Storage - Making it work for you

For many people the stress of moving home and organising your belongings can be reduced by storing your belongings carefully away. Storage facilities are now big business with many options available to suit a range of budgets. So many different companies are available to either clear your clutter or help store away personal items safely and securely. Here we try to help you with how to store your goods in an organised and safe way and attempt to show you how to avoid the pitfalls associated with self storage.

Shop around for storage savings

First of all it is important to locate the appropriate storage facility that is closest to your home or work. Often tempting offers are made by out of town storage facilities to get you to use their warehouses. Later on people find that the costs of travel to and from these facilities outweigh the initial costs of the storage.

Closer to town storage facilities have very differing and competitive rates. Be aware of too good to be true offers that often headline some storage facilities. Chances are they are exactly that. Slogans to be aware of and to look into further are unfeasibly small amounts charged for the first couple of months, in subsequent months these companies will recoup their initial losses by charging over the odds month by month fees. If you shop around and do your home work these problems should be minimised. It’s always a good idea to draw up a table of the top five or ten storage companies and list their pros and cons.

Pay by the month

Monthly rates do vary and it is worth bearing in mind that many people who use storage warehouses believe that it may only be a temporary situation which often becomes a long term situation. Therefore, it’s always worth being realistic and think hard about exactly how long you want to use the storage warehouse for. It’s always a good idea to try and be open minded about how long and how much you want to pay for storage services.

Size matters

Picking the right size storage space is key. Often people end up renting too large a storage unit that is greater than their needs and therefore they pay over the odds. Try to get good guidance from your storage company about the exact dimensions of your storage space. You would be surprised how with some careful packing you are able to fit in quite a lot of your possessions in a small space. Using good packing boxes which are robust enough to stack are a good investment. These are often available from storage companies and are well worth the small fee. Equally renting too small a space can damage articles if they are stacked on top of each other and can be crushed.

Store and pack wisely

When it comes to placing your goods into storage be aware that it is always good to place heavier boxes at the bottom of the pile and stack lighter items above. A common problem at storage facilities is that when either going to collect or visit some articles boxes have been known to collapse over time. These can then fall out of the storage space when you open the door. Be aware of these issues during subsequent visits.

Take care of your possessions

When you are deciding what to put into storage it is worth being mindful of how your possessions will cope with differing weather conditions. Changes in temperature and humidity can affect your possessions and not all storage companies cater for these issues. There are however, some big chains which specialise in temperature controlled units which are pricier than there more basic competitors but are worth bearing in mind if you have valuable possessions.

Security

Some storage units pride themselves on the security of their premises and boast high end surveillance and pin code entry systems. These additional measures do come at an additional cost but many are happy to pay the extra for peace of mind.

Rules and regulations

It is always worth making a note of the rules of your storage company. Flammable and poisonous materials are often forbidden due to health and safety risks. If you are in any doubt about the nature of the goods you are storing speak with the storage company direct to find out more details.

Top 5 Do’s and Don’ts of Storage

1) Don’t store damp or wet items, for obvious reasons rot and mould can take hold once you leave your items unattended for any length of time.

2) If you have any concerns that your goods may leak such as fridge freezers or deep fat fryers it is worth placing plastic sheeting on the floor of your cubicle.

3) Invest in high quality cardboard boxes, cheaper ones will start to collapse and deteriorate over time. Try not to overfill them as they may fall or collapse into boxes stacked below.

4) Place heavy items at the bottom of your cubicles and make sure you have ready access to those possessions you are more likely to need more often.

5) Make a list of all your possessions and ensure that boxes are labeled clearly.

Most of all be sure that once you have chosen your storage company that you check in on your goods regularly and don’t be afraid to shop around to ensure you have the best facilities for your needs in your locality. Be aware of offers that seem great in the initial months.