For the precious things you could not get rid of but have no space for at home, a storage unit is your best bet. But with all the storage facilities out there that seem like wonderful options, how do you know which one is trustworthy enough and suits all the stuff you need to store? Here are some suggestions.
Decide on the space you need
Consider everything that you plan to put into storage — their shapes, sizes, how many there are, and if any of them has to be stored in a special way.
Keep in mind that you are not only renting a unit where all your items fit, and you want a place where you can also fit yourself inside with some room to work. You need to be able to get your items out, and not pack the space floor to ceiling and wall to wall. A lot of people go for the smallest possible unit just to save money, and then end up emptying half of it just to reach a box at the very back.
Do not be that kind of person, unless you will never be needing anything you put inside.
If you have anything that is temperature-sensitive, you might need a climate-controlled unit located indoors instead of a generic garage-style one that is outdoors. For valuable items, such as jewelry, choose a unit that has great monitoring and security that lets you have insurance on the storage unit.
Check if your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy covers possessions in a storage unit. If it does not, ask your provider how much it would cost to add, or buy insurance from the facility itself. Major national and regional storage facilities usually offer insurance for a nominal fee.
Don’t mind the location
Although you want your storage unit to be accessible, you should not get stuck on the facility closest to your home.
Working with the nearest facility or the cheapest one in your community is the fastest way to chuck your precious memories in a unit that least suits your needs. Cast your net wide enough to get a nice line of options that you can check out. It is way better to drive or walk a little further to store your belongings somewhere nicer than have them in terrible condition nearby. If you live in an urban area or a densely-populated suburb, you are more likely to score great storage deals by seeking out places a bit farther from town.
Compare the office and gate hours
Some facilities only post their gate hours to make it sound like they are open a lot later than they really are. Gate hours are different from office hours. The gate hours is the period during which you can access your unit, and the office hours are usually shorter. You can only raise a problem or speak with a facility personnel during office hours. While you are at it, make sure that the hours are also convenient for you.
Check the reviews
Look up the facilities you are eyeing on review platforms, like Yelp and Google Places. Remember to take the reviews with a grain of salt, but if most or all of the reviews are bad, and there is a negative theme recurring, steer clear of the place. If the reviews are mostly alright, but there is a theme to the few negative ones, you will have some insight into what to keep an eye out for when you visit the storage facility.
A storage unit is not just a place to put stuff in, it is where you will be storing treasured possessions that you would still want to access from time to time. Choose a facility that does not only look nice, but is also run by people who value the security and privacy of your precious memories.