Marriage, birth, moving, remodeling, and downsizing are just a few of the life transitions that prompt the need for more storage space. Typically, you don’t start thinking about additional storage until you’re faced with one of these events and you’ve exhausted your household space. When your need for space becomes crucial and you finally decide to rent a storage unit, you rush to the most convenient location without giving much thought to what suits your specific needs.
Choosing any storage facility is easy. Choosing the right storage facility is a bit more complicated. There are so many good storage locations that a little guidance might help you size up the competition.
The following tips and suggestions will get you started by helping you organize your ideas, prioritize your needs, and locate the storage facility that is your best fit.
Choosing Your Perfect Self Storage Facility
- Be intentional About Your Needs
Think about what you’re storing and how long you plan to store these items. With so many available options, understanding your needs will help you to determine the best storage for your items.
• Make a thorough inventory list of all the items that you plan to store.
• Identify the items that you may need to access while they are in storage.
• Measure and estimate collective packing size of items you plan to store.
• Account for extra space to provide accessible pathways and ventilation.
If you are storing for a very short period of time, it’s fine to pack everything close together because you probably won’t be needing the items before you remove them from your unit. Check out these storage tips for more information.
- Decide Whether or Not You Need a Climate-Controlled Unit
Climate-controlled spaces keep the temperature and humidity within a specific range. This decision is dependent on the climate in which you’re storing your items. For example, dry climates can cause wood to crack and split, and humid climates can be breeding grounds for mold and mildew. Climate-controlled units may be a bit more expensive, but they are worth the cost over time.
- Think About Location
Will you need to visit your storage facility frequently? If you’re going to be needing regular access, a convenient location is important. Be aware, however, that a facility located in the heart of the city will be more expensive than one outside of town. If you don’t need quick access to your items, think about using a facility farther from the city to save money.
- Consider Unit Size Options
Self-storage units are available in a wide range of sizes and configurations. Naturally, larger units cost more per month, so it’s smart to have an overall idea of how much space you’ll need. You don’t want to pay for extra, unused space unless you’re planning to store more items over time. Another factor to consider is the design of the space. Some units are narrow but have a lot of vertical space; others are wide with lower ceilings. One layout may be preferable to you.
- Storage Facility Cost Can Vary Considerably
Because many storage facilities are independently owned, business owners have the option of setting their own prices. It’s always smart to shop around, because you may find a better deal by making a few phone calls. Most storage companies offer regular promotions. If your preferred facility is not advertising any deals, it pays to ask. If you mention a competitor’s promotion, they may be agreeable to matching the deal.
- Verify Security
Cost should not be your only consideration. You need a reputable company with a high level of security, a variety of amenities, and a complete range of unit sizes that will fit your needs. Look for video surveillance, perimeter fencing, good lighting, security locks, and electronic gate access. You’ll also want a friendly, knowledgeable management team that is willing to answer your questions and take you on a tour of the property.
- Check Insurance
Without some sort of personal property insurance the value of your stored items may be lost due to unforeseen circumstances. If you have a homeowner’s or renter’s policy, call your agent to verify coverage for your stored items. You may discover that your chosen facility must provide specific security elements for your items to be covered. If your policy does not cover stored items, or if you feel that the coverage is insufficient, you should be able to purchase insurance from your storage facility. Self storage insurance considerations should not be overlooked.
- Be intentional About Your Needs
Whatever you decide, choose carefully. It’s worth the extra time and effort to locate the facility that is the best option for your requirements. Once you’ve moved your belongings into a unit, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll want to move them to another facility.