Saturday, June 22, 2013

storage space

Today, I drove over to the nearby town of Warrenton to look into a 5' x 10' climate-controlled self-storage unit. The campus of CubeSmart Self-Storage is neatly trimmed and squeaky-clean on the inside. The nice lady who gave me a guided tour told me that temperatures were held at around 80 degrees in the summer and 55 degrees in the winter. I would have liked the summertime interior temps to be closer to the 70s, but you can't have everything. On a more positive note, CubeSmart also has a convenient auto-pay option for expats. My one major gripe is the price: storage itself is about $71 per month (no free month of storage); there's a $22 up-front admin fee, and the place requires insurance and a special type of lock called a "disk lock." $2000 insurance coverage translates to $10 a month. I had hoped not to exceed $70/month for the entire package, so the question is whether I can tolerate paying $81/month for long-term storage.

The unit I saw was located on the second floor, so there ought to be no worries about flooding in bad weather. The lady recommended that I buy one of those humidity-removing gel packs; she said those would need to be changed out every 45-90 days, which sounded like a real hassle, not to mention another painful expense. I'd have to ask one of my brothers to come by the storage facility to change out the gel every couple of months, but that would put an unfair burden on my brothers.

I told the lady that, to be frank, I was still shopping around for storage units. She took this information in stride, and actually encouraged me to continue shopping; in the meantime, she'd keep my storage unit reserved until July 7. Overall, I was impressed with the tour, with my tour guide, and with the facilities. The only question in my mind is whether an extra $10/month will be worth it. If I can find an equally decent, climate-controlled storage space for cheaper, I'll go there. If I can't find such a place, I'll stick with CubeSmart.


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