When spring time comes around and you want to clean out your garage, you notice all those Christmas decorations lying around that won’t be used for several more months. So you move them to the back corner of the garage and by the time Christmas comes around, you literally have to empty your garage or closet just to get to them. Sound familiar?
Instead of packing away items you only use seasonally or precious memorabilia that you don’t want to trash (like your childhood tricycle you are saving for you grandkids), you may want to consider renting a storage unit or a “mini storage.”
There are many benefits in having a mini storage:
1.) It keeps those items from cluttering your home and stored away safely,
2.) You don’t have to worry about things breaking because the box collapsed from the towers of boxes that has consumed your garage space,
3.) Things will less likely be lost, especially if you keep good track of what you put in your mini storage (consider making a list and every time you take something out or add something, update your list so you will always know what’s inside).
Prepare a plan and work accordingly
Before you set out on your hunt for a mini storage, make a game plan. Set a budget, how much you can afford to spend each month/quarter/year and how much are you willing to spend on certain things, like 24 hour surveillance. How much do you need to store away and does any of it have special needs (must be kept at a certain temperature)? Are elevators available, what about flat bed carts or dollies? Do you have to provide your own lock and if so, what locks are acceptable. Some places don’t allow pad locks.
Make a list of what’s a must and what’s a luxury when it comes to the unit. First floor unit or any floor, units enclosed in a building or outdoor units. Is the property gated with a keypad entry or can anyone drive in. Is there camera surveillance or a security guard? By deciding what’s most important to you and what you live without before you start your search will make it easier when it comes to narrowing down your choices.
Now there are a few things to really be considered before you go rent a unit at the mini storage around the corner. Make sure you “shop around” and see what the rental rates are. A lot of places will have specials like, “first month free,” or “free upgrade with 3 month rental,” etc. The most expensive place does not necessarily mean it is the safest either.
Points to keep in mind
- Ask family members or co-workers if they have rented a mini storage and their experience. If you know someone who is moving or recently moved, chances are they are going to rent a mini storage so ask to go along to check out the facilities.
- Remember, the internet is one of the most widely used resources for getting information. Websites like yelp.com are a great tool to see what’s in your area and user reviews. One thing to keep an eye out on is the date of the review. If someone gave a poor review, but it was dated three years ago, there is a chance that that mini storage does not have the same issue.
- One factor to also consider is what are the “visiting hours?” Can you come any time of the day, any day of the week or are the hours restricted. Some places will charge you a fee if you are there during unauthorized hours so don’t forget to ask!
Also be sure to always check the Better Business Bureau. If all you see is unresolved complaints, then you should probably steer clear of that place even though they are the closest to you.
If you are still unsure of whether a mini storage is right for you, take a look in your closets and garage. If you see a bunch of boxes stacked to the rafters, then a mini storage is for you!
Tammy Blackburn writes on behalf of Ten Storage. Are you looking for mini storage for sale