Storage is not necessarily a service that is used every day and it generally is only required when there is a transition in your life. Whether this is relating to your home or your business. This article gives you the answers to some of the most common storage questions which hopefully helps you make your decision when you have a storage requirement.
Storage Questions You Need to Ask
Are Your Good Safe?
One of the most important points with a storage business is to know that your goods are safe while they are in store. Most modern storage facilities will have security provisions such as CCTV cameras and intruder alarm systems. Some storage facilities will individually alarm the doors to the storage units.
In most cases, you will place your padlock on the door and you will hold the only key. Therefore, it is important that you use a padlock which is fit for purpose. Although it is not common for self storage units to be broken into it does happen. Therefore, when you are booking your storage it is always worth asking the question to understand what security provisions are in place.
What About Things Like Mold?
One of the common problems, when an item is placed in storage for any length of time and is damp, is an issue of mould. If you leave your goods in storage for many months and they went in damp, then you may return only to find that mould may have grown on much of the fabric of your furniture or on cardboard boxes and paper items. Make sure everything is drained and dry, for example, washing machines.
Should I Insure My Goods While They are in Store?
Just because you are storing your goods in a modern storage facility, does not mean to say your goods are automatically insured. You should always ask the operator what is covered. In most cases, it will be the responsibility of the customer to insure their goods while they are being stored. It may be the case that this is covered on your home policy and it is always worth checking. But many self storage companies will insist that you use their insurance.
Always make sure that you have insured to the value of the goods being stored and to their replacement value. There are numerous cases of customers either not taking out contents insurance, or not insuring to the full value of the goods in store. If there is a problem or a claim, then they do not have adequate coverage to cover the goods that have been damaged.
How Will I Get My Goods to the Store?
Self storage is very much a self-service industry. It will be the responsibility of the customer to get their goods and possessions to the store, unload their vehicle and place their goods in store.
It is unusual for the staff of a modern self storage facility to provide any help in terms of lifting and carrying goods. The reason for this is due to liability. They are very much a storage provider rather than a removal company.
However, many storage businesses offer services such as a van and driver move in service, or they may have a deal with a local van rental company where preferential rates are offered. It is always worth asking the question and, in many cases, you will find a better deal by being referred by the self storage company. This may include a full removal service from a local moving company.
If you are doing it yourself then you will bring your goods in your vehicle, or a van and the operator will generally provide trucks and trolleys, to enable you to move your goods from your vehicle to your storage unit.
What Size of Unit Do I Require?
This is the question every customer asks. It is worth asking this question when you are enquiring about your storage unit.
Whenever you ask a storage company for advice on the size of unit you require, this is very much a guesstimate, not an estimate. Therefore, on moving day if you get to the facility and you just do not have enough space, it is always worth asking whether the company has availability in a larger or smaller size, depending on what you need. Also, is the process of transferring straight-forward. Most storage companies will happily accommodate a move within the facility without any cost to transfer.
How Should My Possessions be Packed When in Store?
All your possessions should be packed properly using the correct packing supplies in order to protect them while they are in store. You should use good quality moving boxes or even plastic crates in order to protect your goods. Also packing paper and bubble wrap to protect breakables. Make sure for example, if you are stacking boxes, that the bottom boxes do not collapse and damage your goods.
Do not forget the height of the storage unit you are renting. If a storage room is packed correctly then you will be amazed how much you can fit in the room. Always pack items that you will not need at the back, as these will be the most inaccessible. Anything you may need while your goods are in store, pack at the front of the unit for easy access. Ensure that lighter items lay across the top of your boxes and heavier items are at the bottom.
Can I Access My Goods Whilst in Store?
In some cases, this will not be an essential requirement as once your goods are in store then you will not require access again until you remove them later. However, in other cases, you may well want free and flexible access while your goods are being stored. It is worth asking the question, what are the access hours. In some cases, these will be normal business hours with possibly some access on weekends but with others, this may well be 24/7.
It may be that you will be asked to pay a premium in order to have completely unrestricted access. It is always worth asking the question. If your goods are being stored in more traditional removal style storage, then you may need to make an appointment in order to access your possessions whilst they are being stored in the warehouse.
These are just some of the questions that you might want to ask when you are renting a storage unit. It is worth knowing this upfront, because it means you are mitigating several of the risks.
Also, once your goods have been moved into the store, you do not want to have to move them out, for example, because you do not have enough access to them whilst they are there. Homework is the key and asking these storage questions before you make a commitment.