When the time has come to find an appropriate storage facility, there are some helpful hints that can help you choose a facility that will suit your needs. Whether you intend to store your goods for a few days or a few years, you should know the options that are available, be aware of what kinds of items are suitable for storage. If you are manually moving your goods to a self storage container, you should have an idea of how much material you will be able to fit in your storage unit. If you are enlisting the aid of a moving company, a representative can help you to determine your storage capabilities.
The following list gives you the dimensions and estimated storage capacity of the most commonly available storage compartments. Most public storage units are 8’ high, but they vary considerably in depth and width.
- 5 X 5 Unit: Contains 200 cubic feet and can hold approximately 1- 2 rooms of furniture.
- 5 X 10 Unit: Contains 400 cubic feet and can accommodate the contents of a small 1 bedroom apartment.
- 5 X 15 Unit: Contains 600 cubic feet and can accommodate the contents of an average 1 bedroom apartment to a small 2 bedroom apartment.
- 10 X 10 Unit: Contains 800 cubic feet and can accommodate the contents of an average 2 bedroom apartment/house to a small 3 bedroom apartment/house.
- 10 X 15 Unit: Contains 1,200 cubic feet and can accommodate an average 3 bedroom apartments to a small 4 bedroom apartment.
- 10 X 20 Unit: Contains 1,600 cubic feet and can accommodate the contents of a medium to large 4- 5 bedroom home.
Items that should not be placed in self-storage:
- You should not store food products of any kind in your storage compartment. Any food or organic material may begin to decay which can lead to a spread of mold and can attract attention from pests.
- Liquid of any kind, such as shampoo, laundry detergent, oil, juice, wine, beer, liquor, cleaning supplies or perfumes should not be kept in storage. If a bottle is not sealed properly, it may spill leading to stains and odor contamination.
- Flammable items such as paint, stain, gas tanks, etc., are inappropriate for storage. Such items can put your goods and other customer’s goods at risk, even if stored in a climate controlled facility.
- Plants and animals of any kind should never be kept in a storage facility. Storage facilities may have poor ventilation and will not allow plants or animals access to light, water, or food.
- Weapons from any kind should not be kept in a storage facility. Storing a weapon can put you at high risk in the event that your storage unit is burglarized, any illegal use of your weapon will be your responsibility. There are companies who will store your weapons. Such companies maintain specialized insurance coverage to protect you in case of burglary.
- Items of extremely high value such as: fur, art collections, coin collections, jewelry, silver and silverware, oriental rugs and selective antiques should not be kept in the average storage facility. If you need to store high value items for an extended period consider finding a storage facility that specializes in such items or taking out a secured box at your bank or savings company.
- Medicine of any kind should not be kept in a storage facility.
- Electronics that are highly sensitive to changes in temperature or humidity should not be kept in your storage compartment.
- Mark each box with the room it came from and the contents of the box.
- Use thick layers of cushioning when packing boxes for the storage compartment.
- Seal each box securely before filling your storage compartment.
- If you are storing a refrigerator or a freezer, leave the doors open to avoid encouraging the growth of mold or fungus.
- If you store machines that utilize oil and/or gas, make sure you to fully drain all excess liquid before storing the item.
- If you are storing printers, fax machines, or copy machines, make sure to remove and drain all ink cartridges before storing the item.
- If you plan to store your computer, make sure to back up all of your important data, before packing the computer.
- When filling your storage compartment, remember to pack heavy items at the bottom to avoid damaging delicate items.
- If you are moving yourself, make a descriptive inventory of your belongings, especially if you plan to maintain your storage compartment for an extended period of time.
- You should postpone packing your most useful items until the end, allowing you to access those boxes without having to search for them.
- Before choosing a storage facility, verify the business’ hours of operation, the type of coverage they offer, and make sure that the storage facility is water proof, fire proof and climate controlled. It is also wise to seek a storage facility that maintains an alarm system to prevent theft. It might also be a good idea to ask about discounts or special deals as many storage facilities offer frequent price breaks.
- When you store your goods, make sure that your furniture is securely wrapped and protected with moving pads. Try to divide your furniture with padding to prevent scratching and always use furniture pads or other padding when stacking items on top of one another.
- When you pack your clothes, it is a good idea to pack a few laundry sheets in each box. This will help to maintain a pleasant odor.
- Before signing a contract, make sure you know the facility’s hours of operation and make sure you examine a map of the facility to make sure that your goods are stored in a convenient location.