It's Easy to Find a Storage Unit
If you need to check out facilities for storage, there are likely plenty of options near your location. But you also want to make sure you're choosing something that works well for your needs, so you have the right unit based on size, price, and other factors. Understanding how to pick a good unit from a facility where you can store your things helps with peace of mind.
Here's All You Need to Know About Self Storage
There are a lot of reasons why people might need storage units. Homeowners and renters can both use them, as can college students and military personnel. Businesspeople often use these units, too, because they can keep a lot of inventory there for a price they feel good about. Since many facilities have climate controlled units, there are very few things that you can't put inside a storage space. You can also consider drive up units, if you don't need to worry about controlling the climate for the items you're storing.
As for the kinds of things stored, it can be nearly anything. Most public storage facilities don't want you to store things that could be dangerous or flammable, though. So gasoline, some types of batteries, and anything that could be considered explosive probably isn't a good choice. You also can't put a vehicle in a unit that's not designated for vehicle storage, so keep that in mind when you need a place to keep your extra car, a motorcycle, or an off-road vehicle, too.
People who are remodeling or renovating their homes often use storage space, and college students who are home for the summer may need to do the same. When people move, they frequently put some things in storage, and they might do that when they're staging their house or sale, too. The good news is that there are all kinds of great ways you can use a unit at a storage location. They're popular, convenient, and inexpensive. Before picking one, be sure to check out the rest of the information on using them.
More Info on Storage Facilities
When you need extra space storage options are abundant. You don't want to get a space that's too small to hold what you need, of course, but getting one that's way too big isn't good, either. A mini storage location with a number of different sizes of units can help you find one that works and make a good choice. There are units that are like small lockers, and are approximately 2 feet wide by 3 feet deep. These have a ceiling height of around 3 or 4 feet, and are only used to store a few small things.
The typical storage unit starts at around 5 feet wide, and is 5 feet deep. Larger units are 10 feet wide and 15 feet deep, while very large units are 10 feet wide and up to 30 feet deep. Ceiling heights on these facilities range from 8 to 10 feet. Determining what size unit you'll need can depend on a lot of factors. Naturally, how much you have to store is a big part of the equation. But it's not the only thing to consider. The shape and stackability of what you're storing also matters, to make the most from the space you'll rent.
A month-to-month basis is the most common way to rent a storage unit. That gives you the option of renting for a month or two as needed, or keeping things in storage for the long term, instead. One month is the shortest period of time you can rent your unit for, but many tenants rent their unit for years. The move-in date is generally the date that the monthly rent is due. However, some facilities pro-rate the first month, and the rent for subsequent months is due on the first of the month. That can be easier for accounting purposes, because every renter pays on the same date. You'll get access to your unit once your lease is signed.
The Basics of Storing Your Things
A lot of people store their things because they want or need to declutter their space. That space could be your home or your office, or both. But decluttering isn't going to work if you don't have a secure, clean, safe place to store the things you want to keep, but don't have room for right now. Relocating, downsizing, staging, and other kinds of activities generally require a storage unit, so you can put things away safely. Just remember that not all facilities are created equal, so shop around before a pick one at random.
A Storage Unit is Not a Portable Unit or Storage Pod
Some people think of storage as one of those portable ones a company brings to your home and sets in your driveway. You can put all kinds of things in it, and then the same company can pick it up and store it at a location for you. When you're ready for the things inside it, you can get the unit delivered to your home again — or to wherever you've moved to — and take things out. These units can work really well, but they're not the best or most economical options if you want to store things for the long term.
You Need Storage Options Tailored to Your Needs
There's a lot of diversity when it comes to options for storage. That's good news for anyone who wants to have a unit or two to put things in, and who also wants to use what's really going to meet their needs. You don't have to choose something just because it's the most common option, or because others are using it. Instead, you can select a different option and have what you need to store things effectively and safely. That adds a lot of peace of mind, which is one of the most important things with storing items.
Climate control is a common option for storage, especially if you need to protect delicate items, antiques, or anything that could be sensitive to moisture or temperature. This kind of storage won't keep things as controlled as they would be in your house, but it will certainly be safer than putting items into a unit that doesn't offer this kind of feature. A lot of people also look for storage options for vehicles, such as boats and motorcycles in the winter months, and snowmobiles in the summer months.
What Can You Keep in a Storage Unit?
The good news is that it's really easy to store things in a unit. With just a few small exceptions, you can put just about anything in there. That means you don't need a lot of different units for different things. Of course, if you're storing a specialty item like a vehicle, you'll need to do that differently. But most household goods and related items can be stored quite easily in a standard unit without any problems.
Clothing, electronics, furniture, things like books and movies, and food that's not perishable can all be put into your unit and carefully stored. Those are broad categories, and most items you probably own fall into them. If there's anything you're not sure about, or you're worried that something might not be allowed by your storage facility, you can ask them directly or take a look at what your contract says. That way, you'll have a definitive answer.
What Stays Out of Your Storage Space?
There are a few specific things that you definitely can't keep in a storage unit. It's good to know what they are, so you aren't accidentally breaking rules. Guns, for example, aren't allowed to be in your unit. You also can't keep perishable food in there, because it can attract bugs and rodents that the facility doesn't want to have to deal with. Live plants should stay out of the unit, too. They need sunlight, and they won't get it in there. Ditto for pets, since you're not allowed to keep living things in the unit.
You Don't Have to Commit Long Term
One of the best things about storage options like these, is that they're month to month on the rental. You won't be making any long-term commitments to renting your unit, so you can take your things out of it anytime you need to. If you're moving to a new place, or you've decided to keep the items somewhere else, sell them, or donate them, you can take them out at your convenience. Just let the storage facility know if you're not going to be using your unit, so you don't keep getting billed.
It's Easy to Find a Storage Unit
Storage options aren't generally hard to find. But you still want to get a unit that's going to give you what you're looking for. Rather than spend a lot of time and effort looking for a unit that meets your needs, you can just search all in one place for the right unit. When you learn about storage options online, you can also get a good idea of how much space you'll have in one, and whether you might want to choose a smaller or larger space than you were thinking about. When you find the right unit, you can reserve it, so it'll be ready for you to move your things into and get started on your next adventure.
You Probably Won't See Storage Auctions
TV shows and online information have made it look like there are storage auctions going on all the time. But that's not actually the way things work. Not only is it uncommon to have these types of auctions, but they're not conducted with camera crews around. Also, you're probably not going to find a lot of treasures in those auctions, either. Most people who abandon a storage unit and stop paying on it do that because there isn't anything of value in the unit. There are rare occasions when that's not the case, though.
Pay Your Rent on Time
If you want to make sure you don't lose any items that you have in your storage unit, you need to pay your rent on time, every time. Some facilities have autopay options. If you choose one that does, you should go ahead and set that up, so you don't need to worry about whether your storage unit rent was paid or not. If you don't have that option, you can set a reminder on your calendar or find another way to make sure things are paid when they should be. Pay a little early, and you'll have peace of mind and no late fees.
Reservations Can Make Things Easier
Unless there's a shortage of units at the facility you want to use, you won't need to worry about making a reservation. They aren't required, and you can rent a unit just by walking in and filling out the information. But it's often better to make a reservation, just in case. Especially if you're looking for a unit size that's really popular, you may find that the one you thought was available got rented out by someone else. When you reserve a unit, you can be sure that it'll be ready for you when you come in to pay and move items.
What Documents Should You Bring?
When you get ready to rent your unit, make sure you bring the right documentation with you. You'll need ID, such as a driver's license or state ID card. You can also use a passport. The goal is to be able to show the facility that you really are who you claim to be. Some facilities will accept other documents, if you don't have the more standard options.
But if you're planning on renting a unit without the typical ID, make sure to call ahead and talk to someone knowledgeable about what other options they'll be willing to accept. You don't want to get there and be turned away. Also don't expect a background or credit check, except for a very few facilities in New York. In other places, it's not common. You should be able to fill out the paperwork and move your stuff right in.