1. Check The Cost Of The Deposit
All self storage companies usually charge a deposit. This often equates to the cost of 4 weeks storage. Some companies reduce this cost if you pay by direct debit or credit card.
Recommendation. Check the deposit amount and period. Do they reduce the deposit for direct debit or credit card payments?
2. Check The Payment Terms
All storage companies usually charge for self storage in advance. Most companies will refund any unused days when you move out providing you comply with their notice period. Some don’t.
Recommendation. Check what the notice period is and whether any unused storage days are refunded.
3. Is Access Free Or Are You Charged To Visit?
Some storage companies operate from custom built facilities. Many operate from a converted building which may not be easy to access.
- There’s nothing worse than having to move your belongings to a storage unit at the back of a building with poor lighting and no lift.
- Some self storage companies charge to access your belongings.
- Not all companies are open 7 days a week, so find out if you need regular access. Some companies offer 24 hour access. Expect to pay a premium for this service
Recommendation. If you can, always visit the building in advance. Check if access to your belongings is free.
4. Self Storage Companies Charge For The Floor Space You Use
The more floor space you take the more you pay. The secrets to saving money are:
- Use the full height of the room. Usually the rooms are 7-8 feet high, so make sure you use this space.
- Use boxes so you can stack them easily. Many people make the mistake of using bin bags – they don’t stack well and the items inside get squashed.
- Completely fill the room. If you don’t need to get at your belongings don’t leave any wasted space. Store any items you might need last so they are by the door
- Prepare a list of your large items. The staff will help you to book the right sized room – make their job easier by having a list of the larger items you need to store. Check you can change to a smaller or larger room if you need more or less space.
Recommendation. Check the height of the room and use boxes to make the most of your space
5. Is It Safe and Secure?
Always check whether the company offers storage units inside a secure building. Some companies offer old shipping containers that are stored outside.
- Storage containers may be cheaper, but they can be damp and prone to condensation. Containers are much less secure. Being outside with no extra protection they can be broken into quite easily by thieves. Your belongings may not be covered by insurance policies if stored in a container.
Recommendation. Store your belongings in units inside a secure self storage building. Only store low value items that will not rot, rust or be damaged in damp conditions, in a container.
6. Late Charges
Most self storage companies apply late charges for unpaid invoices. These charges can make your storage much more expensive.
Recommendation. Make sure you pay your invoices on time!
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