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How to Safely Access Your Storage Unit During the COVID-19 Crisis

Apr 15, 2020 by Maurie Backman
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With COVID-19 continuing to pose a major threat to public health, Americans are being urged to continue social distancing in an effort to curb its spread and keep themselves safe. But what if you need to leave the house to buy essentials or access items outside your home that belong to you? If you have a storage unit, the latter may be an unavoidable trip. But here's how to visit the storage facility you rent at as safely as possible.

1. Call ahead

Your storage facility may have new rules in place now that the country is grappling with a health crisis. These rules may include altered or restricted hours or even appointment scheduling when it didn't formerly exist. It pays to give your facility a call before you leave your house to avoid unpleasant surprises.

2. Go by yourself or bring as few people as possible

At a time like this, a trip to your storage unit should not constitute a family outing. As is the case with grocery shopping or buying essentials, your best bet is to have one person access your storage unit while everyone else stays home to expose as few people as possible to potential germs.

3. Wait your turn

Depending on the size of your storage unit and the facility itself, you may find that when you go to access it, there are other people nearby. If that's the case and someone is accessing an adjacent unit, wait patiently until that person has exited the area. As a general rule, you want to keep at least six feet of distance between yourself and strangers right now, so budget extra time for visiting the facility in case it's more crowded than anticipated.

4. Wear gloves and a mask

When there's a dreadful virus circulating, you'll want to do everything you can to protect yourself from germs, so gear up before you head to your storage unit. Put on disposable gloves so that if you wind up touching common surfaces, you won't risk getting virus particles directly on your fingers (though be careful not to touch your face while wearing those gloves, or you'll defeat the purpose of wearing them). Furthermore, find a mask, or convert a scarf or bandana into one, to keep your mouth and nose covered while you're out. Some businesses are actually mandating that visitors wear masks, so this may be a requirement when visiting your storage facility.

5. Be prepared to sanitize the items you retrieve before bringing them home

Chances are, you're not visiting your storage unit to admire your belongings but rather to bring something home. Before you integrate those items into your home, wipe them down with disinfectant spray outdoors. If you have items that can't be sprayed, like artwork, leave those items in your garage for a few days.

Now, you may be wondering why it's necessary to take this step if, conceivably, you're the only person accessing your storage unit. But the reality is that when it comes to bringing outside items into your home, you're better off safe than sorry. If you have the cleaning materials on hand, a wipe-down won't hurt, nor will setting those items aside for a few days before using them.

Right now, Americans are being told they should only leave their homes when there's an absolute necessity. If there's something you truly need to access from your storage unit, you can follow the above tips to do so safely. Otherwise, you may want to think about postponing that trip altogether.

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