From furniture and sporting equipment to vehicles and tools, plenty of items take up precious real estate on your property. If you don’t use them every day but still want to own them, moving these objects to a safe and secure storage facility could solve your space issues. But all storage facilities aren’t quite the same. If you’re thinking of renting a storage unit, you’ll want to do some comparison shopping to know all your options. Let’s take a look at some questions you should ask before renting.
WHAT SIZE STORAGE UNIT DO I NEED?
Storage units are available in a range of sizes. With that in mind, make a list of all the items you hope to keep there. Remember, if you overcrowd it, it can be difficult to move around inside the space and access items when you need them. On the other hand, you don’t want to pay for space you don’t need or won’t end up using. Some storage facilities offer a calculator or estimator on their websites to help you determine what size you’ll need.
HOW MUCH DOES A STORAGE UNIT COST?
What does it cost to store your items? CostHelper.com offers a look at what you can expect to pay per month on average:
- A 5’-by-5’ unit costs about $40 to $50 a month.
- A 10’-by-20’ unit costs about $95 to $155 a month.
- A 20’-by-20’ unit costs about $225 a month.
When you’re touring a facility, be sure to ask about the payment policy. Find out if you can make automated payments to avoid late fees. While laws vary by state, self-storage companies usually have the right to “evict” your belongings and sell them at auction if your account is in arrears.
IS THIS STORAGE UNIT EASILY ACCESSIBLE?
In addition to finding out the storage facility’s hours, including when a manager is available should an issue arise, you’ll want to know if you can drive up to it. Because moving can be back-breaking work, every inch you save carrying heavy items counts. Also, see if you can access the unit from both sides. This will make it easier if your unit is full and you’d prefer not to wade through it all to find something in the recesses of the unit.
WHAT TYPE OF SECURITY IS USED?
In order to have peace of mind, you’ll want to ask about security. Are there surveillance cameras and an alarm system in place? Will a manager be on-site at all times? Is there ample lighting so you feel safe coming and going in the evening? Be sure to ask about the type of insurance the facility carries. If your belongings are sensitive to extreme heat or cold, you’ll want a climate-controlled unit. Ask about pest control as well to ensure your items remain safe from potential infestations.
A storage unit can help make a crowded home or garage more manageable but before you rent one, make sure you ask the right questions.