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Utilizing Storage Units

Whether you need space for your belongings in between leases, or there’s not enough closet space in the universe to house your shoe addiction, there are a number of reasons why movers need storage units. You’re not alone. Over half of self-storage users are movers, like yourself, according to a survey conducted by SpareFoot. Selecting the right storage unit can be a challenge. Here are some things to consider before selecting the right unit for you.

Size
Make a list of what you’ll be placing in storage to determine how much space you actually need. Remember, smaller might seem smarter when it comes to your bank account, but not when you have to disassemble your entire unit to locate your Christmas tree. Leave yourself some wiggle room. Sometimes it’s helpful to map it out in order to better visualize the volume of your items. Also remember, you will be stacking your items. Larger and heavier items should be placed first to avoid crushing your small stuff. Investing in quality boxes or storage bins goes a long way.  

Type of unit
Not all units are created equal, so it’s good to know what’s available. There are alternatives to the standard, garage-style units.  

  • Portable units: If you’re in between housing, a portable unit might be the right choice for you. For these types of customers, Atlas offers storage-in-transit (SIT).Once you’re all set to move in, the agent delivers the portable unit right to your new door.
  • Climate controlled units: Look back  at that list of items you plan to put into storage. If photographs, wooden furniture or electronics are anywhere on that list, you’re going to want a climate controlled unit. These types of units might be more costly, but if it means preserving your photographic history from birth to high school graduation, you and your mom will be thankful you splurged.

Location
It might seem logical to go with the facility closest to you, but this isn’t necessarily true for a couple of reasons. Think of your relationship with your storage facility like the one you have with your dentist. If all is well, your visits are minimal, mostly for minor housekeeping purposes. But when it comes to something major, like a root canal, you aren’t going to just walk across the street to the guy with the tooth fairy listed on his resume. When it comes to your precious assets, credibility trumps convenience. Do a little research beforehand. Also, if you live in an urban area, it might actually be cheaper to go the distance.

Insurance
In the event of something tragic, you want to make sure you are protected. Check your home or renters insurance policy to see if it covers items in storage facilities. If not, consider adding this type of coverage to your existing policy, if possible, or selecting a facility that offers insurance.

Security
Since you won’t be policing your own belongings every day, select a facility that offers a level of security you’re comfortable with. Look for facilities with security amenities, such as cameras, gated access and unit locks.    

Timeframe
Figure out how long you’ll be renting. Some facilities might offer a discount if you plan on signing a longer rental agreement. But if you plan on renting for a short or undetermined period of time, a month-to-month contract is probably a better option.  

Discounts and promotions
Eighty percent of storage users receive some type of discount or promotion from their rental facility, according to the SpareFoot survey mentioned above, Consumer Trends in Self-Storage: How Tenants ChooseRent and Use the Product. These promotions or discounts aren’t always advertised, so be proactive about it. It might score you a free month!

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