By Tyranni Rineer, Certified Self Storage Manager
Let’s go over some common mistakes that are made when people move their belongings into a monthly storage unit. Some of which could wind up being costly mistakes, while others are more of an annoyance or inconvenience.
Like everything else, planning is everything! Make sure you know what you are looking to store when you start shopping around for monthly storage units. This will help not only you, but the store manager know what size will best suit your needs. Better to over-estimate a bit than under-estimate if you are unsure. Nothing could be worse than moving into your storage unit only to realize you have too much stuff for the selected unit…especially if you are moving after business hours and the property manager has left for the day.
A good tip to help save you money if you are hiring a moving crew is to schedule them mid-week. A lot of times people tend to move during the evening and on weekends, so it can be really busy during those peak times. Most moving companies are paid by the hour and you want to make sure they can get their job done in the estimated time allotted. By scheduling your moving crew on a week day, there will be less people moving about the facility that could slow down their progress and in turn cost you extra dollars.
Also make sure you are getting the right type of monthly storage unit to fit your needs. While drive-up storage units may be fine for a short-term stay, just keep in mind if you are storing electronics, old family heirlooms and expensive furniture that temperature shifts could potentially cause damage. Do you really want to risk those items getting ruined from the heat of summer or cold of winter? Ask yourself if you would risk that item in your car for one month or longer in 98° summer heat or -10° winter cold. If the answer is no, then spring for the temperature control unit instead. You will have a lot less to worry about in the end.
Yes, those grocery store boxes were free, but do you know if they are also free from inhabitants? Most people don’t realize that eggs from pests can hide in the corrugation of boxes that are left around. Also, most of those boxes are designed for one time use. They are not built to stack and store for any length of time. No one wants to access their monthly storage unit to find the boxes have crushed and fell or things have been broken. Once again, investing in something as small and simple as boxes can save you headaches and money down the road. Of course, we sell great quality boxes at a fair price that are designed specifically for long-term use in a storage facility. You can simply pop into one of our rental offices to pick up the boxes you need.
When placing the boxes in your monthly storage unit, start by putting the heavier items at the bottom of the unit and the items you know that you will not need towards the back. Work your way to the front and top with items that you most likely will want or need often for easier access.
Make sure everything is clearly labeled. The last thing you want to do is go to your monthly storage unit and realize you can’t remember which box something is in or even where to start looking for it. It’s best to label with a sharpie or marker rather then a label maker which will most likely fall off during the move or over time. Also, you can get colorful stickers to color code your boxes into rooms or seasons. Whatever you chose to do, make sure it’s something that will hold up and give you quick and easy access.
When storing furniture, keep in mind to cover all mattresses, upholstered chairs and couches. This will help protect against mold and mildew while in storage. Place moving blankets on top of wooden items to help prevent against scratches; not only for when they are in storage, but also to help protect them during the move. Utilize bubble wrap for anything that has the potential to break. Make sure all clothing, towels, dishes and appliances are clean and dry. Do you want to risk mildew in the monthly storage unit because you didn’t fully dry the dishes? Or have mice or insects because you forgot to clean out the stove? (Another reason you never want to store food in the storage unit, which is also forbidden within the rental agreement.) If they can smell it, they will come for it. Also, make sure you remove all batteries from appliances or toys. Over time, batteries can corrode or leak and damage those items. You don’t want to find expensive things ruined by battery acid when simply removing them could have prevented the issue in the first place.
If you can keep these common mistakes in mind when you move and use monthly storage, you’ll enjoy a far better, hassle-free experience.
If you have more tips to share, please add them in the comments below for everyone to see. You can also contact us for more information and tips on using self storage. If you are ready to move in right now, you can rent a storage unit online and get started!