Storage Problems

There's a point at which your house has reached maximum load capacity. Perhaps it's when all the books on top of your refrigerator start sliding off; perhaps it's when the floor buckles. Or it could just be when the living room starts looking junky because you have two sets of everything in it.

At this point, you have three choices: you can give everything you don't need right now away to charity; you can sell the things you don't need; or you can put your possessions into storage. Very often, the fact that you have too much stuff to keep it comfortably in the house does not mean you want to get rid of it; quite the contrary. You may not have the heart to get rid of your mother's antique living room set, but not have the space for it

It's time to look at storage.

Building Your Own

You might not want to put your possessions too far away; for instance, if you have a great library of books, you might want to be able to access them whenever you want. Or if you have a motorcycle to store, or lawn equipment, that needs to be fairly handy. In cases like this, provided you have enough space, you should consider building your own storage shed or building.

Everyone has different needs; for you, it might be a shed with a dirt floor, or it might be a boathouse. Regardless of your needs, you should check zoning laws in your area to make sure you don't need a waiver to build; and you should decide whether you want to build your own building, purchase a prefabricated building, or have a contractor build one on your site.

Moving Day

One of the most common reasons people need storage is because they're moving; obviously, if you're moving, it's not practical to build your own storage facility. When you're moving, call around to different storage units in the area you're moving to; get a good map of the area so you'll know for certain exactly where the storage facilities are in relation to your new home; and look into special deals offered in conjunction between storage facilities and moving companies. The last time I moved, I found that my moving company had a special deal with a storage company that enabled me to store my possessions for a dollar for the first month; since I only needed the unit for a couple of weeks, it cost us about twenty dollars, after insurance, to store our possessions.

Recently, another option has developed for people who are moving and need storage - they're called storage containers. For years, storage containers have been used to conveninently ship merchandise and large items across long distances; now they're available to the general consumer. When you rent a storage container, a large corrugated metal box is parked in your yard, and you pack it at your leisure. The whole thing is then picked up by a semi truck, transported to a train or boat, and shipped to your new home. It's convenient, cost-effective, and saves your possessions from the trauma of being packed and unpacked multiple times during your move.

Storage Outside Your Home

Sometimes people who aren't moving - at least, not yet - don't have room for storage on their properties, or perhaps they rent and can't get permission from their landlord to build another building in the backyard. Or perhaps they have special storage needs, and don't want to invest the amount of money it would take to build a secure, environmentally controlled storage unit in their backyards. If this is you, you should consider renting a storage unit at a self-storage facility or in a storage building.

If you use self storage, you'll be renting a room easily accessible from outside, that you can drive up to at your convenience and unload or load your possessions into storage. It is open to heat and cold and humidity, and may not be good for delicate items; it is, however, great for sturdier possessions like plastics, certain machinery, and anything that can't be easily damaged by the environment or any bugs that may get into your facility. One of your primary concerns when renting a self-storage unit is unit size; you may want to opt for a unit a little larger than you think you need, especially if you're not planning to store things long-term; it will cost a little more, but you'll be certain of having enough room and you'll be able to access your possessions more easily.

If you have more delicate items, you can rent space in a storage building. Typically, storage buildings are multi-story units in which most units are accessible primarily to employees. The buildings are free of pests, and they are heated and air conditioned to protect your possessions from the environment. Storage buildings are also a great choice for business storage.

If you get storage outside your home, you should keep in mind security and storage insurance. In a storage building, you're probably going to be reasonably secure. But with self-storage, you need to make sure security is tight; it's too easy to cut locks off your storage unit if anyone can get inside. Make sure that the storage facility has a good fence around it, and that you can see cameras around the area. Also make certain that not just anyone can come through the gate. Ask questions when you rent the facility; get a good feel for the security.

You should also insure your possessions. If anything were to happen to them and they were uninsured, you'd lose everything. Storage facilities do not insure the belongings stored inside; that is the customer's responsibility.

Outside Storage for Vehicles

If you have an RV or a travel trailer, you might not want to keep it stored in your front yard or blocking your driveway, where it's not only unsightly but also in the way. Many storage facilities will rent storage space to you for these items; you may also be able to find storage at an RV dealer.

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