Self-Storage Information, Costs & Advice
Sometimes, people have more possessions than they can properly store in their home. While many decluttering experts would simply advise selling, donating, or throwing away excess possessions, this isn't always possible. When an individual or family has a disruption in their living situation, rental storage is often a good way to keep one's furniture and household items safe until it is possible to find or return to a permanent home.
Self-storage is often a good option for individuals who have to temporarily move into a smaller living space, but also need to be able to access and swap out clothing, books, and household items regularly. This option can also make sense for families that live in homes with limited outdoor storage for seasonal items such as lawnmowers and snowblowers.
Things to Look for When Choosing a Self-Storage Solution
When consumers are searching for a self-storage company, they should begin by checking a company’s reputation in online reviews and through the Better Business Bureau. They should also ask the following questions:
- What sort of access do customers have to their units? Some storage companies offer 24/7 access, others offer a more limited schedule.
- What sort of security is available? The claim that a storage facility has "24-hour" security is meaningless without details. Is there a staff member on premises 24 hours per day? Are there working video cameras recording activity? Do the storage areas have panic buttons so that unit renters can call for help in case of an emergency?
- Are climate-controlled units available? Some storage units have heat and air conditioning. While this option is often more expensive, it also protects antiques, electronics, and other valuable items.
- Are hand trucks available for use by clients? Some storage facilities provide hand trucks for transporting items back and forth between vehicles and storage units.
- What about insurance? While the storage facility itself may be insured, clients should make sure they understand what coverage is available for their stored property. Sometimes it’s possible to buy additional coverage through the facility. Homeowners and renters insurance policies may also offer coverage for stored items, but it’s a good idea to clarify this with an insurance agent.
One of the primary reasons for choosing self-storage is to keep items safe and protected during a time of displacement. This is why it is important for consumers to research self-storage companies before renting a storage space. Understanding the level of protection offered helps potential storage renters decide which facility is right for their needs.