When your Realtor or Home Stager advises you to pre-pack belongings before your home is marketed, look for storage off-site. Not only are your basement and garage valuable real estate, but also, potential buyers will see them stuffed full and think:
“This house is too small. The people who live here don’t even have enough room for all their things.”
Here are seven questions to help you decide which type of storage best suits your requirements for storing household goods, furniture, appliances and personal items.
- Will you need access periodically? During what hours? Some storage facilities provide around the clock access. Others, particularly containerized storage, require advance notice and may even charge for re-positioning your container for you.
- How much space will you need? Contents of a small two bedroom apartment might take about 10 ft. x 10 ft. You can find estimates of unit capacities online. Allow extra square footage for aisles if you need access to your items. Otherwise you may have to unload the whole unit to get to the back. Are additional units available close by if you need another?
- Should you choose a climate controlled unit? Certain items such as photographs, paper, documents, cloth, mattresses, upholstered goods, furniture, antiques, artwork and electronics are affected by heat and humidity. They are at risk of damage without climate control.
- How will you get your items to storage? Will you need to rent or borrow a truck? If so, you may consider a mobile container or trailer that is delivered to your location for you to fill, a mover who handles everything, or a self-storage company that offers truck rentals. If you would like to use containers, ask how much the delivery charge will be. Determine whether you have room on your property to ‘park’ containers while filling and how many days you will be allowed to have them sitting there.
- How difficult are your items to carry? Do you need the type of storage where you can back right up to your unit? Or can you deal with getting them some distance from the door to your assigned space?
- How long will you need storage? Overestimate if you are unsure. Is the storage a temporary stop on an eventual move? If so, consider booking movers now and letting them handle the storage. It might save money in the long run. However, if you need to access items in the interim make sure it will be feasible with the movers you are choosing.
- And finally, what is your budget for storage? Don’t risk losing your items because you aren’t able to keep up with storage fees. Bringing items home before the house sells would be disastrous. For easily replaced, bulky items it might be cheaper to buy new ones when you need them again.