Five Things to Know Before Getting a Storage Unit

Storage units are ideal for freeing up space in your home, storage for items you use in your home business, or keeping your belongings while moving or being deployed in the military. They are convenient to give you additional space and declutter your home. Here are five things to consider when renting your first storage unit:

1. Types of Units Available

There are indoor storage facilities and outdoor ones that you can pull your vehicle up to load and unload. The indoor storage units are typically climate-controlled, which is ideal for anything affected by extreme cold or humidity. Outdoor units are not climate-controlled, but they are less expensive. The self-storage units come in various sizes, ranging from 5’x5’ to 10’x20’ or larger. If you plan to access the storage unit before permanently removing your items, be sure to get a large enough unit to easily access your belongings with an aisle down the middle so you can reach items in the back.

2. What Will I Store?

Most self-storage facilities have safety restrictions prohibiting you from storing certain items. These can include firearms, hazardous materials, and anything illegal. Most people use them for household goods, furniture, and holiday decorations that they don’t want to sell or donate.

3. What Do I Need to Do to Rent a Self-Storage Unit?

Find one in a convenient location that is reasonably priced. Read the contract carefully. There can be a minimum amount of time you have to rent the unit, although most are month to month. It’s rare to find anywhere that will let you rent for less than a month, minimum. Focus on what happens if you are late making your payment or forget to pay. You could lose all your possessions if the facility auctions off the contents. They will make you pay to have the lock cut off and an auction fee as well if you default on your payments. Consider letting the facility have automatic payments from your bank account if this is offered. You also have to show a valid government ID to rent a self-service storage unit. Tell a family member about your unit and leave them the information in case anything ever happens to you and you are in the hospital, so you don’t lose your stuff.

4. Access

Find out what times you can access your storage unit. It may be 24 hours, but many facilities only allow access during normal business hours. If you only have a vehicle you can use to move stuff out, this will be important.

5. Security

Indoor and outdoor self-storage facilities should be well-lit with security cameras. A guard on the premises is even better. You’ll be supplying your lock to guard your items safely. The facility may have insurance you can buy, or your homeowner’s insurance may cover the contents. Photograph and list your most valuable items in case you ever need to put in a claim. If your unit is broken into, it is usually your responsibility unless the storage unit was negligent, like forgetting to lock the gate. Never store anything irreplaceable, like valuable jewelry, in a self-storage unit. Get a safety deposit at your bank instead for those items.

By: Katherine Robinson, a writer for SMARTBOX

2 replies
  1. Mia Evans
    Mia Evans says:

    I totally agree when you said that it is better for a storage facility to have a guard on the premises so that they can take care of our items. I would love to find if facility with a guard and those security cameras at the same time, so I can sleep peacefully even if some of my belongings are in another location. And the items that I will be putting there are my musical instruments so that I can free up some space in my small apartment.

  2. Victoria Addington
    Victoria Addington says:

    I liked how this post shared that we should look for a storage unit in a convenient location that is reasonably priced. My friend needs storage for her belongings. I think it’s best to choose a unit that is secure and accessible.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *