Whether it’s a new job across the pond or waiting for your dream home to be built, you might have many reasons for needing to store your personal belongings. We recommend you visit potential storage facilities (just like you should visit your mover) before you decide where you want to store your household goods. Here are seven questions you should ask — and why you should ask them — before choosing your storage facility.
1. Is the facility secure?
What type of security is your storage facility offering? Are there surveillance cameras? Alarms? You should feel secure that your belongings are safe when you drive away from the facility.
2. What is the cost?
You received three in-home estimates for your move, do the same for storage. Ask what is included and what isn’t included in the agreement. How much access will you have to your belongings? How are your items being stored? What type of protection will your goods have? These answers will help you decide which storage facility is right for you.
3. Is the facility climate controlled? Temperature controlled?
When you put your goods in storage you want to avoid extremes in temperature, because the heat and cold can affect your belongings through mold or water damage. By storing your belongings in a facility that is climate controlled or at least temperature controlled, you avoid the risk associated with extreme temperatures.
4. Is the facility equipped with a sprinkler system and an alarm?
Accidents do occur, and it’s better to be prepared if they do happen. A responsive sprinkler and alarm system limits the potential damage of a fire.
5. How many times will your goods be handled? Or when will your goods be put into storage?
Some facilities will send their crew members to pick your belongings up and bring them back to the facility. When they have time, they will then pack the goods into the pallet. Other facilities will bring the pallets to your home and put your goods directly into the pallets. This limits the number of times your goods will be handled, which minimizes the potential for damage.
6. Is the facility well maintained?
How does the facility look? Is it clean? What does the facility do to protect against pests and vermin? Do the lights work? Do the alarms work? The answers will help determine the quality of the facility and how you can expect your goods to be handled.
7. Are ‘overflow’ racks for items that are too large to fit inside of pallets organized and clean, and are items completely wrapped and plainly marked with your name?
Not all goods can fit into pallets for storage. For those items, facilities should put the items in the warehouse and have them clearly marked so they are not confused with someone else’s items.
Placing your belongings into storage is an act of trust. You are trusting that your goods will be in the same condition when you remove them as when you put them into storage. These seven questions will help you decide which storage facility is right for you.