Once you’ve decided that self storage is the right option for you, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure you select the right storage facility. Writing a ‘to-do’ list can help you from your early stages of planning right through to moving in day, ensuring you make the most of renting your very own storage unit.
Initial Research Before Using Self Storage
Although it can be tempting to book a unit with the first storage facility you drive past or find online, shopping around can be beneficial. If you are looking for budget storage, your closest storage facility may not be the right choice. If you have transport and do not need regular access to your items, using a self storage facility out of the city centre or slightly further from home can be financially advantageous. It is also wise to check that you are choosing a reputable company with positive testimonials from satisfied customers.
Visit the companies that you are most interested in, and consider how convenient each one will be for your needs. Think about ease of access by car or foot, the design of the loading bay, and how far you might need to walk with heavy furniture or boxes from the loading bay to your personal storage room. Visiting the facility also gives you a chance to discuss possible discounts or deals with the manager.
It can also be worth checking if the self storage facility is climate controlled. This feature can help to prevent damp, mould or mildew from affecting books, soft furnishings or clothing left in storage.
When considering storage facilities, it is important to feel confident that your items will remain secure whilst away from your home. At Stop and Store, we offer customers 24 hour CCTV, intruder alarm and unique PIN access. If your storage facility requires you to provide your own lock, make sure you choose a sturdy, heavy-duty product.
Before reserving a storage unit, be sure to ask about restricted items that you would not be allowed to store. Most household items are perfectly acceptable within a storage unit, but some facilities may have a list of items that cannot be stored. These may include garden products such as fertilizers, or household items including paint. Before paying a deposit, be sure that you can use your storage unit as you wish.
Although it can be tempting to leave booking secure storage until the last minute, it is advisable to book in advance to ensure there will be availability when you need it. It can be very disappointing to find that the storage facility you want no longer has space just when you need it the most.
If you have large or heavy items to store, book friends or family in to help you with moving day. Trying to move large items of furniture alone could cause damage to the item, or worse, physical injury. For very bulky items, you may need to consider hiring a van or removals company to help you.
Once you have found the storage facility you want to use, check whether they offer an insurance policy to their customers. If they do not, check with your home insurance provider, or seek independent storage insurance to protect the items you will be storing.
Make a List
Although you may have a good idea of what you need to put into storage, writing a list is always helpful. Once you get started, you may find that there are additional items that you want to include, or items that can remain in your home. When your list is complete, many storage facilities will help you estimate the size of unit you require. It may be helpful to consider how best you can use your storage space so that you can rent the smallest, and cheapest, unit for your needs and budget.
Clever Storage Ideas
Before placing anything into storage, set some time aside to thoroughly clean and dry any items that need it. This will reduce the risk of their condition deteriorating whilst out of your sight.
Using clear plastic boxes can be helpful for quickly finding an item if you need to retrieve it from storage. It is also helpful to label boxes as, despite using clear plastic, smaller items may not be visible in larger boxes. Plastic boxes also protect against dust and damp. Keep a list of each box, and what you have placed inside it, as this will give you an inventory that makes finding items easier before, during, and after storage.
Adding shelving or pallets can allow you to stack boxes so that they are easier to access, and may also be helpful for allowing air to circulate more freely within the unit. If you start looking early, you may be able to pick up a second hand bookcase or unit cheaply to avoid paying for a brand new item.
It might be tempting to scrimp on storage materials, but packing your precious items properly couldn’t be more important. At Stop and Store in Fareham, we sell packing materials to make life easier for our customers. From storage boxes to packing paper and bubble wrap, you want to know that your items are protected during their time in storage. Look into renting storage boxes for the duration of your storage rental, as this may be a cheaper option and is also more environmentally friendly than buying new ones.
Before spending money on storage boxes, it is worth considering whether any of the furniture you plan to store could become ‘storage boxes’ themselves. A wardrobe, chest of drawers, and even a fridge could be used to hold your items to save valuable space within the storage room you rent. Be sure to place clothing into plastic bags to keep them fresh, and if you do place anything into an electrical appliance such as a fridge or tumble dryer, remember to leave the appliance door open.
If you plan to store clothes, bedding or soft furnishings, you might want to add the purchase of vacuum storage bags to your ‘to-do’ list. These bags keep your items dry and clean, but significantly reduce the amount of space required.
Moving into Storage
Before you start placing boxes into your storage unit, take time to draw a plan of the most efficient way of packing your items. If you have large items to store, including furniture, dismantling them prior to storing them can save considerable space.
Put boxes that you are unlikely to need near to the back, and those that you might need to access nearer to the door. Plan to pack from floor to ceiling to maximise the space available. Remember to leave an aisle so that all boxes and furniture can be accessed.
As you move boxes in, add to your map or plan so that you know exactly where each box is located, along with its contents. This will save valuable time should you need to retrieve anything at a later date. Keep a copy of the map or plan in the storage unit, so that it is available each time you visit. It may also be useful to have a copy at home, as over time you may forget exactly what you have in storage.
Self storage is a great way of making space at home or storing items that you won’t need for a while. Being organised with a ‘to-do’ list prior to moving day can help save time and money, and minimise any stress associated with the process. Residents of Lee on Solent, Wickham and surrounding towns can make use of the convenient location and competitive pricing of Stop and Store in Fareham Shopping Centre.