Moving home

Renting a storage space – the ideal solution for between moves

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Source: iStock/chandlerphoto

New apartment not yet ready for you to move into? Travelling abroad and clearing out your old place? What you need is somewhere to store your furniture. But what should you watch out for when looking for a suitable storage space? Here are the answers to the most important questions.

When looking for a storage space, consider which criteria are important to you:

Would you like a regular storage space or a self-storage unit?

In a regular storage warehouse, you hand over your furniture and an inventory list is created. Your belongings stay there until you pick them up again. If you are likely to need any of your items during the storage period, opt for a storage facility that offers unrestricted access to your belongings – including outside of the operator's business hours. In this case, it also makes sense to book a few additional square metres so that you can create an aisle providing access to your most important items.

With self-storage, you store your belongings in a separate unit, which you can access both during and outside opening hours.

Tip: whether you are opting for a regular storage warehouse or self-storage, if the idea is to provide a temporary solution between moves, the facility should be close to your old or new place of residence. This saves you valuable travel time. Let’s say you are moving from Zurich to Bern. Renting storage space in Chur would be rather inconvenient.

How large should the storage space be?

It is hard to estimate how large your storage space should be. Storage rooms are usually between 2.8 and 3 metres high. Stacking therefore saves storage space.

Some providers have handy guidelines on their website:

Small cellar Individual furniture items/boxes 1-room apartment 2-room apartment 3-room apartment 4-room apartment 5-room apartment
Volume in m3 3 5 - 7 8 - 10  12 18 - 24 30 40
Area in m2
1
1.5 - 2.5
2.5 - 3.5
4 6 - 8 10
13
Space for (for example)
14 boxes,
1 pair of skis,
6 folders
20 boxes,
2 chairs, 
1 table

20 boxes, sofa, TV, cabinet, bed,
2 chairs

30 boxes, sofa, armchair, TV,
cabinet, bed, table,
4 chairs
50 boxes, sofa, armchair, TV,
2 cabinets, bed, table,
6 chairs, office
80 boxes, sofa, armchair, TV,
2 cabinets, bed, table,
6 chairs,
2 children’s rooms, office, cellar
120 boxes, sofa, armchair, TV,
4 cabinets, bed, table
8 chairs,
3 children’s rooms, office, cellar, terrace

 

You can always visit the storage facility to have a look round before deciding on a size.

How much does it cost to rent storage space?

The first rental payment is usually due when you sign the contract. Storage space is paid for in advance. The listed prices are approximate. Some providers offer lower rates if you rent for a longer period but this often means paying the rent for the entire period in advance.

Storage volume in m3 1 6 10.2 18.9 29 30 37.7 From 40
Approx. price in CHF/month 45 85 130  240 333 400 440 560

 

Do storage operators offer any additional services?

Some storage operators are also moving companies. They have removal staff to assist customers if required. This is especially useful if you need to move heavy or bulky goods.

If your stored belongings are very expensive, it’s worth taking out insurance. Some storage operators offer this service. Almost all providers monitor the inside and outside of their buildings with video cameras and also have an alarm system. So as well as storing your belongs safely out of sight, storage facilities also implement preventive measures to reduce the risk of theft. 

Ensuring constant temperature and humidity levels is also important. The temperature should not fall below 10°C and humidity should be between 40% and 60%, to make sure items made of wood, paper, cardboard and fabric do not go mouldy or crack.

How can I store my items to take up a minimum of space?

Space is money. Store your furniture and boxes wisely.

  • Work out your storage arrangements in advance: things you will still need access to during the storage period should go in last. Make a plan of what you are storing where. This will make it easier to find what you’re looking for later on. Attach the plan to the wall next to the door of your storage room with adhesive tape.
  • Disassemble furniture: a dismantled cabinet, for example, will take up much less space. Unscrew the table top from the legs. Remove the feet of your bed and disassemble the frame. Store the nuts and bolts of every piece of furniture in a small plastic bag and attach it to the back or bottom of the item to make sure you do not lose any.
  • Put the heaviest goods at the bottom: heavy and bulky furniture should be stored at the bottom so that it does not crush other items. Nest items inside one another to save space.
  • Stack all the way up to the ceiling: make use of the height you have. For example, you can store sofas vertically on one end, so that they take up a minimum of space. Bring a ladder to stack even higher.
  • Use every nook and cranny: fill all your drawers and compartments with items.
  • Label cardboard boxes: after two weeks, you will no longer know what’s in which box. Label your cardboard boxes or compile a storage list.

Are there things you shouldn't put in storage?

Most warehouses and self-storage providers will not allow you to store anything that's alive or smells. You cannot store drugs, weapons or highly combustible objects either. Basically, you are not permitted to store anything that could pose a hazard. This also means, for example, that you must empty the fuel tank of your lawn mower and leave it to dry before putting it into storage.

For more helpful tips and checklists for your next move, take a look at our guide to moving.

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