Guest Post: Long Term Storage – First Things to Consider

Long term storage options may become an issue for you for a number of reasons. Perhaps you are moving out of your old property a long time before your next one is ready, or you are reducing space dramatically and haven’t quite decided yet what to throw away and what to keep. Or maybe you’ve inherited a large amount of furniture, or just a few bulky items, and you aren’t quite sure what to do with it. Whatever the reason is, it is certain that there will be options to suit every potential situation.

The critical thing that you need to decide is exactly what you are storing. Do you actually need to store it all? Or can you safely throw away some of your belongings? Do bear in mind that space will cost you money. Apply the tried and tested rules when deciding what to keep and what to throw away: do you still use it? If so, when was the last time you used it? Do you like it? If any of the answers are negative, then seriously consider whether it is worth keeping the item. The more you throw, the more money you can save yourself.

The next question to ask yourself is exactly what do you intend on storing? Some items require special conditions and as such, must be treated extra carefully. They certainly can’t just be left in ordinary storage containers. For example, things like wine, sailing boats and some types of vehicles require specialised storage so that they can remain in optimum condition. And if valuable or important documents are among your storage items then it is worth considering enquiring about climate controlled conditions. Extreme heat or cold could damage your important documents irreparably.

It is wise to get a number of quotes for your storage requirements as well. Don’t just jump at the first opportunity that comes along. However, before you embark on this, do ensure that you have decided exactly which items are going to be stored, take a complete list of the items with you so that you can be specific, make a list of all additional requirements and be certain to have them all to hand when you phone around.

If the company concerned is fully aware of your requirements then the chances are that they will be best placed to fulfil all of your needs. As previously mentioned, the exact capacity of the storage unit you plan to use is important, so that you get the best value for money. As a rough guide, see below (given in feet, for W x L x H).

5 x 5 x 10: suitable for small items, e.g. boxes, books, compact packing, etc.
10 x 5 x 10: enough space for possessions from a small, one bedroom home.
10 x 10 x 10: enough space for a one bedroom property.
20 x 10 x 10: 3-4 bedroom property.
10 x 30 x 10: 5-7 bedroom property.

And when you have decided exactly what you want, do then bear in mind that proper assessment of your storage company is always important. The good news is that there are a few ways of doing this. First of all, do a thorough list of comparisons. You will be leaving your belongings somehow for a protracted length of time; you want to be certain that they are going to be safe. If you find that you need storage at your destination then this can be prohibitively difficult to arrange.

If you are planning to use a removals company, it is a good idea to find a storage facility en route to your new property and then perhaps ask them to make an additional stop at it so you don’t end up having to move things multiple times. Also remember that you must label the storage items carefully and load them in groups together, depending on what things are going to be taken off the lorry first once it arrives at its storage destination.

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