Americans, on average, have 300,000 belongings in their home. And it’s causing us a few problems.
23% pay bills late because they can’t locate the bill to pay it. And too much stuff leads to clutter which leads to anxiety and depression.
One way to deal with all the clutter is to move items you don’t need every day to a storage unit. Storage units are also great if you’re in transit and need a place to store your stuff until you’re ready to move.
Figuring out which are the best storage units to place your belongings in can be a bit difficult. You don’t want to end up with a space that’s too big or too small.
We can help. Keep reading to learn what to look for in a storage unit.
Declutter Before You Look for the Best Storage Units
Do yourself a huge favor by sorting through your items before you bring them to the storage unit. Anything you do not currently like, use or need should be sold, donated or tossed out.
Everything else should be stored in boxes that contain similar items. Mark each box clearly and keep a master list so you can find everything.
Once you know exactly what’s going to storage, you will then have a much better idea of the storage unit size you actually need.
Determine the Purpose of the Storage Space
Knowing how and why you need storage can help you figure out what size unit works best for you.
If you’re moving or traveling and don’t need access to your storage space until you plan to remove the items, go ahead and cram as much as you can into a smaller unit.
You can stack items on top of one another. Since you don’t need to move around in the space, you can optimize the space for storage purposes only.
Leave Space to Walk Around
However, if you are storing items because they’re off-season or used less often, you’ll need to periodically gain access to your storage space. This means you’ll need to leave some extra room to move around.
Opting for a larger space so you can leave a path to gain access to every item you have stored will make life much easier. It will be a huge pain if you have to remove half your belongings to just grab something that’s in the back.
Place Items You Need Access to the Most in the Front
Make life easier for yourself. If you know you’ll need access to certain items more often, make sure you place them in the front of the storage unit rather than the back.
That way, you won’t have to move boxes or shimmy your way through your stuff just to grab what you need.
Measure Everything You’re Storing
Storage facilities have different size storage units to choose from. The best storage facilities give you quite a few options but there’s no sense in paying for more space than you need.
If you plan on storing bulky items such as furniture or appliances, it’s not always easy to estimate how much space you’ll need. Do yourself a favor and measure larger items.
Add Extra Space for Ventilation
While the best storage facilities often come with climate control, that doesn’t mean you can cram everything together and expect your items will remain in good shape. Natural materials still need to breathe.
Make sure you leave a little extra space for proper ventilation.
Consider if You Need Extra Services
When you’re trying to decide what to look for in a storage unit, consider the extra services many storage facilities offer. As we’ve mentioned, many offer climate control.
Climate control is great if you are storing items that are sensitive to heat or extreme cold. Fabrics such as leather or silk don’t do well in humidity either.
Look for a Storage Facility that Provides Adequate Security
It’s also a good idea to find a storage facility that provides 24/7 security. You want to ensure everything you’re storing remains safe. Also, if you need to stop by at 3 am to pick up an item, you want to know you’ll be safe when you’re there.
And if you plan on storing really bulky items like a boat, car or truck, find one that can store these items properly. Some storage facilities offer both outside storage solutions and indoor storage solutions.
Consider the Location
Part of knowing how to choose a storage unit that works for your needs is considering the location. While it may not be a huge deal if you’re storing items you won’t need access to until you move them out, it is for most other scenarios.
The longer distance you have to travel to grab what you need, the less likely you are to actively use the unit. Paying money to store items you never actually intend to use again makes little sense.
Look for the closest storage facility to you that provides you with all the options you need. However, do not settle for a storage facility just because it’s the closest to you if it doesn’t have the amenities you need.
Go Visit the Storage Facility in Person Before Committing
It’s worth it to take some time to visit a few storage facilities in your area. Seeing the facility and the units available will help you find the right place to store your stuff.
Most storage facilities are happy to show you several unit options so you can see for yourself what size works best. However, you may want to see the one you’re actually renting before you sign any contract to make sure it’s clean and properly vented.
Ask About Specials and the Late Payment Policy
Check if there are renal specials or discounts available. Many storage facilities offer a free month or the first month for $1.
And, if you’re one of those people who occasionally forget to pay bills because they’ve misplaced them, ask what happens if you miss or are late paying a bill. You may want to find out if automatic payments are an option.
Some companies or states have policies that allow for unit contents to be auctioned off for even being a few days late on paying a bill.
Even with the best storage units, things can happen. A bug infestation, bad weather or theft is always possible.
Make sure you’re properly insured against these possibilities. We can help. Get your free insurance quote today.