Renting a storage unit can be very convenient in a number of situations, such as if you're moving, downsizing, have inherited a lot of belongings from a deceased loved one, or need a place to put your belongings while you take an extended vacation. But renting a storage unit involves more than just signing a contract and putting your belongings inside the unit. If you are planning on renting a storage unit soon, avoid the following mistakes:
Failing to Choose a Secure Facility
While you can put your own lock on your storage unit, it is important to look for other security features at a facility that will help ensure that your belongings will be safe while in storage. Ideally, you should look for a storage facility that is completely fenced in and requires a code to open a gate in order to gain access. The facility should be well-lit at night to help deter thieves or vandals from trying to enter the property. A night security guard and a monitored security system are also good things to look for.
Not Having Your Belongings Insured
No matter how secure a storage facility is, there are not absolute guarantees that nothing will happen to your belongings while they are in storage. The best way to protect yourself financially is by ensuring that your items are insured while in the storage unit. First contact your homeowners insurance—some policies will cover items that are temporarily in storage. If your homeowners insurance does not offer protection, make sure you purchase a separate insurance policy to cover everything that you have inside a storage unit.
Neglecting to Protect Against Pests
The last thing you want is to open up your storage unit to find that pests have infested the unit and caused damage to your belongings. Prior to placing your items in storage, it is a good idea to spray a pesticide to help keep bugs and other pests away. Make sure that you never store food or other perishable items inside your storage unit, as these things can attract bugs. It is also a good idea to wrap any upholstered furniture in plastic so rats or mice don't destroy the fabric.
In addition, ask the storage facility about their pest management plan. A good facility will use a pest control company on a regular basis to help prevent bugs and pests from being a problem on the grounds and inside the storage units.