Self-storage can be a godsend. Whether you need to store the entire contents of your home while you move, hide the kids' presents until Christmas Eve, or store those family heirlooms you inherited from your grandmother that have taken over the spare room, renting extra space can help return disorder to order.
Potential storers take note, however; there are some key factors to consider before packing your things and having them hauled away:
It sounds obvious, but before renting storage space, ask yourself whether you really need it—especially if you're considering a long-term scenario. What are your goods actually worth? In the case of old furniture, will the cost of storage be greater than just replacing them down the track? Holding on to items of little value can often prove a false economy, so being realistic about how long you'll need to store is essential. Many people rent units with overly optimistic timeframes in mind, exceeding them before they know it, along with their initial budget.
Removals and storage in one
Some furniture removal companies now provide an all-in-one packing, storage and delivery service, meaning when they drive away from your current house with your goods, you won't have to think about them again until they're unpacked at the new place. In terms of reducing the stress of moving, this is an option hard to go past—particularly when the move-out date for your old house doesn't coincide with the move-in date of your new one. .
If you're organising your own storage unit, calling around to source the best possible deal is a must. Companies will often negotiate rates based on how long you intend to stay and whether you're prepared to pay for a set number of months in advance, so tell them what you need and ask what they can do for you. And while price is important, so are security and access, so be sure to find out about insurance options, site hours and the type of surveillance they have in place.
Know your stuff
Before you decide on a unit size, plan carefully how your goods can be packed. Most companies have websites that help you calculate the space you'll need, and their staff talk dimensions all day, so ask for their help. Most units are three metres high, so don't waste that top-space and stack upwards if you can, rather than pay more for a larger unit. And consider an upstairs or internal space instead of the drive-up type—they're often cheaper and the money you save will make taking your things up in an elevator well worth it.
The Self Storage Association of Australasia provides a wide range of information on all things storage and is well worth a look if you're planning a move: