No one likes moving. It’s a huge undertaking involving pulling out, sorting, and moving all your personal belongings to another home. On top of that, most people can’t take time off of work to move, so they try to cram the whole job into one weekend!
A great way to help extend the time you have to go through your stuff is to rent a short term storage unit where you can put your things until you can settle into the new home.
But how do you find the best storage unit and facility for your needs and your budget?
There are more than 50,000 storage facilities in the United States, all with their own benefits and caveats. A quick search for self-storage is enough to make your head spin.
Don’t panic! We’re here to help!
Keep reading to learn what to look for in a great storage unit rental that will keep your stuff safe while you move homes.
One of the most feared concerns about leaving your things in a storage unit is the possibility of theft.
Some storage facilities have better security features than others. These are some things you should look for:
- uninterrupted surveillance monitoring
- security personnel
- secure fencing
- gate access with a numerical security code
Not all storage facilities will have security features like these though. Pay close attention when you visit the facility and ask questions about their security features.
Online Reviews and Public Reputation
In our modern society, online reviews from places like Google and Yelp play a very big part in helping people choose the goods and services that they buy.
A staggering 84% of Americans surveyed say they trust online reviews as much as a recommendation from friends and family!
When reading reviews about storage facilities, be sure to look for several recent reviews. A storage business may have glowing reviews from a year or two ago, but the standards may have changed since then. Recent reviews will give you a more accurate idea of what the facility is like right now.
It also helps to look for both positive and negative reviews to get a full idea of what to expect. Someone who had a wonderful experience may overlook an issue that could be important to you. Yet, some people leave inaccurate and nasty reviews because of a personal vendetta or out of boredom.
This may sound obvious, but you should always make sure to find a self-storage company that will have open units when you need them.
It should be easy for the building manager or supervisor to look at their records and let you know if they have open units.
Be sure to ask specific questions though. Know what dates you will need the unit and what size unit you need.
Though self-storage staff can be very helpful and kind, their job is to sell as much as they can. If you do not ask for a specific size unit, they will try to get you to rent whatever size unit they have available, even if that does not meet your needs.
If the storage facility you wanted to use does not have the size storage unit you need during the time frame that you need it, then look at your second choice facility. With so many self-storage facility options available, there’s no need to settle for a storage unit that doesn’t work for you.
Best Storage Price and Quality
When you are narrowing down your storage facility choices, be sure to compare the price and quality of each company. With that information, you can rank your choices based on your personal priorities.
The goal is to choose the best quality storage facility that also gives you the most bang for your buck. The cheapest option may not be the best for you if the building appearance and customer service quality are important to you.
There are several types of storage facilities to choose from as well. Some buildings use wooden beams and concrete for construction, others use all steel parts. Some storage facilities are climate controlled, but not all are.
A new kind of storage facility that is growing in popularity is FLEX building construction. These engineered prefabricated structures are resistant to insects, water, rust, and even rodents! You can feel confident no harm will befall your belongings while they are in storage.
It may help to jot down notes about the prices and quality for each facility you are considering so you can look at which features and price points are most attractive to you.
Hours of Access
We touched earlier on the fact that many people cannot take time off of work to focus on packing, moving, and unpacking their personal belongings. For these people, a storage facility which only allows access during bank hours would not work out.
Some facilities will allow access to anyone with the gate code at any hour of the day or night, Monday through Sunday.
Be sure to ask if the facility will have closures or access restrictions during your rental period. Sometimes, the facility will plan repairs and/or renovations which may hamper access to your unit. The facility manager should know about any work like this beforehand and will be able to inform you of any closures.
Let’s Get a Move On!
Once you have found the best storage facility and unit for your needs, it’s time to start sorting and packing.
Make sure to take the items you will need for the next couple weeks, then put everything else in your storage unit so you can go through it at your leisure. Doing this will ensure that you do not move things into your new home that you will leave in the back of a closet somewhere and never getting used. No need to keep the clutter forever!
If you have any questions about this article or if you would like to learn more about the benefits and versatility of FLEX buildings, contact us today!