services 01.17.12

Every Person in New York

Here are some things to keep in mind when you consider storing any of your possessions.

1. Security of your things Do they use a computerized entry system? Are there closed-circuit cameras that record? Alarm and sprinkler systems? Do the guards seem attentive or barely breathing? Theft, flooding, and fire are not unheard of in storage facilities. You'll need to provide your own padlock and key (and they're generally less expensive if you don't buy them from the storage facility).

2. Insurance The insurance is your responsibility; the storage company is not insured on your behalf. All the companies will recommend an insurer, but be sure to read the fine print carefully. Really. One insurance policy covers you against theft, fire, and other disasters, except for jewelry, furs, money, artwork, documents, flood, or "climatic conditions" like rust or mildew. Check whether the policy covers the replacement cost of goods or their depreciated value.

3. Your own security This is more of an issue than you might think – some of the city's storage places are not located in high-traffic areas. If you're going to need access at odd hours, keep this in mind.

4. Space size Most people think they need more space than they actually do. A 5 x 5 x 8-foot space (200 cubic feet) can hold a bike, a trunk, a wardrobe, and perhaps three dozen boxes, and 5 x 10 x 8 feet (400 cubic feet) will hold the contents of a 1-BR apartment.

5. Temperature When we asked an attendant at one storage facility if the building was air conditioned, he said, "It's an old building, it doesn't get hot in the summer." That may be fine for storing certain things, but not for your Petrus or your old Talking Heads vinyl. Some have A.C. at certain locations and on certain floors; it costs more. Most have heat, but ask. And make sure the lighting is adequate.

6. Cost A 5 x 5 x 8-foot room goes from $75-$200 per month, a 5 x 8 x10-foot room averages $150-$300. Obviously, the further out you go from prime Manhattan real estate, the better you can do pricewise. In addition to the monthly charge, expect a one-month security charge.

7. Hours Most places are open 10-12 hours a day, though there are some that offer unlimited access 24 hours a day.

8. Access You should make sure there are no access charges – that you can enter your space as often as you want without a fee. Check the parking situation: are there loading docks? How many elevators? Find out if they loan out hand trucks and rolling platforms. They should, and you'll need them.

Some images courtesy
of Shutterstock

Jason Polan started Every Person in New York in March of 2008. He plans on working on the project until it is finished. Look for Every Person in New York on Tuesdays in MUG and daily at Jason's site.

Broadway (from 2009)

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