What to Look For in a Self-Storage Facility

8 May 2014 by

Your armoire matters to you. Your collection of priceless Mickey Mouse mugs matters to you. The problem is your home only has so much space, and as important as Steamboat Willie may have been to the formation of your comic sensibilities, sometimes you just need to clear some space.

So it’s time for some self-storage. But what do you look for in a storage unit? More than you may realize. Here are the key considerations for keeping your Disney memorabilia (or other stuff, I guess) safe and secure.


First and foremost, your stuff has to fit, and it has to fit properly. Can an undersized storage unit fit your couch? If the answer is, “Yes, tilted on its side, slowly destroying the structural integrity of the furniture,” then the real answer is no.

Before selecting a unit, look at the range of units available. Plan initially for a unit that fits the footprint of items that can’t be stacked or tilted on their side, then add a little extra space for good measure. Shelving units can be used to consolidate space, but plan on including these in your footprint as well.

Of course, your storage needs may change, so instead of focusing simply on fitting what you have now, assess whether or not the facility has larger units. After all, it’s better to move to a larger storage unit in the same lot than suffer the pain of moving your items across town.

Weather Protection

So, your facility of choice has appropriately sized units. Are they dry units? Cardboard boxes full of books, priceless heirlooms, and winter clothes are not amphibious, so checking the weatherization of your facility of choice should be your next concern.

There are a few things to look for in particular. First, will the structure of the unit handle strong winds? Second, is the lot prone to flooding? And, if so, are the bases of the units sealed against the elements?

Feel free to talk to the owner about precautions taken to ward off wind, water, and dust. Any facility worth its salt will be happy to demonstrate the effectiveness of its insulating efforts and build confidence to motivate a purchase. If you’re still not sure, stop by when it’s raining and take a look yourself.


Rain may try to sneak into your unit, but just as scary is a set or two of sticky fingers.

With the obvious temptation presented by a lot full of potential treasures, good storage facilities make a point of protecting your possessions. Features such as tall, unclimbable fences; security cameras; 24-hour lighting; and reinforced walls will all help to dissuade criminals and should be on your storage wishlist as you’re vetting potential locations.

Additional security is always a welcome feature. Ask the owner about features like patrol, armed guard, and additional security verification if you’re looking to keep your Flintstones mugs as safe as possible.

Climate Control

Admittedly, climate control can come at a bit of a premium, but if you’re storing items like antiques, instruments, or even flatware, climate control is an absolute must.

The reason for this is two-fold. First of all, climate control helps ensure that those sweltering summer days don’t compromise your more delicate possessions. Second, air conditioning helps control the humidity of the unit, preventing guitars from warping and hearts from breaking.


And finally, the coup de grâce of self storage facilities is service. Now you may be thinking, “Why would I need service at a self-storage facility?”

Consider this scenario: A late-night stop to pick up snowboards for tomorrow’s trip to Vail is utterly thwarted by a forgetful memory and a stubborn combination lock. Or this one: An insidious couch swallows your key, never to be found again, as your padlock laughs in your face.

Explore items like 24-hour service, locksmith availability, and additional identity verification to ensure that these features aren’t used against your will.

All storage facilities are not created equal. Mind these essential considerations and ensure that your possessions, your peace of mind, and your Mickey Mouse Mugs are all properly taken care of.

SSF Team

SSF Team

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SSF Team

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