Whether you are looking for a self storage unit for a couple of months or a couple of years, you want to know that the facility you choose is going to be right for you and your possessions. From a couple pieces of furniture to the entire contents of your home, at Stop and Store in Fareham, we have storage rooms of varying sizes to suit every budget. The internet is great for doing some initial research. But nothing compares to having a firsthand look around a storage facility to ensure you rent the right unit
Size of Available Units
Many self storage facilities can give you an idea of the size of the storage units they offer by using pictures or another form of visual representation. However, nothing compares to seeing a unit for yourself. By visiting a storage centre you can ask to see the exact unit you would be renting. If this is not possible, seeing a vacant unit of the same size can also be beneficial. Take your time to stand inside it and visualise how your furniture, boxes or artwork would fit within the space. If you will need regular access to the items, remember that you’ll need to allow extra space for walkways between the boxes.
It is also helpful to check the size range of units available. In time you may need to add extra items or be able to decrease the size of the unit you rent as your needs change. It is far easier to move your items from one unit to another under one roof rather than transporting them to a new self storage facility.
If you only plan to store a few boxes you may not need to worry about this, but for everyone else the accessibility of the unit you choose could prove to be very important. When storing bulky furniture, you may prefer to decline choosing a unit that will require the use of a lift or awkward manoeuvres through several sets of doors. Likewise, tight corridors or narrow door frames can make it difficult to transport long or irregularly shaped items.
When you visit the facility, enquire about any equipment that is available for customer use, including trolleys. Staff may even be able to assist with forklift trucks for very large items. This could make move-in day feel much easier.
If you might require round-the-clock access, it is important to find a secure storage unit with appropriate opening times. This could mean 24/7 access using a keypad or swipe card. If you work 9am to 5pm, you’ll need a facility that has extended weekday opening hours, or is open on weekends.
Take note of how helpful staff are when you visit the facility. These are the people who will be helping you during your rental period, and it is important that you get a good feel for them. There may be times when you require assistance or have a question, and their support will be important to you. Knowing that someone will be on hand should you require help can be reassuring as a customer. Staff who seem interested and engaged in their role may work more diligently to ensure provision of a good service.
Visiting a storage facility can help you to uncover any payment plans or deals being offered to customers. Discounts for long term storage, reduced rates for advanced payment and free reservations can all be negotiated if you are able to speak to the manager during your visit.
You could also ask about any units which can be rented at a cheaper price. This could include units further from the loading bay, units that have a structural steel running through them, or units that are an unusual shape. Finding a budget storage unit can help take the pressure off you financially.
When it comes to personal or business storage you want to know that your possessions are being left in safe hands. At Stop and Store in Fareham, our customers benefit from a range of security aspects including 24 hour monitored CCTV, individually alarmed units and intruder alarms.
Security may also be an important feature if you are using a storage room that can be accessed 24/7. When visiting somewhere late at night you will want to feel safe, and additional security features may help with this.
When you visit a storage facility, take note of how long it takes you to drive there. If you think you will need regular access to any or all of the items you place into storage, a long commute to access it could become frustrating. Consider the impact rush hour traffic could have on your drive time, too. If you might make a trip from your home or business on foot, consider how easy access is for pedestrians.
Conversely, if you plan to leave your items untouched for a significant period of time, you could benefit from looking further afield for cheap storage. Storage facilities outside the city can often be cheaper than an inner city one. This could be ideal if you are going travelling or moving abroad for a significant period of time.
If you plan to store antique furniture or a treasured book collection, you may wish to ask if the facility or specific units are climate controlled. Antique items need to be protected from bright sunlight and shielded from intense heat or any damp caused by the wind or rain outside.
As you walk around the facility, make a mental note of how well maintained the building appears to be. Are the communal areas left clean and tidy, is there any evidence of damp, and are the units themselves maintained to a high standard? A clean facility will reduce the risk of pests, including rodents, and can lower the risk of accidental damage due to fire, leaks, or structural issues within the building. If all areas are well cared for, then it suggests that all aspects of the facility are being checked and monitored regularly, which could put your mind at ease.
Some facilities also offer a packing store or area to purchase bubble wrap, boxes, protective paper or packing tape. This could be very helpful if you require storage on a short deadline, or if you are likely to require more packing supplies whilst using a self storage unit. Ask to see the packing store when you visit to see the range of products available.
Nothing beats a word of mouth recommendation. If you are fortunate enough to meet another customer whilst inspecting a storage facility, ask them how they feel about the business or household storage unit they rent. Online reviews can also be helpful, and you may be able to read reviews from existing customers on the company’s website if you do not manage to speak to anyone during your visit.