving from one space to another,” she said.
Paramount to the business is the localized customer service that Ernst credits with helping her maintain a five-star rating for her business. The Ernst’s – including their four daughters – moved here from Madison, WI, a decade ago to operate another business and fell in love with Florida. They bought a house in Suntree and their kids all attend local schools here.
“We love it here and we love being business owners here. When people call, they get someone local – we know the area and what’s around and what works – and that can help with alleviating some of the stress of moving,” she said.
Striving to be a resource-driven business, MI-BOX also works with a host of local professionals, offering referrals for moving-related professions such as home staging, real estate, remodeling and more.
Short- and long-term storage options abound at a dedicated facility out west of I95 on West Eau Gallie Blvd.
Packing Tips from MI-BOX:
To cover and protect items in storage, MI-BOX recommends the following considerations, among others. For a full list, visit online at www.getmibox.com
General Packing Tips
- Fill cartons to capacity: partially-filled or bulging cartons may tip over or collapse
- Heavy items such as books or tools should be packed in smaller cartons so they are easier to handle. Books should be packed flat, not on their spines
- Packing and labeling cartons room by room makes for easier unpacking
- Label the sides and top of each carton so it is easy to see from any angle
- Remove batteries to avoid damage from leakage
- Empty the contents of wardrobes, drawers and cupboards
- Clothing and personal goods should be packed in strong secure cartons
- Where possible, remove the legs from items to save valuable packing space.
- Vacuum food crumbs from couches and lounges to prevent attracting pests
- Plastic covers or large bags should be used for couches and mattresses, and will keep them clean and dust-free
Dishes and Glassware
- Place a layer of packing paper inside the bottom and top of cartons containing breakables. Protect fragile items by individually wrapping in packing paper
- Nestle cups and bowls, stand plates, saucers and casseroles on their edges
- Fill gaps in cartons with packing paper, bubble-wrap or packing peanuts – this will help keep fragile items protected and prevent them from moving while in transit
- Label all cartons containing fragile items and avoid storing heavy items on top of them
Glass and Mirrors
- These items should be protected by packing materials i.e. bubble-wrap or a flat-pack box, also known as mirror or picture box
- Store mirrors and glass standing on their edges in an upright position
- DO NOT lay them flat
- Original boxes are ideal to repack items in.
- Wrapping items individually in bubble-wrap, packing them in cartons, and sealing them into cartons also offers excellent protection for electrical items.
- The original boxes are highly recommended for packing
- Bubble-wrap and good quality packing cartons will also do the job.
- Remember to use some packing or linen in the bottom and top of cartons. This provides extra protection to the contents.
- Pack any gaps securely.
- If you are unsure about your computer, refer to the manufacturer’s manual, or consult you retailer, especially if storing for longer periods of time.
- If you are in any doubt, please carry these items with you and do NOT store them.
Keep A List of Items:
- Keep a copy inside the storage unit and one for your records
- Add or delete items as they are added or removed from your storage box
MI-BOX is located at 5101 W. Eau Gallie Blvd., Melbourne. For more information, call 321-500-4344, or visit online at
Shawna Lucas (formerly Kelsch) has lived and worked in Brevard county for the past 20 years, serving in a variety of jobs and community service roles. She’s a former food and news reporter for Florida today, and was owner/operator of a marketing company that assisted clients and partners such as the Florida Healthcare Coalition, Blue Cross & Blue Shield Foundation for Florida, The Brevard Health Alliance, and Florida Tech to identify and solve pressing community health issues. She has she has dual bachelors degrees in Journalism and Sociology from the University of Miami, and was an inaugural fellow at the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN.