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Having too many items on your hands and not enough room to store them is a problem of many. In such cases, renting inventory storage can prove to be one of the best solutions to these situations. However, renting a storage unit comes with certain quirks of its own. Namely, treasure hunting is all the rage is this day and age, and it can be frighteningly easy to forget about a storage unit’s original tenant. Even if you are an auction hunter yourself, renting storage for the purpose of storing items you win or for personal reasons, chances are you want to keep your belongings in that storage. That is why we will further discuss what are the best ways of protecting your possessions and avoid losing your storage unit.

Keep in mind that storage facilities are not too keen on auctioning units off if the need does not arise. Their main business is storing items, rather than selling them. And, when it comes to auctions, they can be super stressful and time-consuming for facility owners. Pair that with the fact that they generally do not profit from the sales, and it is easy to see why your long term storage can be considered pretty safe.

An auction gavel
Auctions are not as popular with the storage units owners as one might imagine.

In the majority of cases, the facility owner is rather willing to work with the renters and avoid the auction bit. Still, here are some tips that will help you avoid losing your storage unit, in case you fall behind on your payments:

The initial steps that will help you avoid losing your storage unit

Not having enough money at the moment is an issue well familiar with most people. Chances are you are not the first person coming forth to the storage manager with this issue. So, the first step would be to take a deep breath and calm yourself. The chances that you will find a solution are truly on your side. Be objective and honest with yourself about the situation you are in. Saying that there still might be time to pay off your short term storage when you are months behind, and waving it off is not the route you want to take. Sit down, and put it all on paper. Once you know where you are, prepare to have a conversation with the storage manager. 

What you will discuss

  1. When speaking with the owner or manager, try to make a partial payment. This is for the cases when you cannot pay off everything that you owe. This action will by you a bit more time, and get you more security.
  2. You can offer a settlement to the manager that suggests that they provide a more affordable price for the unit, in exchange for you immediately emptying it out. Since you are changing the initial storage rental agreement, it is important that you offer this amend. This offer, of course, only makes sense if you have not exceeded the deadline. Otherwise, you might not have anything to bargain with.
Two people making a deal
Making a deal with the storage manager is a great way to avoid losing your storage unit.

Asking for help

When your goal is to avoid losing your storage unit, the means of achieving it can vary depending on the magnitude of your desire. Further meaning that you will have to decide how far you are willing to go in order to keep your stored goods. All this is said because some people restrain from asking for money with all their might. Access the situation, and think thoroughly if borrowing money from a friend or family member is something you can be okay with. Paying late fees can cost you more in hindsight.

Whatever the case may be, keep in mind that we are well aware of the situation where one is uncomfortable with asking for money. That is why this option should be considered nothing more than a suggestion. It all comes down to you and your preferences.

Another option

One of the common storage mistakes many people make is forgetting their rent obligation. Make sure that this does not happen, as it can lead to a true conundrum. If you know you are going to be late on your rent, try your best to empty out your unit as soon as you deem possible. We suggest that you somehow find a place for your belongings in your home, or your parents’ or friend’s house, for the time being. Avoid renting another storage, since you are already short on money. Changing one problem for the other is not the way you want to go about life in general, and this applies to the storage units as well.

A calendar
You must be mindful of the dates, and make sure that you are aware of how close your due date is.

Be aware that most storage facility managers tend to deactivate your access code and overlock the storage unit in as little as three to five days after your due date has passed. If you want to avoid losing your storage unit in this way and do not want to wonder what happens to abandoned storage units, make sure to be mindful of the dates. If you cannot make it to the storage facility, consider calling the storage manager, and working it out over the phone.

Be honest, but never desperate. The latter can give a bad image, and even seem insincere. Explain your situation to the best of your abilities. Offer solutions, and make sure that your attitude towards solving the problem, rather than just moaning is clearly understood. As said, you can get out of this situation, so long as you take it seriously.

About Author

John has been with Divine Moving and Storage in New York for nearly two decades. Starting as a young helper and climbing up the ranks to be a staple in our organization. John has the knowledge and experience to assist our clients with any move or storage related needs. You can reach John or any of our associates in NYC at 212-244-4011