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Top 10 Rent a Storage Unit Tips
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Renting a storage unit is easy and popular, and today more people than ever are turning to the Web for good moving and storage advice. Whether you just need to store a few boxes or need to keep an entire home on ice, there are a few essential things to keep in mind before renting a storage unit.
- Do you need long term storage or is this just a temporary need?
The best thing to do before you rent a storage unit is to go through your things and purge. It doesn't make sense to pay for storage if you can free up some room in your home by donating, selling or disposing of items that you no longer need or want.
- How much storage space do you need?
Once you've purged your belongings, and you do need to rent a storage unit, be sure to secure the right size. Too small and you could be jeopardizing your belongings by having to stuff them in. Too large and you'll be wasting money.
- Are you moving, or do you need to rent a storage unit for the extra space?
It's very common to need short-term storage when you are moving, especially if it's a long distance move. Coordinating your move out of your current home and timing it so that you can drive right up to your new home and start unloading is very hard to do. Usually you will need to store your things for a brief period of time until you are able to gain access to your new home. You'll need different kinds of storage when moving than you would need if you just want some extra space. If you aren't moving, and you just need some extra storage space, then you'll definitely want to focus on a storage facility that is conveniently located to your current home.
- If you're moving, do you want to store your things here or at your destination?
You have many options in this scenario. You can have your movers store your belongings until it's time to deliver them to your new address; you can rent a portable storage unit that you pack yourself and they will store for you until you're ready; you can pack your things and find a self-storage facility until you're ready to load a moving van or any combination of these choices. Do the price comparison and factor in the amount of your time and effort involved, and it will be easier to decide which option is best.
- If you're moving, do you want to pack and store your own things or are you looking for packing services?
Besides the cost factor, there are two main things you want to consider when you're deciding which way to go with your packing and storage: With all of your moving-related activities, will you have the time to do the packing yourself? And, what will it cost you to insure your belongings if you pack them yourself as opposed to having professionals do the packing? Many packing and moving companies insure your belongings if they do the packing for you, but you're on your own with damages if you do the packing yourself.
- If you're not moving, are the things you are storing sensitive to heat, cold, moisture or dust?
There are great climate controlled storage facilities available and many of them have dust-free space available too. If you're storing electronics, computer equipment, artwork, family heirlooms, etc. you will want to consider climate controlled storage units.
- Will you need to switch out the contents seasonally?
Perhaps you will want to store pool equipment, patio furniture and summer clothing during the winter and store your snow blower, snowmobile and winter clothes during the summer. Be sure to consider everything you're going to be storing when you decide on which storage unit to rent.
- Will you need access to your things 24/7?
Not all storage facilities grant access around the clock. If you'll be needing to have access to your storage unit at 3 a.m. on a Sunday, make sure you'll be able to get in!
- Do you need to store large items like an RV or a boat, or some type of vehicle?
Depending on the climate in your area, you may be fine with open storage or it may be a good idea to find covered storage or garage storage for your vehicles or equipment. Read more about RV storage or boat storage.
- Is the facility you are considering secure?
Security will be very important whether you are moving or not, and whether you need temporary mini-storage or long term large storage.
Do some research on the types of security being used at each storage facility you are considering. You may pay a bit more for a facility that has state of the art security in place, but it could be well worth it.
BONUS TIP: Finally, don't overlook insurance.
Whether you are moving or not; whether you are packing it yourself or hiring professionals to pack for you; whether it's a short-term need or a long-term solution, make sure your belongings are insured. Your homeowners' insurance probably does not cover your things in storage or in transit. Check to make sure! And get the storage insurance coverage you need.