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Choosing a Storage Company

Last Updated Apr 3, 2012 · Written by Jaclyn Fitzgerald

If you’re moving and you need somewhere to store your stuff either temporarily or long term, the perfect solution is to use a storage company. But how do you know which storage companies are good and which you should avoid?  Don’t just pull a name out of a hat so to speak; follow our guide to choosing a storage company that you’re confident in!  For more information or to look at what’s available locally to you, have a look at the storage professionals on our site.

Where is the Storage Company Located?

Since it’s likely that you’re going to need access to your property quite regularly, it only makes sense to choose a storage company that is well located.  You need to be able to get to it easily, so the company should be local to you.  Ideally, it’ll be central between your old home and your new home but if this doesn’t prove practical to you (if you’re moving interstate for example!) always look for a storage company that will be located near to your primary or new residence.

What Hours are They Open?

You’ll also want to find out what hours the storage company is open.  Many open 24 hours a day but some don’t, and this can make it troublesome to access your goods when you want to.  Always find out exactly what their opening hours are so you can make sure that they are suitable for you.  If they’re not 24 hours, they may charge you extra fees to access your property outside of their normal opening hours.

Do They Have a Range of Sizes?

Most storage companies will have different size storage units that you can choose from and this is important as you want a unit that is large enough to store all your belongings comfortably but without any wasted space.  Storage companies should provide sizes from small to large, and they are usually measured in cubic metres.  If you’re having trouble visualising the sizes of the units, they should be more than willing to show you through the options so you can see for yourself.

What Access Do They Have to Your Property?

A key question that you need to ask when choosing a storage company is what access they actually have to the property that you’re storing with them.  After all, you don’t want them being able to enter your storage unit on a whim!  Storage companies should only access your unit in case of emergency (such as fire) or if you have defaulted on paying your fees.  In the case of default, they need to wait a predetermined time before they can declare your unit as abandoned – make sure you know how long that is!

How Much Does It Cost?

Of course, you’re going to want to know how much it costs to store your stuff!  Ask how much the storage will cost each week or month and also remember to ask how they want it paid. Will it be through cash, direct debit, or what?  Don’t forget to enquire about any additional charges such as access fees, deposits, costs to air condition the unit if it’s required (climate control may be needed if you’re storing books, important documents etc), and so on.  You may also want to take up insurance if the company offers it and that will be at an extra charge.  Finally, make sure that you understand how long your contract runs for as you may be charged extra to break a contract once you have entered into it.
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