When finding the right storage space, you must ask yourself these questions: Are any of my items sensitive to extreme temperature and climate change? Am I storing high valued collectibles and irreplaceable items? Will I frequent the storage to pick items out or put more in? How much storage space will I need?
How long will I need the storage for? If you are moving or have excess belongings you need to store, make sure to first read our tips on finding the right storage space!
Determine the size you need
This should be your initial step in your quest of finding the right storage space. Take an inventory of all the items you plan to store and begin packing. Keep in mind that while some items can be stacked on top of each other, others may be too heavy or bulky shaped, requiring their own space.
Will you be adding to the inventory in the near future? If you ever want to be able to get your items in or out, you don’t want to pack your storage space wall-to-wall, floor to ceiling. Consider getting a slightly larger unit that will be able to accommodate the items you are storing now and in the future.
Determining the duration of time you will need to store your belongings for goes hand in hand with determining the size of the unit you will need. Depending on how long you plan to store items, it may be important to provide space for ventilation and access.
Storing belongings for longer periods of time requires extra space not only for ventilation, but also for a walkway so you can get to your items. For belongings that you may need to access regularly, consider leaving enough space in your unit for an aisle.
If you do not require regular access to your things, it may be possible to save some money by choosing a facility further out, where space is at less of a premium.
Get specific about what you are storing
The items you are storing may require a climate-controlled unit that’s indoors, as opposed to a generic garage-style unit that’s outdoors. In dry climates, your antique family furniture could crack and split. In humid environments, it could mold and mildew.
Climate control facilities provide a solution to storing climate-sensitive valuables like antiques, electronics, artwork, wine and pharmaceuticals.
High security storage options
How secure you want the facility to be will depend on what you are storing there. A secure facility should have a gate with computerized access as well as security cameras and good lighting.
Some facilities will screen prospective tenants as well, to ensure they are not transients planning a break-in. If you are storing items of great importance and value to you, it is vital to verify a company’s security measures before you sign on with them.
Check with your desired facility on how it handles pest control and whether it’s had any previous problems with pests. Roaches can invade boxes of household goods, and moths can ruin rugs, textiles and upholstered furniture. Meanwhile, rats can chew up wood furniture and urinate and defecate in units.
Check and see if your homeowner’s insurance policy covers items stored in a storage facility. You may have to choose a unit with certain security features or climate control to qualify for insurance coverage. If your insurance company is not willing to cover your items while in storage, check how much it would cost to add it, or consider buying insurance from the storage facility.