If your home or business is overrun by clutter, be it stock, essential paperwork or things you’d rather not throw out, the chances are it’s time to consider self storage as a means of freeing up some space.
Self storage allows home-owners and business-owners alike to safeguard belongings in a secure, climate-controlled environment, whilst also leaving you free to deal with the more pressing things in your home and work life.
So what are your next steps once you’ve decided on self storage?
First up, you may want to assemble everything you want to store into one place. This can seem a bit laborious, but well worth it in the long run. Once you have assorted everything you want to store into a pile, you will be able to begin your search for the right storage unit for you or your business, based on the size of unit required and additional needs, like security requirements and climate control for electronics, perishable stock, paperwork and furniture.
When it comes to home or commercial self storage, the Internet (and Google or Bing) is going to be your biggest ally. Shop around for self storage units nearby, but try to keep the range of your search as broad as possible, for example instead of constricting your results to a 5 mile radius, try a 10-15 mile radius, and focus instead on the available security and accessibility options. Finding a self storage unit that is clean, secure and pest free is your primary objective when shopping around, so if you find a storage facility you like the look of, don’t delay; pick up the phone and get to know the owner.
Much like a landlord, being on good terms with your storage unit’s owner or onsite team from the outset is mutually beneficial, not least because they are responsible for the security of your unit’s contents, but also because you may look to expand to two or more units in future, so renting from the same place could prove time and cost-effective. Also, being friendly with your storage unit’s owner could help if there ever comes to a point of late payment. In many cases, self storage unit owners will charge a premium rate for late rent payments, while others may even auction off the unit and its contents without outlined notice, meaning it is important you understand their practice in the event of late payment.
The security of your unit is a shared interest between you and the owner, so try and push for a well-lit area, visible both night and day to their recording equipment and preferably with motion sensor technology. They should have on-site staff to monitor those going in and out of the premises, but not all self storage unit businesses are the same, so do check with the owner prior to signing. Similarly, it is not a standard requirement that self storage facilities supply alarm systems for their units, so make sure you confirm with the owner before agreeing to rent. If you are keen on the unit but it does not come equipped with an alarm system, ask the owner if you can install your own anti-burglar system to protect your belongings.
Once you are happy with the exterior security, location and cost of the unit, it’s time to start packing up and packing in. Being space-conscious when filling self storage is key to staying cost-effective, so it could be worth investing in shelving units to help you fill right to the top, as well as leaving some space between the floor and your belongings, which should reduce the chance of any damage from damp or flooding in the unlikely event of either occurring. Try also to protect damageable items like wood, paper or electronics in good quality packaging, because while pests should not be an issue, it’s far easier to safeguard your belongings than it is to fix them.