Storing Your Possessions

Storage can be used for many different reasons: you're trying to sell your home and you want to clear closets and rooms of extra clutter so that the place shows better; you have too much furniture for your new home; the kids have moved out but you can't part with all their childhood memorabilia; you want to store items for different seasons; you have stacks of documents that you need to keep but don't want them to take up living space.

You can find storage by looking in the yellow pages or on the Internet. Make sure you know what you need, and shop around to get the best deal that meets your needs.

What to Consider When Selecting a Storage Locker

There are several considerations when selecting a storage space:

  • size
  • price
  • lease agreement type: monthly or a longer lease
  • location convenience
  • access hours
  • access limitations
  • protection from water and heat damage
  • climate control
  • pest control
  • security
  • adequate parking
  • distance from parking to unit

If you use a professional storage facility (where your things are packed tightly in a crate and loaded in a warehouse) remember that they hold a maximum of 1100 pounds and often have an access charge.

Packing Your Storage Space

Once you've decided on a storage facility it's important to plan how best to place your items. Get a contact name at the storage facility. The storage manager may also have helpful tips for unloading your belongings. The following is a list of tips to make your storage experience hassle free.

  • Label and number boxes on all sides and top.
  • Make an inventory of your boxes and keep it in a safe place.
  • Create aisles with box labels facing out.
  • Use uniformly sized boxes for easier stacking.
  • Put heavier boxes on the bottom.
  • Mark delicate items as “Fragile”.
  • Don't stack boxes so high that getting what you need becomes dangerous or overly time consuming.
  • Pack items you’ll want to access most frequently in front.
  • Use dust covers over upholstered furniture.
  • Pack items according to season.
  • If you're using a professional mover and having some items dropped off to your storage directly, make sure these boxes are clearly marked to avoid confusion.
  • Do not store hazardous or combustible materials.

Other Tips

  • Use a sturdy lock.
  • Read your agreement for termination and payment regulations.
  • Know whether there are any access limitations.
  • Some storage facilities also provide mail services.
  • Truck rental may be available.