When you boil it all down, a safety deposit box is really just a secure place for you to put away your valuables. You head over to a bank, pay a monthly fee, and lock your stuff away into a space that only you have access to. Sounds awfully similar to something else doesn’t it?

With public opinion of banks and Wall Street not going up anytime soon, you’ll be happy to know that a safety deposit box isn’t your only option for storing away your most prized possessions. While most people think of self-storage solutions as something for the stuff that you’re not willing to part with just yet, the storage solutions out there can be just as good (if not better) than what your standard safety deposit box has to offer. Let’s take a quick look at a few things to consider the next time you need to put something valuable into storage.

If a vault is good enough to store cash and bullion, it should be good enough for family heirlooms and important documents. Knowing that there’s a foot of steel, federal regulations, and armed guards protecting your valuables from the rest of the world is a huge selling point for using a safety deposit box to begin with. Thing is, whenever you put something into a safety deposit box it immediately becomes a target. As secure as a bank vault might be, the fact that people know that there is something valuable inside will just make it another target for the trouble makers out there.

Where safety deposit boxes tackle security through thick walls, other storage solutions approach it through restricted access and obscurity.  If a thief knows where something valuable is kept and they want it bad enough, they’re sure to find a way to get at it eventually. thieves can’t really do this if they don’t know where your valuables are stored to begin with. Camouflage and obscurity can be just as much of a deterrent as high castle walls. At urBin, all bins are kept in a secure facility closed off from the public with 24/7  security.

with "top men"

Most safety deposit boxes don’t really give you that much space to begin with. If you want more space than just a 4x6x12in box, expect to pay more. A small box can go for as little as $30 a year but that’s only enough space for the smallest of your valuables and a documents. An heirloom ring can easily fit into a safety deposit box, but we all know that valuables come in all shapes and sizes.

When it comes to a pure price vs space comparison, safety deposit boxes are only cost effective for small spaces before they are overtaken by other storage solutions. As with most traditional self-storage facilities, prices will vary from location to location. You usually have to make a personal visit to a bank to find out what their rates are.

Contrary to what you might think, the contents of a safety deposit box are not insured by the FDIC. Though there are some storage solutions that offer insurance on items stored, most people would suggest that you add your valuables (even if they’re put into storage) along to your existing homeowner’s/renter’s insurance policy. Surprisingly enough, you actually have more insurance options with a more traditional storage solution than you would with a bank and a safety deposit box. At urBin, we’re currently looking into option for future offerings.

Access and Convenience

Beyond things of monetary value, paperwork makes up most of what you’ll find in a typical safety deposit box. Insurance policies, wills, titles to your home or cars, banking records, marriage licenses, and the like should be stored away from home with good reason.  You typically don’t need to have these documents on hand every day, but having easy access to them is something that you should always keep in mind. You don’t want to be left waiting when it’s a banking holiday and you need to get to a birth certificate.

It’s because of this line of thinking that most safety deposit operators actually suggest that you DON’T keep wills inside of them. Depending on the state that you live in, getting legal access to a safety deposit box after an owner has passed away can be a long process that a grieving family would want to avoid. If you need 24/7 access to your items, a solution that abides by banking holidays and weekend availability is not the way to go. Though your mileage may vary with other self-storage options, you get pickup and delivery service at your door from urBin 7 days a week with appointments made as little as a day before. Rush same day delivery is available too. Just saying.

Though safety deposit boxes will always have a use, they really aren’t that different from the other storage solutions out there. If you forget to pay the rent on the space, the stuff inside a safety deposit box can be seized just as easily as something that is left in a storage locker. So keep your mind open and start looking at storage differently.

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