If you’re getting ready to move house in the coming weeks or months, you’re probably already thinking about what you can box up now and which items to sell, donate, or otherwise get rid of to minimize what you have to take with you.
However, you don’t always have to take every item to your new home or part with it. Instead, you may find that utilizing a storage unit is a big help. It can make it easier to downsize without giving up treasured possessions and to keep goods on hand that you can’t or don’t want to use now but may need in the future. Here’s what you need to know about taking advantage of these storage options when you move.
Choose a Reliable Company
Always store your belongings within a storage shed operated by a reliable company. You’re putting your trust in a third party to care for your possessions, after all. Investigate options in your area, such as storage units in Los Angeles, New York, or anywhere in between. Look for long-standing businesses with excellent reviews, particularly independent ones on social media sites. Alternatively, ask family members and friends for referrals.
Before you sign on the dotted line with a self-storage operator, ask them questions about their set up and the safety of your items while in one of their sheds. For instance, find out if they include any insurance in their pricing, and the types of lease arrangements they offer. For example, there’s no point outlaying money on a long lease if you only need storage for a shorter period.
It’s not all about price, either. While you want to get a good deal, don’t just choose based on cost. Often the lowest-priced storage sheds are located in not-so-great areas, won’t allow access at convenient times for you, or don’t have adequate security. It’s always a good idea to take a tour of the facilities before you decide on a place, so you can see what you’ll get for your money.
Decide on Size
Size is a crucial factor, too. When using a storage unit to hold your items, you need to pick the right space. You want something with enough square footage to house your belongings,but you don’t want to pay for a unit that’s overkill.
The people working at the facility should be able to give you some guidelines about appropriate sizing, or you can check out online space estimators that provide information about what fits in different sized areas.
Something else to consider before choosing a self-storage container is if you need any extras in the space. For example, some people require the use of climate-controlled units to ensure items such as artworks, wines, photographs, electronics, antiques, etc. stay at an ideal temperature. You may need to avoid temperature changes and humidity to protect furniture from warping and upholstery and other pieces from getting mold and mildew on them, too.
If you wish to store valuables or particularly sentimental items in a storage facility, it’s worth paying extra for a climate-controlled unit. If you have general pieces you don’t want to get too musty, though, consider the length of time your goods need to be stored, and the time of year when they’ll be at a facility (hot summer months are riskier than winter ones).
Inventory and Organize Items
To make life easier on yourself in the long run, compile an inventory list of all the items you place into storage. Keep backups of this information in the cloud or on external hard drives, too. You need to have these details, so if you can’t remember where you put things during the move, you can check if they’re in storage. Also, putting together your list of items makes it easier to determine the unit size you require.
Once you’ve placed everything in your self-storage area, organize your possessions within the space. If you need to retrieve one item at some stage, you don’t want to have to go digging through every nook and cranny to find it.
Label everything and place goods in sections, such as ones for furniture, books, clothing, electronics, sporting gear, and toys. It pays to create a general mud-map of the layout and place this near the door. This way, the information is handy anytime you stop by, especially if you later don’t remember where you put things.
Moving is stressful enough, but adding in the need to use a storage unit too could up the anxiety factor further. If you follow the steps listed above, though, this will help you make strategic decisions and save time and money long term.