5 Things to Consider Before Storing your Belongings

Whether you’re uncluttering for an incoming tenant or house-sitter, prepping for a quick home sale, putting things in order before a big remodel, or storing inventory for your small business, there are many reasons for storing some or all of your belongings away from home.

The public storage options below provide a way to keep your items safe from damage or theft and makes them easy to bring back home or move directly to your new home. 

No matter what the reason you have for using public storage, there are a few things to consider before you sign the contract:

1 - Insurance 

Will your homeowner’s or renter’s policy cover your belongings while they’re in a storage facility? Is there a high deductible or a limit on the coverage?

Check for inconvenient restrictions such as temporary coverage with a timeframe that is too short for your needs. If your policy doesn’t protect you adequately, contact your insurance agent and modify the policy if necessary. 

2 - Do your belongings need to be accessible with little to no notice?

Will you need to access your belongings while they’re in storage? If not, you may want to consider a POD or UNITS style of container storage. This is a service that drops off a container (or several) that you load yourself. When your containers are full, they’re taken to a long-term facility, then delivered to you when you’re ready for them.

Gaining access to your containers is no small task, so make sure you understand how the process works, where your containers will be stored, and how much it will cost you to gain access before final delivery.

If you decide that public storage is a better option, think about how to load your rented unit so that you can easily access boxes and other items you may need while they’re stored. Having a plan is important to ensure that important items are easy to access. You may even want to put those items close to the front door where you can easily see the writing on each box since interior lighting in some storage units can be inferior.

To make identifying your stored items easier, we’ve made a unique, color-coded system for you at MovingGamePlans.com.

3 - Security

The security available at the public storage facility you choose is very important. A reputable storage company will have electronic gates, alarm systems, and video surveillance inside the building. They may also have someone on the property during business hours or around the clock throughout the year.

For your safety, make sure everyone who enters the property is asked to enter a unique identifier/passcode when entering and leaving the facility. 

And make sure to purchase a high-quality padlock for your storage unit! Padlocks are available with keys, combination tumblers, biometrics, or smart access via your mobile phone. To determine which is better for you, decide whether you’re likely to leave the key at home or forget the combination. If so, biometrics might be good for you. Will there be more than one person needing access? A smart lock might be the right choice. Is cost a concern? A standard keyed or combination security lock might be best. Think ahead to how you’ll use your storage container and how easily you’d like to access it. 

4 - Do your belongings need to be climate controlled?

Storage units with heating, cooling, and ventilation are available in some areas, especially those with severe summers or winters. Climate control will keep fragile valuables like musical instruments, artwork, and expensive wines safe from changes in the weather.

5 - Do you need assistance loading and unloading?

Check to see if there are hand trucks and furniture dollies available on-site. If the employees are willing to help you carry in your large pieces of furniture, that’s a bonus, but don’t count on it. Most storage facilities don’t want to take on the potential liability.

If you’re using mobile container storage, those companies can provide you with the contact information of people you can hire to load and unload on both ends of your move.

Keeping your possessions safe, secure, and accessible are important considerations when choosing where to store your items away from home.

Think through the ways in which you’ll need to get your things back—all at once or as-needed—and select the storage method that fits in best with that need.

And be sure to keep your things organized before transport with a moving kit from Moving Game Plans!