Relocation is not an easy task, especially if you need to do things in a hurry! In such cases, a storage company can prove to be pretty useful. You could ask them to look after all your household goods till you are ready to transport them to your new residence. Or if possible, take some belongings with you and leave the rest for later.
Of course, there are plenty of companies offering such facilities; so you need not panic! What you need to do is to check out a few such places and visit them in person. Then you can take a close look at the facilities on offer at each place. If you ring up customer service beforehand, they would be happy to take you around.
When you enter the grounds of any storage company to check out their services, do observe everything carefully. What is your impression of the grounds and the storage areas? Do they look as if the staff takes good care of them—are they neat and clean? If vegetation and plants have been allowed to grow unchecked, especially along the sides of the building, you might need to reconsider. You will find it difficult to gain access to the storage unit at nighttime, especially if the lighting is also poor. It is important that the grounds as well as the internal storage facility are well lit.
Unless the fence around the place is secure (you can check for yourself by walking around the entire perimeter), your things cannot remain safe. Again, a damaged security fence and overgrown vegetation will allow potential attackers easy access. If you are a woman who wishes to visit the storage center at night, you need to be extra cautious.
Find out from the staff how and when you can visit the storage facility—what is the procedure to gain entry after you have handed over your belongings? Above all, you should feel comfortable about leaving your things with these strangers. This is possible only if the company staff exhibit the utmost courtesy and professionalism at all times.
Now, in the rare case that you are not able to arrange a personal visit to any of the companies, ensure that all your questions get clarified over the telephone itself. It will be on the basis of the answers provided that you can narrow down your choice to one particular storage company.
The questions that need to be answered during the telephonic interview should include—
(1) The number of storage units present at the facility and their availability during any time of the year.
(2) The conditions applicable to monthly rentals.
(3) The time duration allowed for vacating the storage unit (giving notice).
(4) Photographs of an empty storage unit, as well as the grounds and security fencing to be sent over by the company.
(5) Type of security system offered; presence or absence of a smoke alarm system as well as a sprinkler system in case of fires.
(6) Allowing or banning smoking inside the building.
(7) Patrolling the grounds for enhanced security.
(8) The limitations placed on a customer’s access to his storage unit.
(9) Any instances of previous break-ins and reasons for the same.
(10) References provided by the company to reassure about reliability and dependability.
So, once you are satisfied with your probing, you can go ahead and book a place at a storage company.