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Things to Know Before Renting a Storage Unit

Madhushree Kelkar Jul 7, 2019
Apart from the rent and security of the storage unit, its accessibility is also equally important. If you are planning to hire a storage unit, there are certain points which you should consider. Here are some information about the things you should know before renting a storage unit.

Did You Know?

According to the Self Storage Association, currently 1 in every 10 households in the US rents a self storage unit. This has increased by 65% from 1 in 17 households in 1995.
Hiring a storage unit is good arrangement if you have a space crunch or are planning to move. There are many leading storage facilities which will help you store your goods. You may utilize the storage to keep your seasonal clothes, books, furniture, luggage, crockery, artwork, lawn mower, RV, boat, etc.
There is a difference among all the facilities on the parameters of security, cleanliness, customer service, etc. However, you must know to approach the right storage facility to hoard your belongings. Keeping your goods at a wrong facility may lead to damage or loss due to rodents, pests, mildew, mold, theft, things falling on other items, etc.
As there are many companies that provide storage units in the market, you should be aware about the list of things to know before renting a unit. It is essential to see how a storage house fares on the following parameters before hiring the same.

Assess Your Storage Requirements

Consider if you need a long-term or short-term storage unit. This will be based on the duration and type of storage. See if you can adjust some space in an extra room or garage and make place for your goods. If this is possible, you will eliminate the need to hire the storage unit.

Research Several Locations

It is advisable to visit multiple locations before selecting a storage facility.
Visit the facility to ensure that the storage unit which you will hire is clean, hygienic, bright and well-ventilated. Check if security is available, management is helpful and attentive, etc. Ensure that pest control measures are taken from time to time. Compare and choose the best option that is convenient and affordable, for you to stash your belongings.

Location of the Storage Unit

While a storage unit which is far away from your location might be cost-effective, it will increase the cost of traveling and transport drastically. So, look for a storage facility that is not too far away from your place, and is easily accessible. There are a few online websites that will help you to find a storage facility in the vicinity of your home.

Decide the Size of the Storage Unit

Take a closer look at your belongings, and assess how much space will be required to store them. If you hire a storage unit that is too small, then you may not be able to fit in all your goods. On the other hand, you may end up spending a lot on a unit which is too big for your requirement.


Many times it is observed that the management of the facility allows you to rent the storage unit at a lower price, and then hikes the rates later on. Inquire with them about the schedule of increasing rates, or ask them how long they are ready to continue at the existing rate.

Climate-controlled Storage Facility

In some areas, the temperature keeps changing every now and then. This can damage goods like furniture, fabrics, artwork, etc. Hence, ensure that you have opted for a climate-controlled storage unit which has air conditioning and heating units. This will help to keep your goods safe.

Renting Trucks

You will need a moving truck to transfer your goods to the storage unit. Many times the storage facilities offer free truck rentals, or at least charge no fees for a few miles. They may also give you a discount on the truck. So make it a point to inquire with them for availing the benefit of the same.


It is advisable that you get your stored goods insured. The storage insurance will be available to you once you rent the unit. When the facility management collects the premium, they have their own financial gain from it.
Hence, it is advisable to consult your own agent before availing the insurance from the facility. You can also check if your homeowner's insurance or renter's insurance covers the goods stored off-site.

Check Online Reviews

Before zeroing down on the storage facility do not forget to check for online reviews about the place. You will be able to judge the quality of the facility based on the positive and negative reviews of the facility. It will also alert you about the exact things to look out for when you visit the facility.

Easy Accessibility

Ensure that if you need to access your storage unit at an odd hour or on a holiday, you will be able to do so. Many storage units have time limits and are closed on holidays. It is essential that you are accorded easy and free access to your storage unit.

Ensure Security

Whether storing your furniture or storing your boat, it is imperative that the storage facility has tight security.
If the security is not good, there is no assurance that your belongings are safe. See if there are cameras guarding your unit or the facility. Whatever the type of storage, security must be your prime concern, so do not hesitate if you have to pay a little bit more.

Make a Contract

Get all the details related to the storage unit in writing. Mention the size, location, climate control, security, etc., in the contract. Do not forget to include clauses like termination, payment and late payment terms, insurance, renewal, etc.


✓ Use pallets to keep your belongings away from the floor.

✓ Disassemble large furniture so that you can get more space.

✓ Use an all-weather padlock for your storage unit.

✓ Label your belongings, so you know what is in each box.
✓ Store frequently needed belongings in the front.

✓ It is always better to wrap up your belongings in industrial plastic.

✓ Stack your goods strategically to optimally utilize the space.

✓ Don't store any kind of food items that will attract rodents and pests.
Also, it is advisable to use a cotton cloth to cover furniture. And do not forget to wrap up fragile items in cardboard before storing. Do not use newspapers to wrap anything, as the ink from the papers will smudge and rub on the goods. Now that you are aware about the things to know before renting a storage unit, research thoroughly before you finalize it.