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9 Questions To Ask Before Renting A Self Storage Unit Near You

Most people think renting a local self storage unit is about finding the best price on an available unit in a convenient location. They’re all pretty much the same, right? Well, unlike bottled water, milk, gasoline, and other commodity products, self storage units can vary wildly in features and benefits from location to location.

In other words, you may actually want to pay a little more or drive a litter farther to get the perfect self storage unit for your exact needs.

Not convinced? Here are nine questions you absolutely need to ask yourself before choosing a nearby self storage unit.

1. Will the self storage facility leave me feeling wet and cold?

Don’t wait until you’re shivering in the rain with a wet cardboard box to ask about covered loading bays. If your storage facility has a covered loading bay, that means you can literally drive your vehicle right inside the building and unload or load your stuff from there. Rain, sleet, snow? It’s not your problem.


2. Should I bring my hiking shoes when moving in?

Imagine this: you plug your self storage facility address into your GPS and follow the turn-by-turn directions. As you approach, you look around for the parking lot, but it never appears. What gives? Well, most storage facilities offer on-site parking, but not all! So, if you forgot to ask, you might find yourself with quite a hike to move items from your car to your unit.

3. Is anyone keeping an eye on this place?

So you’ve unloaded and packed your belongings into your new storage unit, you’re ready to leave, and then a realization hits you. Who’s going to watch your stuff when you’re not there? Many, but not all storage facilities provide 24-hour video surveillance. Hey, it’s hard to put a price on your peace of mind, so make sure to ask before you commit.

security camera

4. Can just anybody waltz in here?

Speaking of peace of mind, ask the facility manager and/or staff what measures are in place to control access to the property. Some locations are equipped with gates and key-pad entry, which helps ensure only customers and staff members can come and go as they please.

5. Will I need night vision goggles to see what I’m doing?

Whether you’re loading or unloading your self storage unit, it’s no fun doing it in a dark, dimly lit facility. And yet, you might be surprised just how many storage companies fail to invest in bright lighting—both for the property itself and for the individual storage units within.

Air Freshener

6. Will my storage unit give me a not-so-fresh feeling?

It’s easy to tell which self storage facilities value cleanliness and which ones treat it as an afterthought. Unfortunately, this often becomes apparent when you’re standing in the middle of a dusty unit that looks like it hasn’t been maintained in ages, if ever. Is this really where you want to store your family heirlooms or other important items?

7. Is anybody out there?

If you haven’t rented a self storage unit before, it’s natural to have questions. What size unit do I need? What is climate controlled storage? Do I have to sign a contract? Friendly customer service, let alone service of any kind, is not a given. If you don’t get good vibes on the phone or in person, you might want to move on down the road to the next storage facility.


8. Can I get in on the ground floor?

The best self storage facilities will make moving in as easy as possible, but it’s still a hard job. The benefit of a single-story facility where all of the units are located on the ground floor is that you can more easily load and unload your belongings—no stairs or elevators required.

9. Can I get a “hand” moving into my storage unit?

When it comes to man-power, you’re usually going to be on your own. However, some storage facilities do offer pallet jacks and hand carts to help lighten your load. You won’t find this feature everywhere, but when you do, it could become a deciding factor in choosing one location over another—especially when all else is equal.


How to Choose the Best Self Storage Unit for You

Some self storage facilities may offer benefits and features that you simply will not want to go without. Others may offer amenities that, while nice, just don’t matter very much given your specific needs. To help you sort it all out, use this self storage unit checklist to narrow down your options and find the perfect facility for you.

Find Your Location, Choose Your Storage Unit and Rent Online Today

Now that you have a better idea of what really matters to you, it’s time to find a self storage facility that closely matches your preferences. For even more help getting started, check out our storage unit size guide, or read up on the benefits of renting a climate controlled unit. Want to speak with an actual person? Give us a call at 877-STORAGE | 877-786-7243 today.