Location, location, location. That’s what people talk about when they are looking for a great place to live or work. But what about when you are choosing the location of a self-storage unit? Does it have to be near your home… especially if there are less expensive options 45 minutes away? And how important is around-the-clock access, especially in a unit you might rarely visit? Let’s take a look at the factors involved in choosing your storage unit’s location.
Choosing the best storage unit location for you comes down to how often you will access your storage. If, like so many people, you are renting a storage unit because you’ve simply run out of space for your stuff, you may want to have regular access to your things. For example, if you have downsized from a two-bedroom apartment to a studio, you can put three seasons of clothing in the storage unit and keep one season in your new, smaller space. In that case, regular access to your storage unit is important (and 24-hour access may be valuable to you). To make things simple, it would be a great idea to choose a location close to where you live.
If, on the other hand, you are storing home furnishings while you move from one residence to another, the location is less critical. Many people store an entire household of items during the process of buying a new home. In this instance, a moving company might pick up everything from one residence and move it to a storage unit for a short time. When the new home purchase is complete, the same moving company will pick up everything and move it to the new location. For such a move—when you will never even visit your unit—the location is less important.
If you are moving and your moving company has its own storage facilities, be sure to inquire about insurance for your items during the time in storage. It may be that your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance covers the items… but it’s up to you to make sure that the items are covered while in storage.
A simple math equation can help you decide the value of choosing a storage unit that is close to your current home:
- Monthly cost of the unit (i.e., $50.00), plus…
- Cost to drive to the storage unit and back (for example, $10.00), multiplied by…
- The number of times I will drive there each month (twice per month or $20.00 per month)…
- Equals the real cost of the unit: in this case: $70.00 per month.
If you plan to visit your unit—either to organize the contents or to retrieve items that you need—then factoring in the driving costs will help you decide the value of location, location, location.
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