Ensuring that your valuables are safe and sound can be an ordeal if you don’t know what you’re doing when it comes to storage units. Whether you have seasonal gear to store or a vehicle that won’t fit on your property, storage facilities provide incredible convenience and security that can be the perfect solution for any situation. As we mentioned in our last blog, the key is understanding what to look for. Read on for some important tips that will help you find a great storage facility
Tip One: Stay alert for “move-in discounts”
Some facilities will use low rates to convince you to move in and then raise your payments a few months later. This is an invisible move-in discount, and it isn’t good news for you. While it is normal for payments to go up a little over time, you should know exactly what you’re getting into at the outset. Before you rent, ask a manager how often they raise their rates. You should also ask how long they can guarantee that your payment won’t change. If you like the answer, get them to put it in writing. If you don’t like the answer or don’t get one at all, we recommend you find a new storage facility, because chances are good that this one is planning to lure you in and then yank the rent up.
Tip Two: Realize that each facility is different
Storage facilities are simple, right? They have spaces, gates, and on-site managers. Well, it’s not always that straightforward. People run their facilities very differently. It doesn’t matter if they are part of the same company; they can be completely different. That is why it is so important to allow yourself enough time to do research and assess just how facilities handle cleanliness, customer service, security, temperature control, packing materials, and moving trucks. You need a facility that has the right combination of these features, so keep them in mind as you explore your options. At Love Field Storage, we work hard every day to provide the very best features with excellence, which is what makes us Dallas’s favorite storage solution.
Tip Three: Padlocks and gates don’t always stop burglaries
Here’s the thing: gates and padlocks do actually stop a majority of run-of-the-mill burglars. Those criminals aren’t the ones who cause trouble in storage facilities. Instead, studies have shown that a majority of self-storage burglaries are inside jobs. Burglars will rent storage units like everyone else. After that, they identify when the facility is most quiet and use bolt cutters to cut off a number of padlocks, take what they want from the storage units, and then replace the broken locks with their own locks. This allows them to access the units again if they want to. Because the burglars have gate codes, they can get into the facility whenever they want.
What can be done to avoid this? When you’re exploring storage facilities, ask each one if they permit customers to use padlocks or if they have installed the newer cylinder locks. Cylinder locks are better because they don’t have exposed hasps that can be snapped by bolt cutters.
We also recommend you confirm the facility has alarms on all the doors in their facility. These alarms allow them to know the precise date and time any storage unit gets accessed. Personal passcodes are the only way to disarm these alarms, and if someone tries to force an entry, the alarm will blast and draw attention to the unit that has been broken into.
Lastly, we recommend you check in on the facility’s camera system. It is normal for a storage facility to have at least a few cameras on site, but you want more than just a few. Check that their camera system covers a majority of the facility and not just at certain hours. The cameras should digitally record the facility 24/7.
The storage facility you choose should be proactive and aggressive about protecting your possessions. The team at Love Field Storage is committed to maintaining your peace of mind by staying on the cutting edge of security. We offer a fully-fenced, well-lit facility accessible only by keypad entry codes and covered by 24/7 digital surveillance.
Tip Four: Planning carefully is worth it
Unfortunately, many people pay for more space than they actually need. The more you do to ensure you have just enough space, the better off you’ll be. This is especially true if you don’t need to access the space often. If you don’t need to be able to get at the stuff at the back every month, a bunch of pathways may not be necessary.
Before your belongings reach the storage unit, you should get them as set as possible. This is the best way to avoid breaking valuables and damaging fragile items. We have some great tips to help you protect your fragile valuables:
- When it comes to packing glass, whether it’s mirrors, lamps, or figurines, use bubble wrap, packing peanuts, paper, and foam sheets. Newsprint can be good padding, but not for anything that will pick up the ink.
- It takes longer, but all plates and glasses should be individually-wrapped. If you don’t protect your dishes appropriately, all it takes is one impact to crack them.
- Put heavy boxes and bins on the bottom of all stacks to prevent stacks from crushing and falling over.
- Keep greasy or dirty items like lawn mowers or tools away from furniture or other items that stain easily.
- If you’re storing a refrigerator, brace the door ajar and put an open box of baking soda inside.
Follow these tips to save space:
- Leave a single aisle down the center of your unit to allow you to access your goods while making an efficient usage of your space.
- Put items you’ll need to access more often at the front of your unit to make it easier to get at them.
- Invert chairs and stack them seat-to-seat.
- If you can disassemble large items like beds, tables, and lawnmowers, go for it. It makes it easier to fit them in smaller spaces.
- Stand mattresses and sofas on-end on plastic sheets or pallets. Cover them up with tarps or blankets.
- Put boxes on dressers and use the drawers for smaller items or folded clothing.
- Pack heavy items like books in smaller boxes to make them easier to manage.
Tip Five: Invest in a climate-controlled unit to protect your valuables from Dallas’s extreme weather
If you’re storing wooden furniture, instruments, or fabric, changes in humidity and temperature can be very damaging. Wood warps, instruments break, and fabric gets full of mildew. Climate-controlled units keep everything stable with heating and air conditioning, ensuring that everything inside isn’t as vulnerable to damage.
Tip Six: Get insurance
In general, storage facilities are not responsible for whatever is inside your unit. It’s up to you to insure your valuables. The good news is, storage insurance is easy to obtain. Sometimes, storage facilities collect the premiums directly, which means there’s a chance they’re charging too much. Check with your own insurance agent to make sure you’re getting a fair price on your insurance. Sometimes, renter’s and homeowner’s policies will cover your belongings for no extra cost!
Tip Seven: Keep an eye out for discounts on moving trucks
If you need help moving your belongings, check if your facility offers rental trucks. Some facilities will give their customers discounts and even credit for free miles!
When it comes to storage solutions in Dallas, Love Field Storage stands apart because we offer an incredible range of unit sizes as well as world-class security and convenience. Our units are ground-level and feature drive-up access, making it easy to transfer valuables. We offer moving supplies, boxes, and locks. Our resident manager and 24-hour digital surveillance system provide consistent, powerful security. Give us a call today!