Managing your unit & moving out

Once you’ve moved everything in and locked it up behind you, the main thing to do is ignore whatever you’ve stored while you don’t need it. After all, being able to obtain peace of mind is one of the key selling points for self storage. At the same time, there are a few things it’s definitely worth being aware of:

Money Issues

Self Storage Piggy Bank

 

  1. As with any other purchase, make sure only what you agreed to is being taken out of your account for each payment, and query anything you’re unsure of, either with the bank or the storage company.
  2. For the sake of efficiency, many people set up a direct debit or standing order to make the payment automatically; if you do this, then make sure there’s always enough money in the relevant account as once you get behind there’s a danger of eviction — and potentially your goods could be sold off.
  3. If you’re going to be out of the country where your goods are stored, it could be a good idea to have someone you trust oversee the payment process to make sure it’s kept up to date, and even to give them a key or code for the unit in case anything untoward happens

Security Issues

  1. On the other hand you’re legally responsible for what happens or is found in your unit, so if you do decide to give someone access think very carefully about who that person should be.Self Storage Big Padlock
  2. Your contract will often specify that no subletting or storing of other people’s goods may occur, so make sure everything that goes into storage remains your own.

Space Issues

  1. Most operators will let you change unit if you decide you need one that’s bigger or smaller; they generally don’t charge a fee for this (although your rental rate obviously changes), but check the arrangements beforehand.
  2. It’s probably a good idea to make at least one visit a while after you’ve moved in to make sure everything is all right — checking, for example, that no leaks have developed either onto or from what you’re storing, that nothing has fallen over or got broken, and that the lighting and temperature conditions are still to your liking.

Moving out of a self storage unit

Self Storage Keys HandoverAs useful as its services are, there will invariably come a point when you no longer need self storage and have to move out. This is unlikely to be greeted with a salvo of anguished violin playing by the staff as they line up to watch the grand exit, but is nevertheless an important day on which you have to be aware of a few things:

1) Notice period for ending your lease – The big companies currently demand the following amounts of notice if you want to terminate your rental contract:

Access
7 days
Big Yellow
7 days
Lok’nStore
7 days
Safestore
14 days
Shurgard
14 days
Space Maker
7 days

Other companies may differ in how long you need to give them, but as the information above shows, it’s likely to be either 1 or 2 weeks.

2) Logistics – As you might imagine, the generosity of storage companies tends to disappear once you start trying to leave them. This is likely to be most obvious with regard to van hire, as most of their offers to cover its cost for you only apply on the way in; when taking goods out, you’re usually left to your own devices.Self Storage moving out

This means you’ll need to arrange transport in advance for the day you plan to vacate. The storage firm is likely to want you to leave fairly promptly on the day you’ve said you will so they can move a new customer into your unit, meaning you need to be efficient. The staff should be willing to help you out and assist you with using pallet trucks and forklifts just as they did when you came in. As before, you need to make sure that nothing gets broken by packing boxes carefully into the van and making sure no large objects can crush smaller ones.

3) Money – In a pleasant change of circumstances, it’s quite likely that your time at a self storage company will end with them giving you money. This is because of two things: firstly, you are likely to have paid a deposit along with your first month’s rental, which you should be entitled to have back as long as you haven’t violated its terms. Secondly, it’s important to remember if you are terminating the lease after paying in advance for the month; if so when you do this they should reimburse the outstanding sum, unless there’s a provision in the contract which entitles them to keep it.

The Self Storage Blog