Intro to College Moving: 101 »
We've put together a small list to get you started on your journey -- and the first step starts with a single box.
We've put together a small list to get you started on your journey -- and the first step starts with a single box.
To find affordable self storage, people need to consider many factors. Learn which ones are most important and how to compare opti…
If you would like to get started bidding in storage auctions, read about these important rules and tips you should know before buying that will help you succeed.
Self-storage facilities are areas where you can rent lockers, rooms, containers and, sometimes, outdoor spaces on a short-term and long-term basis.
The Self-Storage Association reported the U.S. is home to approximately 48,500 mini-storage facilities. When put together, this space is equal to 2.3 billion square feet. All told, you have plenty of options if you're looking for a storage facility.
When you want to store extra materials, you can typically find a self-storage facility and lease space on a month-to-month basis. Such areas are just the right size to store household items, office supplies and even furniture. Storage facilities are ideal if you have a lot of personal items you want to keep but don't have enough space in your house or apartment.
Items you store are not insured by the facility. Instead, you will need to talk with an insurance representative about covering your items if they are stored off-premise. A few facilities offer insurance, so you'll want to call and ask around to find which option best meets your needs.
Advantages of Self Storage
When you're looking for storage options, do not confuse self storage with full service. You will have limited access to your belongings if you choose the full-service option. Self storage gives you full control over what's in your unit and how you arrange everything, said SpareFoot Blog.
Another advantage of storing your personal items is the flexibility afforded to you. You don't have to wait for anyone to come to your unit and unlock it, nor do you have to receive permission to add items or take them away.
With self-storage facilities, you can put as many items in the unit as you want, provided everything fits and you keep the space organized. If you feel like taking an early morning or evening trip to your storage space, you can do so at your pleasure.
Reasons to Use Self Storage
Whether you're a single individual or have a growing family, self storage is a viable option to store your personal items in a safe, secure location without sacrificing space in your home. Specific reasons why you might also need to lease storage space include:
Even college students can take advantage of self storage, especially if they attend school out of state. Instead of lugging apartment furniture and winter clothes back and forth, they can store everything for the few months they're home and then retrieve them when school starts back up.
When searching for a self-storage facility, you'll first want to look for options close to where you live. The size of the space you plan to rent is also an important factor to consider, and will depend on what you plan to store.
Spaces range from the size of a small closet to a car garage, said Extra Space Storage. The following are common storage sizes, along with examples of what they can hold:
Creating a checklist before leasing storage space will help you make an informed decision about the unit size you need to rent. You don't want to pay for more than you need, while you also don't want too small of a space. You should also consider your future needs, because it is not out of the question you may decide to store more personal items.
Location Affects Price
The size of the storage space will have an effect on the amount you pay. Additionally, where the storage unit is located also has an influence. Expect to pay more in monthly fees if the storage space is in a city where real estate is more expensive. High costs might be unavoidable, but if you look around at various options, you'll eventually find the best price.
If you've found self-storage facilities that are nearby, you'll then want to compare prices from at least three options. After doing so, look up the facilities through the Better Business Bureau. Some areas to keep an eye out for include any complaints against the storage facility and whether insurance policies are offered.
For the average homeowner, self-storage facilities are the most popular option for storing personal items, but other types of storage facilities exist. Most people don't think about the type of storage available until they absolutely need it, and it's best to understand your options ahead of time.
Likewise, various names exist for self-storage facilities. In all, expect to come across five general types of storage facilities.
Typically found in large buildings that used to be factories, indoor units require you to go through security to enter. You can expect to find unit sizes ranging from 5 feet by 5 feet to 5 feet by 10 feet.
Outdoor units are not located in a warehouse but in an area where security is still required. Outdoor storage units are typically large, and should only be used for boats, cars, recreational vehicles and tractors. Since units are outside, they are subject to weather conditions, meaning it's not the best idea to store your valuables in them.
Climate-controlled storage units are located indoors and have temperature and humidity controls. If you have items that may become damaged by atmospheric conditions, controlling the temperature and humidity is essential.
You will end up paying more for a climate-controlled storage space. However, in the grand scheme of things, a slightly higher cost doesn't compare to the costs associated with losing or replacing valuable or rare items.
Consider climate-controlled self storage if you are housing some of the following items:
Outside of city areas, drive-up storage units are some of the most common options. Drive-up units are arranged in long lines and resemble garages, led to by roads so you can easily drive to your specific unit.
Realistically, mobile storage is only an option if you're moving or renovating your house. Mobile storage units are not part of an existing facility. Mobile units are typically stationed outside your home after they are delivered by the storage company.
Once you fill up the unit, the company will either hold it at their facility or transport it to your desired destination.
Mobile storage is a viable self-storage option if you plan to move across the country but are worried about space in a moving truck.
The price of using a self-storage facility will vary, with one of biggest factors being where you live. You may find it beneficial to rent storage in a nearby suburb if facilities are too expensive in your city. Also, some facilities offer introductory rates for the first month, and similar deals are worth exploring.
Keep in mind, however, costs will increase depending on the size of unit you're renting and whether or not it's climate controlled.
Seeking Lower Costs
To get the most bang for your buck and avoid breaking the bank, shop around for the best prices and only rent storage space you know you will need. The larger the item, the more space required.
Likewise, only opt for climate-controlled space if the personal items you are storing are susceptible to becoming damaged from humidity and temperature. There is no reason to get an air-conditioned unit if you're locking away old baseball equipment and tools.
When it comes to taking full advantage of your self-storage facility, you have to know what you can and cannot store. Some items are not suitable for storage.
Flammables like gasoline, propane tanks and kerosene, as well as certain types of paint are not allowed to be stored by any means, said Extra Space Storage. Other items, such as perishable food, are not allowed either because of the tendency to attract pests and rodents when the food starts to expire.
Knowing what you can store will help you better organize your storage space and clear out any clutter.
An art form exists when it comes to packing - you don't want to throw whatever you get your hands on in a box. To be more efficient, fill the boxes with similar items. For example, don't mix glassware with utensils. Always try to fill the box to capacity, and remember, anything left unpacked will become dusty. If you're storing fragile items, consider packing them in a separate box filled with foam peanuts for extra protection.
From there, you can create a label system to help locate specific boxes within the unit. Markers tend to wear out after time. Label makers are a smart, inexpensive option to help you identify a box's contents.
Some items require specific packing quirks. For instance, you should ensure books are packed flat to avoid damaging their spines. You also don't want to put too many books in a single box because it then becomes too heavy to carry.
Glassware and valuable china should all be individually wrapped and placed in reinforced or separate boxes. You can then use the label maker to ensure the word "fragile" is somewhere on the box.
Different pieces of furniture require certain methods of storage. Special bags will protect any couches and chairs you're storing. When you bring these items to the unit, be sure to stand them up to maximize space.
Bed frames should ideally be taken apart before being put into a storage unit, while mattresses can be wrapped in a protective seal and stood against a wall. If you're unable to take apart the bed frame, do not store any materials nearby that may taint the color of the bedding.
For smaller tables, try to take them apart. If that's not possible, place a moving blanket on the floor and then place the table on top with its legs facing upward, and then wrap them in a protective material. For chairs, place them upside down on a table also covered in protective material.
Dressers can be placed against the wall and also used as a space to store boxes. Additionally, the drawers can house small fragile items. Just be sure to use stretch wrap to prevent the drawers from opening.
Lamps should be disassembled, wrapped in protective material and placed in boxes specifically designed to store lamps. When it comes to televisions, protect them as much as possible. If you're storing a TV, you'll likely want to rent a climate-controlled storage unit because extreme temperatures may cause some issues with liquid crystal displays.
In general, furniture should be stored with care and covered in protective material whenever possible. Ensure your storage space can hold multiple large furniture sets as well.
Most storage facilities have security measures in place. They are generally accessible for a certain number of hours and have a manager on site, in addition to security cameras. They also require you to submit a special code to enter. You should also make sure the property is adequately lit for visits in the evening.
You will need to have your own lock for your storage unit. Keyless locks, padlocks and disc locks are all viable options, said Moove In Self Storage.
Self-storage units come in many sizes, types and costs. If you're looking to clear out space from your house, consider renting a storage unit to keep your personal items safe. You can store just about anything, from furniture to old vinyl collections and clothes. By choosing the right storage unit, you can store your items in a secure location while gaining back some much needed space in your house.