Thursday, February 20, 2014

Five Things You Probably Didn't Know About Self-Storage

My family moves quite often - sometime it happens more out of necessity than choice, but in time where we end up in a new apartment or condo with less space, I'm thankful for the option of self-storage. In all the years I have moved around the Eastern seaboard, I've learned a few things about storing items and moving. If you are considering a storage unit rental for the first time, there may be a few things you don't know but should, things a rental unit manager may not suggest offhand. If you plan a move and need to stow furniture temporarily or long-term, keep these tidbits in mind.

1) The more valuable the item is, the farther back in the storage unit it should be placed. This is recommended for two reasons: security and safety. With the valuable items out of reach, you are less likely to damage them when you come into your unit to add new things. Also, should you open your unit while others are around, people are less likely to see what valuables you have stored. This is not to say that your storage facility has lax security, but it's always important to play it safe.

2) Furniture should be disassembled as much as possible before storage. If the legs come off desks, if the shelves come out of the bookcase, take them apart. Take apart bedframes, too, because they are easier to store that way and give you more space in the unit and less worry about damage.

3) You may pay a bit more for the clear plastic storage bins, but you'll find they're definitely worth the price when you have to search for something in your unit. Clear storage bins are helpful and may keep you from opening every last box in your unit and getting dust inside them.

4) Moth balls may not smell pleasant, but you'll be thankful for them when they keep bugs and other creatures out of your belongings. Especially if you plan to store clothing, you'll want that protection.

5) For covering upholstered furniture and other goods, use bedsheets instead of plastic. Plastic has a tendency to retain moisture, and you may discover your furniture has mildewed if you leave it too long. Old bed sheets protect your chairs and sofas and keep away dust.

Above all else, make sure you find a reputable self-storage facility with reasonable rates, good security, and convenient operating hours.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Chesapeake storage facilities and Norfolk storage units.
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