About To Load Into A Self-Storage Unit? Make Sure To Prevent, Protect, And Preserve

As you prepare to move your belongings into a self-storage unit, you have probably already thought your way through decisions about the unit's size and cost. You've decided whether or not to use a climate-controlled facility and even on which floor you want to rent. You've double-wrapped your crystal and marked boxes containing fragile items accordingly. However, there are some lesser-known considerations that are also important to keeping you and your belongings safe.

Preventing injury

Something you may not have thought about while planning to move items into your storage unit is your own safety. Here are some general guidelines to prevent injury.

  1. Don't overexert. Moving is hard work, and you may not have lifted heavy objects or performed repetitive bending/pushing/pulling for a while. Use your legs to lift (instead of your back), use ropes to pull doors down, and don't be too proud to use a push cart.

  2. Watch for hazards. You're in unfamiliar territory along with people who are also moving their belongings in/out of the building. Look out for slippery floors, items left in walkways, doors left ajar, and cords strewn on the ground.

  3. Use proper equipment. If you are moving in during inclement weather, make sure to wear gripping shoes and watch for icy areas. If you need to use a ladder, take the time to ensure all contact points are on the ground before you climb.

  4. Stack sensibly. Don't stack boxes in precarious pyramids or too-tall towers where they could fall on you and cause injury.

Remember, how you move is just as important as what you move.

Protecting your identity

There is a dark side to storage facilities: dumpster diving. Aware that people routinely dispose of personal belongings while loading in and out of storage units, some ne'er-do-wells target dumpsters at storage facilities after hours. Believe it or not, this is a court protected right in some areas, such as California. Regardless of whether or not you believe people have a right to forage through what others have thrown away, you will not want dumpster divers making away with anything that would allow them to steal your identity. For this reason, never throw out anything with personal information on it. Take it home and run it through a shredder instead. You may want to discuss the potential for this kind of theft with the facility managers if they are not already taking measures to prevent it.

Preserving your belongings

The final aspect of self-storage you should consider before moving your belongings into your unit is that of insurance. After all the trouble you are going through to store them safely, you want assurance that if they become damaged, you will be compensated for their loss.You will assume wrongly if you assume the storage facility automatically covers your items in their property insurance. Check with your homeowner's or renter's insurance company to see if your policy covers items moved from your residence into a storage unit. If not, you can purchase a policy from the storage facility that will cover damage from fire, hail, wind, tornadoes, hurricanes, and lightning. It should also cover vandalism, plumbing leaks, and burglary. However, note that most policies will not cover:

  • flooding
  • pest infestations
  • missing items (unless a burglary can be proven)
  • motor vehicles
  • inordinately valuable items such as fine jewelry and art

These restrictions are similar to most homeowners insurance policies. If you want coverage for these situations, you may be able to purchase a specific rider on your policy.

Make sure that, as you move important items into your storage unit, you don't hurt yourself or allow thieves to steal your identity. Further, insure your valuables so that if they suffer damage, you can recoup your losses.

For more information about storage units and the best practices for using them, visit http://www.getepicstorage.com