Whether you’re moving, decluttering, or both, renting storage space is a good way to temporarily make room in your home. You can also do this when you need to keep your belongings safe for a time during a transition, such as when you are building a home. Keeping important and valuable possessions in an offsite facility might make some people nervous, but if you find the right place, you can have confidence that your items will be safe and sound.
Not all storage facilities are the same. Some offer better features than others, so it is crucial that you choose one that offers the essential elements. When you find the right place to keep your items, you can have peace of mind that they are in good hands for as long as you need them stored.
Different Options in Sizes
Good storage facilities offer rental units in a variety of sizes. Storage space can come in small units such as 5 feet by 5 feet by 5 feet or as large as 10 feet by 20 feet by 30 feet, and everything in between. Large units can provide up to 300 square feet of room, while smaller storage will give you as little as 25 square feet. Consider how many items you need to pack up and choose the one that makes the most sense to you.
It may be a good idea to choose a unit with a little more space than you think you need. This is helpful in case you need to add a few more items to the unit. It also allows you to get inside and have room to move around to retrieve things you need without having to clear out the unit to get to the back of it.
Some storage facilities have the manager living on the premises, while others have the manager there during regular business hours. It’s nice to have someone there at all times who can answer your questions and address your concerns at any time. This is also a good security measure and deters would-be thieves from snooping around the grounds.
Other Security Features
When you keep your belongings at a storage facility, you may have thousands or tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of items in the unit. To thieves, this is a potential golden opportunity. But if you choose a storage facility with excellent security elements, criminal activity should not be nearly as big of a concern.
The storage facility should have a fenced perimeter, preferably something solid such as a brick or stone wall at least 6 to 8 feet high. To walk or drive to the individual units, the place should allow access only through an electronic gate with a code. Your storage unit should have a solid, durable door with a padlock. You may want to purchase your own as an additional safeguard.
Good storage places also have video surveillance. The onsite manager or a security team should be able to look at the footage at any time. Some facilities even allow you to be able to view the premises with video surveillance from your electronic device. Other places may even provide individually alarmed units.
When you are ready to hire a professional moving company to take you and your belongings to your new destination, you might need to access your storage unit late at night or early in the morning. For convenience, it is nice to be able to get into your storage during these off-hours. The best facilities have 24/7 access, even on holidays.
You could store a wide range of belongings in your unit. You may keep them inside for a few weeks, a few months, or even up to a year or longer. Some items can deteriorate over time under certain conditions such as heat, cold, or humidity. Climate-control storage can protect your things when temperatures are bitterly cold or blisteringly hot. With climate control, there is less risk of encountering mold and mildew or pests such as rodents that could damage your belongings.
One of the first things you’ll want to know about your storage is how much it is going to cost you. Prices will vary depending on how large your unit is and what features the place offers. What is important is that the pricing is upfront and that you don’t encounter any hidden fees. Management should communicate well with you and be truthful about any rate increases that may occur.
Whether you are working with a professional moving company to relocate to a new place, or you simply need to temporarily put some of your belongings out of the way, storage units are helpful. Before you purchase and use one, make sure it has all these benefits and features.
If you’re looking for a more convenient alternative to a storage unit and have the space, consider renting a container like U-Pack to stow away your items for a renovation or an upcoming move.