Moving and storage go hand in hand. When you move from one location to another, there is always a need to store some bulky items in a storage facility until you find a place to live. Sometimes, you may even have to keep it for a longer period of time, depending on the amount of time it takes for you to settle down in your new place. During your move, you can opt to store your items with your moving company too. But, this is more expensive than renting a self-storage unit and this is the reason many people choose the latter option.
Choosing a Self-storage facility
Choosing the right self-storage facility is important to ensure that your items are in good condition, without any kind of damage. There are many aspects that should be considered before selecting a self-storage unit.
The first aspect is the location of the facility. If you are planning to come to the facility frequently to take your things, then it is a good idea to choose a facility that is close to where you live. This will make it easy for you. It also depends on the kind of items you are planning to store. If it is just your furniture or any bulk item that you may not need for your day-to-day living, then you can choose a facility that is far away. On the other hand, if you are planning to store your daily supplies, then choose one that is closest to your current residence.
The amount of space you need is another factor that can help you to choose the right unit. In general, opt for a smaller space and pack it densely with your stuff. By doing this, you can save on extra space and money that is charged for this space. Many storage units even have mini-storage units and if you can fit all your items in that mini-storage, then that would be the best option for you. So, look for storage units that offer differing sizes of storage.
Security is an important factor because you want your goods to be safe when you come back to get them. Check the security and alarm systems and see if they are in good working condition. If you are planning to store a lot of valuable items like gold or diamond jewelry, cash or any other precious item, then check if they have a unit with concealed walls so that others cannot see what is inside. This may cost you a little extra money, but it is important if you have anything that is valuable. So, depending on what you want to store, look for a facility that has units with concealed walls.
You should be able to access your goods 24/7 for free. Some storage units have restricted times for access and if you want to access at a time when the facility is closed, you have to pay extra. Look for a storage facility that gives you unrestricted access round the clock.
Climate control is another decisive factor. If you are going to store upholstered items or old documents, then it’s important the storage unit is not damp. Even small amounts of humidity can cause damage to these fragile items. Most facilities have specialized units that keep temperature and humidity constant. Look for a facility that has one of these units when you are storing any item that can get damaged.
The units should be clean and well-maintained. If you spot dirt or dust inside the unit, then it is time to move away. Also, the units should be free from pests, small rodents and other insects. Though most professional units are pest-free, it’s a good idea to check the precautions that have been taken to keep these insects and animals at bay.
The final aspect is the area for delivery and pick-up. Only a few storage facilities offer sufficient space for a pick-up truck so that you can drop or pick goods from the unit without too much effort. Most facilities do not have proper parking spaces and so transporting the goods from the truck to the unit and back can be difficult. If you have any health concerns or if you are unable to find any help to move them, look for a unit that offers this feature, even though you may have to pay extra for it. It will be worth the effort.
Finally, before you sign the contract, check through the document to look for any hidden clauses or hidden charges. If you find any, discuss it with the storage unit and get it cleared before you enter into any kind of agreement with them. If the terms are unacceptable to you, never hesitate to look for other facilities.
In short, these are some of the aspects that should be kept in mind while selecting a storage unit.
Packing for a Self-storage facility
Packing is an art by itself. If you are not planning to take professional help, then you should spend considerable time and effort to pack it right. When you pack for a self-storage facility, it’s important you keep certain considerations in mind. As you pack, make markings on the box and make a list of things you have placed in each box. This will make it easy for you to take your things when you need them, without having to empty out the entire place to find one item.
Pick boxes that are of a uniform size because it will help you to stack them better. This will also help you to make optimal use of your available storage space. Make sure that the packing materials are sturdy and of good quality. Try to put as much stuff as possible in boxes as this will make it easy for you to store and remove easily. While packing, fill the boxes to its maximum capacity. At the same, it should not be too heavy because it may be difficult to carry. Also, the box may break due to the excess weight. So, put a good mix of heavy and light items in each box.
Sealed plastic bags are not a good option for storage because they allow humidity and this can cause molds or mildew. Use bubble wrap for fragile items like glasses, dishes or anything that can break easily. This gives an extra padding.
Avoid wet items in the storage unit as this can cause water damage to other goods as well. Refrigerators and freezers should be defrosted to prevent any damage due to mold or mildew. It is a good idea to stack books on top of another for extra space and to prevent them from bending or tearing. Furniture and other upholstered items should be covered with cloth or plastic covers to prevent dust from settling on them. Avoid keeping anything inflammable like oil or gasoline in the unit as this can easily catch fire and destroy the other items in the unit. Finally, make sure you seal all boxes tightly with a packing tape to prevent any dust from entering them.
The final aspect is insurance. Decide if you want to insure your products against any possible loss or damage. It depends to a large extent on the kind of goods that you store and its value. If you anticipate their damage due to fire or floods or theft or any other reason, then it is better to insure them.
When you follow these tips, your boxes are well-packed and you are all set to place them in the storage units. While placing them, stack the boxes on top of each other and allow some walking space. This will help you get to the boxes without trampling on anything else. Also, keep it organized. Make a list of items that you think you may need more immediately and place them on top or in the front so that they are easily accessible. This will avoid a lot of hassle for you when you want to get something out of the unit.
In short, choosing the right storage unit and packing for them can be a cumbersome experience. The above-mentioned tips can go a long way in making this job a lot simpler and easier for you. So, follow these tips and enjoy your move.