Finding a storage unit can be an overwhelming task, especially if you aren't familiar with all of the options and features available. It's best to assess all of your storage needs before you even search for a local storage facility.
Consider how long you might need the storage unit. Many facilities offer discounts for long-term storage, but some may also have specials for temporary rentals.
Estimate how much space you will require. Save money by only renting the space you need. Feel free to use the self storage calculator to help you. Many facilities will store larger items including cars, camper and other motorized vehicles.
How often will you need to access the unit? Some facilities are accessible 24/7 and may even have drive-up access. Hours of operations range from facility to facility and should be taken into consideration depending on your needs.
Are any of the items you plan to store sensitive to temperature or humidity? If so, you will most likely need a climate-controlled storage unit. Typically the following items need to be stored indoors with some type of climate-control: leathers, furs, clothing, paintings, film, photographs, furniture, antiques, musical instruments, wine, paper, software, DVDs, CDs and electronics.
All storage facilities should have secure units, but if you require additional security for your possessions ask the facility if they have any of the following: fencing, surveillance cameras, motion lights, alarms, guards or a police presence.
You may also want to consider mobile storage for your items. If you decide to use mobile storage, a unit will be brought to you and removed after you have packed it. The unit will be stored at the facility or can be shipped to another location. The cost and features of mobile storage are comparable to self-storage but if you require regular access to your belongings, it may not be the best option for your needs.
Check out more detailed storage tips on the left hand side of this page. There's a storage solution for every situation.
Whether you need to pack a few items to put in the attic, send some boxes to a self storage unit to clear the house of clutter or pack everything you own in order to move, you want to do it right. This means packing carefully and thinking ahead. Take a few precautions to help prevent damage and make it easier to find things later. When summer rolls around, you want to be able to find the other half of your wardrobe without having to open and move stacks of boxes that weren’t clearly labeled.
Guidelines to keep in mind as you pack:
It is often assumed that self storage facilities will automatically provide insurance for the items being placed into storage. This is not generally the case. Few self storage facilities will offer full or comprehensive item insurance within their standard storage rental fees. Some may offer basic coverage as part of the package based on the size of storage unit rented, but this may not be enough for your needs.
Although some self storage facilities won’t insist that you have insurance coverage, others will and it makes sense to put adequate coverage in place. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of well-being just because the facility you’ve chosen has implemented good security measures or has a smoking ban on site for example. Your items are technically out of your hands in self storage and, although the facility may be doing everything it can to avoid theft, they can do little against accidents and damage caused by fires, floods, storms and other natural disasters.
It is recommended that you check your insurance options carefully before signing your storage rental agreement and placing your items into self storage. In fact, your first step should be to contact your homeowner/renter insurance agent to see if the items placed in the self storage facility will be covered by your current policy. It may be that you are fully covered for items stored away from home or you may be able to pay an additional premium to get such coverage. This option could be cheaper than taking out a separate insurance policy. If you do provide your own insurance coverage, be aware that the self storage facility you choose may ask to see proof of your policy before renting you space.
Should you purchase insurance? Ask yourself these questions:
Military members and their families understand that relocation comes with the job, often on short notice. Whether your move involves a Permanent Change of Station (PSC), Temporary Duty (TDY) or Temporary Additional Duty (TAD), self storage can be a convenient option for long or short-term use.
To prevent unnecessary expenses and last minute decisions, it is important to plan ahead. Whether you have six months or one week before moving, the smallest amount of organization can help.
Before you start packing, visit your military financial center and learn which travel and transportation stipends are available to you. When moving, the option is to either do it yourself or hire a moving company. There are military programs that can assist you if you decide to do it yourself. According to www.military.com, “The Do-It-Yourself (DITY) move is a voluntary program that allows you to be reimbursed by the government for moving your own belongings.”
Once you’ve started planning, there are many things to consider during your search for a public storage facility.
Determine your needs
How much storage space will you rent? Identify the items you will be taking with you and decide which items will be left behind. Are you storing a few small boxes or an entire household worth of furniture? Many storage facilities offer outdoor parking for car or boat storage, as well. Once you have figured out the items you will be stowing, a storage calculator is a handy way to determine the storage unit size that meets your needs, and it can also prevent you from overpaying for a space that is too large. If you’re relocating to another state or overseas for a long period of time, amenities like climate control and property security are important features to consider. Once you’ve established how much storage and which type, planning your budget and moving options is a much easier task.
Locate specials and discounts
Many storage facilities offer military discounts for active-duty personnel and their families. Also, if you will be deployed for many months or years, there are many long-term rental specials available and if it works within your budget, many storage companies offer pre-payment discounts.
Consider other services
There are a variety of additional services available at most self storage facilities. A majority of locations offer online and automatic payment options, which is very helpful for someone whose military deployment is an extensive assignment or in a remote location. Also, many storage businesses sell packing and moving supplies (such as boxes, locks, furniture covers and more), and also provide their customers with the option of truck rental – which is sometimes included in the rental at no additional charge.
Moves and deployments can be stressful experiences for military personnel and their families. When there are bigger issues to consider, moving your household and family should be a simple undertaking, and with proper preparation, using self storage can be a hassle-free process.
Choosing a Moving Company
Let’s face it: moving to a new home can be a frustrating and demanding process. But sometimes it’s a necessary evil. For many people, like military personnel who receive permanent change of station (PCS) orders every few years, moving is a part of life. The good news is: proper research and planning can make your move much less distressing so you can focus on the fun things, like arranging your new place.
Families essentially have two choices for relocating belongings: do it yourself, or hire a moving company.
If you choose to do it yourself, you will have total control over the fate of your things, which is certainly a nice benefit. What’s more, you will probably save a lot of money. But you will also have more work, fewer helping hands, sore backs, and no one to blame but yourself if your things get damaged.
Professional movers, on the other hand, are typically well trained in the laborious arts of packing, lifting and moving. Their process can go much faster than do-it-yourself and good movers know how to protect your stuff. If they don’t, replacements costs may come out of their pockets!
That said, finding and choosing a “good” moving company isn’t always easy. A Google search with keywords like “bad movers” can attest to that, and we’ve all heard horror stories from friends or family about disreputable companies. That’s why it’s vital to sort the good from the bad as early as you can. To ensure you get a quality moving company, you’ll want to put in some legwork.
Think about what you want from a move. Then, before you reach out to any companies, make a checklist of what you need and expect from your relocation experience. This list will help you keep your questions on track, your expectations clear, and your estimates accurate
Prepare yourself before you request a quote:
Now you’re ready to start calling around for estimates. But whom do you call?
The best way to find a reliable moving company is by word-of-mouth. If you know someone who has recently moved, find out which moving company they chose and what they thought of the service. Your real estate agent might also be able to give a good recommendation (as well as tell you which movers to avoid!).
Use the web to search and compare local and national companies. Several terrific independent websites offer unbiased information and comparisons of movers, like 123Movers.com. But be alert: some mover-directory websites gather your contact information and sell it to multiple movers; your phone may start ringing a lot. A consumer ratings site, like Yelp.com, aggregates customer feedback for an expansive customer review.
Shopping and comparing; what to ask a mover:
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of your movers, you should do a final check with the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to make sure none of them have serious problems with unresolved complaints.
After talking to a handful of companies, arrange for at least three or four in-home estimates to get a better idea of your moving costs. It’s the only way to get a close-to-accurate moving quote, and it’s usually a good way to screen out scammer moving companies (who often don’t like to take the time to give you an in-home estimate).
Show the moving company everything you plan to move. The more thorough you are in detailing what has to be relocated, the more accurate the estimate will be. Also, let the estimator know about any issues at your home — or the home you’re moving to — that could complicate the process. Lots of stairs, narrow angles and poor driveway access are just a few examples that might add to your overall costs.
Comparing quotes will help you decide which company to choose, but try not to make your choice by cost alone. It may be smarter to spend a little more money and get the company with the best reputation. If you just have a bad feeling you can’t explain but the price is right, trust your gut over your wallet.
Once you make a decision, you’ll be asked to sign a contract outlining the details of your move. Read. The. Contract. If anything seems strange or confusing, ask for clarification. Make notes right on your contract. If the mover dismisses any phrase in the contract by suggesting, “Don’t worry about that,” cross out the sentence. Ask the mover to initial and date any contract changes in pen.
Don’t forget to give your movers a call a few days beforehand to confirm your arrangements. Be sure you (or a trusted friend) attend all inventory counts and truck weigh-ins in person. Make your own notes. Keep all documents and records in a safe place where they can’t be misplaced during the move.
These basic guidelines should help you position yourself for a successful move. But in the end if you feel like you’ve been taken advantage of, cheated in some way, or robbed by a mover, report it immediately and report it often.
The college years may be a time to expand your mind, but physical space can be a problem. There are only so many cubbies, nooks and crannies in your dorm room. After you have completely suffocated and crushed whatever gear you neatly stowed under your bed in the fall with all the extra clothes and books that you accumulated throughout the year, what do you do to make space in your room to walk? Mom will be furious if she finds out that her child lives in a pigsty. Dad will surely give another lecture on male etiquette, which, as usual, ends with “You’ll never impress a girl like that!” A quick fix and a breath of fresh air — literally — may come with a call to the local self storage company.
Depending on the time of year, it may be tricky to find a cheap, available self storage space right away, especially if you live in a small to medium-sized college town. It may even be nearly impossible if you try to search within the last month of the semester unless you are willing to travel a few extra miles from campus. However, if you are looking just to free up some space during the year and you do not want to ship your “valuables” across the country to mom and dad’s basement, then renting a small storage unit may be worth the cost. There are just a few things you may want to ask a company before renting a unit:
Now that you have a self storage unit, what do you store? Nothing illegal, of course, but also nothing flammable or perishable! Some places offer outdoor storage, which works great for your car if you have to leave it over spring or summer break. Others offer special features like air conditioning or climate control that protect your goods from extreme temperatures and humidity. Things to be stored include old textbooks, seasonal clothes, clothes you know you are not going to wear until maybe next Halloween, and that box you’ve had since freshman year that you know is not important enough to take the time to open.
Here are a few tips to help make things easy to find in your self storage unit:
By freeing up some space in your room, not only will you make your parents proud (and potentially that cutie in Chem lab), but you will also be able to start doing all of the things you couldn’t in that wasteland you used to call home.
Taking the proper precautions is very important if you want your boat to be ready to use when spring comes. Failure to winterize your boat can cause significant damage such as cracks, leaks, corrosion, and frozen pipes. Freezing, dormancy, moisture, and corrosion can lead to large repair bills. In order to avoid costly repairs in the spring, it is important to take the proper precautions in the fall.
Here are some necessary steps to take when winterizing your boat:
Find a storage location
Your options are storing in your garage, in your driveway or backyard, rack storage, a marina, or a storage facility. Be sure to consult your owner’s manual for rules on safety, instructions on towing capacity, and storage tips.
Be sure to give your boat a thorough cleaning inside and out. This will also let you discover anything that might need repair before putting your boat away until the spring. It will let you take care of any spills or messes that you may not have been aware of, and thus let you avoid having to uncover any mysterious odors in the spring. Clean your boat and apply a rust inhibitor on your steering and control cables and on the metal hardware.
It is best to handle anything that is broken, worn, or damaged in the fall when boatyards are less busy than in the springtime rush. You also don’t want to leave something like a crack sitting all winter long, as damage could become worse.
All electronics should be removed and stored in a safe, dry, and warm place.
Things such as cushions, curtains, sails, personal flotation devices, and fire extinguishers should also be stored. Lockers and drawers should be propped open to air out, and the refrigerator should be emptied out. To avoid mildew, keep the moisture inside your boat in suspension and on the move. A dehumidifier can help increase the interior air temperature and prevent moisture, as it keeps the air circulating inside the boat. Be sure to place some boxes of baking soda throughout your boat to absorb moisture.
Drain the fluid from your manifolds and engine blocks, water pumps, and coolers. Be sure to drain and fill the gearcase with gearcase lubricants. Drain the port-a-potty, fresh water tank, and hot water heater. Add non-toxic antifreeze to your water tank, hot water heater, and port-a-potty.
Fuel and antifreeze
Fill the gas tank to prevent condensation, oxidation, and gas spoilage. Be sure to add stabilizer to preserve the gas and prevent damage to the fuel system. Run the engine for about 15 minutes to make sure the stabilizer reaches the gas in your fuel lines. Put antifreeze into the cooling system and into the supply lines for the water faucets and shower.
Run the engine to warm it up and change the oil while it is warm. Dirty engine oil can thicken after long-term storage and make it difficult to start the boat when you are done storing it. Be sure to change the oil filter, too.
Prepare the engine
You’ll also want to change the transmission fluid, remove spark plugs, and use “fogging oil” on each cylinder. Spray a towel with fogging oil or WD-40 and wipe down the engine.
Sand the bottom of the boat and repaint it to prevent rust.
Prepare the battery
Disconnect the battery cables and remove the battery. Clean the terminal ends, wash the battery with a solution of water and baking soda, and rinse it with distilled water. Apply a light coating of grease to the terminal ends of the battery and cables. Be sure to use a trickle charger to keep the battery charged. Store it in a dry, safe place and off of concrete.
Inspect the stern drive
Thoroughly inspect the stern drive and remove any plants or barnacles from the lower unit. For stern drives with rubber boots, be sure to check for cracks or holes. Make sure you grease all fittings and check your fluid levels.
Bilges should be clean and dry. Use soap, hot water, and a stiff brush to clean up any spills from oil. Once the bilges are clean, spray them with a moisture-displacing lubricant and add antifreeze to prevent water from freezing.
Choose a proper cover
Be sure to cover your boat tightly before storing it, even if it is being stored indoors. Make sure that whatever cover you choose has good ventilation. Also be certain there are no tears or damages to the cover.
Most insurance policies don’t cover damage caused by lack of maintenance, so winterizing is very important. The best way to winterize your boat is to check your owner’s manual; every boat is different. Don’t be afraid to seek professional help and ask lots of questions if you have never winterized before. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
The presents are unwrapped, the boxes are emptied of their contents, and tissue paper is strewn about the room. Time to clean up from all the holiday merriment; but don’t be too hasty to throw out the tissue paper and empty boxes – recycle them. This article will give you some “ah ha” ideas for storing holiday decorations, and self storage is a convenient place to holiday items when the season is over.
The wedding is over. Perhaps you wore your grandmother’s elegant silk gown with the flowing train and the delicately embroidered veil that matched, or maybe you and your girlfriends spent weeks searching for the perfect wedding dress that you felt best reflected your personality. Now, you need to store this treasure so that the years do not steal any of its beauty. You may want to leave the possibility open for your little girl to one day carry on the family tradition and walk down the aisle in that very wedding gown. To best maintain its timeless grandeur, follow a few important steps:
It can be difficult to make space in your home or garage for unused appliances. But because new appliances are expensive, many people prefer to hold on to old ones for hand-me-downs, vacation homes, or back-ups. A self storage rental can be a convenient, affordable solution — short-term or long-term. However, if you don’t properly prepare your appliances for remote storage, you may return to find useless, moldy boxes. Below is some useful advice for secure appliance storage.
If you have additional questions or concerns regarding appliance storage, remember that your self storage facility manager may be a great source of information and guidance.
Run a final cycle
Consider running an empty clothes washer and dishwasher through a complete wash cycle using either a cup of bleach or white vinegar instead of detergent prior to placing in self storage.
Empty any water from hoses, holding tanks, plastic tubing and other internal components. This will help prevent freezing and mildew.
Clean the interior
Scrub and dry the interior completely — especially in refrigerators, dishwashers and ovens. Food and sugar remnants can attract bugs, even in interior storage units. In refrigerators, clean and dry the defrost pan — you’ll find it underneath or behind the refrigerator. In water-using appliances, wipe the rubber cushion seal around the perimeter of the door. Mildew tends to collect in this area.
Treat for insects
Insects that infest food are found almost everywhere. To prevent an infestation, be sure to spray your clean appliance for bugs.
Clean the exterior
Any motor-driven appliance will have an intake area (lint filter, tube or grid). be sure to clean this vent. A vacuum may do the trick, but if the opening is greasy, you might use an old toothbrush.
Remove glass and protect finish
If your appliance has glass shelves or fragile parts, remove them and transport them separately. Appliances with finishes that can scratch or dent should be wrapped in blankets or bubble wrap. Refrigerators should be transported upright.
Secure with tape
Use a strong tape to hold the appliance door closed. Even though the tape should only stay in place during the move, you may want to choose a type that won’t leave residue (such as blue painters tape). Once in storage, remove the tape and prop the appliance’s door open to prevent mildew.
Choose a suitable storage unit
If you are storing your appliances in a region that experiences high temperatures, low temperatures, wide temperature swings, or high humidity, you may want to consider a climate controlled storage unit. Because climate control temps are kept constant, the mechanical/electronic parts of your appliances are better protected from rust and fissures.
If you’re moving more household items into your self storage unit, put the large appliances on the truck last. This way, they will be the first to come off the truck. Refrigerators should be transported upright.
By placing appliances in the back of your storage unit, you’ll have easier access to smaller items that you retrieve more frequently.
Turn the power off
The large majority of storage facilities will not offer electricity outlets in your storage unit. But if yours does have power, do not use it. Leave your appliance off for the duration of the rental.
Protect fragile parts
If you store appliance parts separately (glass panels, shelves, etc.) remember to mark them as fragile and avoid stacking or leaning heavy items on them.
Prop open the door
Find a way to keep the appliance’s door ajar for the duration of the storage rental. This will help deter mildew.
Avoid unwanted odors
Place an open box of baking soda in stored appliances.
Although some storage and moving companies advise against stowing items inside your appliances, careful preparation will offer additional storage space. A clean, dry, open appliance is a good spot to store lighter items, including fragile things. Do not jam-pack your appliance with heavy items, like books.
Cover and protect
Use a breathable material such as a tarp or sheet to shield your appliance from dirt, dust or accidental scratches.
That time of year has arrived when the days get longer, and it becomes easier to do something about the carpet stains, dust and stale air that have built up during the last few weeks and, perhaps, months. Finally, you can throw open all of the windows and let in the fresh air without freezing. Now, get ready to revitalize your home with a good spring cleaning.
Whether you conduct a full-house cleaning once a year or once a month, you may want to consider renting a self storage unit to get things out of the way during the process. In addition, cleaning and organizing easily can turn into redecorating. Self storage facilities are great places to store items for the long-term that do not fit into your updated home design scheme but that you are not ready to toss, sell or donate.
Spring cleaning tips:
Spring cleaning may be a lot of work, but the payoff is a brighter, safer home that can give you a new perspective and prepare you to meet life’s other challenges.
So you want to have a garage sale to get rid of some of your old things? The question is where to store and organize your items while you are getting ready. A self storage unit is your answer.
Your basement storage room may be so full that you have no idea what is in there, and no room to sort through it. Your garage may be full of tools, bicycles, kids’ toys, yard tools, and sporting equipment, not to mention your cars. An empty storage unit is the perfect place to sort and price all of your items.
The best way to keep things in order is to categorize things as you drop them off at the storage unit. Sort your items by categories you might see in a department store or secondhand store – kitchen, clothing, toys, appliances, linens, sporting goods, etc. It will save you lots of time as your sale approaches. Instead of having to scramble to sort things as the sale date nears, all you will need to do is go in and tag things. (You can even price things as you drop them off.) As you go through things in your storage room or people give you their hand-me-down clothes, you take them right to the storage unit.
If you are having a sale with friends or family, you can split the cost of the storage unit. That greatly increases the benefits of using a self-storage unit to store your items because it reduces the expense.
As the date of your yard sale approaches, set up the racks and tables in your garage before you bring your things over from the storage unit. Have some idea of where you would like things to go. All you will need to do is load up your van or truck with your items and unload them onto the tables and racks in your garage. Everything will already be sorted and priced.
Having the storage unit also will let you concentrate on preparing for the sale without distractions. Leave the kids, computers, and phones at home and spend time sorting and tagging without the common interruptions.
If you have an annual sale, you can bring items to your storage unit year-round. If you keep it well-organized, setting up for your sale should be simple.
For owners of classic, antique and vintage cars, sports cars and racing cars, storing your seldom-used car in a storage unit is often a viable option. Whether your car is an expensive one that you display in auto shows and parades or just an average car holding only personal sentimental value, you will want to know how to best prepare your car for storage. Proper storage will extend the life of your vehicle, keep it looking like new and running in top condition.
Storing your vehicle in an enclosed, climate-controlled self storage unit is essential. A damp storage unit will cause rust damage to vehicles. Keeping your car in an enclosed storage unit will keep your car safe from theft and vandalism, as well as nature’s elements. Components such as snow, rain, heat and hail and dust can damage your vehicle and greatly depreciate its value. Placing your car in storage will also protect it from the possibility of being hit by another vehicle. You will want to choose a storage unit that is in close proximity to your home so that you can check on it frequently.
Before storing a vehicle, be sure to check with your insurance carrier. Many insurance companies offer coverage especially written to protect your car while in storage. Such off road coverage can offer significant savings over the road insurance coverage.
While preparing a car for storage, keep the following check list handy and be sure to follow it carefully so that your vehicle will run to its optimal performance level and continue to look like new when it’s time to take it out of storage.