Are you considering renting a storage unit for your belongings? Self-storage can be a great option for numerous reasons.
Maybe you’re downsizing, maybe you just need a space to store some items short-term (or long-term), perhaps you’re about to go travelling or attend university, or maybe you have a different reason altogether.
These self-storage tips for first time users provide a great breakdown on how to find a secure, safe storage unit and what else you need to know to keep your property safe while it’s in storage.
1. Look for the best deal, not the cheapest
When shopping for quotes for your self-storage unit, don’t be fooled into thinking that the best price is the same thing as the best deal.
Although it can be tempting to go with the cheapest price you can find, just know what low prices may be a reflection of a low-quality unit. Poor security, facilities, damp and fire hazards are all risks to your property, so carefully consider what is most important to you.
2. Audit the security features offered
A good indication of a high-quality self-storage facility is multiple security features designed to keep the premises – and your belongings stored in it – safe.
Security features to look out for include:
- Fire alarm and sprinklers
- A fenced perimeter
- Manned surveillance
- A check-in and check-out log
- Damp-proof units
Additionally, if you are a business storing business equipment including paperwork, finding a unit that offers temperature-controlled storage units is important to keep your important documents safe.
3. Store safely
All self-storage units have particular restrictions on what you can and cannot store in your unit, so reading up on this is recommended to make sure whatever you want to store isn’t on the ‘prohibited’ list.
Generally, items such as flammables and weapons are banned from most storage facilities due to the risk they pose. This list of items you shouldn’t put into storage is a good checklist to start with but always check with your specific facility too.
Due to a number of recent fires caused by lithium batteries, some units have made the decision to ban them entirely in order to prioritise public safety.
4. Know the replacement value of items stored
Self-storage insurance is a mandatory requirement for most storage facilities and is highly recommended for anyone considering storing your possessions.
Self-storage insurance covers the value of your stored items should an unexpected incident happen. Our self-storage insurance covers you for the value of your items should they be lost, stolen, or damaged due to:
- Natural disasters such as fire, flooding, earthquake etc
- Vandalism or malicious damage
- Leaking water
- Falling trees, telegraph poles, and lamp posts
Find out exactly what you’re covered for and more details about our self-storage insurance here.
5. Pack your things safely
Make sure your items are packed correctly to prevent them from being damaged when in storage.
This includes using the correct type of box if you are storing paperwork to ensure it isn’t damaged by damp, correctly wrapping your fragile items to protect them, and covering furniture and clothing to prevent damage.
It’s also a good idea to think about how you will pack your self-storage unit for easier access. Larger items are best stored at the back of your unit, while boxes should be stored at the front, with heavy items on the bottom, lighter/fragile things at the top.
6. Take an inventory
Finally, it’s a good idea to take an inventory of everything you are storing. This is both so you can calculate the correct value of your items for your insurance policy, but also so you know exactly what is stored and – if you go into that much detail – where.
This is useful for accessing your items, especially if you label your boxes (highly recommended!) when you next need them, and also gives you a clear breakdown of what is stored should anything happen to your items.
Most importantly, when using a self-storage facility you need to make sure your belongings are going to be safe – and that you’re covered should something happen to them unexpectedly.
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