Written by Lisa Kirchhoff
For many, a household move often means placing some items in storage. Whether it’s long-term or short-term, nearby or far away, there are some tips to keep in mind if storing items is in your future:
Choosing a storage facility
Choosing a facility should be based on how long you anticipate your items will remain there, as well as the season and climate.
For longer-term storage of more than three months, or if you must store items over the course of changing seasons, a climate-controlled storage facility is best. Although they do cost more than non-climate-controlled centers, your valuables will stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, which is ideal for everything from large appliances to small keepsakes.
For short-term storage up to three months, a non-climate-controlled unit will suffice, but be sure to take extra precautions to prevent mold and mildew from forming. If your short-term storage takes place during the winter in a northern climate, do not store computer monitors or televisions, as extremely cold temperatures can cause screens to freeze and break.
Check into insurance
As with any valuables, insurance is important with stored items. Even if the facility you choose appears to have a great security system against theft, don’t forget the possibilities of fire, flood, explosion, storms and natural disasters.
Check with the storage facility manager about their insurance coverage. Few facilities provide full insurance coverage for stored items. Some may provide basic insurance, but it will more than likely not be sufficient to cover replacement costs.
It’s also a good idea to check your homeowners or renters policy you have with your own insurance company. It may provide full coverage for your items even when they are stored away from your residence.
You may want to consider purchasing extra insurance coverage if:
- Items will be stored long-term in a non-climate controlled unit
- The storage unit is in a flood plain
- You intend to store extremely valuable items
Watch for our next installment on using a storage facility: Storage Tips 102: packing, preparing and unloading.