By Peggy Bisbey, Certified Self Storage Manager
You finally accepted that you really need to clean out the garage, the attic, the basement, the closets…ok, just admit it; the whole house needed some organization! And, since you realized that your life could use a clean sweep, it’s time to go through your home like the Tazmanian Devil and whip it into shape. Because this is going to be a pretty big project (maybe even a huge project if you haven’t cleaned out in years), you have decided to rent a self storage unit. That way you have somewhere to put all that extra stuff you find during your “House Cleaning Extravaganza”. I know, I know, not the most exciting thing to plan for, but obviously a necessity in your cluttered life. But you may find yourself asking, “What type of storage unit do I need?”
You have done your research and have chosen the self storage facility you want; one with an on-site, helpful and knowledgeable property manager, security features like fencing and cameras, packing supplies so you can get your butt in gear (like yesterday) without running around searching for boxes, and one that is relatively close to your home or office. But then you ask yourself, “What type of storage unit do I need?” We may not be able to help you clean out your house, but we can help you decide which unit type you need!
Inside Self Storage Unit
First, let’s look at some benefits of choosing an inside storage unit. With an inside unit, you are inside of a building when you access your belongings. That means it can be raining like crazy outside but you will be nice and dry as you rummage through your boxes to find what you need. You can take your time when you move and sort your items in a comfortable environment that is well lit and out of the elements, even if when it’s 9pm and pitch black outside. If you have items that are sensitive to weather, an inside storage unit provides better protection than a drive-up unit. In most cases, inside units do not back up to an outside wall, keeping large temperature swings at bay. A lot of facilities also offer inside storage units with a temperature control option. Depending on what you need to keep in storage, you may want to consider this option.
There are a few drawbacks to using an inside unit. You have to go inside a door and through a hallway to reach your unit. So, you can’t just drive up and jump right in. Essentially, you are entering the building through a door the same size as the front door at your home. If you have awkward shaped items, moving them through a standard door, through hallways and around corners can be tricky. Moving heavy and bulky items to and from your storage unit will require you to carry them or load them onto a cart to get through the door and hallways. To make it easier, we provide carts free for you to use when moving items in and out which helps. Trust me, if you are trying to move a piece of solid wood furniture (even if you have two people), using a cart makes a much easier job of it.
Drive-Up Self Storage Unit
Then we have the drive-up self storage unit. These units are very popular because they are so easy to access. You can literally drive right up to the door and load and unload items with ease. No worrying about going inside doors or hallways to reach your stuff. If you need to store a lot of large or heavy items, a drive-up unit would be much easier for you than an inside unit. Also, if you need regular and frequent access to your stuff, a drive-up unit makes it possible to get in and out very quickly. That can be invaluable if you are one of the many people who never have enough time in the day (me included!). These units are also especially useful if you don’t have a garage at your home but need storage capabilities for items you would typically store in one; lawnmower, gardening tools, holiday decorations and so forth.
Again, a few drawbacks exist for drive-up units as well. You are outside when accessing your unit, so you are exposed to the weather and elements. If it’s raining, break out the umbrella, and if it’s sunny and a hundred degrees prepare to get sweaty! Most drive-up units are not available with a temperature control option. So if your items are susceptible to extreme heat, bitter cold or excessive humidity, a drive-up unit may not be the best option. The buildings are typically made of metal, meaning the inside of the unit can get very hot in the midst of summer, potentially melting items. Likewise, it can get pretty cold in the winter. Valuable wooden furniture exposed to those temperature swings all year can expand and contract many times causing cracking and warping. Not something you want to happen to your antique bedroom set.
If you want to learn more, you can read about the variety of types and sizes of self storage units available in one of our previous blogs, “Take the Guesswork out of Selecting the Right Self Storage Unit.” Of course, if you are still unsure on which unit type you need, you can talk to our friendly property managers. They are very knowledgeable and can help you decide which option is best to suit your storage needs. You can also contact us at any time with questions and post comments below.