There often comes a time in life when you have more stuff than you have space to store it, and the best solution you can come up with is to rent extra storage. Maybe you are in between apartments, or perhaps you’ve recently acquired more things than you know what to do with, or maybe it’s just that you don’t want to look at your things that you only use occasionally. Whatever the case, storage units can be a life saver.
It might seem like all there is to it is to make some payments, toss your things in and throw a lock on it, which is definitely one way to go about it. But if you want your storage unit to work for you, that is you don’t want an avalanche of your belongings to bury you every time you unlock the door, there are a few tips we’ve learned over the years we thought we’d share.
This is true with anything and everything in life, but especially true for rental storage units. Instead of tossing your old clothes in garbage bags and telling yourself that you’ll definitely remember where everything is, try using rubber bins with lids or cardboard boxes that stack neatly on top of each other. And then label them! You will thank yourself later when you can easily find those tools that you knew you would need one day.
Depending on what you’re storing, it’s a good idea to think into the future and consider what you will need and when, then fill the space accordingly by putting lesser used things at the back and then working your way forward. If you are storing an old piano that you plan to give to your children when they get older, that can probably one of the first things to go in. If you are storing Christmas decorations that you know you will need every year or other seasonal sporting equipment, you probably don’t want to bury them so they are impossible to get at later. Staying organized (see above) will help make this step easier.
Protect and preserve
This goes two ways — you want to preserve the items that are going in your unit, and you want to protect the unit itself. Consider lining the walls of the unit with old blankets or tarps so that you don’t scuff and damage them from moving things in and out. And then of course you want to protect your own things, otherwise you might as well just take a trip to the garbage dump and save yourself the monthly fee. If you are going through the trouble of storing your goods, make sure they are well packed with padding or lining. You might also want to wrap some goods in plastic so that dust and critters don’t make your personal belongings their personal home.
Get it off the ground
In Vancouver, there is no shortage of rain and even snow sometimes, and you never know if drains will get clogged or if there will be some kind of leak from a neighbouring unit. If water seeps into your units and your items are on the ground, there’s almost no saving them after that. So, you’ll want to elevate your belongings. Laying pallets on the floor is an effective and usually free way to get your things off the ground.
Play it safe
While storage rental places do their very best to keep your items secure by installing cameras and lighting systems, you don’t want to take any chances with thieves who are out to outsmart the system. Get yourself a heavy duty lock that bolt cutters don’t stand a chance against. If you are storing valuables inside the unit, you might also want to consider getting a combination safe as well. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your valuables.
Consider the weather
With fluctuating temperatures like we have in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, consider that there are times when the rain or snow will affect how easy it is to get your things in and out of your storage unit. It’s a good idea to keep extra tarps for when it rains, or snow removing salt if it’s snowing. And this goes for your items inside the unit, too. If you are storing things that react to drastically changing temperatures or humidity like wood or vinyl, make sure that they are wrapped up and stored accordingly.
Staying organized and thinking ahead serve us well with everything in life, and it’s no different with storage rental units and storing your belongings. We hope this helps make your next experience at least a little bit easier.