People rent storage units for many different reasons. Some people are going through a divorce and need a place to secure their belongings while they search for a new place to live. Others are going through financial trouble and have to relocate to a smaller space. Whatever the reason, it pays to be informed before you entrust your belongings to a storage facility. Here are some helpful guidelines to follow:
If you need to put some or all of your possessions into a storage, shop around for storage companies that best meets your needs. Remember that, as with most things in life, you tend to get what you pay for.
Ask about security of the storage companies that you visit. Some storage units are guarded, alarmed and/or connected to a local police station.
Ask about fire protection. You’ll sleep easier knowing that you’ve stored your goods at a facility with a sprinkler system and a smoke detection system and alarm. Find out about restrictions on storing hazardous substances.
Some storage companies are climate controlled. This may be important if you have delicate antiques, expensive wine or valuable paintings to store. Your computer may not like big swings in temperature and humidity either.
It’s a good idea to use pallets to keep your valuables off the floor. You never know how well your unit is constructed, rain or melted snow can make its way under your storage door and cause serious damage to your belongings.
The importance of labeling your boxes cannot be overstated. While you may know exactly what item is in which box on the day you move your belongings into storage, eight months later when you need to retrieve your items, chances are you will have forgotten which item belongs where. Be organized, label your boxes and you can save a great deal of time and frustration later.
Inquire as to insurance coverage for your goods while in a storage building and be sure you fully understand the terms of the protection you have. Your homeowner’s policy may not cover your goods when in storage; you should find out. If you own items of significant value, it’s worthwhile to take photographs of them to have in the event of an insurance claim. (Don’t put these photographs into storage with the rest of your stuff; keep them somewhere else.)
Make sure you understand when you can put your possessions into a storage unit and when you can have access to them. Some storage companies are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and can accommodate you on short notice. Others are not. Book ahead and get written confirmation of the arrangements.