You may be moving into smaller quarters, and if that’s the case you might want to consider stashing some of your belongings in a storage space.
If this is your first time renting storage space you’ll find that it’s not at all as daunting a task as your might expect.
First, it’s important to know which kind of storage space you need. Typically, you can rent indoor, outdoor or climate controlled storage, and you can also find storage for vehicles, as well. You’ll need to figure exactly how much of your property you’ll want to store, how long you’ll need to store your stuff and roughly how much cubic space you will need
It’s good to come prepared with some questions when you talk to a storage space representative. If you have a good idea of the amount of space you’ll need, the kind of storage that’s required and how long you’ll need it for you should be able to ask the right questions and get the information you’ll need.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
When you visit a storage facility you’ll want to note the sizes of the storage areas, and you might also want to request a tour of the grounds to get a better idea of the security and access you’ll have to your space. Make note of whether or not the facility is kept clean, has no water.
Safe and Secure
On the topic of security, it’s a good idea to find out if individual door alarms are installed in each of the units in the facility. Door alarms provide an extra level of security, as does a secure gate that requires that you enter a pass code to access the facility’s grounds. A secure, pass-code-protected entranceway to the building is also an essential security feature, especially if the facility is open 24 hours a day.
Surveillance cameras are an excellent crime deterrent and can go a long way toward preventing theft and damage to your property. Ample lighting may seem unimportant, but it’s a basic element that is critical to security and safety. Make sure that any building where you’re considering renting space is well illuminated, both in the storage units as well as the hallways and doorways.
Ask About Pricing
Next, you’ll want to talk about how much you’ll pay to rent a storage space, and whether or not any discounts apply to your contract. Some may offer discounts to military personnel, seniors or AAA members, and some facilities will offer discounts for long-term storage. You should also ask what kinds of payments are accepted at the facility – do they take your credit or debit card, cash or checks? They may also allow online payment.
You might want to take the opportunity to ask the storage facility representative for some tips on how to set up an online account. You may find that some storage companies even have their own online app, and that could make it even easier to manage your account over the Internet.
Be sure to ask if the gate hours differ from the office’s hours, and if you’re eligible for any other additional amenities if you rent a storage space, such as insurance to cover damage or loss of your belongings. It’s also important to check if your homeowners insurance offers your any coverage for stored goods. Be ready to produce certain documents that storage facilities request of their customers, including a valid photo ID, up-to-date contact information and proof that your have insurance. If the facility offers insurance, it might be easier to take theirs rather than go through the hassle of finding out if your homeowners insurance will offer you adequate coverage.
Time to Get Packing
When you’ve chosen a storage facility to hold your things it’s time to begin packing your belongings. Group together all of your frequently used items and pack them last. You’ll want to keep them placed near the front of the storage facility for easy access. Use bubble wrap, newspaper and even towels to cushion valuable that might be breakable. Use dresser drawers to store things like blankets and linens, DVDs and even your favorite books.
Place your stored items in such a way that you leave a pathway for yourself in case you need access to items that are located at the back of your storage unit. For long-term storage this offers you the opportunity to rotate season items from the back of the unit to the front for easier access when you need it.
It’s a good idea to check on your storage unit every three months or so to make sure that none of your belongings have shifted, especially in units that are tightly packed. It also allows you the opportunity to rotate seasonally appropriate items to the front of the unit for easier access.
Portable Storage Option
In addition to self-storage, some people opt for portable storage over renting a self-storage space. With portable storage, a lockable container is placed on your property and you can pack and retrieve your possessions whenever you want. When the container is filled and you decide that you won’t need access to it for an extended period, you have the option of having the container picked up and stored in a special facility for portable storage containers.
Portable storage allows you almost instant access to your belongings. You don’t have to drive across town whenever you need to store or retrieve pieces of your property. Once the container is picked up and trucked away, you can leave your belongings packed away for as long as your contract allows. You don’t have to drive to a facility and pack your property into a unit.
Some Extra Charges
However, you’ll pay extra to have your property trucked to the facility or delivered to your home. Also, when your portable container is stored in your yard of driveway, the only security protecting it from theft is the lock you place on the container. Unlike self-storage facilities, you will not have video surveillance and a locked gate guarding your possessions.
In addition, portable storage does not offer options such as climate-controlled environments and an onsite staff keeping an eye on the facility. For those concerned with the aesthetics of their property, a large storage container that’s within close proximity to your home is liable to be an eyesore. Some may prefer self-storage simply because your home and grounds will remain more pleasing to the eye during the moving process.
Portable storage can be ideal, however, for those who are in the process of moving. Once the container is packed you can have it transported to your new home, so there’s no need for you to retrieve your goods and furnishings from a self-storage space.
Making Moving Easier
A clean, well-lighted storage space can make your move go smoothly and will likely save you a lot of headaches. Imagine how carefree you’ll be, knowing that you’ll have extra space to hold your property until you’re ready to move it into your new home. With a little extra planning you can make an otherwise stressful day a lot easier on yourself and your whole family.