Last week’s post on preparing to move abroad and the 10 things you must do in advance has had me thinking back to when I first moved overseas from Canada to Japan. I knew that move wasn’t going to be permanent so I didn’t want to sell everything I owned just to have to buy everything again upon my return. I rented out a storage unit to house my possessions until I eventually purchased a house here in the UK. Today I’m going to share my tips for renting a storage unit in case you may be thinking of a move yourself; either a distance away, or even just across town and needing to put some things on hold between properties.
There are some important things to consider when you are looking to rent a storage unit; some of them you may not think are important, but you don’t want to take anything for granted and end up with loss or damage to your belongings. With this in mind, you will want to ensure that you have an insurance policy in place. The storage company may have their own, but you will want to have your own policy as well for peace of mind and to make sure your specific items are covered. You may want to cover the transportation as well in case a box falls off the back of a truck. Look around for policies to compare what they cover, the deductibles, and of course, their cost.
When you look for a storage company, you may not have a choice in your area, or you may have many companies available to choose from. What location will be convenient for you to access? Is there a place that is in a ‘better’ area of town?
Look into the security in your preferred company. Is there CCTV? Locked gates? An on-site security guard or employee? Who has access to the units? Will your unit be accessible directly from the outside, or will it be contained within a further locked area?
What are the business hours of the unit? Are you able to access your space outside of business hours, if needed? Keep in mind that this access should be in balance with security as well.
Is there a deposit? How much is it? What are the terms and conditions upon it being refunded in full?
What are the fees for the unit? How often do they increase? What do they include? Are there additional fees or charges that may arise? You don’t want to be faced with unexpected charges while you are away.
Be sure to have someone local that you trust be added to the rental agreement if you are moving away. If there is a problem with the unit, you want to have someone be able to take care of things so you don’t need to worry and be there in person, which can be problematic if you are 3,000 miles away.
Have this same person occasionally stop by and check out your space if you are unable to. Ensure that the lock still works, things are dry and clean, and that you haven’t had any trouble with mice or insects.
Environmental conditions are important to look at, depending on what you will be storing. Do you require a light in your unit? Do you have furniture that needs to be at a constant temperature so that you will need heating and cooling features? What is the humidity like? Too little humidity can dry out wood, but too much can cause it to warp or mold.
Of course, you will not want to pay for a space that is larger than you need. Remember, you can do a lot of stacking, but you will want a space that is the best fit for your belongings. Check out this post for a link to a handy storage calculator.
These tips should help you get moving in the right direction; keeping your possessions safe while you are away. There’s a lot to think about when moving, but you should be able to make the transition with little trouble if you plan ahead. Happy adventures!