By Suzi Conner, Certified Self Storage Manager
When you use self storage to keep your belongings safe, a few questions probably come to mind; “Should I check on my stuff?” And, “How often should I check on it?”
After you have moved all your items into your storage unit and it’s filled to the brim, you are likely very tired. You place your lock on the door and you think, “Thankfully that is over and I am done until I move everything out!” However, that is not the best way to think about storage. Your belongings are important to you, even when you place them into storage. Otherwise you would have thrown them away, right? I know it is much easier to just set it and forget it, because it’s one less thing to worry about. But in order to keep your valuables in top shape and free of damage, you need to check on them from time to time.
We recommend that you visit your storage unit once per month, or at the very least when the seasons change. The property manager cannot see in your unit because only you have a key for your lock. The only way to see if something is wrong inside (like if boxes have fallen over or if something is crushing what is underneath) is to open the door and take a look around.
When you stop in to check on your belongings, have a few things handy each time:
- Packing tape – this is helpful in case you need to re-tape any of your boxes. Sometimes tape will lose it adhesive qualities when in extreme temperatures for long periods of time.
- Dust cloth or rag – let’s face it, concrete and metal create dust. If you simply dust off your items when you visit, it will keep everything cleaner and help prevent damage over time. You can also use a fine mist spray bottle with water if necessary and if the water will not damage the surface of your items.
- Cotton balls and essential oils – these are great to place in the corners of the storage unit as a pest deterrent. By switching out the scent a few times a year, you will keep your valuables smelling great and keep out unwanted creatures. (Read a previous blog on pest prevention to learn more.)
If you find that a stack of boxes has toppled over for example, be sure to check the items inside each box for damage, then repack them securely inside with bubble wrap or packing paper. If necessary, purchase new boxes in our retail shop to replace the ones that are damaged. Our moving boxes are specially treated to resist mildew and they are crush tested. If you find any damage that is the result of a neighboring storage unit, such as liquids running under the wall and onto your items, contact the property manager. This is not a common occurrence, but it can happen, and the property manager needs to be made aware immediately in order to prevent further damage to your items and get the issue resolved with the other tenant.
It doesn’t take a lot of effort, but checking on your storage unit regularly is an important step to ensure your valuables are safe and free of damage. If you have any questions, you can contact us. And if you have tips to share, please post them in the comments.
If you are ready to secure your storage unit now, you can reserve or rent a storage unit online 24/7.