When deciding to store your precious belongings into self storage facility it is very important to do your research, take a tour and receive an estimate prior to moving your stuff. An estimate will enable you to compare both price and services offered in order to make the best storage decision.

1. The power of three. With moving companies as well as storage companies, you should research three to five facilities in your area. It is advisable to visit facilities in your area, which will save you money on travel expenses (should you need to visit your unit or add additional items). Through your research, write down basic information about a company – their years in business, hours, types of units that they have, etc. If anything is off about this information, like say they are a new company or don’t have the type of unit you require, move on in your research to the next company. You should also look them up on the Better Business Bureau’s website to assess if any complaints were taken out against the facility.

2. Take a tour. From your list, whittle it down to three companies to visit. Make sure that you visit the storage facilities during the day so that you can see it in its natural light. While on your tour, be sure to ask about visiting hours (in order to know if you can drop items off), their pest control, what type of lighting they use, their security systems (gates, cameras, electronic devices, etc), climate controls as well as the opportunity to see the actual units themselves. Also, be sure to ask about customer referrals and references – specifically about storage issues that you can relate to.

3. The estimate. After discussing your needs and items that you are interested in storing, you should be able to receive a written estimate. Your estimate should include:

• Name, address and telephone number of the storage company – and in some instances a website
• Warehouse storage rate per unit
• Minimum monthly storage charges
• Number of items to be stored
• A listing of fees associated such as padding or packing
• Costs applied for transportation (if applicable)

4. Insurance. As a part of your estimate, the storage company should provide you with information about insurance. Some items of extraordinary value such as antiques or jewelry or those that require special storage units such as wine and furs may require additional insurance. These extra costs will ensure that your goods are well protected and preserved, which can be discussed during your tour.

5. Asses the costs. Now that you received three estimates, determine if their services meets your needs – as well as offers a fair price. Double-check the estimate for additional fees, terms and conditions and insurance. It is important, though, to not only base this decision on price alone, but to look at the overall package when opting to use a facility.

Submitted by Guest Blogger: Relocation.com