What to Consider Before Renting a Storage Unit

Looking to store some stuff? You’re not alone. Individuals, families and businesses store possessions and or inventory in storage units every day, sometimes temporarily, sometimes as a permanent solution.

Why use self-storage?

  • reduce clutter in your home
  • keep items in one place during a time of transition
  • store large or numerous items for a hobby or activity
  • store business inventory
  • store vehicles you can’t keep on your property because of size, appearance or HOA regulations

Most communities are home to storage services, either locally or nationally owned.

What to look for in a storage facility:

  • Security. Is there electronic surveillance, cameras, or someone on-site at all times? Is it well lit?  Know the area you are storing in.
  • Access to your unit. Inside, outside, drive-up. What you store and how often you want access to it will determine what kind of facility you need.
  • Temperature controlled storage unit. Storage units are available that protect your possessions from extreme temperatures your area may experience.
  • Location.  Is the unit convenient to where you will need the contents?
  • Cleanliness. Signs of insect or rodent infestation mean your possessions will be at risk to damage by vermin.
  • Staff. Is the staff friendly, knowledgeable and helpful? Are you comfortable with them?
  • Unit size. Is one available that will fit your needs and price range?

Whatever facility you choose, you will have to sign a contract that will include:

  • Payment schedule. What are the upfront fees, late fees? Are there varying fees for business or personal use? Difference in unit prices depending on size, location, access and climate control? Can you pay online and what forms of payment are accepted?
  •  How and when you can have access to your unit. Some facilities allow 24 hour access, some do not.
  • What you can and can’t store. Any restrictions that exist are to protect the safety of the facility and everything stored there.

Always be sure to read the contract and ask questions before you commit.

Consider what you will be storing and how often you will want to access it. If you will be storing seasonal decor, for example, or business inventory, you may want a slightly larger unit you can move around in, not simply to hold boxes or furnishings that won’t be needed until relocated.

If you live in an area the drops below freezing, or rises above ninety, you should think about a temperature controlled unit. Photos, furniture, art, decor, family treasures, medications, clothing, books, leather items, electronic equipment, media disks and many other types of valuables and incidentals can be damaged or ruined by the effects of temperature changes.

Self-storage is a solution to the problem of not enough room. Convenient locations, size, access and temperature controlled storage unit options make it a wise choice for space-stressed people and businesses.

Jillian Johnson is a professional marketing content writer who blogs on a variety of topics. Follow her @MissWritey.

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