A messy heap of furniture.

Common Mistakes in Self Storage and How to Avoid Them

StaxUP Storage | June 27, 2024 @ 12:00 AM

Self-storage units are the ideal solution for any family or business that has more items than space. This situation is relatively common – and with common situations comes a greater possibility of mistakes. People frequently make mistakes when using self-storage, which can lead to stress, money waste, and item damage. Here are some tips to make sure you avoid these traps and have a good time with self-storage.

1. Not Choosing the Right Size Unit

Mistake: Renting a unit that is either too large or too small for your needs.

Solution: Before renting, take an inventory of the items you plan to store. Take the size of your belongings into account, as well as the quantity you'll need to pack away. You may want to get advice from the staff and view size recommendations when selecting a storage facility. To be safe, round up when you're estimating the amount of space you'll need – that way, you won't overfill your unit.

2. Not Properly Packing

Mistake: Storing your belongings without adequate protection.

Solution: When you're packing up your items for storage, be sure to use plenty of newspaper, packing paper, and bubble wrap. Choose your sturdiest cardboard boxes or plastic bins. (Many storage facilities, including some StaxUP Storage locations, sell packing and moving supplies to make your move-in process easier.) Pack up your boxes with the heaviest items first and then work upwards, so your lightest things are on top. Label your boxes carefully. Sometimes you have to store delicate items or valuables, so in addition to packing carefully you should choose a unit that is well shielded from humidity and temperature changes. Which leads to the next common mistake:

3. Ignoring Climate Control

Mistake: Keeping documents, musical instruments, or any other delicate items in non-climate-controlled storage units.

Solution: Choose a climate-controlled storage unit if you're planning to store electronics, artwork, antiques, or records. This will prevent damage from unexpected swings in humidity and temperature.

4. Ignoring Insurance 

Mistake: Assuming that the insurance the storage facility obtained as a prerequisite for your agreement covers your items.

Solution: Ask your storage facility for more information on their insurance options. Many facilities have affordable coverage plans. Frequently, you can add a rider to your renter's or homeowner's insurance to cover any of your belongings kept in storage. This guarantees protection against damage, theft, and other hazards.

5. Not Taking Advantage of Vertical Space

Mistake: Only using the floor space of your storage unit.

Solution: Go up! Don't just pile your boxes on the floor – add shelving units or hanging storage aids to make the most of your unit space. By adding more shelves, you enable the right arrangement of boxes and other items so you don't have to rearrange your full unit any time you need to grab something. This reduces the possibility of something getting crushed as well.

6. Not Making an Inventory List 

Mistake: Not knowing what is kept where.

Solution: Make a list of all items going into the storage unit with sufficient descriptions of each. Consider breaking this list down by box or by room. Keep one copy of the list at your current address and another in the storage unit. This will help you identify what you own and where it's located, saving you time and the worry that comes with trying to find any given item.

7. Not Considering Accessibility

Mistake: Placing frequently needed items in the back of the unit.

Solution: While arranging everything in your storage unit, take into account the functional arrangement of the unit. If you have objects in storage that you plan to take out somewhat frequently, make sure these are in the front of the unit. However you arrange your unit, allow for unobstructed lanes so you can reach anything kept in the back.

8. Skipping Regular Checks

Mistake: Forgetting to visit the storage facility and check on your belongings.

Solution: To find out the state of the things you store, make sure you go to the storage facility often. By doing this, you'll catch onto potential problems in your unit – leaks, vermin, damage, etc. – early enough that you can fix them before they get dangerous.

9. Disregarding Facility Security

Mistake: Choosing a facility with insufficient security.

Solution: Select a storage facility that offers high security measures at the facility: security codes, cameras, locked gates, and vigilant employees. Ask about the safety protocols the storage facility follows, and make sure you visit and tour the space.

10. Overpacking Your Unit

Mistake: Cramming too much into the unit.

Solution: Resist the urge to stuff your storage unit to the gills. To make accessing the goods easy and to provide some breathing room, give each box and piece of furniture its breathing room. If, later on, you find that you need additional room, you can either move into a larger unit or rent a second one.

Avoiding these common mistakes will help you make the most of your self-storage experience. By choosing the right size unit, packing items properly, considering climate control, and keeping an organized inventory, you can guarantee that your belongings remain safe and accessible. Remember to regularly check on your unit and choose a facility with excellent security, like StaxUP Storage, to give yourself peace of mind. Happy storing! 

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