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Top Tips for using Storage Units

Whether it’s for storing a few bits of furniture between house moves or for the odd box of keepsakes you can’t bear to part with, storage units have become big business in New Zealand.

Recent research from Canstar Blue reveals that for over half of users, a storage unit is a short-term arrangement, using it for six months or less.
“For a lot of people storage units gave them the option to store their furniture either between moves or while they were renovating.” Says Canstar Blue’s Emma Quantrill. “But there is a huge variation in price and quality of units so be careful to choose one that suits your needs.”

What to consider when renting a storage unit
Before you decide to store your stuff, you will need to make a few decisions and do a bit of prep work:

Every square metre of space you rent will cost you money so think carefully about what you want to store. Declutter where you can and get rid of anything you don’t think you’re likely to need in the future. Measure your furniture and invest in decent storage boxes that are easy to move and stack. Online calculators are often available to give you an idea of how much space you will need.

Location. 65% of the users we surveyed said they chose their unit because of convenience. If you think you are going to lock up and leave it may be possible to get something cheaper but a little further away. But, if you want regular access closer to home could be better.

Check your unit before you rent it. You don’t want your possessions exposed to moisture or mould so look for water stains and smell or signs of dampness. If you’re storing over the summer months also ask if the units are temperature or climate controlled. Extreme heat can cause damage to some items.

Insurance. Let’s be honest, most insurances are a bit of a grudge buy and this is no different. Only one third of the people Canstar Blue spoke to took out insurance for their storage unit. Although it is an additional cost, the value of what you have storage will soon mount up and chances are your normal contents insurance won’t cover it. Insurance is often offered by the storage unit company (at an extra charge) but speak to your own insurer too and compare prices and the level of cover being offered.

Packing your storage unit
As we mentioned earlier, you’re paying for every centimeter of space so it pays to use it well:

Make an inventory. The main advantages with this is that you know what you’ve got and when it comes to unpacking you will know if anything is missing.
Big Items first. Remember that large items such as sofas can also be stood on their side to free up valuable floor space. Also, disassemble any bulky items such as beds or tables and even chairs if possible.
Start at the back of the unit. Try placing your tall or bulky items against the back wall of your unit, it gives you easier access and this way you’re utilizing the vertical space in the unit too.
Invest in some good storage boxes. Smaller items can be packed into the boxes and the boxes can then be stacked. When you’re making your inventory (see first point), number the boxes and make a note of what you’ve put where.
Ease access at the front. If there are items that you may need whilst your goods are in storage, make sure they’re the last things you store so you have easy access to them.
Don’t store chemicals, fuel or paints. They can give off some pretty strong odours and are also highly flammable.
Invest in a sturdy lock. Some units will come with a locking mechanism but it’s always good to have your own for added security.

Most Satisfied customers
It is widely understood that the storage unit market in New Zealand is a growing one so for the first time Canstar Blue asked Kiwis what their experiences have been when renting a storage unit.

The results are in and we are pleased to announce that National Storage has been awarded Most Satisfied Customers Award for 2018.

For further information regarding this survey, please click here.


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