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Storage Facilities 101

Storage facilities offer a great solution when you are in transition and need to temporarily store your "stuff". If you are going to be de-cluttering and staging your home for sale, you might opt to put things in storage until you move. If you have decided to rent before buying and are going to be temporarily downsizing, a storage unit might be the perfect solution.

There are generally 2 types of storage units: self-storage and full-service. Each has its pros and cons to consider.

Self-storage: You’re responsible for moving your items and placing them in your unit.

  • You will have access to your items whenever you want.

  • Self-storage units often offer month-to-month billing, making it an excellent short-term option

  • Less expensive option if you have budget constraints

Full-service: These companies pick your items up from your home and store them in their facility.

  • You schedule both the pick-up and drop-off times, and the company will provide you with a storage list so you know what exactly you have stored.

  • Higher fees than self-storage

  • You also won’t be able to visit the storage site to retrieve items, but you may collect items by giving the company proper notice.

  • There may also be a minimum storage term that could last several months.

Size Most companies offer storage units in a variety of sizes. These can range from 5×5, which is perfect for a few boxes, a desk, or a small chair, up to 10×30, which can hold the contents of a three- or four-bedroom home. Before you get your storage unit, sort through your things so you can donate, throw away or consolidate. You'll kick yourself later when you empty the unit and realize you could have rented a smaller unit.

Other popular sizes and how much they can hold include:

  • 5×10: two medium to large pieces of furniture and boxes

  • 5×15: bedroom furniture and boxes

  • 10×10: small apartment

  • 10×15: two-bedroom home

  • 10×20: two- to three-bedroom home

Other considerations

  • Location If you need regular access to your storage unit, make sure you choose a facility close to your home.

  • Climate control Some storage facilities provide heat and air-conditioning for your unit. These types of units also help protect your items from mildew and mold.

  • Security Security options in storage facilities may include perimeter fencing, video surveillance, electronic access, ample lighting, and locks.

  • Access hours If you need regular access to your items, confirm that the facility allows you to access your unit on the weekends or has 24-hour access.

  • Insurance You’ll likely need insurance coverage to store your items in a storage unit. Many storage companies offer in-house insurance protection that will be added to your monthly bill. You can also check with your insurance company to confirm your items in a storage unit are covered by your homeowners or renters insurance.

Source: ReminderMedia - How to Choose A Storage Unit


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