Pawling Self Storage -- Self Storage Tips by Sarah Sernaker
1. Consider the space. How much space is needed for your belongings? For example, a student dorm usually fits in a 5X10 space, a 1 bedroom apartment,10X10, and so on. If you use movers (or a u-haul) you can tell by how big the truck is that is, to see how much space you need. If you get too big a space, you are paying too much, and it can be wasteful. On the other hand, if you need to have access to your things, it is sometimes beneficial to have that extra space. If you don’t need to access your things, a smaller space is fine. Also consider how high it is appropriate to stack your things. For example, you don’t want to stack heavy things on a sofa, or the springs and cushions could wear out prematurely. And boxes might break if there are heavy things stacked on top of lighter ones.
2. Consider the climate. Is the facility climate controlled or not? Is the facility too cold in the winter, or too hot in the summer? A storage unit that is too hot in the summer may melt the glue in some furniture. Too cold, and it may crack your bowling ball. Also uncontrolled humidity can lead to mold or other problems.
3. Consider your contents. Do you have musical instruments art, antiques, or expensive electronics? Those are things that almost always should be in a climate-controlled facility. Wood on violins and guitars can warp, expensive finishes can be ruined, and the humidity can affect those as well. A regular television might be fine in a non climate-controlled facility, but ask yourself if you would feel comfortable putting your fancy stereo system or medical equipment that you paid thousands of dollars for into a facility that can be a hundred degrees?
4. Consider the location of the facility. How far away do you wish to travel? You might save money by choosing a facility that is further away, but if you go there often, it may cost more in gas, time, and wear and tear on the vehicle. Similar to choosing a space, how often you access your things is a factor. In addition, you might consider how convenient is the location? Maybe it is not the closest, but if it is next to the supermarket or post office, it might be more convenient. Also, if it is on the wrong side of the street, it may not be as attractive a location that is easy to get to, and might have a traffic light or a proper turn lane.
5. Consider security. How secure is the facility? Do you need a code to enter the facility, or can anyone just walk in? Is there a person in the office most of the time to keep an eye on things, or is it like an abandoned building? Is the facility well-lit at night, or is do you feel like you are entering a dark alley when you go to your storage unit? Are there fire sprinklers in case of a fire? Are there working cameras and an alarm system at the facility?
6. Consider logistics. Do you need to go upstairs to access your things? If so, is an elevator available? If there are stairs that you need to use, are they safe for carrying heavy objects? Is the bathroom open at night when you might need to stop in and get something? Is there enough light in the hallways?
7. Consider lighting. If your storage unit is not lit (most are not), did you remember to purchase a magnetic or tap on light for the inside of your unit? This is particularly important if you are going to be working inside of the unit, organizing, or going through old papers.
8. Consider how to pack. Movers roll delicate objects in paper, and then fold over the right side of the paper, then the left, and roll some more and then tightly pack the box so those things don’t move around. After moving six times I can tell you that method works well. It may not be as important to pack a storage unit that carefully, but it can’t hurt. When packing things into a storage unit, large furniture should go in the back, and boxes filled in later, or may be stacked on the side(s) depending on preference. It can be very frustrating to go to the storage unit needing an extra chair, and finding that it is not accessible. In addition, as stated previously, care must be taken to avoid stacking heavy items on lighter ones. Upholstered furniture and mattresses should be wrapped or put in plastic. Care should be taken to box up or otherwise wrap art, so the paint and glass are not damaged. Never stack anything on top of paintings as well. Boxes should be labeled, for ease of moving back into a house.
9. Consider the critters. Does the facility have regular pest control? Pests can eat through expensive wiring, destroy important papers, and mess up clothing, and just about everything. It is worth taking the time to make sure pest control is done professionally and on a regular basis, to avoid problems.