Self-storage can be incredibly useful, giving you somewhere to store items that you do not need frequently or do not have space for. You can use self-storage to clean up clutter in your home without having to permanently get rid of things, to make a move easier, or just to store items you do not need immediately. To get the most from your self-storage, follow these do’s and don’ts.
One of your first self-storage decisions is where you will rent space. You should ideally choose a place close to your home or work, so you can easily access it. You do not want to have to drive an hour or more to get items out of your unit or put new ones inside. If you choose a full-service company that picks up and drops off your items, this is less of a concern.
For the best price and utility, think about how much space you actually need. Renting a unit that is too large will waste your money, while renting one that is too small will almost be pointless, as you will still have items to store. If you are unsure about the sizes, ask for the available dimensions.
Make sure that you pack everything in a way that will help it last and take up minimum space. You want your items to be protected from breaking or damaging other items. This means taking steps like considering plastic containers over cardboard boxes and potentially disassembling bulky furniture.
As you pack up items for storage, keep a list, ideally with photos, of the items you will put inside the unit. This will help you confirm which items are there and also provide you peace of mind, as you would be aware of any potential theft.
Take a minute to see if your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance covers storage units. If not, see if you can buy a separate insurance policy. This will give you peace of mind.
Every self-storage company has its own rules on what is not allowed in units. Some of these will be universal, while some will be company-specific. Expect to not be able to store dead or living animals, flammables, paint, plants, ammunition, caustic materials, and/or weapons. If you want to store any of these things or nonperishable food items, always ask first.
If you choose a reputable storage company, you should have no problem with items getting stolen. Despite this, it is still wise to keep your valuables somewhere else. Instead, use the storage unit for low-value items and keep jewelry and art somewhere else.