Watch out for the storage sting

Last Updated on December 8, 2023 by Vlad Stoikovich

It can be a tough time finding affordable storage that is relatively easy to organise and simple to understand. With new options such as mobile self-storage recently becoming more popular, it is harder than ever to compare the options. Some companies will deliberately try to make it more complicated than it needs to be so they can make their rates seem more attractive. This article will give you a few tips and tricks you can use to avoid any unwanted surprises and the signs to look out for

The hardest part of storage is trying to compare companies. There are two main types of storage, mobile storage and public self-storage. Mobile storage is generally companies that can bring storage crates to your home, they either let you load them or have employees to load them for you. To compare mobile storage it is key that you know who will be packing the crate. It will generally be pricier if someone is packing the crates for you but it does mean that the space will be used more efficiently and that you will have a much easier time! If you’re loading yourself make sure you know if they supply protective materials such as blankets and mattress protectors. These can add additional costs to yourself that make other companies that pack crates more competitive. Weigh up the pros and cons of the services that they offer before you make a decision based on the cheapest rate.

Self-storage centres are your next option, these tend to be cheaper than mobile storage options but unless you are able to pack the storage cage yourself you will have to budget for removalists to move you in and out. The cost of move in and outs can vary wildly depending on where the storage cage is located in the centre. This added cost of moving in and out makes the mobile storage more comparable depending on the length of the storage. Mobile storage will often have a fixed price for move-in and outs, this makes it easier to budget compared to Storage centres. Storage centres are generally better if you need to regularly access the items that you are storing. Most mobile self-storage centres won’t let you take a few items and put a few more items in without a significant cost to yourself.

The biggest complaint that we hear in this industry is rising rates. Less reputable storage companies will lure customers in with very low and attractive rates to use their service but over the coming months, the rates begin to rise. I recently spoke to a customer who had their rate raised by 35% in just one year. Ask the company you select if they can lock the rate they offer for 12 months or if they have a set amount that rates go up. These rate rises can be linked to inflation or just a flat rate but it’s just important to find out early on.

The biggest trap of both mobile self-storage and public self-storage is the laziness factor. Try to have a clear picture of what will happen to the goods you are storing. If you’re storing just because you’ve run out of space it might be time for a garage sale rather than storage. If you’re building a new home or going overseas for a few months it’s easier to make a plan for what will happen to your goods in storage. Storage companies are more than happy to have your goods for as long as you are paying rent! if you’re not sure if storage is worth it, add up the value of every item in storage then compare that to the yearly cost of storage.

To recap, when storing make sure you compare the advantages and disadvantages of each storage option including the cost of moving in and out. Ask the storage company what their rate rise policy is and get it in writing to avoid surprises in the future. And finally, have a plan for your goods! It’s easy to pay more for storage than the items being stored are actually worth, by having an idea of how long you’ll store you too can avoid this trap.

With all of this in mind, why not have a look and see if our storage would be right for you

Alternatively, feel free to call on (03) 9077 3120 and one of our friendly staff can quote you over the phone.

Watch out for the storage sting FAQs

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Use proper lifting techniques and appropriate equipment, like dollies and lifting straps. If an item is too heavy, ask for help or leave it to the professionals to prevent injuries.

To avoid unexpected costs, make sure you get a detailed quote from your moving company that includes all possible charges. Understand the terms of the agreement and check if there are potential charges for extra services or unforeseen circumstances.

Plan ahead for your pet’s comfort and safety. This could include arranging pet-friendly accommodation, keeping them in a quiet and secure area during the move, and making sure they have identification tags.

Take inventory of all your items before the move, and consider keeping very valuable or irreplaceable items, such as important documents or jewelry, with you instead of packing them with the rest of your household goods.

Before leaving, double-check that all windows and doors are locked. If you’re selling the home, coordinate with the realtor or new owners to ensure they receive the keys promptly.

Pack a “first night” box with essentials like toiletries, a change of clothes, basic kitchen utensils, and any necessary medications. This ensures you won’t be caught without necessities even if unpacking takes longer than expected.

Avoid delays by preparing well in advance. This can include labeling all boxes clearly, disassembling furniture the day before, and making sure that both your old and new homes are ready for the movers.

Proper packing is key to avoiding damages. Use the right size and type of box for each item, wrap fragile items carefully, and don’t overload boxes. Consider hiring professional packers for high-value items.

Check the company’s credentials, read online reviews, and get recommendations from people you trust. Make sure they provide a written estimate, have a physical address, and are licensed and insured.

Ensure utilities are set up in advance, so you have power and water when you arrive. Also, check the access routes to make sure the moving truck can easily get to your new home and there’s sufficient space for unloading.

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