10 Questions to Ask Before Picking a Storage Unit

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When it’s the holiday season and you have to clear out the spare bedroom for your relatives, what do you do with all of your extra stuff? Renting a storage unit can be an easy way to keep things you don’t always need from creating clutter in your home. There are a lot of options out there for storage units, and not everyone’s needs are the same. Before you rent a unit, make sure you ask yourself these questions:

1. Is your storage need short or long term?

The best way to evaluate your storage needs is to go through your belongings and consolidate. If you can create free space in your own home, you will not need to rent a storage unit. If you still have items that need storage, consider the next time you will need access to them.

2. How much space do you actually need?

Gather all the items that you wish to store in one area. Evaluate the space that you plan on renting to accommodate at least this many items. Too small a space and you risk damaging your belongings by stuffing them in to the storage unit, and too large a space will be a waste of money.

3. Are you renting the unit for extra space or because you are moving?

When moving long-distance, it is very common to need short-term storage near your destination. Coordinating a move out of one home and into another typically creates a time in which you may not be able to move items to your new home, but have to have them out of your current home.  If you aren’t moving, and are just looking for extra storage, pick a location that is conveniently located near your home. Many of our customers at Student Movers use storage containers such as PODS, ABF-U-Pack, 1-800 Pack Rat, and U-Haul storage containers. The advantage is that the storage container is dropped off at your home and access to your household goods is simple. When you’re done with the storage container, make a call to the company that dropped it off and they will com and pick it up. Student Movers offers labor only service for loading and unloading storage containers. If you require SMSCS (Student Movers Storage Container Service) you can book your appointment here.

4. If you’re moving, do you want a unit here or at your destination?

You have many options when it comes to moving your belongings from one location to another. You can request your movers store your belongings until you are ready to take delivery of them; you can rent portable storage units to be packed by you or your movers and shipped to your new location; you may even put your belongings in a self-storage facility until you are ready to move them to your own location. Consider the pricing of each option, and factor in the amount of time and effort involved from you. This will help greatly in deciding which options are best for you.

5. Do you want packing services?

There are two main things to consider when debating on packing services: Do you have the time to pack things yourself? And, what are the differences in cost for insuring your belongings if packed by a service or if packed by yourself? Many moving companies will insure the items they pack, but not insure items packed by the customer.

6. Are any items you have sensitive to heat, cold, moisture or dust?

Certain items, such as paintings, electronics and family heirlooms, require climate-controlled environments. Many of them also have dust free spaces as well. Student Movers recommends Extra Space Storage for climate controlled storage units. Student Movers also recommends using moving blankets and wrap when placing your items in storage. No one wants their items covered in dust when they’re removed from storage. Invest in your items and see it pay off in the long term.

7. What will you store in the future?

Perhaps you will store a personal watercraft or lawnmower now, but what will you put in your unit when the seasons change? Where will those boxes of holiday decorations go when the seasons turn? Will you need more space for items you currently use but plan on storing in the future? Do you plan on storing a boat or rv or some type of vehicle? Think about your storage needs and come up with a solution that can work for you in the long term.

8. Will you need 24/7 access?

Not all facilities are open around the clock. Will you forget that you needed something on a Monday when the facility is closed?

9. Is the unit secure?

The safe keeping of your belongings in storage is critical to them being successfully stored. Evaluate your unit to make sure that no one can access it besides you, and, in case of emergency, the facility. Do some research on the types of security the facility offers and evaluate what your needs may be.

10. Do you need insurance?

Homeowner’s insurance usually doesn’t cover belongings in storage or transit. Check to make sure that your belongings are covered, whether you are moving or not.

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