Getting ready to hit the road for a few months or even a few years? Going to spend months between homes? If so, you need a storage unit that can safely keep your stuff for the long term. Wondering what to look for? Keep these tips in mind.
1. Look for a Climate-Controlled Storage Unit
If you're only doing short-term storage and you're going to be close by, you don't necessarily need climate-controlled storage. You can simply check on your items on a regular basis to make sure everything is okay.
However, if you need to leave your possessions unattended for a long period of time, you need to find a climate-controlled unit. A storage unit with low humidity is especially important if you are storing clothing or paper that could get damaged by moisture in humid storage spaces. Similarly, if you are storing electronics, you need a storage unit that isn't too hot or too cold—freezing temps, in particular, can damage electronics.
2. Find a Safe Storage Unit
In addition to ensuring your storage unit is safe from weather threats, you also need to ensure that it's safe from the threat of theft. As you are leaving for a long time, you are probably leaving most of your possessions in the storage unit. Because of that, you need to ensure that you choose a storage unit that is safe.
Ideally, you want to be able to add your own heavy-duty lock to the storage unit door. You don't want to be required to use a subpar lock. Additionally, the door to the storage unit should open into a space that is also secure. For instance, if your door opens to an inside hallway, that should only be accessible by a locked door. If the storage unit opens into an outside space, that should be surrounded by tall fences and locked gates.
To be on the safe side, you should also visit the unit at night. Look to see how well lit it is. Simple lights over the front doorway or throughout the facility can help to deter theft.
3. Choose Your Size Carefully
For long-term storage, you don't want to pay more than you need to. To avoid overpaying, you need to find a storage unit that is just the right size. You may want to make a list of your items and call the storage facility. Then, they can give you an idea of what size of unit you need.
4. Consider a Facility That Integrates Moving Services
In some cases, you may want to choose a facility that has moving services. For instance, if you are hitting the road to look for a new place to live, you may want to choose a facility where you can put your items into a shipping container or a similar type of mobile storage unit. Then, when you finally find your home, you can just order your stuff to come to your home.
If you choose a facility that isn't integrated with moving services, you may have to come back, rent a truck, and load up all your items. That can get time consuming and potentially expensive.
5. Talk With Your Insurance Company About Quotes
You may want to insure your possessions while they are in the storage unit. That way, if something gets damaged or stolen, it will be easier to get the funds to replace it. However, insurance rates may vary based on the location or other attributes of the facility.
As a result, you may want to contact your insurer and get a few quotes based on different storage units. Then, you can factor that cost into your final decision making process.
To learn more about your options, contact companies like King Arthur Self Storage.