A few weeks ago, Mark Huffman of Consumer Affairs came out with an article detailing potential hazards of using self storage units to hold your possessions. His arguments make a case, albeit a poor one, on why people should avoid storage units.
We’ve written plenty of articles on why people use self storage. It is a widely accepted fact most American’s have too much stuff and much of it is junk but there are certain times when self storage is a viable option. People moving long distances, getting married, divorced or downsizing are some great examples of when using a storage unit is prudent.
Huffman tries to use scare tactics to keep people away from storage units using the hit TV series ‘Storage Wars’ as an example.
The series is based on the common practice of auctioning off the contents of storage units when the renter doesn’t pay…..But losing the contents of your storage unit for non-payment is just one of the potential hazards of keeping your possessions in a location other than your home.
He also uses two examples of people who had poor experiences from renting storage units. One person had rats infested, chewed and soiled his possessions. Another person did not read the contract on his storage agreement and was shocked the contents in his unit were not insured. Huffman goes on to offer some tips for selecting a facility including, security, location and cleanliness.
Most of the time something goes wrong at a storage facility it is not the fault of the facility; fires, tornado, flooding etc. Let’s be honest though, with the popularity of self storage in recent years through TV shows and more press, criminals know there are valuables stored in close quarters. Many people fail to properly lock their storage units or read contracts and assume because the storage facility has a gate it is secure and has insurance.
In order to properly protect belongings, renters need to thoroughly read the storage contract, get additional insurance for their belongings from their insurance company and pick a secure facility in a mostly urban location. Huffman is correct in stating that Americans overindulge and have more than they need and that self storage shouldn’t be a necessity for everyone. For those who do need a self storage unit, take the proper precautions to ensure the possessions are adequately cared for while they are not in ones custody.
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