Storage Facilities as a concept isn’t something that has cropped up in recent times. People have started using storage units during moves or to declutter their houses since the 1960s. The popularity of storage units grew by leaps and bounds and today, the number of storage facilities in the US is three times more than the number of McDonald’s outlets present in the country. You may ask, why are storage facilities in such high demand? Let us give you the answer.

Storage units are the cleverest way to declutter your home. You might accumulate a lot of objects over the years and you might not need them to be in your home all the time. People living in big cities stay in apartments and do not have enough space to keep everything. In other cases, you might be moving and your new house might not be ready. Be it for any reason, if you are someone who is looking to rent a storage unit, here is everything you should know about them.

What type of storage do you need?

When you rent a storage space, the first decision you would have to make will be about the type of storage service you are looking for. Are you someone who is in the favor of a more hands-on approach or do you want someone to do everything for you? Depending on your choice, you can either go for full-service storage or self-storage.

1. Full-service storage

If you want someone else to manage the entire process of you putting your things into storage, you should definitely go for full-service storage. What happens in this is that the storage company will send its employees to their clients’ houses to pick up their belongings and bring them to the storage facility. The clients can reserve a date for the pick-up and delivery online by simply using their phones.

Full-service storage makes the entire process more stress-free and smoother as you don’t have to constantly worry about delivering your objects to the facility and packing them into the unit. If you ask, your storage company will also give you a full inventory of your belongings in the form of pictures. This will reduce your confusion and help you remember what all you have put in storage.

2. Self-Storage

Most of the people in the US opt for the self-storage option as it offers them a lot of flexibility. In this, the clients themselves are responsible for everything. They deliver their belongings to the facility and pack their own units. They are the only ones who have access to their units. Clients are allowed to stash anything from a chair to a boat inside their storage spaces. Opting to go for self-storage is one way in which you can reduce costs. Storage facilities will guarantee you the safe storage of your belongings.

What type of Storage is Right for you?

What type of storage is right for you depends on several factors. If you want to cut costs and are running on a tight budget, self-storage is the best option for you. However, money is not the only thing that should be considered. If you stay in an apartment that’s in a high-rise building, you will have a tough time navigating the staircase and the elevator.

Similarly, you won’t be able to park your vans/cars/trucks in the street below your building for a longer time if you live in a metro city where space is already limited. In this case, full-service storage will save you from all the hassle and also ensure that you do not damage your belongings in the process.

If you are not planning to store too many items and you can manage the bulk of your move, then self-storage will work out for you. You will be able to access your belongings by car at any point in time. It is an added benefit if you live in the countryside or in smaller cities where parking isn’t a problem. If you live in a separate house in the countryside, you should definitely go for self-storage.

Things you should Consider before Renting a Storage Unit

You must check out and compare a few companies before you decide on the storage company you want to hire. Conduct your research well so that you do not get duped in the process. Thorough research will help you keep yourself informed about what services are offered by the company and what are the pros and cons of hiring a particular storage company. Before you rent out a storage unit, the following factors should surely be considered.

1.Location: You must find out where the storage facility is located. If you stay in the city, companies having their locations near you might be a little expensive. If you don’t want to access your storage unit frequently, consider renting a unit outside of the city to save costs.

2. Security: This should be the deciding factor for you. The security of your belongings should be the top-most priority of the company. Check whether the storage facility is adequately secure. Ask whether they have security cameras, locks, fire alarms, extinguishers, proper lighting, and enough guards on duty. You wouldn’t want your unit to be vandalized or belongings to be damaged and stolen from the unit.

3. Accessibility: A good storage facility should ideally allow you to access the unit whenever you want. Before you decide on a company, try to find out whether you will be able to have access to your unit 24/7. You do not want to see yourself struggling to get your stuff out in emergencies.

4. Cost: Check the prices offered by the different companies. The company that provides the best services at minimal costs would be the right choice for you. Also, enquire about the discounts offered by the company. Make sure that you understand the entire pricing structure, as companies might quote a low rate in the beginning, but then add several additional charges towards the end.

5. Available Unit Sizes: You might need a specific size of unit for storage. After all, hiring a bigger unit when you want to store only a few things would translate to wasted money. Check whether the desired size of units is available with a company.

6. Customer reviews: It is always better to check whether a particular company has received many positive reviews from its customers. If you know of someone who used storage services, ask them about their experience. Check the company website and other third-party review sites like Yelp and see whether customers faced problems related to thefts, vandalism, pests, and flooding when they availed the services of a particular company. This will help you steer clear of companies that provide services of poor quality.

7. Climate-Controlled Facilities: Things such as wooden furniture, books, etc., are susceptible to the growth of mold if not stored at optimum temperatures. Check whether the facility has climate-controlled storage units. In such a facility, the temperatures are maintained at an optimum level and humidity is also kept in check. This prevents the formation of moisture and eventually mold in your belongings.

See also: The Average Cost of Renting a Storage Unit | Best Storage Unit Locks | How To Choose The Best Short Term Storage Option

What size of Storage Unit can you Rent?

You will be pleased to know that storage units come in a variety of sizes. The majority of the storage companies will offer you a minimum of five sizes. Let us look at the dimensions of different storage units.

Sr. No.Storage Unit Dimensions
1.5′ x 5′
2.5′ x 10′
3.10′ x 10′
4.10′ x 15′
5.10′ x 20′

If you need storage units bigger than these, there is no need to worry. Many companies offer larger units as well, you will just have to check what company offers which size. Determining the size of the storage unit might seem like a difficult task. One thing you must never forget is that storage units have high ceilings and you can stack up your belongings up to the ceiling.

If you google “storage unit diagram”, some websites will be able to inform you about what size you might need for the specific number of objects that you own, and how you should pack your unit tightly. You can also ask the facility owners for assistance if you are experiencing difficulty determining the size of the unit you need for storage.

See also: Storage Unit Size Calculator

What is the Cost of Renting a Storage Unit?

The cost of renting a storage unit mainly depends on two things i.e., the size of your unit and the storage durations. Most of the storage facilities make you sign monthly contracts and offer you loads of discounts if you choose to opt for long-term storage. Depending on the size, a storage unit could cost you anywhere between $60 to $180 per month. The rate offered by the climate-controlled facilities is roughly between $75 to $225 per month.

While some companies may insist that you rent a unit for a minimum of three months, other facilities will allow you to rent your units without signing any contracts. What this means is that you are not obliged to store your stuff for a minimum of 30 days. You can rent a unit for a week or a few days as well. But, this alternative will cost you more in comparison to the rates offered for monthly contracts. If it’s a contract, make sure that you read the entire document carefully before signing it.

Do you need Insurance for Storage?

The storage facility might provide services of good quality, but no one can predict things like fires, flooding, vandalism, and thefts. This means that although your belongings are safe in the majority of cases, there is still a tiny chance of something going wrong. You should get your belongings properly insured before you put them into storage, because at the end of the day, you don’t want to face the monetary loss that accompanies damages and breakages of your items.

Before you purchase any insurance, it would be advisable to verify whether your homeowners’ or renters’ insurance already covers your belongings. Some storage facilities will allow you to buy insurance from them. Meanwhile, some storage facilities might ask you to buy your insurance from a third-party insurance provider. Either way, you should always make sure that your belongings are covered when in storage.

What can you Store in a Storage Unit?

You can store most of your household items inside a storage unit. These items include furniture, electronics, books, clothing, tires, alcohol, household appliances like washers and microwaves, valuable pieces of art and collectibles, documents, files, vehicles like cars, boats, and motorcycles, and other miscellaneous stuff like holiday decorations.

What can’t you Store in a Storage Unit?

Items that are hazardous, toxic, and flammable should not be stored in a storage unit at any cost. These types of items include stuff like oil, aerosol sprays, fertilizer, biological agents, nail polish removers, paints, etc. Any kind of stuff that attracts pests and bugs like garbage or food and other perishable items are not allowed to be stored in a storage unit. Living things like plants and animals aren’t supposed to be kept in a storage unit.

Wet stuff like wet clothes, umbrellas, and boats also shouldn’t be stored in a storage unit as they may lead to the growth of mold and mildew and eventually spoil your stuff. Lastly, weapons, firearms, and illegal stuff like drugs and items that you do not own are strictly not allowed to be kept in the storage space.

See also: What Can (and Can’t) I Store in a Storage Unit

Final Thoughts

If you ask us, storage units are the most affordable way of storing your stuff away from your home. Storage facilities ensure that your objects are stored securely so you don’t really need to worry about the safety of your belongings. One tip we would like to give you is that decide against storing hard-to-replace documents and valuables like jewelry, birth certificates, family heirlooms, etc., as unfortunate events can’t be predicted and you don’t want to risk losing these items. Apart from this, storage units are the ideal solution for cluttered homes and delayed moves.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What all Documents do you need to Rent a Storage Unit?

The storage facility will ask you for certain documents for identification before you rent a storage unit from them. You will have to show a valid ID that has been issued by the government. You can show the following documents when you rent a unit:

  • State ID
  • Driving License
  • Passport
  • Military ID

Can you work in a storage unit?

Storage facilities do not allow you to conduct business and work in your storage unit. You are not even allowed to live inside your unit as well. These facilities are under surveillance 24/7, so we assure you that you will face severe consequences if you work or live in your storage space. However, if you rent commercial storage units or you rent a space for your office, or retail stores specifically for your business, you might be able to work from there. It is best to read the rules and regulations of a storage facility before you do anything of this sort.

Do you need good credit to rent a storage unit?

Although you don’t need to have a great credit score to rent a storage unit, the punctuality with which you settle your storage bills will affect your credit score. This is so because storage companies have a system known as credit reporting that keeps track of your payments. This system lets you know about the status of your storage bill at the end of each month. To give you some context, it is a process similar to the one followed by a credit card company. As long as you make timely payments, your credit score won’t be affected.