You make not make many 2019 resolutions, but one to consider is analyzing your storage needs and taking positive steps to get that part of your life organized.
Let’s face it, a lot of us have too much stuff, but some of it is too valuable to just dispose of, and we need a place to put it. But if you live in a small apartment in a small town like Athens, GA, then off-site storage can be a great option, but there are a few important things to consider when renting a storage unit.
How It Was
Years ago, many storage facilities simply looked like long buildings with many garage doors. If the facility was family or individually owned, renting was a simple process. You went to the location, picked a storage unit, paid your first month’s rent, and you were done.
There was usually a nice grace period every month before you were charged a late fee, and you actually had contact with the building owner.
It’s Different Now
Off-site storage has matured and changed, and now you will find many chain-type storage facilities with numerous rules and regulations and stricter time limits regarding late fees and non-payment. A late fee may be charged as early as the tenth day after your payment was due, and while your credit card company may reverse a late fee, your storage facility is unlikely to do the same.
Most storage facilities will want to see your belongings insured, and while your homeowners’ insurance may suffice, your storage company may demand to see a copy of the declarations page of your homeowners’ insurance policy. If you don’t produce it, they may sell you mandatory—and expensive insurance—at the rate of $15.00 per month or more for a relatively small coverage amount. Anyone that sells insurance is making money from the premiums, so be sure to have your homeowners’ insurance policy available when you sign up.
Be sure to understand your facility’s overlock policies. The reason that there is room for two locks on your storage unit door is that the company will put their own lock on your door if you don’t pay. This could happen only 15 days after the due date, and if you try and access your stuff, you’ll be out of luck. If you bring your account current, the overlock will come off, but if you are trying to access your unit after office hours, you may not be able to get in until a manager arrives.
Selling Your Stuff
Yes, the scenarios you view on those cable shows actually can happen, and after a prescribed time period, if you don’t pay your rent, your stuff can be auctioned.
One excellent feature of modern storage is climate-controlled units. If you live in an area with extreme weather, like contract for deed homes in Minnesota for example, a heated and cooled facility can be great. Just make sure that your space isn’t too many elevator rides and hallway walks away from the parking lot.
Finally, now that you understand some storage unit basics, try to keep your area neat and clean. If your unit is stuffed to the brim, maybe consider getting a bigger one where you can create space between stacks of stuff so that you can access your things more easily.