Renting a storage unit for the first time isn’t as daunting as it may initially seem. In fact, depending upon the self storage company, it can be quite easy. Additionally, if you are prepared with some questions and you have done your research, the rental process can be even smoother. Self storage facilities offer a variety of storage solutions including indoor and outdoor storage, climate controlled storage units and vehicle storage. Knowing ahead of time what you want to store, how long you will need to store, and how much space you need to store your items, will make the renting process easier. This will also help you compile a list of questions to ask your storage professionals.
There are many determining factors to consider before renting a storage unit including storage unit size, pricing and security. When researching a storage facility, ask for a tour of the grounds in order to get a better understanding of the security and access to the facility. Look for the facility’s video surveillance systems and make sure that the facility is clean, well-lit and gated. This will also allow the first time renter to see the different types and sizes for storage unit sizes available at the facility.
The next question to ask is how much does it cost to rent a storage unit space? Storage unit pricing will vary depending on the size and type of storage unit.
At the time of rental, also ask the storage professional about any discounts that might apply to your rental. Most storage facilities offer first time rental discounts, military discounts and in some cases discounts for long-term storage. New renters should find out the types of payment accepted and the lease terms for renting a storage unit. Find out what type of payment the facility accepts such as cash, check or credit card. Most storage facilities offer online payments. Find out from the storage manager how to set-up an online account while you are finishing up the details of the storage unit rental. Look for storage companies that offer mobile apps that allow for paying and managing your account via your mobile phone.
Storage facilities ask for certain documents at the time of storage including a valid photo ID, current contact information and proof of insurance. It is important to ask if the storage facility offers storage insurance at the time of rental to save you the time and hassle of having to determine if your homeowners insurance covers your stored items. Also, find out the gate hours versus the office hours, and details about any other special amenities that the facility has for its customers.
After renting a storage unit, it is time to make sure that the items that you are storing are properly prepared for storage. Following basic packing tips will help keep your items protected while they are in storage. Once a box has been packed and securely sealed with packing tape, make sure that every box is labeled before placing in storage. Create an inventory list based on your box labeling system. Take apart bed frames and tables that can be disassembled to maximize space in your storage unit.
When placing items in your storage unit, organize them so there is an aisle down the middle to the back of the storage unit. This will allow you to navigate the space more efficiently. Place large appliances and electronics towards the back. Put frequently needed items toward the front of the storage unit for easy access. Depending on the length of your rental, it’s always a good idea to check on the items in your storage unit every few months to make sure nothing has shifted in those particularly packed units. That would also be a good time to rotate any seasonal items from the back to the front of the storage unit.