As self-storage is becoming the most popular storage solution, more and more people are finding out how to get the most out of their storage units.
However, lots of people also make some very common mistakes. These mistakes can put your items at risk of breaking, other forms of damage, and more hassle than joy. Here are some mistakes that you can easily avoid when you use self-storage.
The most common mistake is poor packing of household items. When pre packing and moving items into self-storage, don’t skimp on packing materials!
People often don’t use enough bubble wrap and butcher paper. Then, their fragile items break during the move into and out of storage. As cheap an option as it is, avoid using newspapers. The ink could bleed onto your household items.
Packing wet and hazardous items is another mistake which can prove to be very damaging. When you unpack storage, you may find mould and mildew on your damp items or that combustible chemicals have set fire to your storage unit!
You should also pack your furniture and appliances carefully. Disassemble the furniture, pack the heaviest items at the bottom. Poorly packed items will fall over each other and cause scratches, dents or worse.
Overpacking the storage unit
Do not overpack the unit and make sure you leave enough space for an aisle. Overpacking the unit can put your items at risk of damage as they are putting pressure on each other. When you unpack your items, you might find some are broken or won’t work properly.
Some customers do not leave enough space in the storage unit for an aisle. When they need to find boxes or items that are in the back, they have to take out boxes and furniture before they can reach the items they need. They then have the added hassle of having to repack their storage module.
Always leave space for an aisle because you never know if you’ll need to get something from the back!
Skimping on storage space
Getting the wrong size of storage unit or not booking the right number of modules is a pain. People are so afraid to overpay for storage that they won’t use it that they often do the opposite. They skimp on storage space and book a unit that is too small, or they don’t have enough storage modules.
When a storage unit is too small, you might overpack it. Or you’ll be forced to ask for a larger unit and waste time unpacking the small unit to move the contents to the larger unit.
Not having enough storage modules may not be as problematic if your storage facility can bring out a few more but you will be racking up unnecessary additional travel costs as your storage provider has to go back and pick up additional storage modules.
Not taking out insurance
Don’t be tempted to save on storage costs by not taking out insurance. Floods, theft, damage, many things could go wrong! it’s better to take out a complete insurance plan on your items.
If your items are precious enough to store, they should also be precious enough to insure. Nothing may go wrong but it’s better to have that peace of mind especially the longer you are storing for.
Lacking a labelling and inventory system
It’s important to organise your storage contents well so that it’s easier to access the important items and faster to unpack your boxes and household items.
Plan how you’ll organise your items. Decide which items can go at the back of the unit because you will not need them immediately: usually collectables, decorations, books are a safe bet. Decide which items you might need access to or to unpack right away: essential clothes and linens, toiletries, cleaning products and equipment.
Label all your boxes and have an inventory system keeping track of box contents. A map of the storage unit/module with the placement of boxes and large household goods is also a good idea!
Not doing enough research on the storage company
You may want to book your storage company quickly especially if they are offering a cheap storage quote, but buyer beware! Make sure you research your storage facility properly.
Questions you can ask are:
What are the access hours? Do I have to give notice to access my unit?
What type of security system do you have?
How much notice do I have to give to vacate the self-storage?
Do you charge weekly or monthly? Are there discounts if you go long-term?
It may be worth it to even visit the storage facility, and check that it is up to par. Avoid booking a storage facility with inconvenient access, poor security measures or a leaky roof!
Not keeping track of payments
When you’re overseas or in a different town, working or travelling, it can be easy to neglect your storage space. A small number of customers fall behind on payments, some even abandon their items in storage.
You may be charged late fees, abandonment fees and worse yet, storage companies can auction off your items if you show that you have no intention of paying what you owe. Stay on top of invoices and storage payments to prevent this.
To take the hassle out of late storage fees and annoying email and call reminders, sign up for direct debit or automatic card payments. When it’s time to take out your items, give the storage company due notice so they do not overcharge for storage.
Need more advice on how to choose and pack your self-storage? Call us today!