What to Know About Self-Storage

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By Clever Real Estate Updated April 11, 2024


Things to Understand About Storage When Moving

If you require a storage unit to help during a move, you could have some questions. You may want to know what storage companies have a solid reputation nearby or how much you can expect to pay for your storage unit.

Many folks will do an online search for renting storage units near me in hopes of finding one of the best companies. Doing so is a decent way, but you'll also want to ensure you're doing proper due diligence. There are quite a few questions that should be asked when renting a self-storage unit. Obviously, one of the more critical questions will entail getting a handle on the pricing.

We’re going to review everything you need to know when you’re looking to rent self-storage, so you make a wise choice.

So What Are Storage Units?

A storage unit is a safe, dry, and clean space to keep your possessions. Depending on the storage facility you choose, you might be able to rent a unit by the month, though there could be discounts available if you know you need longer-term storage.

As mentioned, you can search online for a storage unit nearby to find somewhere to keep your possessions that is convenient when you need to declutter your home or require more space during a move.

Units can also help when remodeling, need somewhere to store a vehicle, have seasonal items, or many other reasons.

What Size Storage Units Are Available?

Storage facilities offer many different sizes. It would be best to try to assess how much space you need so that you don’t spend more on your storage unit than you really need to.

Create an inventory of your possessions. Add up the number of boxes, appliances, pieces of furniture, and other items you want to store in the unit. Unusually shaped items will take up more space in your unit, so you need to consider those more complex items too.

If you are already storing some of the items together in your home, it will be easier to work out the space you will need. You can measure these items if they are piled up together, then compare them to the space offered by storage facilities.

The amount of room your items take up in a moving truck can also indicate the size of unit you require.

Choosing the Type of Storage Unit You Need

There will be quite a few choices available to you when selecting the storage that best fits your needs. Understanding how to compare storage units will be essential. Here are some of the things you should consider:

Indoor or Outdoor Units

Depending on the items you need to store, an indoor unit might be better. Indoor storage units will typically include climate controls to prevent damage due to environmental conditions, like temperature extremes. Indoor facilities should generally give you more security as well, with more limited access to the door of your unit.

Outdoor storage units might resemble a shed or garage and lack climate controls. While you will be able to drive up to the door of your storage, making unloading your vehicle easier, security won’t be quite as good as indoor storage.

Climate Controls

Indoor storage should have controls to maintain the temperature in the facility. Having temperature controls should keep your possessions at between 65 and 85 degrees no matter the outside weather conditions.

Many items can benefit from controlled conditions, such as electronics, antiques, old documents, clothing, and much more. Climate controls prevent mold growth, among other problems that can do damage to your valuable items.


Is it essential for you to be able to access your unit around the clock? Sometimes doing so might be difficult at some facilities, where access to the unit might be limited to business hours. Many do offer 24-hour access, with an access code and a manager on-site at all times.

Drive-Up Convenience

Would you like a storage unit that you can park right outside? Having access such as this will make loading and unloading your stuff as easy as it can be. These units will be outdoor and offer street-level access, providing the most convenience should you need to move things in and out frequently.

Storing Vehicles

Some facilities will also offer vehicle storage if you have an RV, boat, ATV, or another car that you need to store during a move. Sometimes this storage will be outdoor in the open; other facilities might offer indoor and covered storage. Check what is available at your local facilities to know they provide the appropriate protection for your vehicles.

How Do I Rent a Storage Unit Near Me?

Once you are confident that you know what size of unit you need and the type of storage, you can begin your search. These are the steps you need to take to find your ideal self-storage:

Checking Your Options

You can search online to find what storage options you have. Use your ZIP code or city to find the nearest locations. Check that the results provide the type of storage units you need since not every company will have the same options.

Comparing Prices

The cost of storage units can vary greatly. Carefully compare what is available so that you get the best value. The cost will depend on the size of units offered along with the services the facility provides. When you are happy with your choice, you can reserve your unit online.

Packing for Storage

Pack your items carefully, and itemize your boxes so that you can more easily find things if you need to. Be aware of the items that you aren’t allowed to store in your unit as well. Typically anything hazardous or flammable isn’t permitted in a unit; check what is permitted in advance.

Preparing for Moving Day

When you have chosen and booked your storage, you need to get ready to move in. You should pay attention to the access hours as well as the things you need to bring with you, like ID and an acceptable payment method. The facility might have limited loading and unloading areas as well; check beforehand.

Insurance Requirements

Most storage businesses will need you to have insurance cover. You might have some coverage from your homeowner’s insurance, but the facility will likely offer you extra property insurance to make sure you are fully covered.

Payment Options

The storage facility that you choose is likely to offer a monthly rental that you can cancel when you no longer need the unit. Payment can often be made online and managed through their website.

Other Storage Options

Are there other storage options that could be chosen besides a self-storage unit? There sure are other choices! One of the most popular storage choices when moving is a portable unit. Many companies will deliver a moving pod right to your home. The most well-known of these companies is PODS, but there are other excellent companies in the industry as well.

When you choose portable storage, you'll also want to vet any companies you're considering using.

Final Thoughts

When you are buying or selling a home, the need for storage could undoubtedly become evident. It is always essential to do proper research when looking for a storage unit. You'll find there will be many options to consider. Figuring out precisely what you need will be paramount to your success.

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