How to Safely Store Your Possessions in a Self Storage Facility
You love your stuff. You can’t bear to part with it. But you’re running out of space and family members are threatening an intervention if you don’t do something about all that clutter. Not to worry – you’re the reason self storage facilities were invented. Before you start looking for a self storage unit, use these tips to help select a facility and stow your personal belongings safely – you know, for when the family relents and lets you bring your stuff back home.
Decide How Much Self Storage Space You’ll Need
Storage facilities typically offer a variety of size options – the bigger the space, the more you’ll pay. You can keep your monthly costs down by not renting more space than you need and packing the space you get efficiently. Voices.WashingtonPost.com’s “Tuesday Tips: Choosing a Storage Facility,” offers this helpful tip for estimating storage unit space needs: “Think of the space as a large cube where things can be stacked. Even consider bringing in shelving to be able to stack things more compactly.” Don’t forget to leave room for you to move around in the space you rent. If your unit is wall-to-wall boxes, you’ll waste time and energy emptying out the unit just to get at that one box in the back.
Selecting a Safe Self Storage Facility
Before you sign on the dotted line with the first facility you visit, Lifehacker.com’s Alan Henry suggests you do your homework. Instead of opting for the closest or cheapest facility, Henry advises you to go online and check the reviews. “You obviously want to take reviews with a grain of salt, but if they’re all bad or there’s a recurring theme, you may want to steer clear,” says Henry. When you’ve narrowed down your choices, he recommends that you visit the storage facilities and ask to see the actual unit you want to rent or at least one just like it. Keep an eye out for evidence of vermin or anything that indicates a lack of cleanliness.
According to ezinearticles.com contributor Jason Kay, other things to look for when evaluating a self storage facility and your individual storage unit are security features video surveillance cameras. “Find out what areas the cameras cover as well as how the videos are recorded. This information will give you a good idea of whether or not the technology is up-to-date.,” Kay says.
Of course, you want to be sure your facility has fire alarms and smoke detectors, as well as insurance, but be advised that the facility’s insurance does not cover replacement of your personal possessions. You’ll need to provide your own coverage. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep detailed records of everything you’re storing for insurance purposes.
Climate-control is a definite plus when selecting a self storage unit. The ability to maintain a constant temperature and humidity level will help minimize the effects of temperature fluctuation.
Lock It Up
Some storage facilities may require you to use a lock that they provide, but many will let you provide your own lock. That’s a good option. Rather than trying to save a couple bucks with a generic combo lock, try a disk lock, cylinder lock or closed-shackle padlock.
Use these tips to declutter your home, make your family happy and keep your precious possessions safely stored.
 Tania Anderson, “Tuesday Tips: Choosing a Storage Facility,” Voices.WashingtonPost.com, http://voices.washingtonpost.com/shoptoit/2008/05/tuesday_tips_picking_storage.html
 Alan Henry, “How Do I Choose a Storage Unit?” LifeHacker.com, http://lifehacker.com/5859303/how-do-i-choose-a-storage-unit
 Jason Kay, “Self Storage Security – How Safe is My Stuff?” ezinearticles.com, http://ezinearticles.com/?Self-Storage–How-Safe-is-My-Stuff?&id=4072077