When you’re looking to make sure your storage unit is as secure as possible, there’s no question that you want a solid, hard to break padlock. This isn’t a tip so much as it’s common sense. But in my years of moving and storing the possessions I just couldn’t part with, there are some things I’ve learned from experience that can help set you on the right path to making sure your storage locker is secure and taken care of.
1) Don’t skip renters insurance
Important fun fact: most renters insurance policies can be applied to storage units. Generally speaking your basic policy will be up to $10,000, but you will need to make sure you have records (photographs to go with your list) of your valuables. If you need more, then you will want to talk directly with the insurance providers to see what they can offer.
While this sounds like an optional expense, it’s an important safety net. Should the worst happen and your storage unit is damaged or robbed, it’s much easier to get over the loss when you have thousands of dollars in hand as opposed to nothing. It’s worth the $10 or so a month to have that level of peace of mind.
2) Wood pallets are your friend
One of the best things you can do to keep your stuff in good shape is to keep it off of the floor. This is doubly true for storage units that are not climate controlled. One of the best ways to do this is with wood pallets. They’re cheap (often free if you ask around some local shipping companies), sturdy, and can keep all your furniture and belongings off the ground.
They also make for a great bonfire if you’re having a going away celebration after emptying out the unit.
3) Pack the unit with care
Careful planning makes all the difference. Make sure the heavy boxes, furniture, and crates go in first. If you have a couch, only stack lighter boxes on it. You don’t want your heaviest crates of books damaging the springs for months on end! Have your heaviest items packed first and help yourself out by having an idea of everything you’re storing and how you’re going to pack it all in.
4) Look for plastic bins and shipping containers
While boxes are cheap, plentiful, and easy to find, you will be much happier over the long haul (sorry about the pun!) with plastic storage containers. They are sturdy, offer additional protection from moisture, bugs, and all the problems those two things bring with them. They also tend to be uniform in size and shape, meaning much easier stacking. All you have to do is label them heavy or light and you are set to go.
5) Use quilts & blankets around delicate items
Whether it’s an artistic wood carving or a favorite painting, using blankets and quilts to wrap around these items is a great way to help prevent scratching, and can often be done within a box or plastic container for that extra little bit of protection. Just make sure you remember that you use blankets this way – you don’t want to yank one out of a box just to send something precious flying across the room!
Follow these five tips and you are far more likely to have a great storage experience where all your items are safe and secure.