One issue that people commonly deal with when they’re moving is that the dates don’t exactly line up; if you’ve ever been in the situation where you need to vacate your old house before your new home is ready, or if you’re moving across the country and are only able to bring some of your things at a time, then a storage facility is probably a great option for you.
Choosing a storage facility may seem like an easy task: just go online and pick out the cheapest one, right? Actually, storage facilities differ from one company to the next more than you might think, so it’s important to do your research before you sign up for a unit.
Here are a few things to consider when you’re looking for a storage facility; if you ask all the right questions and stick to our tips below, you’ll be able to easily find exactly the right storage facility to suit your needs.
What are you storing?
People use storage units to store anything from one or two special pieces of furniture to all of their worldly possessions. The first step towards figuring out what kind of storage unit you need is to determine how much stuff you plan on keeping in there.
Make an approximate list of the furniture items, number of boxes, and any specialty items like appliances, automobiles, antiques, etc. to have on hand when you call the storage facility for a quote.
Your item list will inform what type of unit you need (see below for more info on climate control) as well as what size unit you’ll need. As you might expect, larger units are more expensive, so you don’t want to be paying for a unit that’s too big for your needs.
Do you need climate control?
Depending on what you’re storing, and what the weather is like in your area, Max Real Estate Exposure says you may need a climate controlled unit. Climate controlled units typically keep the units in the building within a specific temperature range, as well as manage the humidity inside your storage unit.
If you live in a humid climate and plan on storing items like heirloom furniture, clothing, and anything else that might be susceptible to mold, you probably need a climate-controlled unit. If you live in a very dry area of the country, you may not need to pay extra for this service, just consider the time of year that you plan on storing your items. If you plan to leave your items there for more than one season, it’s probably a good idea to spring for a climate-controlled unit.
Call around to a couple of different storage spaces to get a variety of quotes—chances are, the storage units located in the center of town cost a bit more than those that are a bit off the beaten path.
If you’ll be leaving town and only coming back when it’s time to collect all of your items, then consider going with the cheaper unit outside of the city limits.
If you plan on stopping by the unit once a week for a few months to pick up various items, then location is important to you and it might be worth spending a bit extra to stay close to town.
Will you access the unit?
Speaking of popping down to the unit once a week to grab a few items, if you’ll be in the area and need to have access to the unit, discuss that with the storage facility. Some facilities may have strict rules about when renters can access their units. Ask about after business hours, and how access works during those times. If you need to always have access, try to find a self-storage facility nearby.
Again, if you’ll be out of town until it’s time to collect all of your belongings, then access to the unit won’t be as important to you.
How is the unit secured?
Ask the storage facility about security, and liability insurance. What happens if there’s a flood in the building, and your items get damaged? Does the entryway to the facility have an alarmed door so that thieves can’t get inside to steal your items after hours?
These are all fairly standard questions, so your storage facility will be able to provide insurance paperwork and any details on security that you might ask for. If the insurance coverage doesn’t look that good to you, talk to your credit card company to see if you might be covered under their policy if you charge the rental fee for the unit to that card.
Some storage facilities offer discounts if you pay up front for a chunk of time. This is a good option for folks who know exactly how long they’ll be storing their items, but if you’re not sure what the next 12 months look like, ask about month-to-month plans.
Ask your movers!
Finally, ask your movers if they are able to store your items for you. Here at Dowell’s Moving & Storage, we offer climate controlled storage units in Victoria, BC.
Whether you’re moving with us or not, our storage solutions are great for people who need one-month, 12-month or long-term storage solutions. Call us today at (250) 361-9866 for more info, and to get a storage quote. We know you’ll love your secure and affordable storage unit in Victoria!