Despite the fact that the housing market, and for that matter the economy, is not what it once was, people everywhere still are moving more than ever before. According to the US Census Bureau, 1 in 6 Americans move each year, and these lifestyle changes are usually the primary reasons: marriage, better job, graduation, job transfer, new baby and retirement.
Change of residency can be an exciting or traumatic time for any person or family; there is no doubt that various emotions will be generated, depending on your specific circumstances. If you are thinking about calling some new place home for any reason, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure that things go as smooth as possible.
What to do first
What most people don’t realize is that renting a self-storage unit should be the very first thing on your moving agenda. Despite the stereotype associated with storage, these facilities are not only for hoarders with too much junk. Renting storage units is actually an incredibly convenient way to keep your belongings safe and organized while you search for and move into a new home.
Searching for the right unit
Thankfully, most storage facilities will allow you to rent month-to-month, eliminating the need for you to rush through this already stressful process. However, you do want to make sure that you select the perfect unit to fit your needs, so here are a few pointers on how to do just that.
- If you already know the general area or neighborhood of where you would like to move, start by looking at units near there.
- Do however, weigh cost versus convenience; the cheapest unit may not be anywhere close to where you want to live. If you plan on making multiple trips to your unit, it may be worth the extra cost of convenience to save all that money on gas.
- Know what you plan on storing so you know what size unit you are going to need. It doesn’t do any good looking for unit prices if you don’t know what size you will need.
- Look for security amenities. Most facilities should offer high-tech security systems, but make sure you check with them to ensure that your items are safe.
- Compare self-storage units online. Instead of calling facility owners one by one or driving around searching for them, use a service like SpareFoot to find great deals online.
Now that you have found the right location to store your belongings, it is time to think about how you are going to properly pack all of those items. Below are some tips that should help you stay organized throughout this change of lifestyle.
- Make sure everything is clean and in good condition before moving it. For example, one thing you don’t want is after you are all settled in, pulling out your gardening tools only to find that a permanent layer of mud/dirt has accumulated all over them.
- Buy top quality moving supplies designed specifically for moving. Some items you should consider are boxes or plastic storage containers, bubble wrap, and even blankets (to cover furniture with). Check to see if your moving/storage company provides any of these things, most will at a discounted price.
- Investigate your storage size. Picture your belongings as they will be once they are disassembled and stored, not as they are in your home, that way you have a better idea of what will be able to fit.
- Finally, think about temperature. There are things that need to be kept at a certain temperature, so keep that in mind while in transit and especially in the storage unit (consider renting a climate-controlled unit if this is an issue).
This article was written by Matt Schexnayder. Matt is on the SpareFoot marketing team and writes for the SpareFoot blog. SpareFoot is the largest online marketplace for self-storage that offers consumers the most complete comparison shopping experience in the storage industry.