There are so many things you have to do when moving, and the day of the move can get genuinely hectic. You will need to cover sorting, packing, contract-signing, sorting utilities for your new home, registering your new address, etc. The list of responsibilities can start feeling endless, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. However, deciding to store your belongings before moving can significantly ease the pressure.

Utilizing a storage facility can be a great way to reduce the stress of moving day. This is mainly because with storage, you don’t have to do everything in one day. It allows you to stagger the moving of your belongings. You can remove things you don’t need out of the house first and do the rest bit by bit.

Using storage is especially helpful when the home you are moving into is a custom log home in a more rural area. As long as the storage you’ll be renting is in the closest urban area to the cabin. The storage unit will give you a middle point between your home and the far away rural area. You won’t need to move everything miles and miles away at once.

What is self-storage?

Self-storage centers offer units of space for rent. These units provide you with a place to store your belongings before moving. You’ll find storage ranging in size from large lockers to rooms the size of a double garage. They are also designed to be safe. Most units are lockable from the outside and covered by CCTV and intruder alarms.

How to choose the right storage facility?

While the general idea is the same with all storage facilities, certain specifics vary. Choosing the right one for your situation makes it even more vital. There are several things you’ll need to consider to achieve that.

The security they offer

Theft is an unavoidable risk when it comes to storage facilities. However, by taking proper precautions, you can minimize that risk. Look for large facilities with 24/7 unsupervised access. Storage facility thefts are most likely to be done by people who pretend to be customers. This is an even bigger concern if alarms and security cameras don’t protect the individual rooms. A great thing to do is to invest in a heavy-duty padlock of a reliable brand from a good hardware store. A robust lock on your storage unit is a wise choice, even if you are fully satisfied with your storage facility’s customer supervision and CCTV.

Also, if you already know (and trust) people who live near your new home, you should try to find a storage facility that is easily accessible to them. You can ask them to pop over from time to time and check on your stuff. They can also take photographs so you know if anything’s been moved.

The condition of the facility

Theft is not the only risk when you decide to store your belongings before moving. The general condition of the facility can also be a problem if not checked. If possible, you should steer clear of storage facilities where internal conditions like humidity aren’t monitored. Also, if the unit doesn’t seem well looked after, it’s probably best to continue your search.

Even if the unit you’ve chosen looks well maintained, there are still a few precautions you could take:

  1. Invest in a battery-operated humidity operator;
  2. Check for moisture droplets appearing on the ceilings or walls;
  3. Use damp sticks and other tools;
  4. Use plastic boxes or vacuum packing instead of cardboard.

Combining movers and storage providers

If applicable, it’s always a good decision to have the same company do everything. Certain companies offer both moving and storage services. They can store your possessions, keep them safe while they are there, and move them out again. Storage is an extra expense to plan for when drawing up your budget. When you have separate providers for moving and storage, you have to include it in your budget separately. Having one company take care of it all and only one bill to pay can save you a lot of time and energy.

How to choose the right size storage unit?

Choosing what size storage you need is not easy. It takes a lot of careful planning. Most storage facilities tend to charge based on square feet. You should look and compare what several facilities offer before making the decision. The first question you have to answer is how tall the units are in the potential storage facilities. If the ceilings are low, the unit’s volume is severely reduced. This means that a 20-square-foot unit in one facility can offer less space than the same size unit in another. Low-ceilinged rooms might also be problematic if you want to store things like a tall cupboard.

How much will storage cost?

When it comes to pricing, there are several things to keep in mind:

  1. Weekly Billing – Many companies bill monthly. That means that if you run a day or two into the next month, you’ll end up paying for weeks of storage that you are not using. So, if you can, our experts recommend finding a facility that bills weekly so you can have a little more flexibility.
  2. Choose your size carefully – If you realize that your unit is too small too late, you may have to pay a fee to upgrade to a bigger size. However, if you go too big, you’ll be spending a lot of money you don’t need to.
  3. Insurance – You should take out an insurance policy to cover your belongings, no matter how secure a storage facility looks.

Pack properly

You should use two main techniques when you store your belongings before moving to make packing and unpacking easier. Firstly, you should choose your packing materials carefully. Choosing the right boxes can seriously affect how smoothly your move will go. Secondly, labeling them properly is imperative. This doesn’t just mean labeling which items are fragile (though that is also important).

It would be best if you tried to make up a labeling system with things like colored sticky notes. You could base it on which items you’ll need to access sooner rather than later. This way, you’ll know what to place closer to the front without opening them and checking. You could also base it on the contents of the box. A specific color can mean clothes, and a different one can mean memorabilia.

Make the most of your space

Things like storing longer items vertically to preserve floor space can go far when trying to make the most of the space you have in your unit. Some storage companies will have workers to help you make the most of your storage area. Another good idea is to take large furniture apart to get it into the unit and have it take up less space. You should be careful and remember to tape the smaller pieces to the bigger ones. This will help you ensure not to lose or mix them up.

Pro tip

When you store your belongings before moving, you should make an inventory of everything you place in your storage unit. Don’t just write down the number of boxes. You should write down their contents as well. Since you will likely be moving your things from your storage unit into your new log home little by little, you may also want to create a map of the unit that goes along with the inventory. This way, you’ll know where specific items are located.

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