Believe it or not, there is a right and a wrong way to handle your self-storage. Not only are there many different types of storage units available, but there are also special precautions you should take when packing. You want to make the most of your space, and do everything you can to avoid damage due to issues such as moisture or pests. Whether you are storing items for a month or long-term, you’ll want to optimize your space and reduce risk. Here’s everything you need to know about self-storage in Toronto with easy do’s and don’ts to help you store your belongings.
How to Choose a Unit
Choosing a unit is one of the most important steps for self-storage:
- Do choose a reliable storage company with a proven track record. Reviews will let you know all the details, from the quality of its customer service to the condition of the property.
- Don’t go with the cheapest rates as, with all things, you get what you pay for. Make sure the service provides everything you need and has good reviews before committing.
- Do ask for advice on the right size unit. You don’t want to end up paying for a unit that is too large, or worse, not be able to fit everything into a unit that is too small. Take a basic inventory so you can let us know what you’ve got, and we will advise you on the right size.
- Don’t be afraid to ask around, as family, co-workers, and friends might be able to refer you to a storage company they’ve used.
- Do make sure there is good security. You want to know your property will be protected. Although there’s no such thing as the Fort Knox of basic self-storage units, you do want to choose a company that offers cameras and on-site staff to make it harder to break in.
- Don’t wait too long. Storage units are pretty popular, so if you want to get the right size, price, and storage company, start looking as soon as you know you need one.
- Do look for specialty services for specific storage needs. For example, although in general, you don’t want to store valuables, we offer a fine art storage service as well as an outdoor storage parking compound. It’s all relative to what you are storing.
- Don’t rent a unit before visiting the site. It might seem that one storage company is the same as the next, but you want to make sure everything they are bragging about on their website is actually what you will find at their storage site!
- Do consider the hours you can access your belongings. You never know when you might need something right away and want to access your stuff at off-hours.
- Do choose a storage company that offers climate-controlled units. These units offer protection against the extreme temperature swings we tend to see in Ontario. These changes can lead to issues with moisture that can damage your belongings.
How to Pack
Packing a unit properly will ensure you keep your stuff stored safely while also making it easier to find:
- Do label everything. Even if you have a few boxes or containers, labels make it easier to find things. Also, they can help you decide where you want to place them in the unit. If you know certain boxes will be used more often, you can place them so they are easier to reach.
- Don’t store valuables. Even though you are going with a highly secure storage company, it’s a good idea to keep valuable items in a secure space. This can include things like jewelry, family heirlooms, antiques, and things you would never want to lose.
- Do pack smart. As mentioned, you want to store items you’ll need more often at the front of the unit, and if possible, at the top of stacks. Stacking safely and smartly is very important to optimize your space. Thinking vertically allows you to take advantage of the unit height. Stacking does get a little complicated as you’ll want to store heavier stuff lower for both safety purposes as well as avoiding boxes below from getting squashed. Leave a pathway that allows you to reach anything in the unit.
- Don’t forget protection for your belongings. You want to ensure anything that can be damaged is wrapped or packed in a box. This includes furniture that should be covered with blankets or moving pads. Never use plastic on furniture, as it can cause moisture which leads to mould and mildew. Keep smaller items together in boxes. Anything that is fragile should be wrapped in packing paper to reduce the risk of damage. Because of the tight quarters, there’s always the chance a box can get knocked over, so you want to make sure breakables are safe!
- Do opt for insurance. Storage companies usually offer some form of insurance you can opt into. If they don’t, check with your own home or renter’s insurance and see if you can add your storage unit. This will make sure you don’t suffer losses should anything happen at the facility.
- Don’t forget to ask about the rules. Storage companies always have certain items that they do not allow. Usually, this will include food items, perishables of any kind, and chemicals. As well, for your own good, avoid anything that produces odours, good or bad, as this attracts rodents and bugs!
- Don’t share security codes or keys. It’s only common sense, but the fewer people that have your access code or key, the less chance there is for your unit being compromised. You know who you can trust.
These self-storage do’s and don’ts will help you find the best storage company for your needs. You will also be able to maximize your space and ensure that your belongings are kept safe. It’s worth taking the time to do things the right way!
If you would like more information about our self-storage in Toronto, then contact us here.