Self Storage Finders provides you with self storage information regarding your self storage search, mobile storage and mini storage throughout the United States. Our self storage
directory allows you to access information about individual self storage units. Here, you can find self storage info about choosing the right storage unit for you and your
belongings as well as packing tips and other tricks to maximize your self storage unit.
Choosing the Right Self Storage Unit Size
Indentifying the size of self storage unit to rent may not seem like an important decision, however, choosing a unit that is the wrong size could create problems when you decide
to move into your unit. Having a unit that is too small will prevent you from comfortably storing you belongings safely in the unit or worse everything might not fit. When choosing
a self storage unit use Self Storage Finder's self storage sizes calculator to determine which size fits your needs best.
Self Storage Types and Information
We have categorized different storage types to help you decide the best way to store items. Click on the links below to view our recommendations. You can also visit our blog as we
frequently update it with useful storage tips and information.
Why Do You Need Self Storage?
There are many reasons people choose to use a self storage unit to store their items rather than keep them at home. For some it is more convenient, some need more space and others
just want to get stuff out of their living space. Below are some additional reasons someone may need to use a self storage unit:
- Maximize Space - A self storage unit is a great way to maximize space in your current residence or office. De-clutter your rooms by taking
boxes, appliances, files, toys, clothes and seasonal items to a storage facility.
- More Secure than Your Current Residence - Self storage facilities nowadays are safe, secure and
protected 24 hours a day. This is not to say that all storage facilities are this way or that accidents or thefts won't happen but it is more rare
than in years past. Most facilities are now equipped with 24 hour video surveillance, gated entry, coded gates and on-site managers which can make
storage facilities safer than your current living space.
- Safety - With the addition of added security features to many self storage facilities, it is likely storing valuable or potentially harmful
items in a storage unit is safer than storing them at your home or apartment. Expensive jewelry, art, wine, furs and antiques may be better stored at a
storage facility rather than your home or apartment.
- Need More Room - Sometimes people just need more space. In the current economy, many people have downsized homes or moved from homes to
apartments. Storing items in a storage unit will free up space in your residence and give you more room. Garages can also become so cluttered that they
don't even fit your cars anymore. Storing seasonal items is also a great way to increase space in your home or garage. Moving items like golf clubs,
carts, snowblowers, snowmobiles, ladders, lawn mowers or skiing equipment to storage can vastly increase the amount of space in your residence. In
cases like these, a storage unit is a great option.
- Home Staging - Home staging is big business right now because home buyers want their new home spotless and perfect when they are looking.
Removing items from your home in order to give potential buyers a fresh look is a great option and a good way to get your home sold quickly. Anyone who
has sold a home recently (or tried to) knows buyers are particularly picky right now. Give buyers a clean slate by removing all unnecessary items from
your rooms, taking everything off the walls and removing everything from kitchen counters. As much of a pain this might be, it is worth it to sell your
When looking for affordable storage Self Storage Finders has the most comprehensive directory on the internet. We have put together a few self storage tips to help you in your
quest for self storage and packing your storage unit.
- Think about location of the storage facility. How often are you going to be accessing your storage unit?
- Consider how much space you really need, look at the items you are planning to place into storage to evaluate the size of the unit you will need.
If you're only going to be storing a small amount of items look into mini-storage which offers storage for smaller items.
- Look at the amenities that facility offers such as climate control, 24 hour access and other security options. These amenities are in place to
protect you and your belongings while in self storage.
- Self storage prices will play a factor in choosing which facility to rent from, although you should not sacrifice the safety of your belongings for
cheap self storage.
When packing your belongings for your storage unit it pays off to be well organized. Packing things the right way will create less of a hassle when it
comes to unpacking your storage unit. Pack carefully and plan ahead, taking precautions to protect your belongings from being damaged during the move.
Use boxes that are study and in good condition, older damaged boxes can weaken over time and won't protect your belongings as well. Try looking for boxes
that are the same or similar in size, so when stacking boxes in your self storage unit they will fit together securely. Fill boxes to capacity; however
don't overload them, making them too heavy to move. If you have some empty space in your box try stuffing the box with shredded paper, filling the box will
prevent it from toppling over or caving in. Labeling the boxes and identifying each box's contents can prevent damages from occurring during the move. Seal
each box to keep dust from collecting on your belongings.
When packing items such as books pack them flat so you don't damage the spine of the book, place smaller items in last to fill the empty spaces and wrap
sharp objects in a towel or rag so you do not hurt yourself when unpacking the boxes. When unpacking the boxes try to peel the tape back before cutting
into the box and risk damaging the items in the box.
When packing kitchen items, make sure that everything is dry before boxing it up. Mold grows when there is a moist climate, which will ruin your
belongings. Pack fragile items tightly into strong boxes and fill any gaps in the box to prevent items from shifting and breaking during transport to and
from your self storage unit. Wrap and stuff breakable items with blank newspaper or old rags.
Drain dishwashers and washing machines before placing them into your storage unit. Also tie the hose down so it is not damaged during transportation. Clean
out refrigerators and stuff with newspaper, leaving the doors cracked to prevent mold from growing in the refrigerator. Before placing your vacuum cleaning
into self storage remove the bag and throw away the contents.
Living Room Tips and Bedroom
Wrap mirrors and pictures in bubble wrap, stacking them on their ends. Criss-cross masking tape over the glass top prevent frames from falling out. Lose
photographs should be stored between clean cardboard to prevent the photos from being bent. Compact the photos together so they aren't damaged or bent
during the move.
To save space, take apart tables, spray them with furniture polish and cover them to protect them from dust. Dismantling larger pieces of furniture will
also help save space. Use drawers of dressers or chests as storage. Place large electronics such as televisions and stereos into their original boxes, if
you have already discarded the box use another box and fill gaps in the box with newspaper. Chairs can also be stacked seat to seat to save space, wrapping
the chair legs will prevent them from being damaged.
Use a leather conditioner treatment on leather couches and chairs to preserve them during storage. Furniture covers can also be purchased to prevent dust
from gathering on the furniture, avoid using plastic covers because they aren't as study and can trap moisture in them. Furniture pads can also be used
during moving so the furniture isn't torn or destroyed during the move.
To prevent items from rusting rub a small amount of machine oil on metal tools and equipment. Place paintbrushes on their sides so you do not damage the
bristles of the brushes. Tie tools together in bundles and wrap in a cloth. Do not ever keep anything flammable or combustible in your storage unit
(gasoline, oil, cleaning supplies, paint thinner). Lawnmowers should be drained before placing into the storage unit.
What Are The Different Types of Self Storage?
Most people don't think of self storage often, typically
only when they need it. Self storage isn't sexy... we've written about it before. Storage is simply thought of when it is needed and then not thought of
again until you pay your bill or need to retrieve your items. There are various reasons people need self storage ranging from safety, more room in the
residence or home staging. Did you know there are several different types of self storage units though? Sure there are and they sometimes go by different
names too. They all serve the same basic purpose of keeping your items safe and secure but have subtle differences.
Let's clear up some myths first. Self storage, storage, mini storage and storage lockers all mean the same thing….they are all names to recognize a
commercial building which customers rent space to store their possessions. (Mobile storage is a bit different and we will get to that in a moment.) Within
this self storage, (mini storage, storage locker - whatever you choose to call it) can be several different storage units. The storage units themselves are
what you actually put your belongings in. They come in different sizes, can have special features and can be
rented from anywhere between a day and years depending upon how long you need the unit for.
Typically, renters provide their own locks, boxes, insurance and transportation of their belongings to the storage facility but exceptions can be made
in all instances. In addition, most storage facilities now have 24 hour video surveillance, gated entry, coded gates, well lit facility areas, on site
managers and other various amenities for your convenience.
With that said, here are the 5 different types of self storage units:
Indoor Storage Units
Indoor storage units are obviously found inside large self storage buildings which may look like warehouse space on the outside. To reach the indoor
storage units, you most likely have to pass through some sort of gate or security and then you will have access to various sized storage units. Most
storage units are sized from a 5x5 to a 10x30 with everything in between.
Climate Controlled Storage Units
Climate controlled storage is a storage unit which is an indoor storage unit which has temperature and humidity controls to keep temperature constant and
humidity out. The advantage of this is to protect unique items which may be damaged do to extreme temperature fluctuations or humidity. The cost of a
climate controlled storage unit is going to be a bit more than a typical storage unit because of the special circumstances but the cost is minimal compared
to the damage a regular unit will do to your belongings. People living in the South and Midwest should pay special attention to climate controlled units
because they will be beneficial to rent if you are planning to rent a storage unit for several months. You can see more information on climate controlled
storage here and here, but items such as electronics, art, paintings, photos and
wine should be stored in a climate controlled unit no matter what area of the country you live in.
Drive Up Storage Units
These units are probably the most common storage units you see when driving down the road. They are arranged in long lines and have doors similar to your
garage door. They have wide aisles so you can easily drive a car or truck directly up to the unit.
Outdoor Storage Units
Outdoor units are exactly that…outdoor. They are subjected to the climate, temperature and elements at all times. Most people only use outdoor storage for
cars, boats, tractors and RV's. Some will be similar to a car park with a roof overhead while others may just be a parking lot outside. They are convenient
for large vehicles but are not designed for much else, especially your art or wine collection.
These are the units you see parked in the front of a person's house
when they are moving or renovating. Mobile storage is typically a separate company from regular self storage facilities and operate a bit differently as
well. These companies will deliver a mobile storage unit (they can also be called a Pod and Storage Container) to your home and allow you to fill it at
anytime. Once you fill it, they will pick it up and either hold the storage unit at their facility or drive it to the location you need it. It is a
convenient option to a traditional storage unit or a moving truck.
Rent Storage, Storage Units Rental
When deciding if you should rent storage to store your belongings you should first identify the size of the self storage unit you will need and how long
you will need to rent the unit. Here are some basic self storage sizes and
guidelines to help you narrow down your selection. Remember it is always better to have extra room than to have to cram your belongings into a smaller
After deciding which size of storage unit rental you need, create a list amenities you want the storage unit to have.
It may help to go through and rate the amenities on a scale of one through five. Below is an explanation of the rating system we use:
Here is a list of a few amenities that we have found most storage unit rentals have:
- You will not rent storage from this facility if this amenity is not available.
- You might not rent storage from the facility if this amenity is not available but you could live without it.
- You are indifferent and are not sure if you would benefit from this amenity but you would use it if the facility offered it.
- You would still rent storage from the facility if this amenity wasn't offered but you would consider it an added bonus if it was offered.
- You place little importance on this amenity and would rent storage from the facility without this amenity.
- convenient and safe location
- climate control
- 24-hour access
- security cameras
- security guards
- keypad entrance
- gated grounds
- lighting system
- 24-hour on-site manager
- alarm system
- renters insurance available
- various payment methods accepted
- convenient payment schedule
Self Storage Finders directory makes looking for storage unit rentals in your areas fast and easy. The directory allows you to access all of the self
storage facilities in your area with one click. You will be able to narrow your self storage search by zip code and then view the locations on google maps,
as well as view the facilities personal websites, so you can compare your list of amenities must haves, which you created in step 2, against what the
facilities offers. If the facility does not offer the amenity that you ranked as a number one priority then the facility should be crossed off of the
Visit your top self storage location and get a good feel for the facility so you feel comfortable when it comes time to leave your belongings in the
storage unit rental.
Call the facilities before you plan on visiting to make sure that the storage operator will be available to give you a tour of the facility.
Although visiting each facility may seem like an inconvenience for you, it will reveal things about the facility that their website won't tell you. You
will want to pay close attention to how the location of the facility looks and its surrounding neighborhood. Look at whether or not the facility is easy to
access and the condition of the storage units. Has the facility been maintained and well taken care of? Here are some key things to look for during your
- When you arrive at the facility look around the property grounds to see if the facility is well maintained and clean.
- Look at the property's fencing and gate making sure that there are no broken or weak points in the fence.
- Are there properly working lights around the perimeter and inside the facility? Are there working surveillance cameras?
- Inside of the office look to see if it is clean and taken care of.
- Does the manager greet you when you walk into the office? Is he paying attention to whoever walks onto the property?
- Do you feel comfortable bringing and leaving your belongings here?
- Are you allowed to view an actual storage unit? Is the unit clean and rentable?
- Do you feel safe visiting the facility?
If you have followed the previous four steps then you should be ready to make the final decision and choose which self storage facility you want to rent
from. During the last step hopefully you were able to eliminate one or two of the self storage facilities that did not measure up to your standards. After
doing this try placing the remaining storage facilities in order of how they ranked during the previous steps, eliminating your least favorite facility and
so on until you have only one facility left.
If you are finding it difficult deciding which facility to eliminate, compare the monthly price of each facility. The safety of your belongings is the most
important factor so this is why we recommend that you don't rely on price to sway your decision; however price can be used to decide between comparable
storage facilities. Ask the facility if they offer any special rental rates, discount programs or bonuses that you might qualify for:
- First or last month free
- Discounts for seniors, students or military personnel
- Discounts on other moving supplies
When signing the contract you may be offered rental insurance, before agreeing to purchase renter's insurance check with your homeowner's insurance policy
to see if you are covered. Check to see exactly what is covered, whether or not damaged or stolen items are reimbursed and at what cost level and if you
have a deductible.
Moving is a pain and the biggest hassle of it all is the packing and
unpacking of all of your possessions. Whether you need to move your entire house or just pack some items in order to clear some room it is always good to
have a plan in order to get the job done quickly and easily. When packing, think of it like a game as each item should have its own spot in a box while
also leaving room for other pieces. Stay on point and focused and you won't feel overwhelmed. See the self storage packing tips below to make your task
- Make a checklist of what is in each box
- Label each box so you know what box goes to which room
- Pack item by item and one room at a time
- Use boxes which are the same size so they can easily stack on top of one another
- Don't over pack boxes. This is an easy way to ruin your boxes and your back at the same time
- Fill the boxes as full as possible (without having too much weight) so the corners and tops do not get crushed
- Use packing tape
- Stack books as standing them on end could cause damage to them
- Wrap dish glasses individually
- Store mirrors and artwork vertically so you don't crush them
- Try to keep cardboard boxes off of the ground in case moisture seeps in
- Disassemble bed frames, tables and dresser drawers
- Roll up anything that can be rolled in order to save space
- Use bubble wrap
- The heaviest items go on the bottom
Be sure to plan prior to packing in order to make the move easier. The more you plan before you move, the less stressful the moving day will be.
One of the most stressful situations a person can go through is a move.
Packing up your belongings, staging a home, putting the house on the market and then waiting for it to sell give anyone nightmares, especially in this
economy. When the home is finally sold, you have to move all of your possessions from your old home to your new residence. Costs associated with a move can
increase quickly which is why we are here with some helpful moving tips. Below are some tips which can help you minimize the cost of your move:
- Get Free Boxes; It is easy to find boxes if you know where to look. Try grocery stores, liquor stores, department stores and Craigslist to
- Ask For Help; Friends, family and neighbors should be (somewhat) happy to assist in your move so you don't have to do it all yourself.
- Move During Non Peak Months; Moving during October – March may seem like a poor idea but it can save you money in the long run because
movers are not as busy and will likely give you a good deal to move.
- Plan Ahead; Pack as many boxes, beds, cribs, desks and rooms as possible prior to the truck arriving.
- Measure; Measure the doorways and hallways in order to be sure your furniture and appliances fit in your new residence.
- Settle Your Bills; Pay all of your bills prior to moving so you don't have to worry about it when you are gone.
- Transfer Your Mail; Transfer all of your mail an bills to your new address prior to moving.
- Use Newspaper; Newspaper is a great alternative to packing paper.
- Use Towels; Towels are also a great alternative to paper and can be used to wrap dishes and glasses.
- Pack Your Essentials; Be sure to pack a bag with your toiletries, toothbrushes and deodorant.
- Clean Your Own Home; Save money by cleaning your own home rather than hiring a cleaning service to do it for you
- Get Some Estimates; We say get 3-5 estimates in order to be sure you have a good idea on how much the move will cost. You can even have the
companies bid for your business in order to get the best rate.
These simple moving tips may help you save big on your next move. Use these tips to make the move easier, cheaper and less stressful.
Good Self Storage Locks
Most people think about storage when they need it and
figure they can figure the rest out later. Details like where am I going to get boxes, what size storage unit do
I need, which storage facility is the best option and what kind of lock is needed tend to get tossed aside when they shouldn't. One of the most
important items to secure prior to arriving at the storage facility is a self storage lock. Believe it or not, the type of lock you purchase and place on
the storage unit can make all the difference between a heartbreaking burglary or the storage unit two doors down being broken into. There are several
different locks on the market to choose from but which one works best? We will lay out some guidelines and you can choose for yourself.
Be sure to be aware of what is going into the storage unit, if the lock will be used indoor or outdoor and the location of the storage
unit as these factors can determine what kind of lock you will need as well. Are you storing a bunch of old couches or a fine art collection? Is the
lock going to be subject to elements such as snow, ice and cold outside or will the storage unit be inside? Is the storage facility in a high crime area
with little security or is there 24 hour surveillance with a storage manager on-site? Once you analyze these factors, you can determine the amount of
security you are comfortable with in regards to your storage lock.
There are typically four different types of locks people choose from when they purchase a lock. They are:
- Padlock: A padlock is a small, cheap lock which usually comes with 2 keys…you know, in case you lose one. The material in
which the padlock is made is generally a cheap metal and is reflected in the price of the lock. This lock is very easy to pick and break. In
general, a padlock is a bad choice in storage locks and is NOT RECOMMENDED.
- Combination Padlock: A combination padlock is similar to a padlock but instead of using a key to open the lock, you simply have a
combination of numbers. In order to correctly open the lock you have to spin the numbers in the correct sequence and the lock will then open. This is
similar to a lock you would see on a locker at the gym. If you are storing nothing of importance, sentimental or price value then this may work for
you. This lock is also easy to pick and break. In general, a combination lock is a bad choice in storage locks and is NOT
- Disc Lock: Disc locks are the most popular in storage these days. They are resilient, drill, strike pick and cut proof! The lock
has anti-locking pins and a thick shackle which makes it hard to cut, even with bolt cutters. Although these locks are popular and resilient, they are
not compatible with all storage locks. This is a good choice for storage locks though and is HIGHLY
- Cylinder Lock: These locks are also popular in self storage nowadays. They are some of the most secure locks available for storage
units. These locks are unique in that they are located inside the storage unit, similar to your front door lock. They are also strike, drill pick and
cut proof similar to the disc locks! This is a good choice for storage locks and is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
What NOT to Store in a Self Storage Units
Once you found the perfect storage
unit (right size, location, price, amenities) it's time to pack up your stuff and head down to the facility. Self storage is a safe, affordable option for
storing extra possessions but there are some items which cannot be stored in a storage unit for safety reasons. Be sure to read the fine print on
the storage contract so you know what items are and are not allowed in the storage unit. Here are a list of a few items which cant be stored:
- Food - All self storage units, including climate controlled storage units, are not conducive for food. Storing food in a storage unit is
also incentive for unwanted bugs, rodents and animals. The storage facility will not be happy to find those in a storage unit.
- Combustibles - Any potentially explosive material such as gas, paint thinner, oil, propane, alcohol, fireworks or matches should not be
stored in storage units. Not only can they be harmful to you and others but they are a danger to the storage facility itself. Causing an explosion at a
storage unit is likely to get you in some serious trouble.
Weapons - Some storage facilities may allow the storage of firearms but don't take it for granted.
If you need to storage firearms, ask the storage manager if it is ok to do so first as weapons are typically prohibited. Not only are they a danger
to you and others but they can also become very dangerous if they happen to end up in the wrong hands.
- You - This may seem like common sense but it is illegal and unsafe to live in a storage unit. There have been several examples of families
living in storage units do to the sluggish economy but this is not safe for several reasons. If you have nowhere else to go, ask a neighbor or
Mobile storage is unlike traditional storage in that instead of bringing
your belongings to a self storage facility a mobile storage unit is delivered to your house for you to fill at your convenience. Once the container
is filled you call the company and they return to pick up the container and transport it back to their warehouse. Your container is then placed into a
climate controlled warehouse where it is stored for safe keeping. If you move across the state or across the country, the mobile storage company will
transport your mobile storage unit to your new location. Contracts usually run on a monthly basis so you can store your belongings for a short term without
signing a long contract; however long term rental agreements are also available.
If you want to access your storage container you should call the storage company and request them to send the container back to your house. Check with your
city or homeowner's association agreement to see whether or not the mobile storage unit can be placed outside of your house or if they have any
restrictions or require any permits. If you plan to visit the warehouse to remove some of your belongings, make an appointment to visit the mobile self
storage. Often times the mobile storage units are stacked on top of each other and difficult to retrieve on short notice.
Similar to traditional self storage units, mobile storage units come in various sizes and with a variety of amenities to suit your storage needs such as
climate control, security features and prices. Mobile storage units can be used for individual or corporate storage.
Mobile storage can also be beneficial during home renovations to house furniture while the renovations are taking place in your home. Save money and time
by using a mobile storage unit. You can load your mobile storage unit on your own time and then return them to their place in your home without have to
rent a moving truck, taking several trips back and forth to pack and unpack your home.
Vehicle storage is designed to store your car, trucks, vans or any
other type of vehicles. Auto storage is a great way to protect your vehicle from the elements. It is a convenient place for you to store your
vehicle if you are no longer using it for awhile or you do not have room at your home to store the vehicle.
By placing your car into vehicle self storage, you can ensure its protection from the environment and safety from vandalism. Garage storage offers
your vehicle protection 24/7 with padlocks on the units and security cameras recording activity on the premises. Additional security features may
include on-site managers or security guard patrolling the grounds.
When choosing which vehicle self storage best suits your needs, take into account the weather in the region that you live in. If you live in a
region that experiences warmer climates year around, storing your vehicle in an outside parking lot should be just fine as long as you invest in a
cover that is constructed of a thick multi-layered fabric. If the region you live in experiences harsh winters or a long rainy season you may want
to consider indoor garage storage, which gives you protect form the environment.
Prior to putting your vehicle into storage take a few precautionary measures to ensure that the vehicle stays in good shape while in storage. The
fuel system can be a prime source of problems so spend some time taking care of the fuel tank. Storing the vehicle with an empty tank can cause the
tank to collect moisture and rust and corrode over time, while storing the vehicle with a full tank causes the gas to break down creating a gum or
varnish on the tank. Adding a fuel stabilizer to the gasoline will keep it from deteriorating. After adding the stabilizer drive the vehicle around
for about 10 miles to ensure that the stabilizer circulates throughout the fuel system. Change the oil and filter, used oil contains acids,
moisture, and other combustion byproducts that can cause corrosion.
When placing your vehicle into the garage storage unit, make sure that you abide by the rules set by the facility. Typically vehicles are required
to be in a drivable condition, tires are to be inflated and in good condition, registration and proof of insurance are required when signing the
rental agreement. Also you may not use the unit as a workshop, due to the facilities inability to dispose of chemicals properly.
Types of Vehicle Self Storage
Some vehicle self storage facilities allow you to store your vehicle in regular storage unit which is similar to storing your vehicle in your garage at home.
Others may ask that you store your vehicle in a parking lot.
If a facility offers a unit that is large enough to accommodate your vehicle without causing damage to the unit
or your vehicle, some facilities will allow you to place your vehicle in a storage unit. This type of auto storage is similar to a garage giving
you protection from wind, snow, sun and rain. If you feel that you will need an added level of protection, ask about a climate controlled unit
which will prevent rust from forming during storage by keeping the unit at a constant temperature.
Covered Auto Storage
This structure is similar to a parking garage and will protect your vehicle from the sun, wind and rain.
Covered storage is a great choice to protect your vehicle from the sun and reduce exposure to rain and debris. These side-by-side spaces are
designed and built for maximum protection.
This option is usually the cheapest and is similar to placing your vehicle in a parking lot. It is not
recommended for long-term storage because it offers little security and no protection against the elements. Investing in a study cover for your
vehicle will protect your vehicle from elements such as weather damage, dents, and theft.