There are many reasons why you may need to store your personal belongings for either a short or extended amount of time. Whether you're moving across country and need time to find a new home, downsizing, or just need to clear space out of your garage, a self-storage unit can come in handy. You can also use the convenient units to hold seasonal items when you're not using them.
Self-storage units come in a wide variety of sizes, with the small ones holding a room's worth of belongings, and the large ones accommodating furniture and other big items. You can also rent either climate-controlled or non-climate-controlled units, depending on your needs and budget. When you rent a storage unit, you'll typically sign a contract and pay on a month-to-month basis. Go to websites of local companies to see what options they offer.
There are several actions you can take to make sure your personal items are safe throughout the self-storage process. Following is a list of things to consider doing before you store your belongings:
1. Wrap Delicate Items
Always wrap delicate items and heirloom pieces carefully in bubble wrap, newspapers or even old pillowcases, depending on what you have on hand. Even if you've hired professional movers to pack for you, take the time to hand-pack picture frames, valuable pieces of artwork, vintage China and other glass items yourself. You can buy boxes that are specifically designed for packing dishes.
Place the wrapped pieces in sturdy boxes and place them on the top of the stacked piles so that they don't get crushed. Label the boxes on all sides so that you can easily find what you need while they're in storage.
2. Cover Fabric Furniture
Be sure to cover all of your fabric furniture, such as mattresses, couches, love seats and chairs, with old sheets or tarps to prevent them from getting stained.
You can also cover valuable wood pieces with blankets or sheets as well, to prevent nicks and scratches when you're moving them in and out of the storage unit.
3. Invest in a Heavy-Duty Lock
Most self-storage companies require that renters place a specific type of lock on their units, but you can take it a step further and choose a second for extra protection. Choose heavy-duty, moisture-resistant locks, such as ones with ball bearings, and make sure that the shackle size is correct for a secure fit.
If the lock will be outside, make sure it has a rubber or plastic housing shield so that it doesn't rust.