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Whether you’re storing your household goods, business inventory, wine collection or recreational vehicles, there are some important steps to take during the packing process. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of packing, moving, and storage tips for your convenience!
Browse the topics below to find the information you need.
Finding a storage unit can be an overwhelming task, especially if you aren't familiar with all of the options and features available. It's best to assess all of your storage needs before you even search for a local storage facility.
Consider how long you might need the storage unit. Many facilities offer discounts for long-term storage, but some may also have specials for temporary rentals.
Estimate how much space you will need. Save money by only renting the space you need. Many facilities will store larger items including cars, camper and other motorized vehicles.
How often will you need to access the unit? Some facilities are accessible 24/7 and may even have drive-up access. Hours of operations range from facility to facility and should be taken into consideration depending on your needs.
Are any of the items you plan to store sensitive to temperature or humidity? If so, you will most likely need a climate-controlled storage unit. Typically the following items need to be stored indoors with some type of climate-control: leathers, furs, clothing, paintings, film, photographs, furniture, antiques, musical instruments, wine, paper, software, DVDs, CDs and electronics.
All storage facilities should have secure units, but if you require additional security for your possessions ask the facility if they have any of the following: fencing, surveillance cameras, motion lights, alarms, guards or a police presence.
You may also want to consider mobile storage for your items. If you decide to use mobile storage, a unit will be brought to you and removed after you have packed it. The unit will be stored at the facility or can be shipped to another location. The cost and features of mobile storage are comparable to self-storage but if you require regular access to your belongings, it may not be the best option for your needs.
Renting a self storage unit can be a great way to reduce clutter and free up needed space at the home or office. A storage unit is a smart place to keep a few boxes, old appliances, memorabilia, heirlooms and old toys.
Often self storage units offer more security than homes. Self storage facilities provide security features not normally found on homes. In addition to a lock, facilities are often protected by a security fence, surveillance cameras, a gated entry, limited entry after hours, exterior lighting and possibly security guards or onsite management. You may choose to purchase an in-home security system for your home. While this may protect the items stored in your home, will it protect items left in your yard? What about that backyard storage shed? Self storage units give you the benefits of both extra storage space and added security.
Some items pose potential hazards at home and need to be placed in a secure area to ensure the safety of your family. You may be handy around the house and enjoy renovation projects, but between jobs a self storage unit can keep those power tools, ladders, saws and drills away from curious children and, thereby, reduce the risk of possible accidents around the house.
Homes often do not have the storage space to hold large items. For instance, if you have ski boats, canoes or vintage cars, you may not have room for them in your garage or driveway. A self storage unit could give you a place to store such items that provides protection from the weather and some added security. If your garage has slowly filled with things like your exercise equipment and camping supplies and you want to reclaim it for your car, a self storage unit may be a perfect solution.
When renting a unit you may be required or at least offered insurance. Insurance will replace your valuables if they are stolen or damaged while in storage. Self storage insurance may be cheaper than homeowner’s or renter’s insurance.
The space should be of adequate size to fit your storage needs.
Make sure you have bubble-pack, tape, drop cloths, mattress and furniture covers, locks and assorted size boxes from book to wardrobe size, and a great additional item is pallets to store your items off of the ground. Pallets will help keep your storage items from possible spills.
Don't partially fill your boxes which can make the box unbalanced especially if you stack other boxes on top of them. Heavy items like books or tools should be packed in small boxes so they are easy to lift. Protect you fragile goods with packing (i.e. bubble-pack or other), and place them near the top of your storage space. Do Not Place Cardboard Boxes Directly on the Floor.
It only takes a few moments to label your boxes as you pack them, and by doing this you will save a lot of time when you are ready to move them out or if you need to access the boxes while stored. Label the boxes on the side as well as the top, so it is easily seen. Once boxes are stacked on top of each other a label on the top doesn’t help much. Even completing a checklist that hangs inside the unit that states were items are stored so when you need something it will assist you quickly in finding the box you need, such as Christmas ornaments, Halloween things, etc. Taking photos of the boxes as you stack them is another great way to know what you have stored.
Make sure to leave space around the perimeter to aid in ventilation. Don't lean items against the walls and leave a walk-way to the rear of your space for easy access to the back items. Also, use the height of the unit to store more items and place frequently used items near the door.
Make sure to wrap your stored items that are not inside boxes to protect them. This will protect your sofas, chairs, tables from being scratched or even damaged when moving in and out.
Some facilities may supply or require a certain type of lock for unit lockdown. Check each facility’s policy. An all-weather Disc Style Lock has an enclosed arm to protect it from an unauthorized bolt cutter.
Having a sheet of paper with the value of your personal property is a smart idea if you are storing your items at a storage facility or even at your home. This will make it easier for your insurance claims if one is needed.
Appliances such as refrigerators, freezers and washers have water in them, so make sure to completely empty them before storing.
If you need to store clothing items, try and buy a wardrobe or clothes box to store them in. You will then be able to simply hang the clothing to keep their shape. It is not a good idea to store clothes in a bin liner because moisture can get trapped inside the bin and ruin the clothes.