Here is a guide to keeping your precious items intact in self-storage.

Protecting your belongings in rented storage

June 14th, 2016 by

Here is a guide to keeping your precious items intact in self-storage.

Whether you are moving, temporarily redecorating, or simply looking to give overstuffed closets a break, rented storage can be just what homeowners need. But how do you ensure that your belongings will be kept safe in an out-of-sight facility like a storage unit or container? Here is a guide to keeping your precious items intact in self-storage. 

Choosing a facility
Choosing the right storage facility involves taking into account your needs and what you will be storing. In particular, ask yourself:

  • How much space do you need? 
  • Do you need a climate-controlled environment to protect temperature-sensitive items? What about ventilation?
  • How accessible do you need a storage facility to be?
  • Will you need 24/7 access, or are you OK with visiting hours?
  • What kind of illumination/visibility requirements do you require?
  • How easy is loading and unloading? Are their loading docks or ramps?

Attention should be paid to matters of security: Look for a facility that has its units behind sturdy fencing, allows renters to lock their units or use a keycode lock, and has 24/7 security cameras, alarms or guards.

Packing and storing items safely
Once you've settled on a self-storage unit that suits your needs, the next step is packing your items for maximum protection. Your storage unit provider should be able to guarantee some degree of stability and shelter, but the onus falls on you as the owner of the items to have them packed safely. Here are a few tips for making sure your items are packed securely:

  • Wrap fragile items in bubble wrap or cloth and avoid stacking heavy boxes on top of them.
  • Dismantle items that can be easily put back together.
  • Store clothing in permeable boxes to avoid moisture buildup, which causes mildew.
  • Place nonwaterproof boxes on a palate or riser to protect them from flooding.
  • Label boxes for ease in locating them later.

One of the biggest questions about storing items in a facility other than your home is insurance. While some facilities may offer optional insurance or include some limited coverage, these policies may not be comprehensive enough to fully reimburse you if your items are damaged or destroyed. 

Homeowners insurance frequently covers items stored outside of the home – to a degree. As part of a standard policy, your items may only be insured for up to 10 percent of your total coverage. Additionally, these items may not be covered if they are damaged by an event like a flood, which may require its own optional coverage.

To ensure your items are fully protected, the best method is to talk to your insurance broker and see what storage insurance policies they have available. Fundy Mutual would be happy to answer any questions you may have.