As the price of real estate rises, especially in the Bay Area, people often find themselves with more stuff than they have room. Sure, purging is great, but do you really want to get rid of that dresser your grandfather finished for you or the 12 boxes of toys your children have grown out of but you know will want in the future?
Of course, I’m oversimplifying the uses for storage. Sometimes people need temporary storage while they’re waiting for a home to be built or remodeled or they have had a flood or just a visiting relative and no where for them to sleep. Regardless of why you need storage, deciding what kind of storage can be another story.
The most obvious choices are typically the ones you are exposed to the most. Most of us can pinpoint a self storage facility (the type with lockers) within a few miles of our homes, and they are perfectly reasonable storage solutions — for certain people.
There is another option for storage, though. It’s called warehousing storage and it’s usually offered by moving companies like Ninja Movers. There are advantages and disadvantages to warehousing and to self storage. Here they are:
Pickup and Delivery — Most self storage facilities don’t have movers. Most moving companies will do all the heavy lifting, but there is generally a charge, but you will be hiring professional movers and often at a discount. If self storage facilities have pickup and delivery services, they will also charge, but they will likely to be better described as delivery people rather than professional movers. Moving companies will protect your goods, as well and the protection will stay on while in storage.
Advantage: Moving company
Accountability — With self storage, you rent the room. The storage facility will generally offer cameras and security, but if something happens, it’s all on you. With warehousing, the movers will take inventory and tag each and every item. Your items may not be stored together, but the warehouse personnel will be able to locate every item within minutes. No sorting through your goods to find the thing that’s (always) at the very back. Also, there is limited liability from the mover and you can always purchase more insurance. Insurance companies often prefer that you store with movers because there is always a clear chain of custody.
Advantage: Moving company
Accessibility — Self storage facilities sometimes have 24 hour access and warehouses rarely do. Most warehouses will not allow you to rifle through your goods, but they will be happy to help you out — sometimes at a charge.
Advantage: Self storage
Security — As I mentioned, movers’ warehouses don’t just hold customers’ goods, they hold everything that keeps the movers in business. It’s to their benefit to have the best security possible, which usually includes cameras and guards. Most self-storage facilities also have cameras and guards, but a person who’s clever enough who has a code to get in the facility could enter your room without detection. It’s rare that it happens, but it does on occasion. More importantly, you don’t know what’s being stored next to you. All storage facilities have rules against dangerous substances or contraband, but since storage customers are mostly left alone, they are difficult to enforce. With moving company storage, your household goods would be stored next to other household goods. Period.
Slight Advantage: Warehousing
To be realistic, most storage companies offer excellent security. Whether to choose self storage or warehouse storage completely depends on your needs. If you need to access your goods on a regular basis, go with self storage. If you want out of sight and out of mind for at least a while, then choose warehouse storage.