You have a pile of stuff and you just want to store it. Why not just call up the first self-storage company you find on Google and call it a day?
Here’s why: not all temporary storage spaces are created equal. If you don’t mind exposing your valuables to damage, go ahead and take your chances. But if you want to make sure you’re paying for proper storage that will preserve your items, there are some qualities you need to look for.
Many items, especially older items made of organic materials, are extremely prone to degradation in the wrong conditions. Temperature fluctuations, humidity, and sunlight can cause your prized possessions to decompose before long, negating the reason you looked for self-storage in the first place.
The four qualities you need to look for are simple, and a reputable storage company should advertise them loud and proud. Look for these qualities when deciding where to rent:
Nothing says “rob me” like a building of valuable goods out in the middle of nowhere that’s barely guarded. One person sitting at the front desk isn’t enough. There should be gate access when entering the facility as well as perimeter fencing and security cameras monitoring every square foot of the property.
Many people treat their storage units like safety deposit boxes, dropping off heirlooms and valuables that they don’t wish to keep in their house for fear of breakage, theft, or environmental issues. Burglars know this and will target a storage facility with less than stringent security measures.
So, the building is secured, but is it climate controlled?
Books, furniture, clothing, and any number of items are all affected by sub-ideal climate conditions. Heat and humidity breed mould, which can get into your belongings and ruin them. It’s a rude surprise to open a book or unfold a sweater and see a parasitic growth has taken over. Sometimes you can wash it out, but you’ll usually have to trash mouldy items.
Fluctuations in temperature can also do damage to your belongings. Furniture expands and contracts as it gets warmer and colder. If this happens repeatedly, a piece of furniture can incur a crack in its fundamental structure. If anyone goes to sit on it again, it could break, which at best is embarrassing and at worst dangerous.
Documents also need a cool, climate-controlled environment to prevent mould. If you’re storing important business documents off-site, you’ll need to make sure there is consistent climate control.
It speaks to the modernity and maintenance of the facility to have integrated climate control throughout. It’s a must for most items, and a quality you shouldn’t compromise on when selecting a storage facility.
Again, speaking to the maintenance of the storage facility, make sure it’s visibly clean. The facility should enlist a professional cleaning service on a regular basis to ensure the building is appealing to customers and to prevent infestations.
Debris that enters a storage facility can be damaging. For example, dust can coat furniture and paintings, and mud can track onto floors and damage boxes on ground level. This will absolutely damage your goods before long.
The cleanliness of the facility also demonstrates how diligent the company is in checking the building over thoroughly. It’s often through cleaning that issues are spotted, allowing them to be rectified in the quickest possible manner. Regular cleaning also shows the company isn’t afraid to re-invest their proceeds into their building to please the customers they currently have and expand their business by attracting new ones. This kind of business is conscientious and will likely be in operation for a long time to come, something to think about if you’re storing items for the long term.
One size definitely does not fit all. Whether you need to store your grandparents’ love letters, your company’s tax documents, a yacht, or an art deco sofa, your square footage needs will vary widely when looking for a temporary storage unit. If a facility offers only one size, you’ll either be overpaying for square footage you don’t need or be required to book more than one unit to fit the entirety of your load. A good storage facility will offer different size options to rent, allowing you to pay for just what you need. You’ll store your items more efficiently and economically.
These four qualities will put you in good shape for finding the right temporary storage space for you. Keep in mind that a facility that lacks any one of these qualities could cost you considerable time, money, and stress in the long run, especially if it leads to your valuables being ruined or stolen. Taking a bit more time to evaluate your options will pay off majorly in the long run.
If you’re looking for clean, secure, and affordable self-storage spaces, call Ultrastor at (289) 812-0153, or contact us here.