I began by systematically going through each tray on the shelves, grooming each plant down to a small size, some down to sturdy crowns, others with a little more. Then, if the necks were not too long, I gave them a little drink and simply bagged two solo cups to a ziploc. If the necks were out of control, I cut them down and repotted before bagging them up. The two-solos-to-a-bag rule applied to most plants since they were small, and it ended up being very space-saving as well. Once all the plants were bagged, I packed them tightly into flat and wide sterilite containers meant for under-bed storage. All my plants fit into four of these containers plus one smaller plastic tote.
At the time I bagged the plants, our house still had not sold, and I didn't know how long the plants would be in the bags. Before bagging them, I did water them, and I was realizing several weeks later that many of the bags were filled with what I would consider too much condensation. But, 150+ bags is an awful lot to unzip and then remember to rezip later! Needless to say, I didn't open the bags. I took a chance that it wouldn't be much longer.
Fortunately, our house did sell, and we finally had a moving date! But it meant the plants would need to be bagged for yet another month. But it was crunch time for me...packing the house and preparing a family of people, pets and plants for a long distance move left me little time to worry about the plants. I left the bins uncovered until moving day, and waited until the weekend before the move to disassemble the last remaining plant stand. All the fluorescent bulbs were salvaged, although I had no idea if it was possible to safely transport about 20 tubes without having them break. I figured it was highly unlikely, but I wanted to try anyway. I wrapped two tubes for each section of bubble wrap, stuck them all upright in an empty laundry basket and hoped my husband could find a safe place for them on the moving truck. I figured even if they broke, at least they would be contained.
My main concern was where to put the plant boxes for the move itself. I wanted them in a car, since I worried about them being subject to temperature extremes in the moving truck. But the more we tried to work out a way, the more impossible it seemed. There wouldn't be enough room in the truck cab for all the boxes, and I didn't think they would fit into my Jeep with four birds and three dogs....at least not comfortably.
CHECK BACK LATER FOR PART TWO!!