Over the last half-century, storage facilities have increased exponentially to accommodate homeowners belonging and sentimental property that they have no room for in their homes., especially after divorce!
Whether it’s a long-term storage for antique furniture, short-term during a move, or space for large items such as RVs and boats, there are several things to consider when investing money, and entrusting your valuables in a storage space.
According to Truman Storage, below you will find important factors on how to maintain your property within storage units in Kalispell, MT.
The number one concern for renters is the security of the
storage facility and individual units. Most, if not all have standard chain
link and barbwire fencing around the property. However, there should also be:
- Camera surveillance of the entire property
- A gated entrance with a passcode or security card
- Well-lit to allow proper access at all times of day and to deter thieves
- On-site property managers
A lot of new units have alarm systems. However, these most likely will increase costs for renters. Therefore, it’s important to weigh the
importance of this additional price and the value, whether monetary or sentimental, of your property within the storage unit.
Proper storage of valuables is an area where a lot of renters struggle as typically they drop off their belongings and forget about them, only to return and find that their property has is damaged.
It’s important to invest your time and money into properly storing your items to ensure they can withstand anywhere from two months to two years or more in the unit.
While your home has a fairly consistent temperature, a storage unit can have changes according to the weather and season and is exposed to dramatic shifts in humidity.
Be sure to look at these recommendations closely, as Kalispell does not have the high-end storage facilities with climate controlled storage units, so it’s especially important to spend the extra time on protecting your property from the elements.
Standard cardboard boxes are susceptible to mildew, rot and caving in, damaging the contents. Plastic bags are even worse as they aren’t breathable and are a perfect environment for moisture to collect.
It is recommended that you invest in large plastic bins which are especially nice because of their transparency, their consistent sizes and ability to stack properly.
A less expensive option is specially treated cardboard which is more durable and is resistant to mold and has a stronger build, preventing collapse.
Old paper bags, packaging paper or tissue paper is recommended to wrap particularly fragile pieces like dishware or picture frames. Watch out for printed newspaper or paper bags as this ink can transfer onto items.
It’s also important to use bubble wrap on pieces of furniture that might be susceptible to scratching.
No storage unit should expect floods or water damage. However, every item should be elevated off the ground several inches to protect against unexpected moisture and allow better airflow through the storage unit. Air flow will help protect your belongings from the build-up of moisture.
It’s important to label all items and have a system of where you’re placing certain items. You may unexpectedly need to find one of your valuables, not know where it is and can damage something else. Keep all similar items together: dishes with kitchen items, pictures and books, etc.
Large Item Storage
While Kalispell does have a few storage facilities that can accommodate cars, there are no businesses that offer duel storage for household items and RV’s and boats. Therefore, a different storage facility will be needed.
It’s important to have proper security at the storage facility, as mentioned above, but it’s also it’s also important to properly prepare your RV or boat for the winter. Below you will find some
recommendations for what to do before storing your RV or boat.
Before leaving your RV for several months, it is essential that you:
◊ Drain all tanks
◊ Drain the water heater
◊ Remove all food items
◊ Drain water from system and replace with non-toxic antifreeze
◊ Cover all vents and check for roof leaks or holes
◊ Clean the boat and rid it of all debris and trash from the summer
◊ Change oil and anti-freeze
◊ Remove battery and other electronics, primarily because of the low temps in Montana during the winter.
◊ Use an undamaged boat cover to protect your boat.
It is important for renters to understand that even though the storage facility is keeping their belongings, they don’t guarantee the safety of your valuables and the company does not take responsibility for the damaged property.
There are several options to consider when insuring your property while it is in a storage unit. First, you do not need to purchase the insurance at the facility that they offer you upon renting. Often this may be an unnecessary cost. Be sure to shop around a little bit, as there are companies that provide insurance for rental units. Your homeowners’ insurance may also cover your storage unit at minimal or no extra charge.
Be sure to evaluate what the insurance covers as well; RV’s and boats need to be insured separately, and high-value items like jewelry, antiques, etc. are often only partially covered or not covered at all.
While we know that most consumers are more apt to leave reviews when they’re dissatisfied with a service, it’s important to check the ratings of the storage facility that you’re looking to use. Is there a high percentage of poor reviews? Are these poor reviews all consistent with their complaints or are there a whole host of issues with the company or their units? Has the management or owners of the storage facility made efforts to address these customers?
In these reviews, you should look for:
- Reliable security
- Reliable service from management
- Flexibility with time, allowing renters 24-hour access to their property.
After reviewing all of these recommendations it may seem pretty daunting to start your search for a storage facility. They are so prevalent in Kalispell that it may seem easier to just pick one and drop your things off. However, you are storing your property for a reason: whether it’s a cherished family heirloom, or an item you need in the future and you have to spend time on finding the right company, properly storing and consistently visiting your unit a few times a year to ensure your valuables are safe.