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Everything you Need to Know About Self-storage

Considering self-storage while you downsize or relocate? We explore all of the facts you need to make the right decision about self-storage.
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Storage facilities are meant to store your belongings long-term or short-term depending on when you are ready to get them delivered to your preferred location.

Storage facilities are meant to provide a good, space-saving solution. They are a convenient, secure, and easy-to-find option for individuals in need of storage spaces.

There are different types of storage facilities meant for a diverse range of services and unit sizes to meet your needs and budget.

Most people who move long distances or whose homes are not ready usually require storage facilities to keep their belongings pending the time their new home will be ready.

In this case, you have to ask your long distance movers if they offer storage facilities so that you can know their charges and how to make a storage arrangement with them.

Types of Storage Options

There are two major types of storage options, they are;

1. Self-storage:

Self-storage is meant to offer secure, safe, affordable means of storing belongings of people, items, and larger properties such as boats. It is the most popular type of storage option available.

The customers who make use of self-storage facilities are the ones who deliver their belongings to the storage unit themselves.

Whenever they need to pick an item from the storage unit, they can also do so at their own will because they are responsible for documenting and ensuring their items in the storage unit is secured and safe.

Examples of self-storage facilities include Public Storage, U-Haul, CubeSmart, and Extra Space storage among others.

2. Full-service Storage:

This type of storage is offered by a full-service storage company that offers “valet-style” services to their customers. It is different from self-storage because the full-service storage company is responsible for picking up the belongings of their customers and delivering it to the storage unit.

The customers call on the storage company when they need to pick up or return an item from or to the storage unit. This will help to save the customers of the stress involved in picking up and returning items to the storage unit.

The full-storage company documents items in the storage unit and even take pictures of items in the storage unit in order to enable the customers to know what is inside the storage unit.

The customers can check the pictures or check the online inventory list to have an idea of what is in the storage unit. Examples of full-service storage facilities include MakeSpace, Trove, Cubiq, and Red Bin among others.

Full service Vs self-storage

Most people prefer to go for a self-storage unit because they are easier to use and more affordable compared to full-service storage units. With self-storage, you don’t have to request a pickup, you can go pick up your item from the storage unit yourself. If you are not storing an excessive number of items, then you can go for a self-storage unit.

However, if you live in large urban areas, where parking and driving are major issues, then you can choose to go for full-service storage. Since most people in the city live in high-rise buildings and are usually without cars, then it makes more sense for them to opt for full-service storage.

What size storage unit should I rent?

Self-storage units come in different sizes and this is one of the reasons why people prefer it as they can go for the size that will comfortably suit their belongings. Most self-storage units offer at least five different sizes, which include 5’x5’, 5’x10’, 10’x10’, 10’x15’, and 10’x20’ storage units.

There are other larger sizes as well. Most full-service storage units also offer a wide range of storage unit sizes but the square footage needed and prices is dependent on the number of boxes you request.

Check the sizes of full-service storage units you wish to get in order to be sure it is what is going to fit into your plan.

How to determine the cost of a storage unit?

The price you will pay for a storage unit depends on how much and how long you wish to store your belongings. For self-storage units, most of their contracts are on a monthly basis and the customer has the choice to either store temporarily or store for long-term.

For full-service storage units, the prices charged varies from company to company, some offer month-to-month services while others may insist on at least a three-month contract.

Things to look out for in a storage unit

There key factors that you have to consider when assessing different storage amenities and the facilities they offer. Some of these major things to consider include;

  • The number of locks
  • Climate control
  • Degree of accessibility. You need to find out if there is 24-hour access to the storage unit if they open on weekends and public holidays, and if they don’t offer 24-hour access, make sure their facility hours correspond with periods when you will be available before renting a storage unit.
  • Video Monitoring
  • Sizes offered
  • In-person surveillance
  • Contracts and pricing offered
  • Level of safety and security of the facility
  • The lighting of the facility
  • Online reviews about the facility.

Climate controlled storage units

Climate control storage units are storage units that help to protect your belongings from extreme weather conditions such as humidity, temperatures, and other outside conditions that may cause damage to your belongings.

Climate controlled storage units also help to prevent mold, mildew, and other unfavorable conditions that may arise as a result of keeping your belongings inside a storage unit.

If you are planning to store items such as paper products, ceiling tiles, cardboard, wood products, paints, wallpaper, carpet, clothes, and furniture among others, you will need a climate-controlled storage unit in order to preserve and prevent the growth of mold on some of these items.

Aside from storing household goods, other items that can be stored in storage units include items such as cars, boats, RVs, and motorcycles among other items. However, if you wish to store large appliances such as furniture items, you may have to rent an additional storage unit.

Ensure your storage items

It is recommended that you should ensure items that you store in storage units. It will give you peace of mind and you can also get a replacement of items that are either stolen or damaged while in storage.

However, this is not to say that the storage units do not have protection against damage to your goods or secure them against theft but you never can tell what may happen and to be on the safe side, it will make huge sense to ensure your items. Some storage facilities also provide affordable self-storage insurance options for their customers.

It is important that you ask your insurance agent or your storage facility provider if there are any existing insurance in place before purchasing additional insurance.

Reasons Why People Use Self-storage

There are four major reasons why people may need self-storage units, these reasons are as follows;

  • Dislocation
  • Divorce
  • Death, and
  • Density

1. Dislocation

Life events sometimes can be unpredictable and as such events such as graduation from college, job advancement, and marriage may warrant moving from one part of the country to the other or it can also be across the country.

Sometimes, moving can be chaotic, but with the help of a self-storage unit, it can be easier to organize, and keep your belongings safe in the process of relocating to your new destination.

2. Divorce

In case of a divorce, it is possible that one of the parties involved might have extra belongings they need to find space for. Hence, the need to rent storage units to ensure these belongings are kept safe and secured.

3. Death

In the case a person dies, they might leave behind belongings and items that their family can’t deal with and as such, they may consider renting a storage space to keep these items safe.

4. Density

People who live in a city where everywhere is over-populated most times don’t have enough space to keep their items and as a result of this, they will take the option of renting a storage unit to house their extra belongings.

Sometimes, you might want to free space by downsizing items you have in your home in order to accommodate new items; one of the options available to achieve this is through renting a storage unit.

Renting a storage unit will help to expand your household by being able to keep your old belongings and you will still be able to bring in new items at the same time.

Residential self-storage units

Several residential customers are in need of nearby storage units in their neighborhoods so that they can easily go and pick items and return them easily and as fast as possible.

With a residential storage unit, you can get a dry, clean storage unit that is climate controlled, security is guaranteed, and you can easily go to pick or return items by yourself.

Business self-storage units

Aside from residential self-storage units, there are also self-storage units meant for businesses and business owners. This type of storage is meant to house office equipment and items such as office furniture, archives, and office equipment among other business-related gadgets or items.

You can archive important documents that are confidential or temporarily store your business gadgets if you are carrying out renovations in your current office.

Moving Supplies and Moving Boxes

Whenever you are renting a storage unit, you will need packing supplies and boxes to properly package your belongings. You can get packing supplies and boxes from friends and families, bookstores, pharmaceutical stores, and craigslist among others.

Other things you will need to package your belongings include moving blankets, bubble wrap, packing tape, wrapping paper, and dollies among others.

Self-storage Insurance

It is important that you should ensure your belongings whenever you keep them in a storage unit. Don’t assume that your homeowner’s insurance policy will cover your items in the storage unit, most times it doesn’t but you need to find out if it does so that you can buy separate self-storage insurance to ensure your belongings in the storage unit.

The insurance policy is meant to ensure that you do not lose your belongings in case of a mishap or in case any unfortunate incidents happen to lead to loss or damage of your belongings.

Things to Know Before you Become as Self-storage Owner

If you are looking to own a self-storage unit, here are some vital tips that can help you on which type and what design you should go for;

1. Go for a tough fence

It is important that you go for strong fencing made preferably of steel because of its strength and security advantages it possesses, and it still looks attractive still. The use of steel for the fencing of a self-storage unit has become the standard in the industry as it offers both security and toughness.

2. All-purpose gate

Use an all-purpose gate. An all-purpose gate means the same entrance serves as your entry and exit. However, it should be an access-controlled gate.

3. Invest in climate-controlled units

The demand for climate-controlled units is enormous. Hence, if you plan to own a self-storage unit, make sure it has to be a climate-controlled unit.

4. Self-storage contracts

Self-storage contracts are meant to provide important agreements and parameters that all parties can refer to in order to avoid conflicts and miscommunications. Self-storage contracts are also referred to as storage unit lease agreements or storage space lease agreements.

The agreement usually contains information about prohibited items, payment guidelines, posting rules, termination guidelines, access hours, and liability protections among others.

Most out of state movers offer storage facilities for their customers and as such, they have climate-controlled storage facilities that can help to protect the belongings of their customers if there is any need for them to use the storage facilities.

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