Simple Tips For Self Storage Beginners
Using a self storage unit is a great way to house belongings during a moving transition or to simply free up some space in your home. To really ensure you’re optimizing your storage and keeping everything safe, you’ll want to take a few extra steps. Follow our self storage tips below for advice on how to make your process a painless one.
Do your homework. When you store items, you’re placing trust in a third party to take care of your belongings. And even if you’re not planning on storing anything of major value, it’s still important that you choose a company with a proven track record of reliability. Read reviews and past customer experiences before booking a unit, and don’t choose to store your items with a sketchy seeming company just because their rates are cheaper than the competition. You can do a Google search to locate a trustworthy provider in the Pittsburgh area, or ask your friends and family for referrals.
Try to plan ahead. The storage unit you ultimately choose should be based on a few key factors, including the size, price, and convenience level that makes the most sense for your situation. If you wait too long to book, you may find that what you’re looking for isn’t available, or you may just not have enough time to do the necessary research. It’s better to start a little early and have a plan in place than start late and have to make a hurried decision.
Take inventory. This is helpful for two reasons. One, it helps you determine what size unit you’re likely going to need, and two, it helps you stay organized once everything is in there. It doesn’t have to be super detailed, just a general overview of what you intend to be keeping in the unit; for example, two dressers and six medium boxes. Based on what you inventory, check websites to see if they offer storage unit size charts to select the best fit for your things.
Don’t take your chances. As a general rule, if you can’t afford to lose it, you probably shouldn’t be putting it in your storage unit. A majority of the time your belongings will be just fine and there’s nothing to worry about, but self storage always come with a risk – that items will get damaged or lost. To be safe, find an alternative way to house art, jewelry, family heirlooms, and other valuable items.
Pack smart. You never know if or when you’ll need to access your unit during the storage period, so organize everything in a way that makes it easy – just in case. Store items you’re more likely to need toward the front of the unit, and things you know you’ll be able to live without for a while in the back. And think vertically. Instead of crowding things across the bottom, take advantage of the unit’s height (most are at least eight feet tall) and stack your items, keeping the heavier things closer to the ground. If you can, leave a pathway from the front of the unit to the back so that no item is completely out of reach.
Protect your items. Prevent items from getting damaged by taking the time to properly pack and wrap them. Furniture should be covered with blankets or moving pads (not plastic, which can trap moisture, resulting in mildew and mold), and anything small should be boxed up. Fragile items should be carefully wrapped in packing paper, and stored in a way that they can’t move around.
Insure your unit. Check to see if your renters or homeowners insurance covers personal property in storage. If it doesn’t already, you may be able to add it on or purchase a separate storage insurance plan through the insurance company or the storage company. After all, you are storing the items for later use so make sure you’re protecting them.
Purchase a strong lock. If you’re working with a storage company that requires you to supply your own lock, spend a little bit of extra money to get a sturdy lock that can’t be easily tampered with. Even storage facilities with cameras and on-site staff can’t completely prevent something from happening, so rest easy by putting a lock on there that you don’t have to worry about.
Following these self storage tips will help ensure that you have the best storage experience possible, and that your stored belongings are kept safe and in good condition for when you’re finally ready to obtain them. You’ll be glad you took the time to do it right. Check out our locations and units at www.atlasselfstorage.net.