How to choose your long distance storage facility.
Long Distance Moving Storage
Most people don't put much effort into looking for and choosing storage facilities. Here's a good way to look at it - you won't be living there, but your stuff will, so you need to examine the facilities nearly as closely as you would a home.
Many moving companies offer storage options for its customers. The main benefit is that only one entity handles the move and storage of your items, which will save you time, effort, and possibly money as well. You moving company will generally move the items into their storage and then schedule a delivery when you're ready to receive them.
Your other option is to choose a self-storage facility, where you do all lifting, loading up a truck - which the storage facility will sometimes offer up for free -- and unloading of your goods at the storage facility into a storage container.
Mobile storage is a hybrid offering. A large, portable container is dropped off at your home or business, you load the container, and the container is either stored on your property or stored at a large facility with other storage containers.
Location Is Key
If self-storage facilities are your preferred option, consider using a facility close to home. This can save money and time if you make frequent visits.
With all options, be sure to take note of access times for your stuff. Some offer 24-hour access while others have more normal business hours. Some facilities, like mobile storage centers, require 24-hour notice to access your unit.
Investigate the security measures for the facility you wish to choose. How do they intend to store your goods within the unit itself? Are the security measures different during regular business hours versus afterhours? What kind of neighborhood is the storage facility in? Would you feel comfortable visiting during off-hours?
It depends on size, storage period, special needs, and the storage facilities' own marketing objectives. Special offers and discounts from the storage facilities will be fewer during busy periods, and storage companies will try to offer incentives to persuade you to commit to a longer rental period. You'll often find deals for the first month free, so look around.
An estimate from a storage company is different from a mover's estimate in that no extra charges can be added without the agreement of the customer. Before the storage company accepts your goods, they will supply you with a written estimate upon your request. The written estimate is usually free. The warehouse operator must inspect the items to be stored physically, and issue you a copy of the estimate.
Insurance is an important issue to investigate, especially if you plan to store high-value items. Storage companies offer their own insurance, and it is recommended to find out about the facility's procedures in cases such as fire, flood, etc. Make sure you fully understand how the insurance they are offering will cover any potential damage. Also, check with your own agent to see if you renters insurance or homeowners insurance will cover you.
Do I Really Need It?
When deciding whether to store your items, consider what you really need to keep, what can go and what may be needed some day. Keeping only what you really need will reduce storage costs and will prevent the hassle of moving them again later down the road.