Moving and finding storage go hand in hand. Chances are if you are relocating, you have to put some of your belongings in storage. And unless youre paying the moving companies extra to use their storage building, chances are youre going to have to rent a self-storage unit.
Self storage units -- those boxy, mini-warehouse buildings that line the sides of highways nationwide. Renting self storage units seems like a pretty open and shut job: you open the door to your self-storage unit, you shove your belongings in, and you lock the doors. But public self storage isnt quite that simple. Even though its just sitting there, theres a lot that could happen to your belongings in self-storage. Its important that you pick the right self-storage facility and once you do, its even more important you pack your self storage unit correctly.
Location, location, location: an important element. If you need the self storage facilities on a regular basis, you need one very near to your home. However, if you are making a long distance relocation and on route you need a storage, you can pick up a reputable storage facility.
Consider how much space you really need. Self-storage facilities rent units in all different sizes. Its best to opt for a smaller storage unit and pack it to the ceiling rather than pay for space youre not using. If even the smallest storage units are too much, look into mini-storage facilities: self-storage facilities that specialize in small loads.
Be sure to ask facility representatives how and when you can access your unit. Most self-storage and mini-storage facilities allow for free access 24 hours a day, but some facilities have restrictions and others charge fees for access.
Also ask about climate controlled units. If youre storing anything valuable or delicate like antique furniture or important documents it could be warped by being stored in space thats too hot, too cold or too humid. For an extra cost, most public storage facilities can set you up with a unit where temperature and humidity are restricted.
Try to use boxes that are a uniform size, theyre easier to stack (remember; keep the heavy ones on the bottom and the light ones on top).
Leave small walkways between the boxes and furniture in your storage unit so you can easily get to the items you want without having to move anything around.
If youre storing a lot of packing boxes in your unit, try to fill them to the top, even if its just with padding and old, crumpled newspapers. Boxes that are only half-filled tend to collapse if anythings placed on them.
If youre putting any metal objects into storage like lawnmowers or file cabinets remember they need to be cleaned and dried before they are stored. For items that are prone to rust, wipe them with a rag containing a few drops of machine oil to retard rust. Or use any thing which can eradicate the rust.
Most public storage facilities have ample security. However, its still wise to take a few precautions of your own against theft. Pack your storage unit so that your most valuable items are at the back, and purchase a high quality padlock to put on the door.
The humidity in your self-storage unit can cause your furniture to warp and your appliances to mildew. Leaving a space between your stuff and the units wall allows for air to circulate within the unit. Laying plastic sheeting on the floor and stacking boxes on top of wooden pallets can prevent condensation damage. So can using old linens or other fabrics, instead of plastic, to protect your stuff from dust.
If youre storing a refrigerator in your unit leave the door ajar. This will prevent mold from growing inside.
Under no circumstances should you keep anything flammable or combustible in your storage building. This means no gasoline, oil, cleaning fluids or paint thinner. If youre storing any machinery that runs on gas, drain the tank before you store it. Do not store hazardous chemicals, fuel, or illegal items.