While those things are great to know, there is so much more to self-storage than meets the eye. And it is some of these fun facts that can make the most significant difference when it comes to choosing the right company for you.
When people measure their furniture, one of the critical things they factor in is how much space it will take up. But most often, they forget to consider how much can be stacked. Some containers are 8-feet high, and all of the space that isn’t used is effectively wasted cash. So, think about the height that you need. Is there a better way to store your items rather than stacking them?
Keep in mind that it is much easier to stack boxes than stack loose furniture or other loose items.
Unless otherwise stipulated, you can use your storage unit for as long as possible. That means that you can go away for months or even years and come back to everything in the storage unit precisely as you left it.
You might lose your unit if something is reported as not adhering to the contract you signed or if you were to stop paying for the storage.
If you do happen to miss a payment, so long as you get in touch and put it right, you aren’t likely to find your items on an auction website soon.
Protect and wrap
While everything is safe within the storage unit, it is still your duty to make sure everything is wrapped up and protected.
While most self-storage units are likely to get pests, there aren’t typically any guarantees that you won’t. Make sure that all of your breakables are carefully wrapped up so that if they are poorly stacked and they do fall, you won’t be losing them.
Also, consider that newspaper, while commonly used for protecting breakables, will bleed into books, art, china, and fabrics. Purchase ink-free acid-free paper for all of your wrapping requirements. It is also good to use bubble wrap and protective corner triangles.
As you are loading everything into the unit, you might feel like you will remember it all. But the truth is, in a few months’ time, you might be hard-pressed to point out where anything is.
If you are using boxes, then one of the most beneficial things you can do is carefully label the outside of the box. Another thing that can be useful is to make sure that when items are double wrapped in bubble wrap, you add a label to that too.
When you use a self-storage unit to store your inventory, labels are going to be your best friend. In this case, the best investment you can make is a label maker and plenty of adhesive!
Aside from labelling the boxes and items directly, you can create a spreadsheet with everything in there.
You probably didn’t think you’d be best friends with a label maker!
The floor really matters.
It cannot be stressed enough that it is your duty to make sure that your storage unit, box, or other is protected in the best way possible. While the storage company will do everything in its power to keep your box safe – you have a lot of control over how well your items are maintained.
The floor that you have in your storage container should be seen as a starting point that you can move forward – rather than the final option. Delicate items and antique furniture need to be kept in the best possible environment.
Put a little lift in your storage unit, and by that, we mean to add some layers of protection between your items and the floor. There are several ways that you can elevate your goods off of the floor:
- Layers of cardboard and carpet
- Wooden pallets
- Plastic crates
Keep in mind that you want to make sure there are some waterproof layers in there too. If you don’t have a big budget, you can often get some free palettes at furniture stores, flooring stores, warehouses, pet food stores, and bars.
Lock it down
Not all locks are created equal, and some are much easier to break into than others. When looking for the right lock solution for your storage, there are locks to consider and locks to avoid.
The locks that you should consider all share the same trait, and that is that they can’t usually be broken into with bolt cutters and have fewer moving parts.
Hidden padlocks, disc locks, and shrouded locks offer a good level of protection. Try to avoid keyless padlocks, cylinder locks, and traditional padlocks, as these are easier to break and crack.
Most self-storage facilities don’t offer locks, which can be a liability for them. Look for heavyweight locks that are built from solid metal and offer a guarantee.
It’s hot in here…
For many people, the hot or cold temperatures won’t matter at all, but for some, it will. Art, delicates, antiques, wooden items, and some electronics can have a bad reaction to temperature and humidity.
Climate-controlled self-storage units will offer some level of protection against these fluctuations and can keep your important items safer.
Of course, there are ways to store vintage and delicate items in any type of storage without risking their quality.
One of the things that can be quite interesting for businesses is that some storage facilities offer to accept deliveries for businesses. You might have a warehouse or an office/storage combination and need to take stock deliveries.
You can discuss these needs directly with your chosen storage facility.
And finally, perhaps one of the most interesting things to know is that self-storage isn’t expensive, and it is scalable too. You might need a small unit to start with and then upgrade to a larger one later.
Self-storage tends to be one of those things that we don’t often think about until we need it. Most of the time, we think about using self-storage when we leave our hometown or city for a while and need to keep our belongings safe.
But there are so many other uses for self-storage, and there are plenty that you don’t know about it!
There are things you can and can’t store
What you can and can’t store in a self-storage unit will be determined by the company you are renting the unit from – and of course, the size. The idea behind self-storage units is that they offer a secure place for storing your belongings that don’t fit in your house or things you don’t use often.
Here are a couple of things that you will often find in a storage unit:
- Cars, motorcycles, and boats – usually classic cars or refurb projects
- Valuables like jewellery, silverware, and other heirloom items
- Garden machineries like leaf blockers, lawnmowers, and other large items
- Computers, TVs, consoles, and other electrical items
- Collections like books, CDs, vinyl records, ornaments, and other
- Seasonal things like Christmas decorations, Halloween decorations, and birthday decorations
- Business supplies
- Seasonal clothing and home textiles
There are many things that should not be stored in a self-storage unit:
- Live animals
- Food items or anything that could go mouldy or rotten
- Hazardous, illegal, or toxic substances
- Things that could combust or set on fire
Any machinery or vehicles stored in the self-storage should be drained of all fuel so that they do not pose a risk.
It is essential that you chat with your self-storage company so that you know for sure what you can and can’t put in the unit.
There are many variations of self storage
The storage options you have available will vary depending on the storage company you choose. Since many people use self-storage, some solutions suit almost everyone. Here are some of the public storage solutions:
- Vehicle storage – this type of storage is designed for both personal and professional vehicle storage purposes. They can usually store a range of vehicles, including those used in the construction industry.
- 24-hour storage – these facilities offer 24-hour access to your storage; this option can be great for those who run a business and need to access stock in the early hours or late in the evening.
- Military storage – although there is specialised military storage, many storage facilities accommodate military families or families that need to move around a lot – but have a base location to return to.
- Business storage – Like military storage, business storage and regular self-storage can be the same. If you can’t store your stock at home or in-store or run a business entirely online, business storage offers practical and cost-effective storage.
- Climate-controlled storage – in general, self-storage protects from almost all the different weather conditions. But you might be storing antiques or vintage items and need to have them housed in a climate-controlled space.
- Drive-up storage – drive up storage is very efficient for those who just want to drive up to their unit and load or unload and leave again.
Most self-storage facilities can facilitate almost all of the ways you wish to store your goods; it is best to discuss your needs so that you can make the right choice.