By Tyranni Rineer, Certified Self Storage Manager
It has come time to move, or you have items that you just aren’t ready to part with. So you decide that it’s time to start looking into self storage. But, with so many options around, it can be hard to figure out which store to choose that will be worth your money. Sometimes selecting the cheapest option isn’t the best option. We’re going to review the steps necessary to ensure you get what you need and what’s best for you when selecting a self storage facility.
Unit Types Offered
While a self storage facility that is really close to your home or work may be the most convenient in the transportation of your items, make sure they offer all the amenities and services you need.
Not all storage facilities offer the same types of units. You can typically find drive up units, interior access units and temperature control units, even drive up temperature controlled units at larger or newer stores. However, smaller or older stores may only offer drive up units. Be sure to check first.
Are you storing a car? You don’t want to select a storage facility just to find out later that they only offer inside units or no outdoor parking spaces.
In the same respect, are you storing that heirloom China cabinet that you got from your grandmother? You may want to think twice about putting that into a facility that only offers drive up units. While they may be cheaper, would you really want to risk the item warping from the heat and humidity? Doing so may wind up costing you way more in restoration costs. You would want to select a store that offers temperature control or premium units for valuable items such as these.
On Site Property Manager
Is the property manager available on site or do you have to schedule appointments? You really should take this into consideration. Even if you aren’t the chatty type, most people dislike automated calls and want the option to talk with a real person when they have a question. By having property manager available to you on a regular basis, you will feel more secure that someone is there keeping an eye out for your belongings and is ready to help you when you need it. All locations of Moove In Self Storage have a property manager on site at least five days a week to serve our customers. The worst thing is having to schedule an appointment a week out when you have a question now and could get it answered in a few minutes if the property manager was just there. In addition to the manager, is there a call center that can help you after hours? Or can you rent a unit online because you found yourself behind schedule and the office closed an hour before you arrived? The responsiveness of the manager or call center to your move can go a long way to eliminating the stress you feel during the move.
When you go into visit the rental office to talk with the property manager, how does it look? Is it clean? Is there trash lying around? Does it smell fresh? Take the condition of the office into consideration when making your choice. The office ultimately reflects on the way the whole property is taken care of and how much they care about your belongings. An office in bad repair or disarray should be your warning sign to move on to the next one.
Find out about security measures. Every storage facility is different. Make it a point to stop in for a visit and take a look around. Ask the property manager to give you a tour. Make sure to ask about the fence, gate, cameras and lighting around the property. While many have a gate code system, not all do. Some are just purely set up so you can drive right in and pull up to the units without even a fence surrounding the property. A perimeter fence along with an access gate at the self storage facility you choose provides an added measure of security while you are visiting and while you are not, and the gate system allows the property manager to know who is on the property at all times.
What is required when renting the unit? What kind of access is offered? Ensure that whatever self storage facility you select requires that you provide a valid photo ID. This helps prevent someone trying to come in to cause any issues, because every tenant must show proof they are who they say they are. Also, while 24-hour access may be appealing, you may not want to go with a store that offers it to everyone. Most facilities with access hours listed on the gates take this step as an extra precaution within their security offerings. Do you really want everyone to be able to go through the facility a 3am? The only people who really need access at all hours are business tenants and ones who work odd shifts and cannot get to their unit during the normal hours.
On Site Retail Store
Another little extra you may want to consider is if they sell retail in the rental office. It will save you time running around to other places to buy boxes, bubble wrap, etc. when you need it. Although free boxes from the grocery store may be appealing, they are not designed for long-term use and could be harboring pests! It’s best to purchase boxes that are designed specifically for the storage industry (like the ones we sell in our retail stores inside our rental offices) because they are more durable, crush tested and treated to prevent mildew over long periods of time.
Moving Truck Availability
Do they offer a moving truck that you can use? If they do, this option could save you a ton of time and money. Always check with the storage facility on their protocol, prices and availability. At Moove In, we offer our moving trucks for free when moving in; you simply need to pay the insurance waiver and top off the gas tank when you are done. Our trucks are scheduled on a first come first served basis to our customers. You can also rent our moving trucks for a minimal fee, much less expensive than other rental truck companies.
Distance from Home or Work
One question that comes to your mind is likely, “Which self storage facility is closest to me?” You will likely visit your self storage unit on your way to or from work, or over the weekend when you are busy but have some free time. So it’s best to choose one that is relatively close to you. Typically, people will choose a storage facility within five miles of their work or home. Narrow down your choices by first making a list of your options that fit that geography.
Use these helpful steps when deciding on a self storage facility and you will find the best one for you. Just remind yourself; if you are taking the time and effort to store it, it must be worth something to you. So be sure to take some time when choosing a self storage facility – don’t simply go with the cheapest or the closest. If you have any questions about selecting the right storage facility, you can contact us at any time or call one of our helpful and friendly property managers for more information. And, if you have taken all of these steps and you’re ready to get your storage unit now, you can reserve or rent a storage unit online 24/7 at most of our locations!