When I went to University years ago, all my history to that time ended up in my Aunt Miriam's basement and except for one visit a few years later that was the last I saw of it. I moved, she moved and all my very important school books from High School ended up in a dump in Edmonton, with all my 45's.. and eight tracks... And platform shoes.
This is why you should use storage units, people!
There are times that you just need more space — whether you're moving to another place, decluttering your home, storing business records, or just needing additional empty room for the growing collection of your belongings. Renting a storage unit is a convenient solution.
In Toronto, there are plenty of different storage facilities where you can keep all the stuff you want for an unlimited period of time and access it whenever you like. The sizes of storage units range from as small as a closet to as spacious as a double garage. This sounds convenient, but it might not be the best solution to all storage problems, and there are several factors to consider before renting a storage unit.
The quality of services that different storage facilities provide vary. The most common are self-storage units that lack a higher level of security and often don't provide ventilation, temperature, or humidity control. They're usually multiple garage-style units that look like a metal shed from the inside. You will receive a PIN number to get into the facility, but the security of your unit is up to you, so you'll have to look for a good lock. These units aren't suitable for storing items that might get damaged by changing temperatures. Water from melting snow could come under the door or the adjacent unit could have a spill that leaked onto your property. On the other hand, these units are sufficient for storing common household items without significant value.
Plus, there are also storage facilities that offer top-notch security with the latest technologies. Many storage facilities also offer climate-controlled units in addition to other amenities, such as 24/7 access, packing supplies, or mobile storage solutions. Renting these units is more expensive, but we recommend choosing a storage facility with a high level of security if you're storing valuable items. Most homeowners' insurance policies don't cover storage outside of the house for more than 30 days. If you want to minimize risks of monetary damages, you can obtain storage insurance.
Storage units are particularly handy for homeowners who are moving and preparing their homes for sale. Luanne Kanerva, a staging specialist at katu design, remarked,
My clients mostly rent storage when their homes are being staged and their furniture is not appropriate for selling the home. It might be too big, too old or out of date. They also might simply have too much not just furniture but stuff!
In addition to amenities and services, storage facilities also differ in the flexibility of storage terms. Most storage places offer a minimum rental period of one month and monthly payments. On the other hand, there are also storage facilities that you can use for periods as short as one day and where you pay only for the time you are using the unit. Many storage unit providers offer discounts on the first month or other special offers for new clients.
Do You Really Need to Pay to Store the Stuff You Don't Use?
There's no doubt that renting a storage place comes in extremely handy when you're moving or reorganizing your home. However, there's a risk that you might end up moving all the clutter from your home into the storage unit — especially if you don't find the time to go through all the stuff and put aside the items that you really want to keep and use.
Ann Christie has a home organization company, Declutter and Downsize, that specializes in helping people who are relocating. She told us,
People have good intentions of leaving items in storage for a short time but the "out of sight, out of mind" rule sometimes kicks in and what was meant as a temporary storage solution carries on for years. It is important to put a time limit on your temporary storage and ensure that you adhere to that timeframe. Otherwise, having a storage unit becomes a way of life and can be very expensive.
Moving your belongings into a storage unit is convenient, as you don't have to worry about the things taking up space in your home. However, you should consider the reasons why you want those items outside your home before you decide to rent a storage unit. If it's because you simply won't need it and don't have the space to store it in your home, then it's not worth paying a monthly rent on a storage unit. Besides, it's very likely that you'll just stuff the unit with random things you're not using at the moment and then forget about. As Luanne Kanerva noted,
I always encourage my clients to think about whether they really need to store these items or whether they might be able to get rid of some things. We say, "Don't get more storage. Get less stuff!"
Moreover, you should consider the value of the items that you want to store as well as for how long you plan to store them. Sometimes it might be wiser to sell or give the items to someone rather than paying storage fees. The longer you keep your belongings in the storage unit, the more you'll have to pay for the storage. We recommend you rent a storage unit for a fixed period and try to sort your stuff out within this period. You can always renew your rental contract for another period.
Rental prices for storage units in Toronto vary depending on the unit's size. The smallest units (5' x 5') cost around $80 per month and the bigger ones (5' x 10') have rates of approximately $130 per month. Renting a unit with the size of an average bedroom (10' x 10') costs about $200 per month, and the monthly rate for units with dimensions of 10' x 20' is about $250.
Flexibility and Security
Renting a storage unit gives you much more than a few square feet of space. In a decent facility, your belongings will be protected with a state of art security system, plus you'll be able to insure them. You can also rent a mailbox and have your mail or packages sent directly to the storage unit.
Many storage facilities provide drive-in units where you can directly unload your cars or even store your vehicles. You won't have to worry about moving heavy objects to and from your basement, as storage facilities have over-sized elevators and also provide moving carts and other equipment, including moving trucks, to help bring your belongings to the facility and into the unit.
On the other hand, if you want to store only smaller objects such as important documents or antiques, you can rent a unit that's just as small as you need. Most storage facilities are very flexible and allow 24/7 access and adjustable rent terms. It's not only a great temporary solution, but also a reliable storing alternative that can become handy at any time — for example, if you need to store your valuables during a long vacation. Ann Christie also remarked,
These units are very suitable for storing summer furniture or a car that is used only in the summer, something that is seasonal. Building a garage or some sort of permanent structure to store a car used only in the warm weather or summer furniture can be very costly. A storage unit can provide a secure, clean, and even a climate-controlled environment. Additionally, it can be far more cost-effective for a short period each year.
Storage units are quite popular, and you might see plenty of facilities in Toronto. It's not a problem to find an empty unit in a facility that offers quality services. However, there are some times of the year — particularly spring and summer, when people move, reorganize, or reconstruct their homes — when the best-priced units might be all occupied and you'll have to opt for a pricier alternative.