I had most of my possessions taken care of – majority went to the garbage bin while the rest was donated as a merchandise donation to One Child’s Village. However there were still some items I had left that I couldn’t get rid of. They were either legally important, or personally inseparable with. I had to find the way to store these while I was on the road so I started looking into self storage solutions in Edmonton. The items I could not get rid of included the following:
- Bookkeeping – Revenue Canada can audit your books from up to 7 years back
- Software – instead of just sticking with downloads, I used to buy boxed versions of each software… bad idea!
- DVD Collection – it’s quite vast. I had some precious, hard to find titles there, especially the ones from Asian Extreme Cinema or old Italian horror movies
- Photo Albums – I have a small collection of photos from the past, many irreplaceable, taken long before the age of digital cameras
- Medieval Weaponry – I’m into all things medieval big time and my collection of swords and armor grew overtime. Could not find the strength to part with it
- Photography Studio Equipment – I closed down the shop long time ago, but I still did a lot of studio photography as a hobbyist
- Mountain Bike – my precious Specialized bike, the sole means of transport for over two years
- Desktop Computer – I still had a whole pile of data on the 1TB hard drive on my desktop
- Guitar – I have a custom made Ibanez JS Model – it’s a copy of Joe Satriani’s electric guitar in beautiful read made to fit in my hands. So awesome…
The only feasible solution to the storage problem I was facing seemed to be the self storage facilities located throughout the city. So I started my hunt for the best priced and best located one. I’ve done thorough web search for self storage solutions in Edmonton and also proceeded to search through the Yellow Pages and contacted the rest by phone. I’ve then personally paid the ones that were close to me a visit to see what was going on, yet none made me feel confident that this was the right path to take. The biggest deterrent was the price.
Self storage solutions are extremely expensive. Given the size of the room you get, the price per square meter is almost as high, or higher as for the room where you people live. This was simply way too much. There were rooms priced at under $100 a month, but these were so small I wouldn’t fit my mountain bike in there. The rest of the stuff I needed to store wasn’t that much. It was compacted in boxes so I could easily fit it in a miniature room, however my mountain bike required a room that’s at least 2 meters long or wide. Rooms like that typically run at more than $100 a month – crazy. You could get whole apartment for $500 with living room, kitchen, and bathroom.
Trouble with on line research was that you couldn’t get a sense of the price from their websites. They treat it like it’s a top secret. You have to go through painful process of enquiring via email or phone. I went though Sentinel Self Storage Edmonton, Instant Storage Edmonton, Storage King Edmonton, U Store It Edmonton, Affordable Storage Edmonton, Minerva Mini Storage Edmonton, etc – but they were all either very inconveniently located or way overpriced.
I went to the most conveniently located one in person. It was the Sentinel Self Storage one in NW Edmonton, but was strongly discouraged the moment I stepped my foot in. The woman who owns it smokes non stop so the office is full of cigarette smoke to the point that it’s beyond disgusting. When she starts talking to you, she sounds like the witch with burnt out vocal cords which is without doubt the result of her heavy smoking. She’s not very friendly either and just beat me off by saying that summer is a busy season for them and she doesn’t have time to talk to me unless I’m already ready to buy my self storage with them. The most conveniently located or not, this was no longer an option.
So I went to the second most conveniently located facility with which I made an appointment via phone, because they were not open during convenient hours. Someone was supposed to meet me there on a weekend day. Their facility is in one of the hangars at Edmonton City Airport not far from Kingsway Mall. I sat on my bike and rode all the way there. It was very tricky to find as those hangars are at oddly placed, unmarked streets, but I have eventually found it only to learn that their office was closed and there was nobody there. I waited around for 20 minutes but nobody showed up which was my cue to get the hell out of there and forget this facility.
Given high prices of self storage solutions in Edmonton, I didn’t see the point in checking out the facilities located at the opposite end of the city. It would take me an hour to drive there so what’s the point? Taking a few turns with a small car I’d be renting would end up being a pain. I was stuck with one last option I really didn’t want to consider, but as my last resort, I had to give it a try.