If you’re making a big move or you don’t have enough space anymore, you have probably considered renting a self-storage unit. These are a great way to hold your stuff when you won’t be needing it for a while.
Self-storage is an inexpensive way to store your furniture and boxes that you won’t be using, but don’t want to throw out or sell.
A self-storage unit is usually just four walls and a roof with a door that you can lock. Pretty simple right? But there are some ways you can go wrong. Here are some tips to make sure you get the most from your storage unit.
Take an inventory
Take an inventory of everything that you want to move into storage. You don’t have to make a super-detailed list, but it should contain the names of large items and the number of boxes to be stored.
With this information, you will be able to judge the correct size storage unit you will need.
An inventory will also help you plan how to pack your storage unit. Since you are paying for the unit, you don’t want to waste money by packing things haphazardly and taking up more room than you actually need.
Self-storage units are pretty secure, but they aren’t perfect. There is always a risk that it will be broken into, or your goods could get damaged by rain and bad weather. Nothing is certain in life so plan for the worst and you will always be prepared.
As a general rule, don’t store anything that is too valuable to lose. You should have the attitude that anything you put in storage could potentially be lost for good.
If you have anything that you absolutely can’t bear to lose, then find an alternative place to keep it. Storage is best for things that would be nice to keep but you don’t want them around right now.
While your storage unit will remain untouched most of the time, you never know when you will need to access the items inside. Make sure you pack things in a way that makes sense.
You should be able to find whatever you are looking for without having to move boxes around and make a big mess. You don’t want to make the situation worse every time you need to look for a family album or some old documents. The messier your storage unit is the harder it will be to find anything.
Stack boxes neatly and make sure they are labeled and the labels are visible. Don’t label them on the top or bottom where it can be covered up. Put the labels on the side of the boxes, preferably so that all the labels on all the boxes can be seen at the same time.
Stack items so that there is a clear walking space to move around in. You don’t want the unit to be packed so tightly that you have to pull out a lot of boxes and climb over things to get at one box buried at the back.
Don’t attract vermin
Be careful about the items that you put in storage. If you have something that is likely to spoil, it may create a bad smell. Aside from the smell getting onto all of your other items, it can attract pests such as bugs or even rats.
Canned food is usually alright, but be careful of other packed food. Even if it doesn’t go off, the package could be damage and expose the food inside. This can attract rats and mice that will damage all of your other items.
If you store clothing, make sure it is sealed in plastic. You don’t want moths to lay eggs in it. The larvae will eat holes in the fabric and ruin the clothes. This is true of furniture that has fabric too. Make sure your furniture is properly covered and sealed up so the moths can’t get at it.
If you have property insurance, check if it covers goods in storage. If not, take the time to look at your insurance options.
There is any number of ways that your stuff can get damaged. Some of them we have discussed in this article. Since you went to the trouble of putting your goods into storage, they still hold value. It’s worth paying a little extra to keep them insured.
Even if your stuff is mainly for sentimental value and isn’t worth much, you should still have it insured. You may not think you will ever need it, but you might be surprised how much you will need if you ever have to replace your goods.
Choose a reputable company
This may seem like an obvious one. But you really should do some research when you are considering renting personal-storage.
Not all storage companies are created equal. You might benefit from a moving company that also has storage options like California Movers. Or you may prefer to do the moving yourself and choose a storage company that just rents out units.
Whichever option you choose, make sure to look at online reviews from real people before you hand over any money. Look at what past customers have to say about a storage company. That will give you the best indication of which one is right for you.
Don’t leave things unprotected
A storage unit may seem secure, but it is still possible for your items to get damaged.
Cover furniture with blankets and use moving pads. Don’t use plastic on furniture. It traps moisture which can lead to mildew that will damage the furniture.
Make sure that all your boxes are packed well and nothing is exposed to the open air. Cover them in a tarpaulin to protect them from any water that may drip on them.
Make sure that everything is in boxes. There shouldn’t be any loose items on the floor or sitting on top of other boxes. That’s just asking for trouble.
If you have fragile items, make sure they are packed in tissue paper or newspaper. Place them in a way that they can’t move around or fall over.
Assume that your items could fall or be moved and pack them accordingly. As long as you are careful, you can keep all your stuff in good condition.