Storage Choices

Moving means making many decisions and one of these is what to do about storage. Storage is essential if there is a gap between when you move out of one place and into another or when you're downsizing. Alternately, you may be moving overseas for a posting and unsure where your next home will be.

When you move, no matter whetherit'sin another state, halfway across the world or simply within the same region, we all need storage. Most stuff, with careful packing, is pretty easy to put away but there a few things that need special treatment and should never be put in storage.

Foodstuffs, consumables, medications, gas bottles and tanks all have expiry dates. Similarly, items made of rubber and certain other materials have a tendency to deteriorate over time, so should not be stored for the long term.

When in themidst of planning a move, there are a million and one things to think of so the best approach is to take inventory of everything before you move and decide what to take, what to store and what to throw out or give away.

Pitfalls to be Aware of When Packing &Storing Valuables
  • Insurance
  • Insurance is paramount. It is essential to have a good insurance policy in place to cover you during your move. If you have a home and contents insurance make sure the cover is still applicable as you relocate. If you're using a removal company, double check and get it in writing what insurance they provide.

  • Correct packing materials
  • Ensure all items are correctly packaged. If the original box is available use that as it affords the best protection during transportation and storage. Delicate items need extra special care and a professional packer can be an excellent investment if you have high quality items to relocate or store.

  • Breakable Items – handle with care
  • Breakable items require carefully handling which includes wrapping in bubble wrap, tissue and newspaper to ensure they remain in one piece during storage. They should also be individually taped and labelled before being placed in a box marked 'Fragile

  • Glass
  • Any items containing glass, especially large mirrors, should have a large Xtaped across the length and width with masking tape as it gives extra strength and protection to help reduce the chances shattering.

  • Inventories are essential
  • An inventory is absolutely essential for insurance purposes and also to help you locate your items. Take time to prepare a room by room, box by box inventory and your move will be a lot smoother with considerable time saved when unpacking the other end.

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.