Whether you are storing for a few months or for a few years, a little bit of planning can go a long way. Regardless of where you store, we want to make sure you get the most out of your unit, so here are 7 tips to help you do just that.
1. Pick the right facility
We cannot overemphasize the importance of picking the right facility. Sometimes it is worth driving a few extra minutes for better customer service and safety. When picking a facility, choose one that is brightly lit at night, and CCTV surveillance, and a staff that conducts daily walkthroughs. You also want to make sure you can easily contact the local staff (not a call center), and also that they are trained to be helpful and friendly.
2. Pick the right unit
Once you find the right facility, the next hurdle is choosing the right unit. There are two things to consider when picking a unit. First, how much space do you need to effectively store your items? Second, do the items you are storing require special consideration such as dust and/or climate control?
To answer the first question, look at what you are storing and start taking measurements. You can also use this general guide to help you figure out what size unit might work best. To answer the second, question read our article on the advantages of climate control.
3. Buy renter’s insurance
Many facilities will require renter’s insurance when you sign the lease, but even if it is not required you should seriously consider purchasing it. Even the best of facilities cannot guarantee a unit will never be robbed. Even if they could, no one can prevent loss and damage from natural disasters. To make a more educated decision on whether insurance is right for you, read this article.
4. Store items effectively
Storing effectively means using your unit to greatest advantage. This usually does NOT mean cramming in as much stuff as possible. Instead create aisles in order to maneuver among items. This will allow you to check on items and notice any damage or the presence of pests.
If you plan on storing for long term, consider using pallets to stack items on in order to keep your items off the floor. This will help protect your items from water damage and also will allow you to quickly see if there are pests.
5. Keep things organized
Regardless of how long you are storing, it is important to keep things organized. Sort items in the way that works best for you, but make sure you will be able to remember how you categorized and organized and organized everything so you can find what you need without tearing up the entire unit.
6. Keep your unit clean
You shouldn’t expect your storage unit to work like a sealed laboratory cube. Wind can push dust in to your unit, which can build up over time. Even in dust control, as cardboard and other materials break down a layer of dust can still form. You don’t need to be afraid of a little dirt and dust, but it is a good idea to sweep out your unit every 3 months or so just to make sure it doesn’t get too bad.
7. Visit regularly
One of the best things you can do to insure the safety of your items is to check on them regularly. This will allow you to identify any issues such as water damage or pest infestations. This will also help you connect with the facility’s staff.