Renting a Storage Unit? Six Things to Know


If you’re looking into renting a storage unit, you’re not alone. Roughly 11% of U.S. households rent a self-storage unit at one point or another.

With over 51,000 self-storage facilities across the country, you have plenty of options for both short and long-term storage. These tips can help you make the most of your storage unit.

1. Find the Right Size Storage Unit for Your Needs

The most important thing to consider when choosing a storage unit is size. You want to be sure that your storage locker has adequate space for everything you need to store. And with rental costs averaging $185 per month, you also don’t want to spend extra on space you don’t need.

Any storage facility you’re considering will likely provide dimensions on their website, or you can always call for more information. Keep in mind that you’ll need some wiggle room for maneuverability, so it’s better to go too big than too small.

2. Check Out the Environmental Conditions

The conditions of storage are an important area to look at as well. Scoping out the facility in advance is the best way to do this. Look for signs of moisture, like drips or puddles of standing water, as well as evidence of rodent damage.

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Consider spending a little more for an environmentally controlled unit if you’re storing something irreplaceable. These units allow you to adjust temperature and humidity as needed to prevent common issues such as mold growth.

3. Carefully Catalog the Condition of Your Items

Before storing anything, put together a comprehensive list of your items, complete with photos. You want to be able to prove the original status and contents of your locker in case anything goes wrong.

Damage, theft, mold, and other issues are all possible with a storage unit. If you find mold or mildew affecting your unit, you’ll require mold remediation services from a reputable company like SERVPRO. They’ll handle the job safely and return your stored items to prime condition.

4. Plan Ahead When Organizing Your Items

If you’re making the most of your storage unit, you likely won’t have much free space. Planning how you store and pack your items can make a huge difference before and after storage.

If you have items you need to access more often, station them near the front. Also, carefully plan out which items are stackable so you don’t accidentally crush anything or find yourself without enough room.

5. Make Sure Your Unit Is Secure

Unfortunately, theft is a potential issue when using a self-storage facility. Ideally, you’ll want to find one with controlled access, requiring a code to enter the premises. Many facilities also offer electronic locks as an added security measure.

Make sure you choose the right padlock to dissuade theft. There are many different types, but for this application, you should choose one that’s big and heavy.

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Burglars tend to look for quick and easy targets, something they can break with a hammer or snap with bolt cutters. As such, they’re unlikely to go to the trouble of attempting to pick your lock.

6. Go in for the Insurance

Insuring your stored items is a prudent decision that can save you a lot of trouble down the line. Even if loss, damage, or theft are clearly attributable to a specific party, dealing with small claims court is a hassle, and you could find yourself out of luck in the end.

Self-storage facilities generally offer insurance, and some may require it for any rental. Read the terms thoroughly to ensure that the entire value of your stored items is covered.

Don’t Rush into Your Decision

Following these tips should provide you with a smooth and worry-free self-storage experience. You’ll be able to identify a suitable storage facility for your needs and take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of your items.

While it’s easy to get caught up in moving or other situations where you need storage, you shouldn’t rush through the process of choosing the right self-storage facility. Take your time and explore your options in depth. This could be as easy as visiting a few websites or contacting the facility with any questions you might have.