It’s no secret that renting a storage unit when you’re moving can be confusing and expensive. Whether it’s your first time or tenth, there are some things to know before you start packing up the truck and looking for a place to put all of your stuff.
The process is much simpler than many people think, but some important points will make the experience less stressful and more affordable for you.
So here are ten tips on how to find a storage unit when moving:
1) Get online right away
A good way to start your search for a storage unit is by jumping online. Whether going to websites or calling around to local facilities, you can learn about the different units and prices from the comfort of your new home before visiting places in person. By knowing what kind of space, you need and how much it should cost, you will gather information more easily when searching in person.
2) Ask friends and family for recommendations
Another way to find a good unit is by talking with people you know. Many facilities will offer promotions and discounts to friends or family of current customers, so you might get a better deal if others can refer you to the storage unit (they might even be able to tell if they’ve gotten a discount). Look into using your social network to find out about great units before you start your search.
3) Look for a great deal on storage unit rental prices
Prices can vary greatly by region, so it’s important to compare deals from multiple facilities if you want to save money on your storage unit rental. This is especially true when bidding for a new facility during a negotiation period or for long-term contracts. The more places you shop at and the more companies you hear about through friends and family, the better chance of finding that sweet spot between price and quality of space.
4) Find out what size storage unit you’ll need
Of course, you could say you’ll need the biggest unit possible. But if you don’t know for sure how much space you’ll use, make sure you make use of a storage calculator at MovingAstute.com and each additional cubic foot doesn’t come cheap. It will save time and money to book a smaller storage unit while making temporary arrangements at home. For example, drapes and other furniture can be put upstairs or in the garage until moving day arrives when they can go into your new place. This gives you some flexibility with your move and makes the process easier for everyone involved.
5) Plan to prevent extra expenses
Another way to keep things more affordable is by planning ahead of time. Moving costs can add up, and many people are surprised at how expensive renting a storage unit can be. Save extra money for this aspect of the move so that you don’t have to pay too much out-of-pocket at one time while still keeping enough on hand for rent and other expenses.
6) Get the right supplies to protect your belongings during transport and at the storage facility
One of the best ways to keep your things safe during a move is by investing in some good supplies. For example, some movers will use blankets and pads for moving furniture but won’t use them when packing boxes. The result is that your fragile items would be at risk if they were jostled around more than necessary.
Similarly, the right boxes are invaluable when ensuring that your things are packaged up correctly and staying together when you move out of one place and into another (especially if you’re renting a storage unit). Make sure to think about this before loading everything on the truck so you know what kind of materials you’ll need ahead of time.
7) Store your stuff in a secure place
Of course, the most important part of renting a storage unit is making sure that your items will be safe. A good storage facility should have security features like fencing and cameras. However, you should still make sure to inspect all aspects of the location yourself before handing over payment or agreeing to any contract.
If there are any issues with safety or quality of service, get out of the rental agreement as quickly as possible, so you don’t waste money in some cases and risk serious damage to your things in other instances.
8) Make Sure the Storage Unit is Insured
Lastly, it’s a good idea to ensure that the storage unit is insured if anything goes wrong. The facility should have insurance of its own (and you can check into this), but it might not be enough for your needs.
Ask about additional coverage and make sure that everything is covered before moving your items into the space. This way, you know what to do if any damage occurs after all precautions were taken. You’ll want to ask many different questions when looking at rental properties — some obvious, others less so. When choosing between storage facilities, remember that there are many factors other than price and location that might determine which place is right for you and your belongings. Make sure you consider the key points in this article, so you don’t have to move all of your stuff again for any reason.
9) Keep track of your belongings
Last, of all, it can be hard to keep track of your items in storage. Therefore, you should always try to take note of what’s there and where everything is located. This will come in handy while looking for specific items during the move or deciding what to toss, sell or keep when it’s time to move on.
10) Know what to do if you’re not happy with the facility
Most of the time, you’ll be perfectly happy with your storage unit. Things should go off without a hitch, and everything will be just right — but it’s always good to know what to do if something goes wrong or the facility doesn’t live up to its promises.
You can check out their reviews on reputable sites (such as Yelp or Google). If there are any negative reviews, try to figure out if they’re legitimate complaints or just bad experiences other people had with similar situations. For example, many facilities have rules about not storing food items. Some people might accidentally break this rule before realizing it was there (especially if they’ve done it at previous places). This is an honest mistake that shouldn’t put anyone in a negative light.