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Self Storage

Things to know about public storage services

Sometimes circumstances in life change – you go from a bigger house to a smaller house and you need to store your excess furniture and items. Choosing a public storage company can be daunting – will your items be taken care of properly? You may also have questions about rental fees and types of storage, not to mention self storage contracts. Moving is already stressful enough – check out these tips about storage services to ease your mind and ensure that your items are safe.

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Choosing Your Method of Self-Storage

When choosing a self storage facility, start by asking yourself these questions – will you need short-term or long-term storage? How much are you willing to pay? Do your items need special treatment (i.e., temperature considerations, like cold storage for example)?

There are two types of self storage – indoor and shed self storage or self storage units. Each has their pros and cons. Normally, indoor self storage is temperature-regulated with insulated walls, and it will often have water access in case of fire and mesh ceilings to allow air circulation. However, it tends to be more expensive to rent than outdoor self storage, which isn't temperature-regulated or insulated.

Outdoor self storage buildings should be used for less delicate items – for example, you probably wouldn't want to store a family photo album in an outdoor storage shed. However, outdoor storage is great for storing furniture and vehicles, and it's also great for short-term storage while moving or living in temporary accommodations.

Remember that both indoor and outdoor storage are not immune to rodents and pests. Make sure that you protect your items from vermin when you consider self storage.

Storage Size

Your next step is to decide on the size of storage you want, from mini storage to a unit big enough to house a motor home. Self storage companies will price based on the size you need. Sizes typically range from a 5 x 5 foot storage locker, which can hold papers and small boxes, up to a 10 x 40 foot two-car garage, which can hold the contents of a five-bedroom house.

Fees and Contracts

Self storage fees vary based on your needs. Companies will usually require a deposit upfront. Deposits, like any rental agreements, cover damage and use of any equipment such as moving blankets during the rental period. It is normally refunded back to you at the end of the contract.

Fees will obviously include the cost of your storage unit rental, but they also may cover insurance, locks and packing materials based on the company. Often, these extra services are required and may be charged as an extra fee on top of your rent.

Storage contracts are straightforward rental contracts, but pay close attention to your rights under your rental agreement. Most companies will build into the contract the right to enter your unit in case of emergency or to seize your items in case of non-payment. Watch out for hidden fees and regulations, like the requirement that you rent special locks or pay a cleaning fee upon leaving the unit. Read the contract carefully and don't be afraid to ask questions.