Whether for the short term or long term, a storage unit is an easy way to free up space in your home. However, to maximize its use, packing everything right is only a small part of the battle. You also need to protect your items to ensure their safety while being stored away.
Do you want to get the most out of your storage space? A self-storage facility lists down the following dos and don’ts to keep in mind when renting a storage unit.
1. Declutter before storing
The size of your storage unit greatly depends on the scope of items you need to store. By decluttering, you can reduce the things you have to put into storage which can significantly cut down your rental expenses. Before you start packing your items for storage, divide them into three piles: storage, donation, and trash.
If you have too many items for storage that it becomes too overwhelming, book a cleaner to help with decluttering. Once you’ve put all appropriate items into storage, you’ll see how spacious your house will become.
2. Pack strategically
You need to pack your belongings correctly to avoid putting them at risk for damage. When you’re using a storage unit, chances are you don’t intend to use those items you’ll be storing for several months. Thus, your items need to be well-protected as you would be surprised to realize later just how easily you forgot about them while they were in storage.
This is why it is very important to ensure all of your possessions are packed right for storage. Once you begin packing, consider:
- Labeling boxes – If you ever need something from your storage unit, the labels will make it much easier to locate those items. Use a permanent marker to indicate the contents of each box.
- Wrapping items carefully – Taking the time to pack and wrap your things properly will prevent them from getting damaged. For furniture items, cover them with blankets or moving pads. You should box up anything small and wrap fragile items carefully in packing paper and store them in a way that they can’t move around. Be sure to clean or dust off each item prior to packing and storage as well.
3. Place important items at the front
For items you’ll likely need, store them at the front of the unit. For those you’ll be able to live without indefinitely, position them in the back.
Instead of crowding your things at the bottom of the unit, think vertically. Take advantage of your storage unit’s height and stack boxes, keeping the heaviest ones at the bottom. As much as possible, leave a pathway from the entrance of the unit to the back so that no item becomes out of reach.
4. Take note of office and access hours
You should at least be aware that a storage facility’s office hours and access hours are different. Office hours are the days and times when someone is available to assist you, while access hours refer to when the facility is open for you to get into your unit.
If you arrive after access hours, you may not be able to go to your unit. Consider choosing a facility with 24/7 access so that you can reach your unit anytime.
1. Don’t choose a sketchy storage company
Once you decide to put your items in a storage unit, you’re placing your complete trust in the company to take care of your belongings. Even if you don’t intend to store anything of significant value, it’s still vital that you select a storage facility with a proven track record.
A good practice is to read past reviews and customer experiences before getting a unit. Don’t get swayed by a sketchy storage company just because their rates seem much cheaper.
2. Don’t store any perishable items
Be cautious about storing anything in your unit that is perishable. Other than causing bad odor, rotten food and plants can attract bugs and rodents to your unit. You won’t want this to happen if you have expensive appliances and furniture inside.
Besides perishable items, here’s a list of other things you can’t store:
- Fuel of any kind
- Hazardous explosives or materials such as butane or propane
- Hazardous liquids such as harmful acids and chemicals
- Living animals or plants
3. Don’t share your access code or key
Be smart about who you share access to your storage unit. Always consider your best judgment and don’t allow someone to get into your unit without your permission. The items inside your unit can have a lot of value for unscrupulous individuals. Unless it’s someone you know and completely trust, don’t let anyone in on the pass code, and never share your key.
If your chosen storage company requires you to have your own lock, spend a bit of extra cash to get a sturdy one that won’t get tampered with easily.
4. Don’t forget to take an inventory of what you plan to store
Having your inventory is useful for two reasons. One, it can help you determine what size of unit you need, and two, it will function as your organized list once all of your items are inside. Based on your inventory, you’ll be able to select the best size that will fit all of your things and, most importantly, keep track of whatever’s damaged or missing later (just in case).
Are you running out of storage space? If this is your first time renting a storage unit, take note of the dos and don’ts above to ensure a positive experience with your chosen storage facility.
Chris Humphrey is the General Manager of Easytruck Moving & Storage. In 2013, the company combined their expertise in professional moving services and storage to create an entirely new approach to the business – and mobile storage was born! Easytruck now operates over 30,000 sq.ft. of air-conditioned facilities in three convenient locations in Dubai and is the only Mobile Storage operator in the UAE.