Storage: Yes Or No?

Storage solutions are diverse, ranging from size, location, condition and of course price. One of the first considerations is deciding if an outdoor, garage-style storage unit will suffice or if a temperate controlled space is required.

An outdoor space is fine if the items being stored are not likely to be affected by fluctuating temperature conditions. When you have more delicate items that need careful controls it is important to choose an indoor unit. You should also consider whether security is important as many units have CCTV as a built in feature which provides additional peace of mind to owners.

Home storage PODS and self-storage are another option where you the security of having a watchful eye on anything valuable you have stowed away.

The main storage options are:

  • Indoor storage units
  • Warehouse storage
  • Outdoor storage options
  • Temporary and permanent home storage solutions
Indoor Storage Unit

A popular option is to rent an indoor storage unit and these types of storage companies generally offer moving trucks, dollies and ancillary items available for rent at an hourly/daily rate. In addition, some companies offer partnered services with removal businesses.

Indoor units offer the benefit of additional security as no one except you has access to your room. Security staff and video surveillance compliment the unique key card and pin code which allow you easy access to your belonging. These are a very safe option that families often choose.

Warehousing at an Indoor Storage Facility

Purchasing storage space an indoor warehouse is a great option and often the best method for valuables or items that need to specific temperature conditions. You are generally given a lockable storage crate and warehouse key card. Temperature controlled warehouses are great for longevity and preservation of items due to climate control. The downside is that it can often only be accessed during business hours.

Security and Surveillance at Warehouse Storage Units

Typically, there is 24-hour security on a warehouse storage site's perimeter which helps with the protection possessions. There is also an extensive security camera system as additional security and some premium warehouses offer a motion-detection system. The price of your storage space will increase if you require extra on-site security measures, but if you have valuable possessions they are worth the money as they offer peace of mind.

Outdoor Storage Units

Outdoor units, also sometimes called self-storage units can often be found in areas where there are no indoor storage solutions on offer and includes having a POD in your own backyard.

An outdoor storage unit is ideal when renovating or if you are simply in need of extra space. Opting for a storage solution like a POD or outdoor locker is an excellent option when you cannot store items in your home, yet still want to quickly access them. Items that can be stored include:

  • Extra furniture
  • Tools
  • Heavy equipment
  • Seasonal decorations
  • Childhood belongings

The downside is a lack of a round-the-clock security team. However, it doesn't mean that an outdoor storage unit can't be secured.

The following are all options that can add to your security in an outdoor storage unit:

Industrial-strength padlocks: Heavy-duty locks don't come cheap, but they will deter petty and opportunistic thieves from breaking into a storage unit. You should also take the precaution of keeping the key away from the unit as opposed to hiding in a convenient spot around the unit.

Security camera: There are several security apps available to download onto your smartphone, laptop or tablet and lots of electronic stores and security firms can help you set up your own surveillance system. Generally they come with a setup package from the security company with instructions so you can safeguard your storage.

Motion detector systems: These provide a great option where a storage unit is located some distance from your home or has several entry points and by combining with a security camera system, you have video footage available as evidence if a breaking-and-entering occurs.

5 Pitfalls to be Aware of When Storing Valuables

  1. Not getting insurance
    Any valuables that will be transported or stored in areas where they could be potentially damaged, devalued or aged should be insured. Many times homeowner's insurance will cover items in the home while owners are moving or otherwise traveling. Check your homeowner's insurance policy, or research companies that offer insurance for valuables when storing or moving.
  2. Not using the right packing materials
    How valuables are packed during storage has a lot to do with their long-term condition. The best option for storing valuables is to store them in their original boxes (if available). Otherwise, make sure to buy the right size box to keep the items from shifting around and getting damaged, or buy proper packing materials, so items stay in place during storage.
What do I need to consider when choosing a storage option?

You need to think about how often you need access to your possessions, how much security you want and whether items need to be in a climate controlled environment. After you have decided this you will then know whether an indoor or outdoor storage unit will suit your needs.

What is the cheapest way of storing items?

It really depends on what you are storing and how long for. Outdoor units are generally cheaper, but you need to be sure this meets your needs. Talk to the storage company because it is also sometimes possible to negotiate discounts for longer term storage or if you know they have units sitting empty.

How do I decide what I should put into storage?

If you are moving house, it is a good idea to think carefully about what you really want to keep. Sometimes it is actually more economical to buy new items rather than pay storage fees. However, sentimental and irreplaceable items are perfect to store as are items that hold their value and do not deteriorate.