Storage units are a great way to keep your items safe while freeing up usable space in your home or in your office. You can use them over the long term to hold onto valuables, or in the short term if you are moving to a new home or office space.
However, renting a storage unit is more complicated than simply finding the lowest cost option. There is a range of factors to consider beyond price, and with over 48,000 storage facilities across America, there is a lot to compare.
Things to Consider When Renting a Storage Unit
Going with the cheapest option can open you up to a number of headaches, like damage to your belongings or theft. Further, you may struggle to access your storage unit when you need to.
The very first thing that you should think about when choosing what storage unit to rent is how much space you’ll need. For a single bag or box of important documents, it may make sense to get a storage locker. These are much more affordable and are located in a storage facility, making them just as secure.
However, if you’re storing furniture or a large amount of smaller items, you should rent a larger unit. You may want to consider an outdoor storage space if you need to store a vehicle or boat. Covered storage spaces will keep protecting your vehicles from the elements while costing less than an indoor storage unit.
Always be sure to physically walk through the storage unit that you are planning to rent before you put down a payment. You want to make sure that the layout and size suit your needs.
Consider Climate Control
Another one of the first things that you should think about when choosing a storage facility is whether you need climate control. Climate controlled units are indoors and have a moderated temperature and humidity level. This prevents moisture from damaging your most sensitive belongings, like collectibles, wooden antiques, or important documents.
You should keep in mind that climate-controlled storage units will cost more. However, it’s best to think of them as a type of insurance policy. Their cost per month is minimal compared to replacing moisture or temperature-damaged items.
You should also check with each storage facility to see if they offer insurance policies. This is a great way to protect yourself financially if something happens to your unit.
Always be sure to get a clear idea of what their offered policy covers. Weather damage is usually covered, but you may want to add on theft coverage or increase the maximum amount you are covered for. You can also always go with third party insurance if your facility doesn’t offer the coverage you need.
An additional thing to consider is the amount of security that the storage facility you are looking at has. Less security means a lower price tag, but it also means that your storage unit is at great risk of theft or damage.
There is a range of different security features that facilities offer. In general, you’ll want to make sure that you can put your own lock on your unit, that there is someone always on the premises, and that the boundaries are monitored with cameras.
Depending on what you are storing, you should also consider when you are able to access your storage unit. Many storage facilities are open 24/7, which is ideal if you have important business documents or inventory that you may need at a moment’s notice. Others are only open during regular business hours.
Keep in mind that you’ll also want to know when the office is open. You may be able to access your unit all the time, but there is likely a difference between those hours and when you can speak to a staff member.
In a somewhat related vein, you will also want to make sure that your storage unit is located near your home or business. A facility that is open all the time means nothing if you have to drive hours to get to it.
Pick somewhere where you can swing by at a moment’s notice to grab things from your unit. Longer-term storage, especially for furniture and other valuables, can be a little further away.
It’s also important to check on your unit every few weeks. By checking regularly, you can catch potential problems like moisture damage early before they can cause serious distress to your stuff.
Discounts and Deals
Though not tangible features, it is still important to check with each storage facility to see what their deals are. You may be able to get a discounted rate for longer-term rentals or even get a free month.
Shopping around to find the best price for the storage unit you want is a good idea. Just be sure to nail down the other features that you want in the unit before you do so you can make fair comparisons between facilities.
Choosing the Right Storage Unit for You
There is no one right storage unit for everyone. Every one needs extra storage space for different reasons, and thus can benefit from different offered features.
If you take all the above variables into consideration, you’ll be able to find the best storage unit for your personal or business needs. For more information about renting a storage unit, please feel free to check out our blog.