Refresher course: Renting a self storage unit

by Jenny

There are times when you realize you just don’t have enough space for all of your belongings. Whether you want to store furniture, stash your winter wardrobe to free up closet space, or put away a even use vehicle storage to keep your car away from the road salt , you need to find a self storage facility that suits your needs.

Let’s look at some common self storage questions and getting the most out of your storage investment.

Should I get a storage unit when I move?

Jennifer Ford Berry discusses self storage unit tipsYes. Jennifer Ford Berry, an organizing expert, best-selling author, and motivational speaker, recommends self storage rentals during the moving process.

“It’s helpful when you are getting ready to move and want to stage your home,” Berry notes. “Move items to make your home look cleaner, bigger or more organized.”

The self storage unit also comes in handy, Berry says, if you’re moving temporarily, and it’s not feasible to bring all of your belongings with you. Job changes, military deployments, and extended college breaks are a few common situations where this advice makes sense.

Can I see the self storage unit before I rent?

Yes. “Ask to see the unit before you commit,” Berry says. “Make sure there are not huge mud puddles in front of it. Make sure it will be easy for your vehicle to pull up to it.”

What should I ask when talk to the manager?

A few questions you definitely want to ask include:

  • Is there a contract?
  • How do I pay, and which day of the month is the rent due?
  • Have they had any break ins?
  • How is the water flow on the property?
  • What sizes are available? What are the differences in price?

Is there a right way to pack my self storage unit?

Of course! We’ve dedicated entire posts to this topic.A quick refresher — keep items you expect to access the most (seasonal stuff like holiday decorations, clothes, sports equipment) in easily accessible places. Double-label boxes and containers so you know what’s inside, even if things get turned around. Square off some space for fragile or valuable items so you don’t bump or jostle them by accident. And keep it clean and organized!

Does the climate or environment affect what’s in storage?

Absolutely. What types of items are you storing? Can heat or cold potentially cause damage? Would humidity be an issue? You’re going to want to consider all scenarios as you select a self storage unit and self storage locations. You may want climate or humidity controlled self storage. These options cost a little extra, but important (and expensive) stuff like furniture, electronics, clothing, or machinery can be damaged in the wrong conditions.

It could also help to move your items off the ground. Concrete floors can eat through cardboard boxes, and, as Berry remarks, you want to wary of potential flooding, if that’s a possibility in your town.

How can I be sure my stuff is safe?

The first line of defense is always a good, solid lock. But you will also want to talk to the manager at the self storage center and really understand what safety features are in place. Security cameras, fencing, on-site personnel, keypad entry, and well-lit facilities are nice indicators that your self storage unit will be safe.

We all want cheap storage — but remember that price is not always the number-one concern. You’ll feel a lot better knowing your valuables are secure while you are away, and that you are safe whenever you stop by for a visit.

Good luck in your storage hunt!


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