Whether you need a place to store items when you’re selling a home, downsizing, or just need extra temporary space, take the time to figure out what kind of storage unit is best for your needs. Let’s look at the different options available and how to determine what works for you.

Storage Unit without Climate Control

This is the most common option used for extra storage because it is the least expensive. This type of unit usually comes with a key or combination lock. The safest kind of unit has a video-monitored security gate to enter the storage premises. Make sure that none of the items you store in this type of unit are sensitive to hot or cold temperatures.

Storage Unit with Climate Control

Climate control is critical when you need to store items such as wood, leather, or fabric furniture; artwork; musical instruments; collectibles; delicate clothing; electronics; and other items that could be temperature and humidity sensitive. Note that moisture could be a problem for these items in humid or cold weather, so having climate control offers protection from damage. Because the storage facility must keep these storage units at a safe temperature and humidity for your items, they are generally more expensive than units without this feature.

Movable Storage Units

These units have gained popularity in recent years and offer a cost-efficient way for home owners to move belongings at their own pace. They are weatherproof containers that vary in size and are typically dropped off at a home owner’s driveway. The containers vary in size and can hold up to a typical furnished room full of items to several rooms’ contents. A family can also choose to load each needed container themselves over the course of several days or hire moving help. The storage facility then moves the unit to either a new home or a storage facility. After the contents are unloaded, the company retrieves the movable container.

Tips for How to Pack a Storage Unit

1. Think about all of the items you need to store. Place frequently used items in the front for easier access.

2. Use shelving against the walls of the units, if possible. It allows you to use more vertical space. Also, dressers can double up as a storage container for smaller items.

3. Maximize vertical space with larger pieces. Stand a desk or coffee table on one end to allow for more use of floor space.

4. Line the outer walls of the unit first and pack from back to front. Leave a “hallway” space to walk for easier access.

5. Use sofa and mattress slips on furniture to protect them from dust.

Finally, before putting down money for a storage facility, read all of their contract for use, noting safety features, access rules, and the type of contents they prohibit, such as chemicals or explosives. Some storage facilities do offer insurance for your items while stored on their property, but many times you’ll need to make sure your current renter’s or property insurance will cover damage or loss. Usually this type of protection requires an extra fee and might be cheaper than what the storage facility charges for insurance.

Real Estate Term of the Week

Climate-Controlled Storage: The definition of “climate-controlled storage” varies among storage facilities. The most common difference between climate-controlled and temperature-controlled is humidity. Temperature-controlled facilities usually only manage temperature, while climate-controlled facilities may manage both temperature and humidity.

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