Keeping your self storage payments is an important commitment – you will need to make sure that you have sufficient monthly funds to cover it. The alternative, as we have seen many times on this site, is that your storage outlet will take ownership of your items and sell them off, hopefully not with the indignity of an accompanying TV program. So you need to honour your monthly payment to the storage facility near you, just like any of your bills and taxes, otherwise they are well within their rights to get your stuff out of their premises. After all, if somebody left something lying around your place and you never heard from them again, what would you do?
So with that small worry hanging over you, it is best to budget adequately before entering a storage contract. An important matter to first decide is how long you wish to enter into a storage agreement for. You must bear in mind that in many cases situations change and people continue to use their storage well beyond the original time period that they were expecting to, so start to do your sums with that contingency involved. Of course you will then need to find a storage company whose minimum contract length accords with what you are looking for.
You will find already at this stage that storage facilities are dangling carrots in front of you, quite often in the form of financial incentives. They may offer a huge discount on the first month of storage or more. This is to be factored in to your plans – but overall the most sensible way to plan is not to necessarily go for the most attractive discount, but the best value offering when the entire period of your rental is added together. Make sure you fully understand what is being paid for when, and not have special offers cloud any judgement of what you will be owing further down the line.
Storage facilities generally charge according to the dimensions of the space they are providing, and quite commonly the quoted measurement is floor area rather than volume, it is easier to visualise for sure. This means that you need to consider the optimum floor area by how easily and safely you can pack together your items, obviously without damaging them. A good packing strategy means that you could use a storage unit with as small a floor area as you can get away with – there’s no point paying extra for empty floor space is there?
For many situations, a typical storage unit near you will do to retain some items that you don’t have space for currently, but if you have any special requirements these can ramp the cost up, and also limit the range of units that are applicable to your circumstances. For example storing an expensive violin will have particularly specialist requirements (some outlined here), and you will need to ensure that the provision of your storage facility and your terms of insurance are in harmony. You would need climate controlled storage so that the temperature and humidity conditions are right for the materials of the instrument, and you will presumably want to be satisfied that the storage company will be going out of their way to ensure cast iron security for their premises. Such conditions may restrict your choice of outlet and drive your monthly bills higher.
So the headline points again – overcompensate for your planned storage period, be wise to the amount of storage space you truly need, factor in any special requirements, and if discounts are mentioned then know what to pay when the honeymoon period is over. Do all this and you shouldn’t be stretching yourself further than you thought with your monthly unit payments.
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