10 Important Things To Know Before Renting A Storage Unit

Whether you're storing your personal items while moving, or storing items for a business, there are certain things you'll need to know before renting a storage unit. Here are 10 important things to know before renting a storage unit.

If you’re looking to rent a storage unit, it’s important to know your options before making a decision. Many factors go into choosing the right storage facility for your needs.

So, what should you know before renting a storage unit? The first thing you should know is whether or not you really need the storage space. You also have to consider the unit size that will fit all your stuff, security, cost, location, and understand some of the places you can find great deals.

In this blog post, we discuss some of the essential things you need to know before renting a storage unit. So if you’re ready, let’s get started!

1. Storage Units Come in Different Sizes

The first thing you need to do is ask yourself what size unit you need and how long you plan to store your stuff in it.

Storage facilities typically offer differently sized units with varying lengths of time, so be sure to consider these factors when deciding which one is right for you.

If money isn’t an issue and there’s no time limit, then go ahead and get the largest size available because it’ll give you more room to store your possessions if they’re not needed immediately or if they have sentimental value but don’t see much use any longer.

On the other hand, if you want to store things for a limited amount of time but need the smallest size unit available because you’re low on cash, then go ahead and rent whatever is cheapest.

Self-storage unit sizes are measured in cubic feet. Knowing how many cubic feet a particular size unit contains can help you decide which size is best for you.

2. There Are Different Types of Storage Units

There are also different types of storage units based on what their purpose is.

We have storage units ideal for short-term needs (one month or less) and mini storage units generally consisting of locker-sized compartments with a small lock on them, which come in handy for storing valuables (e.g., computers, musical instruments) and protecting them from theft.

A storage unit facility.
There are different types of storage units and you should select the one based on your personal needs and preferences.

If you have the room at home to store things, but you’re going to need the space for something else soon, then storage pods or stackable containers are good options because you can remove them temporarily if need be.

They come in varying sizes, and they’re easy to put together, so your things are easily accessible, something that isn’t always the case with larger storage units.

Another option is drive-up access storage facilities, which offer watertight containers, complete with locks to keep out unwanted intruders.

This is a good option if you’re going to be storing valuable things that have sentimental value or that you want to be able to access quickly on the go, though they do cost a bit more than regular storage units.

3. Cost Matters

As for how much you’re going to pay for a storage unit, it’s important to understand the differences between self-storage facilities and mini-storage facilities, because they’re not similar.

A cash on hand.
Always consider costs before renting a storage unit to ensure that it is worth investing in.

Self-storage typically offers bigger units and more amenities than mini storage does (e.g., climate control), but it can also cost more money.

If you’re looking for a place to store some stuff but don’t need any of the extra features that self-storage offers, then mini storage, sometimes called personal storage, is the way to go.

4. Location Is Critical

In addition to price, it’s also important to look at the location of the storage facility because different neighborhoods/regions can have different crime rates.

If you’re going to be storing your belongings there for an extended period, then you might want to look into what the neighborhood around the storage facility looks like and see if it’s safe.

Ensure you check out how many recent crimes have been reported in the area and compare the figures with crime rates in other nearby areas to get a feeling for how safe the area is.

A map on a laptop screen.
Selecting the right location for your storage unit is critical to keeping your belongings safe.

You shouldn’t have to pay extra money to ensure your safety, so make sure you take a close look at any potential storage facilities first before deciding on one.

If you’re going to be storing some pretty important things that are worth the most money possible or if there’s something of almost infinite sentimental value to you, then it would be in your best interest to invest in a high-security storage unit so that these things will be completely out of reach from thieves.

However, to do this, you’ll have to pay for the highest level of security that each facility offers.

5. When and How Often You Can Access the Storage Unit

You also need to know when you can access the storage unit. Some units are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week but some facilities may have limited hours.

Keep in mind that storage units can be rented for any amount of time that you need. To rent a unit, you’ll have to bring your belongings to the facility (they won’t hold or transport them for you) and pay an up-front security deposit, which is refundable once you return the key.

Going with a self-storage facility is usually the best decision if you have a lot of stuff you don’t have room for in your home, especially if you think it might take some time to move everything.

6. Consider the Processing/Storage Costs

Processing/storage costs usually include fees for keeping the storage unit empty and security deposits, which can range anywhere from $5 to $50 a month.

Some storage facilities will also charge you one flat fee for each time you access your unit.

If you’re going with a storage facility that charges by the hour, day or week, then you’ll need to start thinking about how frequently you’ll be accessing the unit.

Typically, the more often you go in and out of the unit, the more money you’ll end up spending.

7. Security Is Paramount

Self-storage facilities must adhere to certain standards and regulations regarding security precautions, so it should be relatively safe to store your belongings there.

A CCTV Camera.
Ensure that a specific storage facility offers enough security for you to safely store various items.

However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t still ensure that the storage facility is secure and take other basic safety measures like getting a lock and a security deposit box to ensure your stuff is completely inaccessible to other people.

8. Is It the Best Time to Rent a Storage Unit?

Before you rent a storage unit, you need to figure out if it is worthwhile or not.

If you’re going to be moving out of your home, renting a unit from a self-storage facility might work for you because it will give you time to decide if and where you want to relocate.

This means that if the place doesn’t work out, then you can get your stuff back and figure out your next move.

9. Where to Get the Best Deals on Renting a Storage Unit

One of your key objectives when renting a storage unit should be to save money. Therefore it is important to know where you can get the best deals.

Finding a great deal for your storage unit is simple as long as you know where to look. If you’re looking for cheap rates, then you’ll want to start by calling around and asking different facilities what their rates are and how much they charge for each service.

This way, you can easily find the best deal out there and be sure that you’re getting the most bangs for your buck.

A padlock on a storage unit.
Many self-storage facilities will offer discounts on both their monthly rates and their processing/storage costs.

Make sure you ask about different rates or month-to-month packages, especially if you’re thinking of renting a unit for an extended amount of time.

Many self-storage facilities will offer discounts on both their monthly rates and their processing/storage costs if you’re willing to commit in advance, so don’t be afraid to ask about any deals they might have.

10. What to Do Before You Rent a Storage Unit

There are a few things you need to do before you rent a storage unit. Before renting a self-storage unit, you need to make sure that the storage facility is well maintained.

Check out the conditions of the units and look for any problems, such as cracked or peeling paint on the walls or floors. Walk around and inspect different units to see if they are clean and secure.

Ensure that the facility has good customer service and feel comfortable with them before renting a unit.

Also, be sure to go over all of your expenses with the manager before signing anything, which means that if the storage facility offers different deals or rates, then make sure to ask about them and find out what works best for you.

Final Thought

Storage units can be a great solution if you need extra space for storing all the worldly possessions that aren’t worth carrying around wherever you go, but it’s important to weigh out all of the costs and benefits before committing yourself into an agreement.

Choosing the right storage unit for rent can mean the difference between making a smart decision and wasting money, but with some research and common sense, you should be able to find a great deal.

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