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It's a common occurance, you have a gap between your move in date and your move out date! Now what? Well, you can stay at your sisters place for a couple of weeks, but what about your stuff? Well, here's some great info for you if you need a place to temporarily store your stuff, from




Types of temporary storage


There are two main temporary storage options available: the traditional self-storage unit, where you go to it, and the portable, on-demand storage unit, where it comes to you.


Traditional self-storage is your own locked unit in a storage facility. It requires you to make trips back and forth from your home. The portable unit is a metal box that can be delivered to your home, provided you have room on site for it. You load it directly from your home. You can then keep it until you’re ready to unload, or the company takes it to a secure storage area. These are known commercially as PODS, Cubeit, Big Steel Box and U-Box.


There are advantages to either of these options.


“Both are convenient and safe methods to store your items,” says Robert Madsenpresident of both U-Lock Mini Storage and the Vancouver Island Self-Storage Association, and director of the Canadian Self Storage Association. ”Portable is an awesome solution for many people because it’s delivered right to your door, there’s no waiting for movers and when you are ready, the storage company will pick it up. They are also very affordable.”


“Traditional storage units come in many different sizes and you can rent them on a short- or long-term basis.”


Another great benefit is the fact that storage facilities are well ventilated and there is no temperature fluctuation.

What can go in temporary storage?


You can store just about anything you can think of — from sports equipment, household furniture, artwork, business or commercial items, even your collection of good wine if it’s a temperature-controlled facility.

What can’t go in temporary storage?


You can’t store anything perishable, flammable or illegal, including foodstuffs, gas, fuels, oils, toxic chemicals and prohibited drugs.


“Any hazardous or flammable materials are prohibited,” says Madsen. “In addition, the reason foodstuff, such as boxed food, are not permitted is that they can emit a smell and attract rodents.”

What about insurance?


Madsen says that is it the responsibility of the tenant to make sure the stored belongings are properly insured.


“We don’t know what our tenants are storing or what their items are worth,” he points out. “We encourage our customers to check with their home owner’s policy. Tenants should contact their insurance company to extend their household policy to cover their belongings in a storage facility or in the case of a portable unit, outside their home.

Space-saving tips

(Courtesy of U-Lock Mini Storage )


  • Consider creating a path down one side or through the centre of your unit so that you can see and access all your items.
  • Use adjustable shelving for easy and efficient access to boxes.
  • Leave a step stool in the unit so that you can always reach items on the top shelf.
  • Hang bikes or garment bags from the ceiling.
  • Store chesterfields and mattresses on end — boxes piled on top of them would damage their springs.
  • Clothes and fabrics should be cleaned before being stored and can be stored in drawers and wardrobes. But don’t cram them in — a little air circulation is a good thing.
  • If storing quality wood items for a long time, consider waxing or using a wood treatment before storing, then cover with a thick blanket so you can store other items on top without risk of scratching.
  • Label all boxes on the sides and top so that you can see the list of contents no matter how you place your boxes in the unit
  • Keep a thick marker on a string in your unit, when you change the contents of a box, change the label.
  • Remove oil and gasoline from all small engine equipment before it is stored (including lawn mowers, chainsaws, etc.)
  • Use the space under tables and inside appliances and cabinets.


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