How to choose a self storage facility
Hiring a self storage unit to stash away the extra furniture, seasonal clothes and other things that you do not use often but want to keep anyway, is a good way to de-clutter your home and create more space. Storage units are also handy if you need to store your belongings somewhere while you get other things done, such as, when your house is being renovated, or you are moving to another country and haven’t found a home there yet, or you are going on a semester abroad, or you have guests over and need to convert your home office to a temporary guest room on short notice. Whether you have a lot of stuff to put away, or a few boxes, you can avail self storage units of all sizes and shapes to suit your purpose. Some storage facilities will also come with additional services such as climate controlled temperature, weatherproofing and regular maintenance, additional security etc. Here are a few guidelines on how to determine which storage service is suited for your purpose and how to get a good deal from them.
1. Do your research
Before renting with a storage company, you need to assess the quality of services they provide. Browsing through their website will give you an idea of the range of storage options available to you and the other services that they can offer. But you should also look at the customer reviews about the company on independent websites before you make a decision. If you are going to leave your belongings under someone else’s care you need to be assured that they will provide consistent security.
2. Judge for yourself
Another good way to reassure yourself about the storage firm you are hiring is to visit the property in person and check out the storage facility and security measures for yourself. The key points to check for is that, irrespective of whether the storage units are outdoors or indoors, they must be enclosed and secured, the door to your unit should have more than just a padlock for security and there should be surveillance cameras located at strategic points in the property. Entry to the premises should be limited and they should have strict policies about who can have authorization to access the property and individual units. Apart from that, the storage facility itself should have the required anti-theft, anti-fire safety measures installed and appropriate procedures to handle any such crisis. The premise should be properly maintained, there should be no signs of dampness or infestation and access ways should be properly lit at all times.
Depending on whether you are leaving the items in storage for a long time only to return for them after a fixed period or whether you are likely to access them frequently while it is in storage, the location of the storage facility can affect your choice. It may be feasible to make a trip 2-3 km out of town if you are only going to return to the premises one more time to collect your belongings. However, if you need to visit the facility more often, it would be a good idea to pick one that is near your locality. Another thing that you need to keep in mind is the hours within which you can access your unit. Some storage facilities will allow 24 h access while some will only be manned during certain hours. Make sure the hours of operation are reasonable and match your availability.
4. Other charges
Read the contract thoroughly before signing it so that you are aware of any cancellation or reimbursement policies, including insurance and know that you will not be charged additional fees unnecessarily.
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