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I'm planning on moving into a bigger home in a year or so but in the meantime space has become a premium for me in my current residence. I am looking into using a public storage facility (something along the lines of a 25 square foot locker) to store the sets I have/am purchasing that are awaiting eol while I keep the ones I am currently selling at home. I want to continue taking advantage of Lego sales and building up a modest inventory so I'm thinking paying storage locker fees for a year shouldn't be that bad (rough estimate $40 a month w/ first month $1).
Just wondering if anyone else has used public storage facilities to store Lego. Any tips or things to look for other than indoor climate control? Tips on storage, packing, etc?
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First, I wouldn't store Lego in a non-climate controlled locker. They don't AC or heat to normal house temps, but they keep it "reasonable", which is probably just fine for Lego.
Second, you might consider what insurance costs, these things can and do get broken into. If you end up with 10s of thousands of dollars of Lego, how would you feel if it was all stolen?
But it sounds like you would only store half your sets there, so you would only lose half. And the bricks themselves might be salvagable.
If it doesn't flood in your area then you are good to go.
That is why you need to consider insurance... I do have insurance on my inventory, as I have a lot invested in Lego sets, I'd be rather foolish not to insure it.
Also, be sure it's pest controlled too, so you don't get little mouse bites on all the boxes. I seen that happen too.
Maybe for the same money or less you can better outfit your garage to make room? For that money you could also buy a shed. At least then you don't have to hassle going back and forth and you don't have to worry about emptying the storage unit sooner rather than later. Much of the time people seem to rent storage longer than they need either by omission or procrastination.
And we haven't talked insurance or theft risk either . . .
Just some things to think about.
But very good points mentioned above.
In my personal opinion, the biggest mistake made with insurance is to try and insure the small stuff.
What insurance is "supposed" to be for is to cover the big events that you can't recover from yourself. Your homeowners insurance isn't really there to cover the fence falling down. They'll cover it, but that isn't why you have it, you have it in case the house burns to the ground.
If you have $5,000 worth of Lego inventory, that isn't worth insuring, if you have $500,000 worth of Lego inventory, insurance is both practical and reasonable.
I've heard a few horror stories, the worst being that their locker was stolen from. Despite the insurance some items were not covered and some items were priceless.
On the flip side I know someone who checked near daily using it for their event photography business. They had two walk in closet sized units with no problems for 5 years before they upgraded to an actual studio.
Not to mention that the "P" in POD stands for Portable, meaning someone can take the whole thing.
Unless I'm missing something?
How much will you "advertise" that the locker is filled with Lego if you're just carrying it all in?
I personally pre-box stuff for storage, both for protection, and so no one can see what it is.
The lock can be very strong, but those doors are not. :)
I did purchase a heavy duty disc lock since I don't feel comfortable purchasing a "stock" lock from the facility. All this talk of theft, mice and flooding has me a lot more nervous than I was before :)
The facility I will be using is called Life Storage. Reviews online have been pretty positive with people stating it's bright, clean and has good, friendly service. Since it's very close to where I live I was planning on checking up on the unit once a week even if I don't have anything to deposit.
Still on the fence about the insurance though. They insure up to $5k at a $21/per month rate.
As for mice if you're worried you could always leave a 6 inch gap between everything and the walls and put down the sticky paper mouse trap stuff.
It is a great space saving system that takes minimal effort to use and most importantly, you can still park your car.
Real insurance has to be licensed by the state, it has a long and boring contract, and most key, there is an appeals process to go through with the state if you get brushed off, rights you don't have with the type of "coverage" offered by most storage units.
Keep in mind also that most "business" inventory is not covered, unless you buy a business insurance policy. Storing 20 copies of the same Lego set with the intent to resell them, makes them business inventory.
Collecting/Selling Lego is just a hobby for me so I don't invest that much money into it. Total value of the sets I would place in storage would probably only equate to about $8k retail price so if something terrible were to happen to the storage locker it would ruin my day (or week) but not my financial situation.
As for insurance, yes I meant the storage facility itself. But it sounds like getting coverage through a more established insurance company is the way to go.
Thank you for the great tips. It's been very helpful :)
When you check out the place, check and see how clean it is. If its "too clean" (scrubbed floors, fresh paint" it might be a sign of an issue, where as it should be clean but have some signs of use (slight marks on the walls and floor, a little dust in the corners ect ect.)
@LegobrandonCP that thing is awesome, but not sure how much weight it would hold. Ours are made of wood. Hmmmm, now that I never decorate for Christmas maybe I should clear out the boxes of Christmas ornaments and store our Lego boxes up there!
The mouse traps sounds like a solid piece of advice.
I actually have a 10'x8' in my driveway right now for $160 a month until the garage is finished.