According to a recent study, there was more than 50,000 self-storage facilities working in the United States. That’s roughly 2 billion square feet of storage space!!! It’s estimated that 1 in 10 households now use a storage unit. With all these choices in facilities how do you even begin to choose a facility to use? You should ask yourself several questions prior to renting a storage space:
What are the accessibility hours?
Accessibility is one of the most important aspects you should inquire about when renting a storage unit. Everyone’s needs are different. You’d be surprised on the number of storage units that do not have 24 hour access. Always make sure that the access hours match what you need.
Is the facility secure and well-lit?
Security is the number 1 concern people have. While a facility can never 100% guarantee that your items will not fall victim to theft, there are several steps the facility can take to guarantee that they’re doing all they can to protect your goods. Does the facility have video surveillance cameras? Does the facility use an electronically controlled gate? Is the facility completely gated in? These are all questions that should be answered prior to renting. A well-lit facility at night can also greatly reduce the possibility of a break-in. So again, ask questions and if necessary asks the facility to give you a tour of the grounds before signing any paperwork.
Have I properly inventoried by belongings?
This is a question that many people don’t think of. Why should I have to keep track of what I store in my unit? Well if you take a second to think about it it’s actually quite important. What if you need to get something out quickly? How will you know where it is or even if it’s in your unit? It’ll make your life so much easier if you properly document what you stored and even where you stored your units within the unit. Also, if something would happen with you contents while in storage and you need to file a claim with your insurance company, it’ll be less headache for you if everything is documented and if you can produce pictures of the items. There will not be a question from your insurance company on your claim and the process should move rather quickly.
What kind of lock do I use?
While many facilities do not necessary mandate a particular lock, most will tell you that they strongly recommend the disc-style lock. A disc lock can prevent most thieves from being able to break into your unit initially, as disc locks are much more difficult to cut through. Most facilities will sell these types of lock so make sure to inquire. They might be slightly more expensive than the other locks but it’s well worth it in the long run.