What You Need to Know about Self Storage

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Americans are a people on the move.  In no other time in history as so many people relocated.  From moving around as children, to going off to college, to settling on a career in a distant city, moving is a fact of life.  Storing our possessions on the other hand, is less so.  We may be moving, but we cannot always take everything with us.  If we can’t throw it away, the question comes up, “What should we do with it?”

storage shelves

Self storage is a rising business in the United States, meeting the demands of a moving public, as well as those who require a little more storage space.  Yet, very little is known about the self storage industry.  Lets take a quick look at its history, and ways to pack things up before putting them in self storage.  Finally, we will look at the differences between a shipping container storage verse self storage.

 

The history of self storage

Primarily a United States based business, self storage facilities make up roughly 46,000 business across the US.  Self storage has become an industry where people rent out a space, usually month to month, to store their things.  Though self storage is big now, it is only a recent phenomena.  Prior to 1958, there were no known storage centers in the US.  This changed when Lauderdale Storage opened in Fort Lauderdale Florida.  Since then, it has exploded into a large industry, comprising its own trade publication, lobbying group, and association.

 

What to look for in a self storage provider:

 

1.  The first thing to look for when checking out places to store your things is cleanliness.  The more maintained the storage is, the greater the chance your stuff will be looked after and kept safe.  In addition, there is a greater chance that the storage place will have professional staff willing to help.

 

2.  Ask your self, “when do I need to access my storage?”  Not all places are open 24/7.  Some self storage places will only be open normal business hours.  Since many of us deal with full working hours, it may be best to find a place open 24/7.

 

3.  What is the security like?  How easy is it for you to get in?  Is there someone watching over the lockers, or driving around if they are located outside?  This is an important question, because all of these factors can contribute to your storage space either being broken into or not.  Look for a gate, a security code, and people hired to watch over your stuff.

 

Shipping container storage vs Self storage

Shipping containers offer increased mobility at a loss to security.  Where as self storage will guarantee a level of security, as well as possible insurance coverage, most shipping container storage will not.

The self storage industry doesn’t have to be confusing.  Rather, if you are interested in self storage, use what was written above as the first step in becoming familiarized. Click here for self storage Brisbane.

How to Determine the Unit Size You Need

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If you are downsizing your home, you may have items that you wish to keep but you don’t have room for in your new house or apartment.  Instead of cluttering your new home with those items, you can rent a storage unit to keep them safe and accessible for when you need them.  Storage units come in a wide variety of sizes, but you can easily figure out the unit size you will need.

 

Plan for Your Storage Needs

Take an inventory of all of the items you need to store.  If you write everything down, you will be less likely to forget about items that require a lot of storage space when you go rent the unit.  Plan ahead and consider your future needs as well.  If you are sure you will be adding items to the unit, include those in your inventory so you will have the space when the time comes.

As well as the number of the items that you plan on storing, consider their size and weight as well.  You will be able to stack lighter boxes or items on top of each other in the storage unit, but some items may be too heavy and they will need their own space in the unit.   Before renting a unit, pack the items you plan on storing and try stacking them.  Determine the best configuration for the items and measure to see what size of a unit you will need.

 

Packing the Unit

When renting your unit, consider the items that you will want to frequently access and put them in the front of the unit.  If you are storing your jet skis or ATVs in the unit with other items, don’t pack anything on top of them if you plan to take them out for frequent use.  You don’t want to have to uncover and recover them every time you take them out of storage for the day.  Rent a unit big enough for them to have enough space to be stored without needing to stack items on them.

If you are storing file boxes, be sure to leave enough room to walk between them so you can find your files when you need them.  Mark all sides of every box so you can easily find what you need.  It will save you time and aggravation if you can clearly read what is inside of the boxes.

When you’re storing items for a short amount of time, you can pack them close together.  However, if you are planning on getting a storage unit for long-term use, rent a space big enough to allow for your items to have a little space between them to allow for ventilation.  Also leave enough room so you can walk around in the unit to get to items that you may need to access occasionally.

REMEMBER: Always overestimate the space you may need for storing your property.  While the extra space may cost more, you will find what you need more easily.  

How Renting Storage Space Can Help You

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While nearly all of us have seen storage spaces for rent, how many of us have seriously considered renting out that extra space for our personal belongings? You may think that all of your possessions have their place in your home already and that a storage space isn’t a necessity. However, there are a few situations where renting a storage space can be extremely beneficial. Read below to find out when self storage can work for you.

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1.  During a Big (or Small) Move

Moving is no easy task. Renting a self storage space can take some of the stress off of your big move, in one of a few different ways. First, consider how you’ll go about selling your home. Chances are, your current house will be on the market for some period of time. During that time, you may host open houses for potential buyers. You’ll need to be sure your home is look its absolute best. Consider renting space to keep some of your personal possessions out of the way while staging the home.

When it’s time to move, a storage space can be the key to a stress free situation. Keep your belongings in a storage space and take your time moving your things into the new home. This is great for short distance moves as you can take your time with unpacking and setting up your home just the way you want it.

 

2.  Before Finding Your Dream Home

Chances are, your first home won’t be your dream home where you can see yourself growing old. In the meantime, you may find yourself living in a string of apartments, rental houses, or a starter home. During that time when you’re deciding which town you’ll end up in and what house will be the perfect home for you and your family, a self storage option can be a great place to keep your belongings. Sometimes, there just isn’t enough room for everything yet.

Consider keeping that furniture you love, but just can’t fit in the apartment, in a climate controlled space. Stash those boxes of books away until you have room for a wall of shelving. Renting a storage space will give you the room you need to keep your belongings until you’re ready to move them into your home for good.

 

3.  When Going Away to College

Going away to college is a big moment and, unless you choose to commute from home, it also means a big move. If you’re moving into a small dorm room, there’s a good chance that all of your possessions won’t fit into the room with you. Give your parents their space back by storing the items from your room in a self storage container. Your belongings will be waiting for you when you’re ready to leave the residence halls to move into an apartment while ridding your parents’ house of some of the clutter. Be sure to ask about discounts for students. You never know if you might be able to save some money.