Many people think of storage units as places they’ll put things they don’t need and then will probably forget about them. But storage units can be a valuable, convenient tool for those who only need them temporarily. You may be moving to another state or even across the country, and unable to take everything at once. Or you might need to move quickly for a job. Here are five tips on how to use a temporary storage unit to help ease the headache of moving:
1) What Do I Take?
How much will you store, and what will it be? Make a list of what you don’t need to take with you immediately. Out-of-season clothing, multiple sets of things like kitchen tools, home maintenance equipment, and other seldom used items (like that dreaded garage treadmill) are only a few of the items you can store for later retrieval.
Once you’ve narrowed down what you can leave behind for now, it’s important to do your research and determine which items may need to be stored in a climate-controlled unit, or could even be too delicate for storage. Climate-controlled units can protect your furniture and other valuables from being damaged by moisture, mold and mildew, and extreme temperatures.
2) Size it All Up
You don’t want to spend too much money on space you won’t end up needing, or arrive at your unit only to find you don’t have enough room for what you need to store. Use your garage or a large room in your house and some tape to “map out” the size and organization of your unit as you pack more boxes to be stored. This online tool can also help you figure out the unit size that works for you.
3) Lease It Right
How long will you be away? Do you have a planned return date, or do you need to play it by ear for a while? Most storage facilities have multiple options for short-term and long-term storage, including month-to-month leases. When reviewing with the leasing representative, make sure they are fully aware of your situation so they can help you find a lease that fits your needs.
4) Organize It!
Don’t just stuff your stuff into a unit and call it good. You’ll be back sooner or later, and it will be much easier and less stressful to walk in to a clean, organized unit and transport clearly marked, well-packed boxes and furniture than a try to sift through a big chaotic pile. You might also want to think about putting a list inside the unit that will tell you where to find specific items. It may seem overly type A, but it will save you a lot of time and effort later.
5) Insure it - or Did You Already?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, “Standard homeowners and renters insurance policies do include off-premises property protection for theft and damage from fires and other disasters. But to what extent the coverage applies to a storage facility really depends on the insurance company.” This is great news if you hold such policies, as you probably won’t need to take any out an additional policy. Don’t make any assumptions, though. It’s important to be familiar with your policy, and contact your insurance company before leasing a unit to get the information you need.
If you’re searching for this information, you know that moving is much more complicated than just carting your things from one house or apartment to another. Using a temporary storage unit can help.