A Consumer's Guide
SELECTING A UNIT
Self-service storage is the most economical and convenient
way to store your property. When selecting a unit, remember
that the rent is determined by the unit's size. Ask the facility
manager to help you choose a size which fits your requirements.
Remember, a small, efficiently-packed unit will cost less
than a larger unit in which the contents are poorly arranged.
THE RENTAL AGREEMENT
For your protection, insist on a written agreement and
read it thoroughly. The manager will answer any question which
you may have. Make note of the payment date and see if the
agreement covers pro-rated rental periods. Find out how and
when performance deposits are refunded or forfeited upon termination
of the agreement. Remember to notify the facility in writing
if you change your address or phone number.
INSURE YOUR GOODS
Items placed in self-service storage units are the sole
responsibility of their owner. They are not insured
by the facility operator. If your insurance does not cover
stored possessions, check with the facility manager or your
local insurance agent about acquiring low-cost insurance coverage
for your goods.
Since you alone control access to your storage space, there
are some items which should never be place in a storage unit.
They include: live animals, perishables, liquids, explosives,
and all flammable liquids and fuels. Gasoline engines should
be drained of fuel before storage.
STORING YOUR GOODS
You control the cost of storing your property in a self-service
storage facility. Since the rental price of a unit depends
on its size, the way you pack and arrange your mini-storage
unit determines its cost.
1. Inspect your storage unit and make
a list of the packing accessories which you will need. Commonly
used packing aids include such items as newsprint or wrapping
paper, bubble-pack, tape, rope, drop cloths, polyurethane
sheeting, mattress and furniture covers, pallets, skids,
dehumidifiers and cartons. The manager may have some or
all of these items for sale on the premises.
2. Place a pallet on the floor. Do not
lean items against walls. Leaving air space around the unit's
perimeter will aid ventilation. Leave a walkway to the rear
of the unit. Use all the space available.
3. Place frequently used items near the
4. Fill containers to capacity. Partially
full or bulging cartons may tip or collapse. Heavy items
such as books or tools should be packed in small boxes.
If a carton is too heavy, it will be hard to lift and should
be divided between two or more cartons.
5. Fragile items should be cushioned
by packing and placed toward the top of the unit.
6. Label cartons and take home a list
of the labeled cartons for easy reference when you need
to locate your property.
SPECIFIC STORAGE TIPS
APPLIANCES: A refrigerator or freezer
should be thoroughly dry and stored with its door slightly
ajar. Some items can be stored inside large appliance. Cartons
can be stacked on top of stoves, refrigerators and freezers.
Make sure that stove and cooking equipment are cleaned before
they are stored.
METAL ITEMS: To retard rust, wipe all metal
surfaces with a rag containing a few drops of machine oil.
BOOKS AND DOCUMENTS: Pack books flat to protect
their spines. Do not place boxes directly on floor. Use pallets
or skids to prevent moisture. Use packing to fill out empty
pockets in the cartons. Do not pack fragile items in the same
carton with books. Do not overload.
DISHES AND GLASSWARE: Place a layer
of packing inside both the bottom and top of cartons containing
glassware. Label all cartons containing glasses. All glass
items should be individually wrapped. Nest cups and bowls
and stand plates, saucers and platters on edge. Wrapped glasses
should be placed toward the top of the carton with padding
above them. Fill all pockets with newspaper. Do not place
heavy items atop boxes containing glassware.
FURNITURE: Place a pallet, cardboard mat or
plastic sheet on the floor and stand sofas and mattresses
on end. Disassemble beds and tables and wrap table legs in
paper. If a table will not disassemble, place padding on the
floor and place the table on its top with the legs pointing
up. Use dresser tops for stacking cartons and dresser drawers
for linens or small, delicate items. Keep upholstery off the
floor. Most lightweight chairs should be stacked "seat to
seal: or placed upside down on tables which cannot be disassembled.
Place a light dust cover over your furniture.
HOLIDAY DECORATIONS: Save the original cartons
which contained delicate ornaments and pad the ornaments with
packing paper or newsprint. Wrap strings of lights around
a piece of cardboard before placing in a carton lined with
LAMPS: Wrap large lamp bases in padding. Wrap
smaller lamps and place them in cartons. Pack delicate lamp
shades or any other goods which may be damaged by ink stains.
Do not store heavy items atop cartons containing lamps or
MIRRORS, AND WINDOWS: These items should be
stored on edge, not flat.
STEREO & AUDIO EQUIPMENT: Should be stored
in a heated, climatized environment that will eliminate dampness
in the air that could possibly damage sensitive electronics
components. Check with the facility manager for details on
temperature and moisture controls.
TOOLS: Metal tools should be cleaned and wiped
with a rag containing a few drops of machine oil to retard
rust. Long-handled tools such as rakes, shovels and hoes should
be clean, lightly oiled and tied in bundles.