Whether you’re a Harry Potter fan or not, you may be quite envious of the Room of Requirement in the Hogwarts castle – “a room that a person can only enter when they have real need of it; sometimes it is there, and sometimes it is not, but when it appears, it is always equipped for the seeker’s needs”. If only you had access to such an adaptable extra room when downsizing, moving into temporary housing, renovating your home, or on any other occasion when you need to get some of your possessions out of the way but want to keep them for later use!
Since there is no chance of having such a magic room in your home though, you need to find another solution for storing away your excess items. A self-storage unit may be your best bet – you get a safe and easily accessible storage space where to keep your stuff until you can take it back.
This seemingly perfect solution, however, comes at a cost – you need to pay a monthly fee for your storage unit and the prices can add up to thousands of dollars a year. So, when looking to expand your storage space, you need to consider the storage unit cost first.
How much does a storage unit cost, indeed? The prices vary according to size and location, but you can get an idea of how much you’re going to pay for storage when you know exactly what type of storage unit you need and what factors determine the cost of a storage unit.
Factors that influence storage unit costs
Storage rental costs depend on a variety of factors, including the location of the storage facility, the available extra features, the size of the unit, and the length of the rental period:
Size of the storage unit
Size is the main determinant of storage unit rental costs – naturally, the larger the unit, the higher the monthly cost will be.
Storage facilities usually offer storage units in various sizes to accommodate different storage needs. The smallest ones cost about $30 – $50 per month, while larger units can be $300 a month.
So, when looking for a self-storage unit, you have to know how much space you need first. Sort through your excess household items, asses their value, and decide which of them are really worth keeping (the more stuff you decide to put into storage, the more space you’re going to need and the more you’re going to pay). Sell, donate or give away everything you won’t be able to use in the foreseeable future (the value of any items placed in storage depreciates with time) and keep only items of great sentimental value you don’t want to part with and items of great practical value you’re going to use sometime soon. Measure and weigh the items you intend to put into storage to find out how much storage space you need. Look for a storage unit slightly larger than what you believe is necessary (you may not be able to optimize the storage space well enough or you may need to add some more items in the near future).
Location of the storage facility
Just as real estate costs, storage units’ costs vary from place to place. Self-storage in large metropolitan areas is much more expensive than in small towns due to the higher demand. Cheaper cities offer cheaper storage options because of the lower costs of living in the region. Downtown storage facilities tend to have higher rates than similar facilities located in the suburbs or outside the city because of the higher desirability of the area.
A small storage unit in Portland, OR, for example, costs about $110 per month, while a unit of the same size in Memphis, TN, is about $50 a month.
You will most certainly want your self-storage unit to be in the city where you live in, but you can save some money by choosing a facility located in the suburbs (unless you need frequent access to it).
Climate control is an extra feature that has a tremendous impact on the storage rental cost. A climate-controlled storage unit is likely to cost about 15%-25% more than a non-climate-controlled unit.
So, when choosing a storage unit, do not opt for one with climate control unless you really need it – otherwise, you will be paying for storage amenities you don’t actually use.
Whether you need climate control or not will depend on the type of items you intend to put into storage and the climate in your area. If you live in a place with extreme weather conditions or if you intend to store expensive electronic equipment, artwork, musical instruments, delicate items with high sentimental value, antique or leather furniture, or any other items that are sensitive to temperature fluctuations, you definitely need a climate-controlled unit.
High-end security features – video cameras and surveillance systems, strong fences and guarded gates, secure locks, fire alarms, etc. – will ensure the safety of your items while they’re in storage. The more secure the facility, however, the more you will pay.
The type of storage facility (outdoor or indoor), its age and overall condition, the level of customer service, the type of self-storage access, and the available extra amenities (loading docks, wheeled moving equipment, illumination, etc.) also affect the storage unit prices, so you need to know exactly what you need when looking for storage options in your area.
Last but not least, the cost of a storage unit depends on the length of time you rent it for.
Most self-storage facilities offer month-to-month services which allow customers to store their items temporarily without making a long term commitment. While this is the most convenient option possible, it is also the most expensive one. Smaller rental time results in a higher monthly storage unit cost – renting a storage cell for three months, for example, is going to cost much more per month than it would cost when renting the same unit for an year.
To save on storage costs, you’re advised to rent a unit for at least six months at a time (or for as long as you’re sure you’ll need it). Going for a long-term rental is a shrewd financial decision as you’ll not only pay lower monthly fees, but may even get the first month for free.
What’s more, paying up front will most probably earn you an ample discount as well. So, consider paying in six month increments, if applicable in your case.
You need to take into account all of the above to get an accurate idea of your self-storage costs. Then, you can look for different ways to get good deals on storage units.
Average storage unit cost
So, all things considered, what does a storage unit cost? How much is a storage unit per month? It depends on your particular needs (size of storage unit, additional amenities, rental time) and the area you live in, but storage unit prices per month run like these:
5’X5’ (25 square feet) storage cells typically cost between $35 and $85 per month. They are about as big as a large closet;
5’X10’ (50 square feet) cells tend to cost about $55-$125 per month. They can fit the contents of a small room;
10’X10’ (100 square feet) units cost about $100-$180 per month. They are about half the size of a standard garage;
10’X15’ (150 square feet) storage units usually cost between $120 and $200 per month. They can accommodate the contents of two full rooms;
10’X20’ (200 square feet), units can cost anywhere between $150 and $300 per month. They can fit the furnishings of a 2-or 3-bedroom home.
To find out what size storage unit will best suit your needs, you’re advised to make a complete inventory of the items you intend to place in storage. The inventory sheet will come very handy when purchasing insurance for your stored items as well.
Whether you need to put your belongings into short-term or long-term storage, whether you need storage-in-transit while moving house or a safe place where to keep your belongings during a renovation project or a temporary relocation, make sure you explore all the storage options in your area and choose a safe, convenient, and affordable storage unit for your excess household items. It will be just like having the Room of Requirement at your disposal.
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Thursday, December 7, 2017
At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, we are all about giving back to our community and helping to move people forward in life. This is especially true with our veterans, and we make sure to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this county and allow us to do we what we do each day.
This is especially true when it comes to providing moving services for active military members, and we try to deliver the absolute best moving services possible for those about to serve, currently serving, or those who may be finishing up their time in the military. While many of the basic aspects of the moving process translate to a military move, there are some minor details that must be taken into consideration to ensure the move goes smoothly.
Thankfully, the “Movers Who Care®” at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK have put together some important moving tips for military members so when it comes time to make your next step, you have all the resources and planning taken care of.
Pack with efficiency
Packing can sometimes be the difference between a successful move and a disaster, and taking the time to pack properly will take a ton of stress off your shoulders and keep the entire process moving along as you relocate to your new home.
Start by labeling all of your boxes so there is no confusion as to where any of your belongings are. Try to organize boxes by keeping items of the highest importance together so that when you get to your new spot, you are able to access them quickly. Be sure to check with the military base you are moving to on their restrictions or guidelines of what is and isn’t allowed on the premises so you aren’t forced to part with something unexpectedly.
For many active military members, moving can become an all too frequent process, and you can find yourself jumping from city to city based on your assignments.
This creates an even greater significance on staying organized with your belongings, as you’ll want to keep yourself on track and not get lost in clutter from place to place. Determine what items are useful at your next place and what items are no longer needed, and toss the unwanted stuff.
Pay attention to pricing options
When it comes to moving as a member of the military, you are given the option of buying or renting your own place, but the pricing options can vary.
Your housing is paid for to an extent, but what allowance you receive depends if you live on or off the base. If you decide to live on the base, they will usually take your entire allowance and allow you to live there without requiring payment for rent or bills If you choose to live off-base, anything you pay for that goes over your allowance comes out of pocket.
Find out what type of housing option works best for you financially, and make the necessary arrangements.
Give yourself extra time
In order for movers to get on a military base, their moving trucks are going to be thoroughly examined by security, and this will often add in extra time. It’s important to plan with this in mind, especially when being charge by the hour for your moving services.
Talk with your moving company and find out what their rates are to ensure there are no surprises come moving time.
Be prepared if you’re going international
This goes without saying, but if your military move involves relocating to a new country, there’s quite a bit of extra planning that wouldn’t normally come with a local home move.
Some things to keep in mind as you relocate to a new country:
-Longer time frames for delivering and receiving your items
-Relocating your vehicle
Along with this, there are plenty of other factors that come into play, so it’s important to be up-to-date with the regulations of your new country, and with your new military base.
At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK, we put a heavy emphasis on helping and giving back to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to this country. From our Movers for Military campaign in the fall to employing numerous veterans, we feel it’s our duty to make sure these brave men and women are taken care of.
If you’re looking to complete an upcoming military move, give us a call! We’d love to help get you on your way and show you why we are known as the “Movers Who Care®”.
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Sunday, November 26, 2017
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Monday, November 20, 2017
Monday, November 13, 2017
Keep a cool head with this list that does the thinking for you
To keep moving bedlam at a minimum, we’ve created this to-do list. Print out this page, and check off the tasks, item by item. Many of the items can be done ahead, so do yourself a favor and get organized the day before. Come moving day, you’ll be ready to supervise the whole affair, without worry or distraction.
Task One: Clearly Mark and Set Aside Items You Don’t Want Loaded
This will remind you to tell the driver what not to load as you conduct your preload walkthrough. Make sure your important paperwork pertaining to the move doesn’t get packed and shipped with your household goods.
Task Two: Pack Special Items for the Kids
Have the kids pack a box of their “special” items, things that they’ll want to have nearby as soon as you all arrive at your new home. Point this box out to the driver so it’s one of the first to be unloaded.
Note: You may want to arrange for someone to take care of the kids (and pets) while the movers are packing and loading your items. Have the caregiver bring the kids back home prior to the truck leaving as it important for young children to understand where their belongings are going.
Task Three: Get Rid of Trash and Flammable Items
Eliminate as much trash as you can before moving day. Last-minute garbage will inevitably build up the day prior to and the day of loading. Try making a deal with a neighbor to use their trash container for your last-minute debris.
Many items that are considered flammable are not going to be loaded by the driver and crew. Understand what these items are so that you are not stuck with trying to get rid of them on day of loading. If you are uncertain what items can’t be loaded, ask your estimator for a list. Because movers can’t transport most household cleaners, they will be available for you to use throughout the day. Also remember to remove items from inaccessible areas like crawl spaces or attics.
Task Four: Reserve a Parking Space for the Moving Truck
If you live in a congested area, recruit some friends and park all of your vehicles one after another in a space close to your home and do not move them until the truck arrives. The closer the truck can get to your house, the better your chances are of not incurring an additional charge.
Task Five: Clear Walkways
Make it safe and easy for your movers to get in and out of your house by removing all obstructions.
- Move potted plants and planters from front porch, walkways and driveways.
- Remove all door and floor mats.
- Remove all rugs. The crew will protect the floors with a specially designed floor covering that does not slip.
- Remove low hanging items such as wind chimes or hanging plants.
- Disconnect the spring on the screen door so that it stays open during the loading process.
- If you had the moving company pack for you, work with them to keep walkways clear for the driver and crew.
Task Six: Point Out Special Items
Set these items aside the day before the move. Then, once the mover arrives, point out items that are most special to you during the walkthrough. All your items will be handled professionally but take a moment to show them which ones need the most special care. Also, point out the boxes you would like to have unloaded first, if they are not going into storage. These boxes may include kitchen and bathroom items, or your children’s toys.
Task Seven: Take Care of Your Driver and Crew Members
Consider the needs of your driver and crew members! It is not necessary to prepare an elaborate meal, as this is the last thing you will have time for. Still, run out and get some breakfast rolls or cookies and order pizza for lunch. It is a nice gesture and will be warmly received.
- Keep water and pop on hand for yourself and the crew. On hot summer days, provide Gatorade or some type of sports drink. These men and women work hard, handling your most important possessions. A cool drink can really help.
- Advise the driver and crew where to locate the drinks and food so that they do not have to ask each time.
- Advise the driver and crew which restroom you want them to use.
Task Eight: Decide on Tipping
Should you? It is completely up to you. Many individuals do tip the driver and let him disperse the portion to the crew that they think is appropriate. You decide!
Task Nine: Before the Driver Leaves…
Make sure you understand all the paperwork before the driver departs for your new home. If there is something that is confusing to you, ask your driver to explain it before you sign it.
Provide the driver with your destination contact information. Take down any information the driver can provide such as his cell phone, pager and satellite tracking information. Ask the driver if your shipment is the last he/she will be loading. Find out when the last shipment goes onto the trailer. This will give you an indication as to when they will be departing for your new home. Ask the driver about his/her plans for delivering your items. Find out as many details as you can prior to the driver leaving your residence.
If the driver attempts to give you a delivery date and time, keep in mind that it is really only an estimate at the time of loading. Many factors can change the schedule for the driver, so try to remain flexible. Ask the driver to call you with changes so that you can adjust your plans accordingly. If you have a delivery spread (a sequence of two or more days that your shipment can be delivered on and still be considered on time) understand that you can and may be delivered on any one of those days.
Take one last sweep of the house before the driver leaves. Look through all closets, shelves, in the garage, attic, crawl space, storage unit, under the stairs, on the walls and any place else things may be hiding. You do not want to find out, after the driver has left, that something was left behind.
Thursday, October 19, 2017
While moving is an exciting part of a person’s life, it’s also a time that can be super stressful that’s filled with an ever-growing list of things to do and organize. From interviewing moving companies to getting the right amount of boxes to organizing your stuff for donation (and everything else in between!), there is so much to do before you actually move and start your life into your new city or town.
One aspect of moving that you’ll have to figure out pretty early on is the packing process. And if you’re doing all of the packing by yourself, you’ll need to make sure that you organize all of your items for the big move and stock up on a variety of packing materials to protect and secure your items. Read on to check out more about some of the different packing materials out there that can help you to efficiently get everything in order.
Different Types of Packing Materials
- Packing paper: Newspaper has been used as a way to pack everything from bowls to glass to kitchen items for years. While this is an inexpensive packing material, it isn’t always the best one anymore: the black newspaper ink can dye your plates, cups, etc, causing them to stain. Instead of using traditional newspaper, opt for dye-free packing paper that you securely wrap around your valuables and then seal together with some packing tape. For additional assurance, cover your wrapped item in a cotton dish cloth or towel that can protect your items from any banging that might occur during the moving process.
- Bubble wrap or rolls: Another classic packing material for moving, bubble wrap is great to protect valuables and fragile items such as glass, dishes, art, collectible items and more. Make sure that your bubble wrap or roll is flat, then place your item in the middle and wrap. Seal the package with some packing tape before you place the wrapped item in your boxes.
- Peanuts: For additional security and cushioning, you can fill your moving boxes with packing peanuts. They can serve as a barrier around your items that can be especially helpful during the moving process as your items get shuffled from your home to the van and finally to your new home. Anything can happen during this time where boxes might be thrown around or shaken. The downside of peanuts is the clean-up afterwards that might mean you’ll be finding peanuts way after you unpack your items.
- Moving blankets: Electronics and large furniture are a completely different animal when it comes to packaging during a move. While it would be ideal to have the box that your TV, video game console or DVD player came in, we know this isn’t always the reality. The best option for packing these items is to wrap them in large moving blankets that gently get placed onto the moving van. Blankets are also great for wrapping and coating tables, couches, desks, beds, a wardrobe or a dresser. They also make it a little easier to transport your items from your home to the moving van or truck, providing a layer of protection so that your items won’t get dented or stretched up.
- Packing foam: Foam is another great packing material that can protect breakable items such as ceramics or glass pieces. More lightweight than bubble wrap, you might need to wrap your valuables with foam a few times before you place them into your moving box. Add in additional towels or clothing for additional padding.
- Household items: While the above packing supplies are great to protect your items during the moving process, there are some items that you might actually have at home that can help you to protect your items without having to spend additional money. For clothes, you can opt to fill up your items in any unused suitcases or use your shirts or socks to fill any loose spaces in your boxes that can also serve as padding. You can also leave some clothing in your dresser and then tape the drawers.
- Boxes: And of course the Granddaddy of all packing materials, moving boxes! Whether you have a small apartment or a large house, you are going to need a considerable amount of moving boxes for moving in a variety of sizes. Ideally, you should focus on packing your books, kitchen items (with proper padding) and bathroom items in medium-sized boxes. Wardrobe boxes are great for clothes and larger boxes are great for packing kids’ toys, lamps, small electronics, and bulky items.
There are tons of options to help you to pack and organize your belongings for a move. A professional mover can assist with the packing process or you can purchase a variety of packing materials to do it yourself.
Sunday, October 1, 2017
1. Get rid of everything.
2. Sort things by category.
Free Bonus: KonMari Cheat Sheet
3. Schedule a free donation pickup.
4. Set aside stuff to sell.
5. Research professional moving companies.
6. Pick the right moving day.
7. Map out the best way to get to your new home.
8. Create a master moving to-do list
9. Put moving tasks on your calendar.
10. Get moving boxes from your local liquor store.
11. Check to see if you have original boxes for your electronics.