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Did you know that in 2018, there were around 23,404,300 self storage units in the United States? If you are looking for a storage unit to store some of your extra tools or belongings while you’re in between homes, we are here to help you. Our guide below has our top tips on how to find the best storage unit for your needs.
Read on to learn more.
What Is Your Purpose?
Before you go searching for the best storage unit in your area, determine the purpose of your storage space. When you understand why you require storage, it will help you figure out the unit size that works best for you.
For example, if you are traveling and won’t be assessing your unit until you move back to the area, then a smaller unit will work. You can cram as much as you can by stacking items on top of each other.
You will want to look for storage units that offer security. It is even better to find a location that offers 24/7 security so that you know that your belongings are ok.
If they don’t offer 24/7 security, then ask if they have gates with codes and if each renter has a unique code or is it the same code for everyone. It is best when everyone has a unique code because this allows the owners to track who comes in and out of the storage place.
Also, ask about any security cameras they have in place and if they keep the footage for a long period of time in case of a theft.
As far as a padlock, ask if you can put your own padlock on your unit or if they supply a special key to access the unit.
Take into consideration if you are going to need any extra services. For example, climate control is necessary for some items to not get damaged. If you’re storing anything that is sensitive to extreme cold or heat, then you need to make sure the potential storage unit offers climate control.
Keep in mind that the further your unit is from your home, the less likely you will truly use your storage unit. This will eventually equate to paying money for items you are not even using. With this scenario, it wouldn’t make sense to have a storage unit, unless you choose one close to your home.
In the event that you need a unit because you are moving out and traveling the world, then your location won’t matter as much. Instead, you might want to look for the most budget friendly location.
On top of location, you want to see if they have units where you can drive up to with your vehicle to load and unload. Some locations have a combination of drive up units and others where you have to walk through a building and in some occasions even take an elevator.
If you prefer a drive up unit, make sure you ask if this is an option because there are some facilities that don’t offer any units where you can drive up.
Visit in Person
Before you commit, it will be worth it to visit the potential storage facilities in your area. This allows you to see the units available and how secure the location seems. It will also allow you to meet the people working there to see how their customer service is.
Most places are happy to show you different unit options so that you can compare the sizes in person. Seeing the one you plan on renting before signing a contract will ensure that it’s exactly what you need.
Specials and Policies
During your search, check to see if there are any rental specials or discounts available. There are plenty of places that will offer their first month for $1 or for free after you pay the administration fee.
Also, ask about their policies to make sure you don’t have any surprises. Ask what their late payment policy is to see what happens if you accidentally miss a payment or pay a few days late. If you prefer to have it paid automatically, ask if that is an option.
Keep in mind that there are some states or companies that their policy allows the entire unit contents to be auctioned off after being just a few days late on the bill.
Another policy you want to ask about is insurance. Do they impose a mandatory insurance fee every month, or do you have to carry your own?
If they charge a mandatory fee, ask what this covers and if you have to pay a deductible. If you have to carry your own policy, ask if they have any minimum requirements.
Their cancelation policy is also important. Make sure you are aware of how long the contract is or if you are on a month-to-month basis. Also, do they require a 30-day notice when you plan on canceling?
Ready to Find a Storage Unit for Your Needs?
Now that you have our top tips on finding a storage unit to fit your needs, it is time to start searching for the perfect one for you. Don’t forget that finding the best unit for you will require doing a bit of research beforehand.
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