We’ve seen it too often. Tenants return to their Virginia storage units after months to find their valuable belongings moldy and deteriorated. Or they stack their boxes poorly, and the dishes at the top of the stack have fallen over and broken. Or a box bursts open on the move and scatters their things everywhere.
We’ve been in the industry for a while. We’ve seen it all. And to help keep you from making the same mistakes, we offer an extensive list of packing, moving, and storage tips. Read through some before you start packing, and we’re sure you’ll have a safe, smooth storage experience.
Finding a storage unit can be an overwhelming task, especially if you aren't familiar with all of the options and features available. It's best to assess all of your storage needs before you even search for a local storage facility.
Consider how long you might need the storage unit. Many facilities offer discounts for long-term storage, but some may also have specials for temporary rentals.
Estimate how much space you will require. Save money by only renting the space you need. Feel free to use the self storage calculator to help you. Many facilities will store larger items including cars, camper and other motorized vehicles.
How often will you need to access the unit? Some facilities are accessible 24/7 and may even have drive-up access. Hours of operations range from facility to facility and should be taken into consideration depending on your needs.
Are any of the items you plan to store sensitive to temperature or humidity? If so, you will most likely need a climate-controlled storage unit. Typically the following items need to be stored indoors with some type of climate-control: leathers, furs, clothing, paintings, film, photographs, furniture, antiques, musical instruments, wine, paper, software, DVDs, CDs and electronics.
All storage facilities should have secure units, but if you require additional security for your possessions ask the facility if they have any of the following: fencing, surveillance cameras, motion lights, alarms, guards or a police presence.
You may also want to consider mobile storage for your items. If you decide to use mobile storage, a unit will be brought to you and removed after you have packed it. The unit will be stored at the facility or can be shipped to another location. The cost and features of mobile storage are comparable to self-storage but if you require regular access to your belongings, it may not be the best option for your needs.
Whether you need to pack a few items to put in the attic, send some boxes to a self storage unit to clear the house of clutter or pack everything you own in order to move, you want to do it right. This means packing carefully and thinking ahead. Take a few precautions to help prevent damage and make it easier to find things later. When summer rolls around, you want to be able to find the other half of your wardrobe without having to open and move stacks of boxes that weren’t clearly labeled.
As you look around your house, you realize that you have accumulated more than will fit into the square footage available in your home. It may be that you cannot abide junk and regularly rid your home of worn out items and things no one wants anymore. Still, you see that too many things are cluttering your home and hiding its style and pizzazz. You decide to rent a self storage unit. It will allow you to rotate your treasures in and out of your house at the whim of your inner design guru. Now comes the hard part. What should stay and what should be tucked away in your self storage unit?
Anyone who needs to store documents, whether a business or an individual, should take special care in where and how they save this data. Documents require special care when they are placed into storage. Fire safety is imperative, but special precautions should also be taken to avoid even small amounts of moisture as this also can destroy documents. A little humidity may be enough to cause documents to mildew when they are not stored properly. In addition, documents worthy of the expense involved in placing them into storage may be important enough to require strong security measures.
A self storage unit may be the answer for those who would like to remove document clutter from their workplace or home, but who also want greater personal control at a lower price.
Self storage facilities allow you to remove documents from your business or household and store them at a secure location, and storage facilities come in many forms. Those planning to store documents should look for more than just a room that protects goods from wind and weather.
Military members and their families understand that relocation comes with the job, often on short notice. Whether your move involves a Permanent Change of Station (PSC), Temporary Duty (TDY) or Temporary Additional Duty (TAD), self storage can be a convenient option for long or short-term use.
To prevent unnecessary expenses and last minute decisions, it is important to plan ahead. Whether you have six months or one week before moving, the smallest amount of organization can help.
Before you start packing, visit your military financial center and learn which travel and transportation stipends are available to you. When moving, the option is to either do it yourself or hire a moving company. There are military programs that can assist you if you decide to do it yourself. According to www.military.com, “The Do-It-Yourself (DITY) move is a voluntary program that allows you to be reimbursed by the government for moving your own belongings.”
Once you’ve started planning, there are many things to consider during your search for a public storage facility.
How much storage space will you rent? Identify the items you will be taking with you and decide which items will be left behind. Are you storing a few small boxes or an entire household worth of furniture? Many storage facilities offer outdoor parking for car or boat storage, as well. Once you have figured out the items you will be stowing, a storage calculator is a handy way to determine the storage unit size that meets your needs, and it can also prevent you from overpaying for a space that is too large. If you’re relocating to another state or overseas for a long period of time, amenities like climate control and property security are important features to consider. Once you’ve established how much storage and which type, planning your budget and moving options is a much easier task.
Many storage facilities offer military discounts for active-duty personnel and their families. Also, if you will be deployed for many months or years, there are many long-term rental specials available and if it works within your budget, many storage companies offer pre-payment discounts.
There are a variety of additional services available at most self storage facilities. A majority of locations offer online and automatic payment options, which is very helpful for someone whose military deployment is an extensive assignment or in a remote location. Also, many storage businesses sell packing and moving supplies (such as boxes, locks, furniture covers and more), and also provide their customers with the option of truck rental – which is sometimes included in the rental at no additional charge.
Moves and deployments can be stressful experiences for military personnel and their families. When there are bigger issues to consider, moving your household and family should be a simple undertaking, and with proper preparation, using self storage can be a hassle-free process.
Let’s face it: moving to a new home can be a frustrating and demanding process. But sometimes it’s a necessary evil. For many people, like military personnel who receive permanent change of station (PCS) orders every few years, moving is a part of life. The good news is: proper research and planning can make your move much less distressing so you can focus on the fun things, like arranging your new place.
Families essentially have two choices for relocating belongings: do it yourself, or hire a moving company.
If you choose to do it yourself, you will have total control over the fate of your things, which is certainly a nice benefit. What’s more, you will probably save a lot of money. But you will also have more work, fewer helping hands, sore backs, and no one to blame but yourself if your things get damaged.
Professional movers, on the other hand, are typically well trained in the laborious arts of packing, lifting and moving. Their process can go much faster than do-it-yourself and good movers know how to protect your stuff. If they don’t, replacements costs may come out of their pockets!
That said, finding and choosing a “good” moving company isn’t always easy. A Google search with keywords like “bad movers” can attest to that, and we’ve all heard horror stories from friends or family about disreputable companies. That’s why it’s vital to sort the good from the bad as early as you can. To ensure you get a quality moving company, you’ll want to put in some legwork.
Think about what you want from a move. Then, before you reach out to any companies, make a checklist of what you need and expect from your relocation experience. This list will help you keep your questions on track, your expectations clear, and your estimates accurate.
The best way to find a reliable moving company is by word-of-mouth. If you know someone who has recently moved, find out which moving company they chose and what they thought of the service. Your real estate agent might also be able to give a good recommendation (as well as tell you which movers to avoid!).
Use the web to search and compare local and national companies. Several terrific independent websites offer unbiased information and comparisons of movers, like 123Movers.com. But be alert: some mover-directory websites gather your contact information and sell it to multiple movers; your phone may start ringing a lot. A consumer ratings site, like Yelp.com, aggregates customer feedback for an expansive customer review.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of your movers, you should do a final check with the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to make sure none of them have serious problems with unresolved complaints.
After talking to a handful of companies, arrange for at least three or four in-home estimates to get a better idea of your moving costs. It’s the only way to get a close-to-accurate moving quote, and it’s usually a good way to screen out scammer moving companies (who often don’t like to take the time to give you an in-home estimate).
Show the moving company everything you plan to move. The more thorough you are in detailing what has to be relocated, the more accurate the estimate will be. Also, let the estimator know about any issues at your home — or the home you’re moving to — that could complicate the process. Lots of stairs, narrow angles and poor driveway access are just a few examples that might add to your overall costs.
Comparing quotes will help you decide which company to choose, but try not to make your choice by cost alone. It may be smarter to spend a little more money and get the company with the best reputation. If you just have a bad feeling you can’t explain but the price is right, trust your gut over your wallet.
Once you make a decision, you’ll be asked to sign a contract outlining the details of your move. Read. The. Contract. If anything seems strange or confusing, ask for clarification. Make notes right on your contract. If the mover dismisses any phrase in the contract by suggesting, “Don’t worry about that,” cross out the sentence. Ask the mover to initial and date any contract changes in pen.
Don’t forget to give your movers a call a few days beforehand to confirm your arrangements. Be sure you (or a trusted friend) attend all inventory counts and truck weigh-ins in person. Make your own notes. Keep all documents and records in a safe place where they can’t be misplaced during the move.
These basic guidelines should help you position yourself for a successful move. But in the end if you feel like you’ve been taken advantage of, cheated in some way, or robbed by a mover, report it immediately and report it often.
It can be difficult to make space in your home or garage for unused appliances. But because new appliances are expensive, many people prefer to hold on to old ones for hand-me-downs, vacation homes, or back-ups. A self storage rental can be a convenient, affordable solution — short-term or long-term. However, if you don’t properly prepare your appliances for remote storage, you may return to find useless, moldy boxes. Below is some useful advice for secure appliance storage.
If you have additional questions or concerns regarding appliance storage, remember that your self storage facility manager may be a great source of information and guidance.
Taking the proper precautions is very important if you want your boat to be ready to use when spring comes. Failure to winterize your boat can cause significant damage such as cracks, leaks, corrosion, and frozen pipes. Freezing, dormancy, moisture, and corrosion can lead to large repair bills. In order to avoid costly repairs in the spring, it is important to take the proper precautions in the fall.
Here are some necessary steps to take when winterizing your boat:
Most insurance policies don’t cover damage caused by lack of maintenance, so winterizing is very important. The best way to winterize your boat is to check your owner’s manual; every boat is different. Don’t be afraid to seek professional help and ask lots of questions if you have never winterized before. It’s better to be safe than sorry.