My husband and I are complete opposites. While I’m extremely organized, my spouse isn’t. He regularly scatters important documents such as credit card statements, car insurance bills, and pay stubs around our home. Because I worry about losing important papers, I’m constantly developing smart storage solutions for our documents. I keep some of our papers in a safe. I keep other items in a handy storage folder complete with tabs. I’ve labeled some of the tabs with the types of mail my husband and I receive regularly such as bills, retirement information, healthcare documentation, and sales papers. Another great option for storing mountains of paperwork is a rented storage unit. By housing important documentation in this type of storage facility, you can keep it out of your home. On this blog, I hope you will discover some ingenious ways to store your pertinent documents.
If you have collectible items that are somewhat delicate that you want to put into storage (your Star Wars figurines or Walking Dead memorabilia, maybe), you don't want to throw them into any old storage unit. You want a storage unit that will keep them in perfect condition until you have a use for them or the space to display them. That makes it important to understand the difference between a facility that is climate-controlled and one that is merely temperature-controlled. This is how you tell the difference and why it matters.
What's the difference between the two types?
While a lot of people use the terms interchangeably, they don't actually mean the same thing. A temperature-controlled storage unit will have heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer, which is beyond what most traditional storage units offer. Depending on the facility, you may be offered a guarantee that the temperature will always stay within a certain temperature range, regardless of the heat or cold outside. For many items, this is an acceptable storage method, especially if items are only going to be in storage for a few months.
A climate-controlled facility, however, goes a step beyond mere temperature control—instead, it offers a much tighter control on the temperature and the humidity inside of the unit. Units may be strictly controlled so that the temperature barely fluctuates and the humidity is kept at the optimum levels to deter the growth of mold or mildew, which can destroy wood, cloth, paper, and even plastic. If you're putting a collection of items into storage that are emotionally or intrinsically valuable, a climate-controlled unit is the superior choice.
How do you know if you find a climate-controlled unit?
It's very rare to find an outdoor unit that's climate-controlled, so you need to look for facilities that offer indoor units, which are generally better insulated and more resistant to temperature extremes than any outdoor unit. You can also anticipate paying 10%-20% more for climate control than you would for a standard unit.
When you are discussing the unit with the manager, it's important to ask what the company means by the term "climate control." If the term doesn't include the use of a dehumidifier, that's actually "temperature control." There are two types of dehumidifiers commonly used: desiccant-based and refrigeration-based. Both are effective methods, although refrigeration methods work best at high temperatures and high moisture levels and desiccant methods work better at lower temperatures and lower moisture levels. Make sure that the contract specifically states that humidity in your unit will be kept below 50%.
If you have any concerns at all about the safety of your collection, make sure that you discuss what you'll be keeping in the unit with the manager of the facility, like the one at All American Mini Storage. He or she can help you find the correct unit for your needs.