Storage facilities are a great option when you have a lot of extra stuff that you don’t want to keep in your house or if you want to leave your garage free of all the clutter. You won’t be living there, but your stuff will, so when looking at a storage facility for your new home, you should be asking some tough questions.
1. What Are My Storage Options?
Moving companies offer storage services, with the benefits including one entity handling the move and storage, saving you on the effort, and maybe money as well. The moving company will generally move the items into storage, and then deliver them to you when you want them (and they’re able to schedule it, of course).
You can also choose a self-storage facility, where you do all the work: loading up a truck and unloading your goods at the storage facility into a storage container.
Mobile storage is a third offering: a large container is dropped off at your home or business, you fill it, and the container is either stored on your property, or at a large facility.
2. Do I Really Need This Stuff?
This perhaps isn’t related to storage, but it’s important to ask yourself whether you really want/need the stuff you’re storing — do you really want to move stuff, and then pay to have it storage, if you hardly ever use it?
When deciding what to storage, think about what you really need to keep, what can go and what may be needed some day. Keeping only what you really need will reduce storage costs and you won’t have to move them again later. Here are some of the questions you should ask yourself:
* Do I need it?
* Will I ever use it again?
* When did I use it last?
* Does it have sentimental value?
* Will I use these clothes again? Do I really think you’re gonna wear those bell bottoms again?
3. Is This the Best Location?
It might seem obvious, but consider using a facility close to home. This can save money and time if you make frequent visits.
With all options, be sure to take note of access times for your stuff. Some offer 24-hour access, others have more normal business hours, and some facilities, like mobile storage centers, require 24-hour notice to access your unit.
4 How Is the Security?
Investigate the storage security for the facility you are interested in. How do they intend to store your goods within the unit itself? Are the security measures different during regular business hours versus after-hours? What kind of neighborhood is the storage facility in? Would you feel comfortable visiting at off-hours?
5 How Much Space Do I Need?
Discuss your specific current and future needs with the storage facility. This will help companies offer you the most suitable unit for your budget.
6. How Much Is it Gonna Cost Me?
The price range depends on size, storage period, special needs, and the storage facilities’ own marketing objectives. Special offers and discounts from the storage facilities will be fewer during busy periods, and storage companies will try to offer incentives to persuade you to commit to a longer rental period.
Don’t choose solely on price; security and other factors are key as well, and get recommendations.
7. Am I Covered by Insurance?
Insurance is an important issue to investigate, especially if you plan to store high-value items. Storage companies offer their own insurance, and it is recommended to find out about the facility’s procedures in cases such as fire, flood, etc. Make sure you fully understand how the insurance they are offering will cover any potential damage. Also, check with your own agent to see if you renters insurance or homeowners insurance will cover you.
8. Special Needs:
You may be looking for a storage unit with climate control and/or other special storage accessories and needs – humidity and extreme temperatures can wreck havoc with some of your goods, like furs. When you speak with the company’s sales representatives, state your specific requirements so that they can find the best option.
9. What Can I Store?
Given the appropriate environment, almost anything can be stored for a certain period of time. It’s easier to list the things you should not store: perishable food (don’t want to attract pests), any combustible materials, plants, high-value items and firearms. Ask your storage company for specific prohibited items.