You may have heard from your friends and colleagues before about the convenience of using storage containers (also called shipping containers). Whether it is packing and moving to a new house or building, or storing some of your things for safekeeping, the use of storage containers is an excellent solution for many people. On the flip side, the more people using this service also led to an increase in rental rates. Still, using a movable storage container remains the cheaper option compared to constructing a storage area.
Containers are built to last decades. Some people buy them for use in their business or other purposes. However, that entails cost – and might be a limiting factor. If the budget is tight or buying is more luxury instead of a necessity, renting one becomes a cost-effective alternative.
What You Need to Know About Storage Containers
Before you decide to rent one on impulse, though, there are things you should know beforehand. These smart tips can help you avoid excessive expectations or mistakes.
1. Evaluate All the Items to Be Stored
You do not want to rent a shipping container, only to find out that the storage space is too large or small. Evaluate the items you need to store and determine how much space is needed. Companies offering storage container rentals should be able to help you choose which container type or size is most suitable for your needs.
2. Check for Permits
Mobility is one of the strengths of using shipping containers. Think of it as a mobile storage solution in which the container is delivered to your property. On-site storage is – for many businesses – a necessity. However, you should also be aware of any regulations or restrictions imposed by a local government agency. In Ontario, for example, there is a building permit required for shipping containers, just like regular buildings.
If securing a permit is too much of a hassle, then your next best option is to rent storage units located on the company’s property. It may also be a temporary storage solution in case you have an immediate need while working on the necessary documents.
Related Article: What are the Different Types of Shipping Storage Containers?
3. Find the Best Location
It goes without saying that keeping your items in secure storage containers remotely is cost-effective. But you should also consider moving and retrieving items. Therefore, one of the factors to be considered when choosing a company is proximity. Over the long-term, you cut down costs such as fuel and save plenty of time.
4. Do a Background Check and Site Visit
After finding several prospective companies that are near enough, try to learn as much as you can about their quality of service. Cost, obviously, is an important consideration but not a fool-proof indicator of trustworthiness and reliability. Look at the company’s history and, if possible, client reviews. You might even want to ask each company to give you the names of their clients whom you could call to ask about their experience.
Every single item you put into storage holds value. It follows that you want to sleep well knowing they are stored in a secure storage container and yard. You want to make sure that the container is well-maintained and adequately protected. The only way to do that is to visit the company and the container yard. While at it, you might as well ask to see their permits and licenses for peace of mind.
5. Choose the Right Size
The right container size does not necessarily mean the exact or near-exact size needed. You should also consider the long-term. For example, would you need more storage space within the coming weeks or months?
By and large, go for just the right size that can store all your items. If, because of a few items, you are forced to rent a much bigger container, then consider reducing some items to rent the smaller one. You should do this if the cost is a concern.
Note: With the proper organization and arrangement, you can fill up even smaller containers and not lack any space.
6. Thoroughly Check the Storage Container Assigned to You
Although shipping containers are designed to last several decades, their seaworthiness is limited – which is why they are used for other purposes. Over time, their condition also degrades. One of the things you do before signing a rental contract is to inspect the actual unit you are going to use. If you do not feel knowledgeable enough, see if someone who is can accompany you.
Inspect the container to see possible signs of problems. One thing you want to look out for is structural deformities. You also do not want to see holes where water could seep in to cause damage.
7. Use the Best Lock You Can Afford
A container is only as secure as the locking mechanism. A typical container yard is a huge space that is mostly unguarded in the evening. The site itself may have security guards, but it is not likely that there is enough personnel to cover the entire area every hour.
It means that under the cover of darkness, someone could slip into the yard and have more than enough time to unlock or destroy a lock. Installing the best lock you can find can certainly dissuade a would-be-thief from even trying.
8. Plan for the Organization and Management of Items
Create a map of how things are to be organized and arranged inside the container. Make sure you include tools that will help you remove and add things into the container. In relation to the arrangement, make sure to put things that you might use soon in front for easy access.
Contact Toronto Trailers
With the following tips, we hope that we can help you plan properly in your goal to rent a storage/shipping container. Remember that you must be diligent in checking a company because you are entrusting to them your most beloved possessions. If ever you have any plans to rent a storage container soon, you can contact Toronto Trailers. We are not only offering cost-effective storage solutions, but we also assure you that the security of your belongings is one of our proudest assets. For more inquiries, you can give us a call at 416 477 5488.