Your Portland home might not be large enough for all of your belongings. Maybe you need to carve out some space in your home right now for a home office, a homeschool area or an exercise area. There’s one solution that applies to all these situations – self storage.
The average monthly rate for a 10×10 storage unit in Portland hovers around $140 per month, according to Yardi Matrix. Storage is excellent for holding extra furniture, sports equipment, books and papers, out-of-season clothing, tools and any other item you don’t need on a daily basis. Storing these items creates more space at home.
Here’s all the essential information you need to know before renting your first storage unit:
1. Select the storage facility and the unit that truly suits your needs
Find a storage facility close to your home, or one that’s located on your daily route. That way, you cut back on the time spent driving to and from your unit. Make sure you learn everything there is to know about the facility’s access hours, security measures and amenities. In terms of access hours, most facilities are open for customers seven days per week, and some even ensure 24/7 access.
Pick the right unit size for your needs. To ensure that everything is going to fit just right, take a look at your unit options and what the facility recommends to put in each. The smallest unit sizes are usually 4×5 or 5×5, about as big as a walk-in closet. One of these units is enough for boxes of clothing or books, some sports equipment, small furniture such as folding chairs, a desk, some shelves or a twin mattress.
If you’re planning to store larger pieces of furniture like a full-size bed, sofa or appliances, you probably need a 10×10 unit. Units like 10×15 or 10×20 are also great for temporary storage when you’re in the process of moving. Depending on the number of bedrooms in your home, you can choose a smaller or larger unit.
2. What to store and what not to store
Another important step is deciding what is worth storing and what you should let go of for good. Purging items you won’t need or use ever again helps you save money on your storage unit monthly rent. These items include broken electronics, old clothing that doesn’t fit, miscellaneous papers and documents you don’t feel like sorting and so on.
Use the self storage unit only for items that are still useful for the future. Let’s say that you are turning your guest bedroom into a home office. It’s definitely worth putting your bedroom set into storage for the time being. However, if you’re purchasing a new sofa or a new TV, it’s not a good idea to put the old ones in storage. What are the chances you’ll use them ever again? In such cases, simply sell, donate or recycle your old stuff instead of paying to put it in storage.
3. Where to find boxes and packing supplies in Portland
The next step in preparing your stuff for self storage is finding boxes and packing supplies. All the items that go into storage need to be properly packed in containers so that they’re well-protected and easy to organize.
Use sturdy cardboard boxes and some lidded plastic ones in an assortment of sizes. Lidded plastic containers provide extra protection from dust and/or humidity. Here’s where you can find boxes and other packing supplies in Portland:
- Many storage facilities sell boxes and other packaging supplies. Ask about it when booking your unit.
- Save money and protect the environment by repurposing cardboard boxes. Portland’s businesses and residents are very keen on recycling, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find old boxes for free. You can ask at grocery stores, supermarkets and home improvement stores. You can also check out Craigslist. Many people donate the boxes they used while moving. Contact recycling services such as Environmentally Conscious Recycling. They might have boxes you could use.
- Purchase boxes from born-and-bred Portland companies like Subotnick Packaging, a wholesale distributor of packaging materials since 1925. Omnipak is another locally owned and operated company.
4. How to prepare your stuff for self storage
Clean and dry clothes and other textiles before you put them into self storage. Otherwise, you’ll end up with moldy clothes and set-in stains. Slip protective bags on the clothes before putting them in boxes.
Keep important papers, documents, photos or expensive books in lidded plastic boxes to avoid damage from dust and humidity. Thoroughly wash appliances such as freezers or fridges and allow them to dry completely before putting them in storage. Wipe dirt and grease from tools and empty the tanks of gasoline-powered equipment. The rule of thumb is that everything that goes into storage needs to be clean, dry and properly protected either in a container or wrapped in protective packaging.
Following these simple steps ensures that all your items are well-protected in self storage, and you’re fully benefiting from this service.