There will likely be a time (or a few times) in life when you have some extra things and you aren’t sure what to do with them; storage closets and garden sheds can only hold so much. This is the perfect time to consider storage as an option. Before you dive in, here are 5 tips for a successful storage experience.
1. Determine Your Need
There are many different reasons to decide on storage, but you want to have a clear reason and goal in mind when you’re making your decision. Here are just a few common situations when storage can help:
- Your extra belongings are taking up valuable space in your home
- You have some items you don’t use often, but aren’t ready to part ways with them
- Storing items will temporarily create extra room in your home for guest or a remodel
- Business materials, inventory, documents, and files need a safe place to be stored that isn’t your home or office
- It’s off season and you need a place for your RV or boat
- Neighborhood parking ordinances or limit space makes it difficult to park your motorcycle, car, or other motorized vehicle
Knowing why you want to store items can help you choose the right service and option for you. Don’t worry, we’ll cover more on that below.
2. Make a List
Now that you know why you want to choose storage, it’s time to decide on what you will be storing. Organize all your items in one specific area of your home or yard if possible and make a list of everything. This will not only help you keep track of everything but assist you with selecting the size of a storage unit or number of containers or boxes a little later.
Make sure you don’t have items such as food, plants, anything flammable, paint, and anything with a strong odor. For a full list of which items you shouldn’t store, take a look at our Do’s and Don’t of Self-Storage guide.
3. Know Your Options
There are many different options available to fit your needs, and it’s helpful to take a quick look at all of them before making a final decision. As we mentioned before, your need can help with determining which option is best for you.
Climate controlled and drive up Self-Storage facilities are widely available in the United States and Canada, and each facility is unique to its market. Some facilities have features such as climate-controlled storage, heated storage, or 24-hour access. To find the perfect unit size for you, use our Self-Storage Size Guide.
Another great option for storage is U-Box. These convenient, flexible, and secure containers allow you to move and store your goods on your time. U-Box moving and storage containers can be brought directly to your door where you can pack them at your own pace and then store them or ship to your new home when ready.
Similarly, this allows you to travel without having to worry about extra cargo and enjoy flexibility with the timing of your move. Use our estimator tool to get an idea of how many U-Box containers you will need. If you end up getting more containers than you need, we will be happy to pick up the unused U-Box containers and credit you the full cost.
If you are a college student looking to store your belongings during summer or winter break or while studying abroad, Collegeboxes is likely your best option.
Most customers find the 5 boxes contained in our Supply/Starter Kit to be sufficient, but you can order additional kits as needed too. If you have bigger items or need to store a large amount, a U-Box container is also a good choice.
4. Get Organized
Now you know why you’re storing and what you’re storing, and you’ve selected a service that fits your needs. The next step is to make sure your items are organized.
A full storage unit can be hard to get around in. This can cause major headaches when you have a need for that one item that’s in a box on the bottom in the back of your self-storage unit. To avoid this, create a walkway that helps you easily navigate through your unit.
Placement and labeling are also things you can do to better organize your stored goods. Put the items you will likely need the most toward the front of your unit or U-Box so you can get to them right away. In addition, clearly label all your boxes so you know exactly what is in them or which room or area they are from.
Finally, map out your storage space and even take photos. These will be your reference for finding what you need, and your labeled boxes will help you confirm that you’re in the right area or close to where you want to be when looking for an item later.
5. Safety First
Storage safety features:
- Security Cameras
- Individually alarmed rooms
- Electronic Access
- Fire Sprinklers
Although your stored goods with U-Haul are well protected, you can do a few things to make sure your items are safe as well. For instance, don’t leave your unit or U-Box unlocked. This just leaves you open to having your items stolen. Also, only allow authorized people that you trust to access your self-storage unit, U-Box, or Collegeboxes.
If you want even more piece of mind, there are damage coverage options available to keep your stored items safe from unexpected events. In other words, if your goods are worth storing, they are worth protecting.
In conclusion, now that you’re prepared with these 5 tips for successful storage, you’re ready to get started! Don’t forget to revisit these tips when you begin planning to make sure you have the best storage experience possible.