Choosing a home for your belongings or vehicle can be tough. There are a lot of options for storage and doing your homework when selecting a storage unit can really pay off. We’ve compiled a list of tips for you to use when searching for a storage facility.
Location, Location, Location
First and foremost, choose a storage location that’s convenient to you. If you’re moving locally, it’s likely best to choose a storage facility that’s close to your new home so unpacking and unloading is easier as you settle in. Are you storing items to clear out space in your house or apartment? Stick to locations close to home. Storing business inventory or decluttering your office? Select a storage that has easy access from your office.
If you’re storing a boat or another vehicle it may be wisest to choose a location close to where you’ll be using it the most. For example if you often launch your boat from the Joppatowne Marina, store in Joppatowne.
The address of the location is important, but also be sure to check how easily accessible the location is. Is it easy to get to from the highway or is it on a major thoroughfare where you can quickly get in and out? Driving to the location or mapping it ou using Google Maps can help you determine if the storage is off the beaten path or easily accessed.
Unit Sizes & Availability
Contact a few storage locations to check on the unit sizes and availability. Most facilities offer standard unit sizes like 10×10 or 10×20 units, but sometimes this isn’t quite the right fit for your needs. Find locations that offer in-between (we call them “tweener”) sizes such as 5×7.5 or 10×12.5 so you can get the space you need without overpaying for a larger size unit.
Features & Amenities
Always check out a facility’s amenities when searching for storage. Make sure to ask when you can access your unit and if there are any fees associated with 24-hour access. Do a little research on the security features offered such as surveillance cameras, gated facilities, and individual unit alarms. Elevators and covered loading areas are great features to seek out when you have a big move or are moving larger items.
If you’re storing artwork, furniture, or electronics always seek out a facility that offers climate controlled storage. These facilities keep temperature and humidity moderate to help prevent against weather-related damage such as warping or mold.
Pricing & Fees
It’s important to look at more than just the base price of your storage unit when getting quotes. Monthly rents often increase regularly and administrative or processing fees can be tacked on when you move in. Some facilities require mandatory insurance through specific programs which can also increase your monthly rate. Sometimes, the facilities that don’t have the lowest advertised monthly rate for a unit are those who also don’t have hidden charges and can turn out to be the best overall value. Check with the leasing staff to see if security deposits or any other money is due at lease signing.
Ask about any specials being offered at your facility. Some storage facilities offer a discount on your first month’s rent or a military discount (we do!).
Last, but certainly not least, is to visit or call the facility and see how their customer service is. You never know when you may need assistance, so it’s good to know you’re storing at a facility that truly cares about their customers. Take note of the leasing consultant’s attitude, whether or not you’re being rushed in and out of the facility, and if they smile and take the time to get to know you. View reviews on Google and look for facilities that score at least 4 stars. Check to see if the storage is active within their community.
No matter where you choose to store, you should expect friendly service with a smile.