How to Select a Self Storage Unit

Self Storage UnitCustomers call us often asking for advice on selecting the right storage unit for their moving needs.  Whether it’s needed for extra storage of all the clutter while staging your home to sell or temporary storage before you purchase and move into a home in a new town, finding the right storage facility to suit your needs can make all of the difference.

Here are some factors to keep in mind when choosing the best storage unit:

Location, Location, Location

  • No need to run all over the planet to get to your storage unit.  Make sure that it is close to your home or apartment with good road access so it’s not a hassle to get into or for the movers to load or unload your belongings.

Unit Size

  • Make sure that you reserve a storage unit large enough to grow into in case you need more space. Most facilities have units of 5×5, 10×5, 10×10 and even larger such as 10×20 and 10×40. No need to sign an additional agreement for a second storage unit because you were not planning ahead.

Climate Control

  • If you are willing to pay the extra charge the climate controlled units are the way to go especially if you have fine or antique furniture, artwork, or lots of family photos and memorabilia.  The climate controlled units regulate the temperature to guard your possessions from the cold, heat, and humidity.

24 Hour access

  • It is your stuff and you should be able to get to it at any time of the day or night.

Security, cameras and guards

  • Does the storage facility have an on-site manager or security guard at all times of the day and night?  Are their security cameras monitoring the premises?

Sprinkler System

  • If the Chicago Fire of 1871 repeats itself in your storage facility it is good to know that there is a sprinkler system in place to protect your items.  In reality water damage causes WAY more damage to personal property in storage facilities than fire damage does.  I always suggest that if items are going to be in storage longer than a couple weeks, then arrange everything on pallets and wrap or cover everything in blankets, moving pads, or stretch wrap.

Additional Insurance

  • Make sure that you have adequate insurance coverage for all your belongings, including those in off-site storage from your home.  Having insurance available from your storage facility is certainly very convenient, but not all insurances are created equal.  Be sure you fully understand exactly what is covered, whether the coverage is for replacement value or another amount.

Floor the unit is located on

  • If the moving company you have hired is forced to take your items up or down stairs or use an elevator to get to your unit, it will take much longer to move in and out.  If you are on the ground level of the unit though you need to make sure that the facility is not in a flood plain.

Payment Methods

  • If you plan on having the unit for a long period of time you may want to see what type of billing or automatic payment plans (maybe even discounts) they have in place for the convenience of their customers.

Pricing Structure

  • The cheapest price should not be associated with the best option in this situation.  If you are unable to sleep at night because of the poor quality of your self storage facility, you haven’t achieved much of a bargain, so make your decision carefully.

When you are ready to get your questions answered and relocation booked, feel free to request a moving estimate from us!

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