The promise of more space created if you move all your excess stuff to a storage unit can be irresistible. Who doesn’t want to start fresh sometimes, even if you can’t bear to throw some things away? However, this promise can add up, so before making it a regular line item on your budget, here are four basic points to consider when renting a storage unit, says Jim Neill, owner of C & S Storage in Pullman, Washington. What can you live without? When deciding what to put in storage, consider what you can live without for months at a time. Next, consider if they are really worth the storage fee. “We have a lot of clients who are college students, and they come to realize that the stuff they had in college is not worth moving when they find a job in another city,” says the Pullman storage specialist. Research your options Once you’ve put together a list of what items can be in storage, visit some storage facilities and ask about their hours, then compare it to what you think your need will be. Some facilities are open 24/7, while some require appointments. Just as important as the flexibility is the security. Once you sign the rental contract, the unit is yours and no one else has access to it. However, storage companies do offer security, from cameras to gates with security codes. C & S Storage, for example, also has a manager whose family lives on site, says Neill, whose family-owned Pullman self storage business has been in the industry for 25 years. “They are on site 24 hours. It is also fenced from three sides, with the fourth side running up against a small cliff.” If you plan to have a moving company pick up your stored items at some future date, ask if the facility allows that. Some are not built to let a commercial truck get close to your unit. Read the contract Before you do the old John Hancock, read the paperwork. Your rights will be spelled out in the contract, including when the storage facility can start the lien process once you are past due, explains the Pullman storage pro. The contract will also tell you what you – and your storage neighbors – will be allowed to store. If you are storing valuables and the company permits clients to store potentially combustible material, perhaps this is not the right facility for you. Pack properly Take the time to carefully put away the items that you would like to store in bins and boxes, says Neill, who is also a Pullman moving supplies expert. “I recommend that customers cover their items with plastic. We even sell these covers.” More importantly, don’t store food, or you may attract rodents to your valuables and those of your neighbors. When you are moving the items into the storage unit, make time to also carefully stack them away. This will prevent future mishaps, like boxes and bins falling on you when you open the unit or falling on the door and preventing you from getting into the space.
Jim Neill is the owner of
C & S Storage
520 NW Park St Pullman, WA 99163