Choosing a storage unit when you’re moving is often something that’s done without much thought—we simply go with the most convenient option or, in many cases, whichever one the moving company recommends. This isn’t always a bad approach; in fact many moving companies operate their own storage facilities, which can make it easier to bundle all your moving services under one umbrella. However, if you’re moving without the help of a moving company, or the movers you use don’t offer storage services, you’ll need to find the right storage facility that is able to meet your needs at an affordable cost. Here are some tips to help you make the best decision when looking for storage.
Location is a key factor when you choose a storage unit. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to rent a storage unit that’s on the other side of town if you’ll have to make several trips back and forth to get all of your belongings if you plan to move them into your home at some point. If long term storage is a requirement, this is less of a concern, but don’t undersell the value of convenience when you choose storage.
Your ability to access your storage unit is another thing you should keep in mind. If a storage unit has limited hours of operation, or doesn’t allow you access after certain hours, that can be a real headache. Most storage units offer afterhours access, but not all of them do. If you have a job that only allows you to take care of errands in the evening or early morning, that’s something to keep in mind when you choose a storage company.
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Security should also be high on your list of priority when choosing storage. Most storage units only allow access to those who are paying for the service, but that shouldn’t be the only level of security they offer. Ideally, a storage facility will carefully track who comes and goes, and when they do it. By the same token, it’s a good idea to ask about their other security measures, such as onsite cameras to record what happens at the facility, as well as if they have any onsite security staff to watch over things when the offices are closed. The last thing you want is to have to deal with is a break in and potentially having your belongings stolen or damaged while in storage.
Something that goes hand-in-hand with security is insurance coverage. Different storage companies will often have varying levels of insurance coverage available that can be of great help in the unlikely event that something does happen to your belongings. This is definitely something you should inquire about and if you have anything of high value in storage, it’s a good idea to consider a higher level of coverage than the basic plan that comes with your storage contract.
Lastly, though equally important, is the amount of space you’ll need for storage and how much it will cost. Many storage facilities have a relatively small square footage, but a high ceiling to create more room in the unit. If this doesn’t match your needs—for example if you have items you can’t or don’t want stacked, you’ll need a unit with a larger “footprint.” Keep this in mind as you choose storage, as well as how much you’ll be paying for a given amount of space. Cost shouldn’t be the only concern, but it’s a good general practice to break down how much you’re paying for a given space when comparing units against each other to find the best value.