Renting a self storage unit is an easy process. Typically, you will begin your search for a storage unit on the internet, be directed to a resource similar to Self Storage Finders and have a list of facilities at your disposal. Before you actually rent a unit there are some questions you should be asking yourself and the facility manager. Take a look below to better prepare before you rent.
What Size Unit?
Storage facilities rent units in different sizes. It is best to rent a smaller unit and pack it from floor to ceiling rather than paying for space you will not be using. It is a good idea to keep a little space in the unit in order to get into the unit and move around, get what you need or put more items in. Make a list of the items you will be storing and check our storage sizes page to get an idea of how large the unit should be.
How Long Do I Need It?
You should have an idea of how long you need to store your items before you rent a unit but there are two options you have when renting a storage unit. You can sign a long term lease or you can rent month to month. Going month to month is the most popular option because it gives you freedom in case plans change. There is no worrying about breaking a lease and you can move out when you see fit.
Do I Need Climate Control?
Climate controlled storage units will help protect your belongings from exposure to heat and cold which can warp and damage your stuff. The units also protect against mold, mildew and bacteria. In saying that, most times climate controlled storage is not necessary unless you are storing electronics, art, wine, photos or family antiques.
Should I Get Insurance?
Insurance will be required by most if not all storage facilities. You may already have insurance for storing your items through your current insurance company. In this case you only have to provide proof of the insurance when renting. If you do not have insurance, you can talk to the facility manager about the different types of insurance they offer at the facility.
Do I Need a Lock?
The short answer is yes, you will need a storage lock. How else will you keep your belongings safe and secure? You can either purchase a lock before you get to the storage facility or you can talk with the facility manager and ask what they recommend. Most facilities will have locks, boxes, tape and other moving related items for sale at the storage facility. Check our blog for the “How to Choose Your Storage Lock” article for additional help.
Is there Security?
Almost all self storage facilities have some sort of security nowadays. Honestly, if the storage facility doesn’t provide some sort of security – gates, keypads for entrance, cameras, lights – you should probably check another facility in the area that does. Why take the risk of losing your valuable possessions? Again, you will also have to purchase a lock for your unit.
Is the Unit Available?
Depending upon the size of the storage facility and the location, the storage units may be in more demand and popular. Simply ask the facility manager if they have the unit you are looking for at the time you are looking for it. They may be willing to give you a discount if you rent a larger unit for a longer period of time as well.
Is Location Important?
Stats show that 90% of people will rent a storage unit within 10 miles from their home. How important is location to you compared with price, amenities and security? There are probably at least a handful of storage options within 10 miles of your home, so the question you must ask yourself is how important is the location?
How Much is it?
Obviously, the larger the storage unit you are looking at the more expensive the unit will be. You also have to take into account the location of the storage unit, the size of the facility and the company you are renting from. Chicago self storage units will probably be more expensive than Joliet storage units of the same size while Extra Space Storage units will probably be more expensive than Joes Stor-All down the street. Similarly, a 5×5 unit will run from about $25 up to over $100 and a 10×20 unit can run from $85 to $225 depending on the amenities, location and company you rent from.
Now that you’ve answered some of the more important first timer questions, you can begin your hunt for the perfect storage unit. Hopefully this nugget of information will take some of the stress out of moving for you!
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