Renovating, de-cluttering, downsizing? Don’t have space in your home for your possessions? Storage has becomes a big thing in the last few years. Below, you can learn what your options are and how to choose the right storage solution for you.
Firstly, when assessing storage options consider the following:
1)Safety - How safe will your goods be against fire, theft, mold, water damage, and pests?
2)Visiting your goods - If you wish to visit your goods regularly, what times can you do so and how far will you need to travel?
3)Costs - What are all the costs, including transport, unit rental, insurance, and contract cancellation clauses?
With these questions in mind, consider the following options and choose the one(s) that suits your needs.
Friends and Family
The cheapest option is to ask friends and family if you can store your goods in their home or garage. This is a good option if you don’t have a lot of things to store or if your friends have a lot of empty space for you to use. Your friend's insurance policy might not cover your goods so get them to check their policy and consult their insurance provider.
Extremely popular for its flexibly and accessibility, there are a plethora of self-storage places to choose from. They offer short to long-term storage and, usually, you can give notice (2-6 weeks) on your contract, any time. This is great if it’s not the entire contents of your house that needs to be stored and you want to access it regularly. If you plan on visiting your stuff regularly, we suggest getting a unit bigger than you need so that you can easily get to all your items in the unit.
Go to have a look at the place to check the safety of the unit against crime, weather (heat and dampness), vermin, and fire. Ask about whether they can provide insurance (usually not included in the monthly rental rate) or contact your insurance provider.
You provide your own lock and key and can access the unit when you want (within the company’s operating hours).
If you go on debit order, you won’t need to remember to pay each month. On the other hand, debit order makes it easy to forget about the unit and you can waste money for years on storing stuff you don’t need. Should you fail to pay, they might take possession of your belongings and attempt to sell them to recoup the money owed to them.
There are many fine options to choose from (and a few not so fine ones) that are reputable and secure so it will come down to price and convenience.
If you are using a moving company to transport your goods to a storage unit, remember there is often a trade-off as storage units further away will be cheaper, but the cost of your move will likely increase the further away that you get a storage unit.
Moving Company Storage in Transit (SIT)
Many moving companies offer storage in transit (SIT) on a short-term and long-term basis. This is a good option if you are renovating, or if there is a time gap between when you move out of your current home and into your new one. This is a hassle-free option as the moving company collects your goods, stores them, and finally delivers them to you. They should take care of everything. It’s likely that insurance is not included, so ask the moving company if they offer insurance as well as asking your current insurance provider for a quote so you can compare costs.
Container storage is suitable if you are putting the entire contents of your house into storage for the medium to long-term. Long term renovations, overseas work contracts, or extended travel plans are all reasons for going with this option. The company delivers a large container, usually big enough to fit the furniture of 1.5 rooms, for you to pack. It is sealed and taken to their storage facilities. When you want it, they deliver it back to you and you unpack the containers.
Some places offer labour to help you pack, but that will add to the cost. These containers are sealed and generally secure. You should find out what the facilities are like in terms of fire prevention, temperature/humidity regulation and pest control. Again, ask about insurance.
Finally, moving home is a great opportunity to reflect on what you need and what you don’t. You will also need to consider what items will fit in your new home. Storage is good for items you don't use regularly and don't want to throw away. It's also good if you want to store items until you decide what to do with them. Just don’t forget about your stuff in storage!