Published on 1/26/2019

So, you’ve finally decided to clean out and store some of those items that have been taking up space in your garage, basement or office. Perhaps you’re looking to safely store all those holiday decorations or some of grandma’s antique furniture. Or maybe you are simply in the process of downsizing yet have items you’d still like to hold on to. Whatever the reason, self-storage can be a very convenient and cost-effective solution.

You may not have spent much time thinking about it but there are several questions you should ask the owner/operator of a self-storage facility before selecting one to store your belongings. After all, there is value, whether it be monetary or sentimental, attached to your belongings otherwise you wouldn’t be holding on to them.

Due in part to the reasons I’ve listed above, you are not alone. Self-storage construction has sky rocketed over the past five years and it is unlikely that we’ll see any slow down in the near future. The vast majority of self-storage facilities are owned and operated by small, local operators. That in itself can be a plus as you’d be supporting your local small business while at the same time working with a friendly face who will strive to accommodate your needs and one who is not bound by the rules of a large corporation.

Here are some things to look for when deciding on which self-storage facility to store your items. Some of these may not be of concern to you while others may very well impact your decision.

˃ Security/video surveillance: Is there 100% coverage of the storage facility by video cameras? Is there a gate surrounding the facility? These are your belongings after all and you want to feel safe and secure accessing them anytime, day or night.

˃ Surrounding area: What does the neighboring community look like? What is the crime rate in the area? Are you easily able to get to the facility or is there heavy traffic and congestion?

˃ Temperature controlled units: Does the storage facility offer temperature-controlled and humidity-- controlled storage units? Items such as electronics, certain clothing, important documents and certain types of furniture are best store in a climate-controlled unit especially if you live in an area with hot, humid summers and cold, damp winters.

˃ Outside storage for boats, RVs, etc.: That 35’ motor home or 26’ boat on a trailer may not fit in the largest of units. Does the facility offer outside storage?

˃ Access – 24/hrs or limited: Some facilities offer round the clock access while others only allow access during specific hours. This is important to know as not having access to your belongings when you need them could be a deterrent.

˃ Office hours: What are the office hours of the storage facility? Are they open 7 days/week?

˃ On-site store: Is there an onsite store for items such as locks, packing materials, gloves, etc?

˃ Customer Service: What is their customer service like? Are they professional, courteous and helpful? First impressions are everything so this can be determined during the first couple of minutes of conversation.

˃ Moisture barriers: Moisture barriers under the concrete help to keep dampness and moisture out. Did the facility add these during construction? How thick is the barrier?

˃ Account setup & management: Are you able to manage your account 100% online, from reserving a unit to paying your rental bill?

˃ Bug & Pest control: What does the storage facility due to control bugs and pests?

˃ Dolly’s available: Does the storage facility have dolly’s available for you to use in order to move your belongings into your unit?

˃ Trucks available: Now that you’ve decided to rent a storage unit, do you require a truck to move your belongings in? If so, does the facility rent of offer trucks for you to use?

Shopping for a self-storage facility need not be a tedious process but the above tips will make the entire process go smoothly.

We hope you’ll find this information helpful as you search for the best self-storage solution for your needs. Good luck.