What to Know About Renting a Storage Unit
Are you looking to rent a self-storage unit? Do you want to find out how much it costs to rent a storage unit? There are lots of different reasons why you might need to look at storage unit rentals.
Whether it’s to help with your move to a new home or free up space in your current home, let’s take a look at the things you need to know before renting storage space.
When you are renting storage space for the first time, it will be a good idea to figure out what type of self-storage unit you will need. Another essential consideration will be picking the right size unit.
Everyone’s storage needs vary, so it is hard to determine the right storage unit when you’ve never rented one before. Here is what you need to consider so you choose one of the self-storage facilities that best suit your needs.
What Are Self-Storage Facilities/Units?
There are two types of storage facilities; indoor units and outdoor units. The type of unit you need should be the first thing you think about when renting storage space.
Indoor facilities have storage units in a larger building. Getting your things into an indoor unit typically requires a bit more work.
Indoor units, however, typically offer more protection from rodents and pests. Indoor storage units also offer better security measures than outdoor units.
You can have more peace of mind that your belongings are well protected, especially if you have important documents and other valuables.
An additional benefit is they can be climate-controlled. If you have things that can’t take extreme temperatures or a high humidity level, climate-controlled storage would be better for the contents of your unit.
Outdoor units are more like garages and take on that appearance when you see them. A significant benefit of an outdoor storage unit is the ease you can drive up to them. They provide easy access to get to your belongings. Storage units are also referred to as storage lockers.
Unloading your possessions can be done right from your vehicle very easily. The downside is they often do not have electrical access, are less secure, and don’t have climate controls. Think about what’s needed before you rent a storage unit.
How to Find a Self-Storage Unit Nearby
After researching how to pick a storage unit to rent for your needs, you’ll need to pick a trustworthy company. One of your top priorities will probably find a convenient location. One of the easiest ways to find a storage unit is to do a Google search.
When doing an online search, you might want to use self-storage units nearby or storage near me, or a storage facility close by. By doing this kind of search, you should find multiple storage options. Most of the time, there is a self-storage facility within manageable driving distance from where you’ll be located.
Let’s take a deep dive into the considerations for picking a storage unit.
Storage Renting Choices
Storage rental businesses provide customers with different choices for the amount of time they want to store their possessions. Whether you just need short-term storage or a long-term solution, storage businesses offer different options.
You can store your possessions, whether they are personal or business items, in a secure room at the storage facility for as long as you need.
Arranging a storage unit is simple and can be done online, and there are many self-storage companies to choose from. But before you leap at renting storage, there are a few more things you should know. We’ll review the things you should examine before choosing your storage facility.
Below you will also see a review of five of the best storage companies, including:
- Public Storage
- Life Storage
- Extra Space Storage
Renting storage will be far less stressful when you choose a reputable company. Here are some tips on how to choose a storage facility.
Things to Check Before Renting a Storage Unit
You naturally want to make sure that your possessions are safe in the storage unit, so security will be a top priority, but there are other things you need to think about.
Storage renting is not as cut and dry as it seems. There are quite a few considerations when picking a storage facility.
The Location of The Storage Facility
The closer you are to a storage facility, the easier it will be to move your items there and retrieve them later. This could involve more costs depending on the number of items or the help you need to move them.
Generally, you can expect storage facilities that are closer to a city to be more expensive. You should weigh up the costs and the location, prioritizing what is more important to you.
Sometimes folks end up moving with a pod instead of a storage facility due to a lack of convenience because of the distance where they are staying.
It’s worth comparing a pod vs. a storage unit if you can’t find a storage unit nearby.
Access to The Storage Facility
If you only need to get access to your possessions during normal business hours, this won’t concern you. But if business hours are inconvenient, you will have to look for a self-storage provider that offers more flexible access hours to your unit. Having limited access to your things can be a real bummer.
Some storage companies will offer 24-hour access, which may be necessary if you work odd hours. Storage facilities will advertise the fact they always stay open. You could also do an online search for storage units with 24-hour access near me.
24-hour storage access is a popular option for those who work odd hours or have a greater distance to travel. It will also be a good idea check on the office hours to know you will be able to reach the facility manager or staff members when you need to.
Costs You Will Pay For Your Storage Unit
Self-storage businesses might sometimes offer special online offers with better value deals if you sign up for more months in advance. You need to carefully work out whether this will be better for you and your needs, however, before you take up the offer.
Rental fees can vary quite a bit based on your location.
Availability of Storage
You will need to find out if your ideal location has the size of storage unit you need. It is all well and good to find a great price for a unit that is right for you, but if the storage facility doesn’t have that currently available, you’ve wasted your time.
Some self-storage facilities are in very popular locations with dense populations. It will be wise to check ahead of time.
Another essential thing to find out when renting a storage unit is the reputation of the company. If you really want to know how well a storage facility operates, ask their customers. The level of customer service will be crucial given the items being stored are some of your most valuable possession.
Unless the storage facilities are very new, you shouldn’t have any trouble locating customer feedback. These reviews will show you if this is a business you want to work with or not.
It is also smart to ask family, friends, and your real estate agent if you have one for feedback on local storage facilities.
Security of The Storage Facility
If you intend to put some valuable items in storage, you want to make sure that the facility’s security is good enough. Find out if they have video monitoring, a security guard, security gates, and what locks are provided for units.
Speak to the facility manager about the type of video surveillance being used, along with the type of lock. Do they provide a gate code to access the storage facility? This may be important to you.
The storage location can come into play with all of your security concerns, so keep that in mind while going through the rental process. This is especially true when renting outdoor storage units.
Checking the crime rate in the general vicinity of the location might also be helpful.
What ID Do You Need When Renting a Storage Unit?
Once you’ve found a storage facility that works for you, you will need to prove who you are before they accept your reservation. This will normally mean providing a government-issued ID card. Forms of ID typically accepted include; a driver’s license, a passport, a military ID, and a state ID.
When renting storage, you will also have to sign your name on their contract. Make sure you read and understand it before signing on the dotted line. This should ensure that you know the rules you are supposed to follow before entering into a business contract.
What Payment Method is Acceptable Renting From a Storage Company?
Most major self-storage facilities will accept a credit card, a debit card, electronic transfers, and cash as payment when renting.
How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Storage Unit?
Storage renting costs will depend greatly on the amount of space you need for your possessions, along with the time you need. A larger unit with more square footage is naturally going to be more expensive. How much space you need should be thought through carefully.
You might be able to rent on a month-to-month basis, but they will likely have discounts for committing to longer periods. If you have long-term storage needs, committing to the facility will be the best way to go. This is how you get the best deal.
Ask for the monthly rate for both long and short rental periods.
The services offered by the storage facility also contribute to the costs. Are the storage units indoors, or are they outside? Do they provide climate control or drive-up access?
The storage facilities’ location also plays an important part in the costs you will have to pay. As we mentioned before, a city location is more likely to cost you more than somewhere less densely populated. This is partly because of the expense of the location, the property taxes, and the demand for storage.
You can expect to pay from $60 to $225 per month depending on the size of your storage unit, where the unit is located, and whether the unit is climate-controlled or not. Storage facility costs fluctuate by the location, so consider when you’re looking at the average cost to rent.
Climate-controlled storage is often twenty-five to fifty percent higher in cost than non-climate-controlled units.
Average Storage Unit Costs
People ask all the time how much are storage units to rent. Here is a comparison of the costs associated with standard size storage units vs. climate-controlled units:
Standard Storage Unit Pricing
- 5’x5′ – $60 per month.
- 5’x10′ – $70 per month
- 10’x10′ – $110 per month
- 10’x15′ – $130 per month
- 10’x20′ – $180 per month
Climate-Controlled Storage Unit Pricing
- 5’x5′ – $75 per month
- 5’x10′ – $90 per month
- 10’x10′ – $140 per month
- 10’x15′ – $165 per month
- 101x20′ – $225 per month
Keep in mind these are average prices for storage units and can vary greatly by location. It’s also possible you might find other size storage units that will influence the cost. The above storage unit pricing should only be used for a ballpark estimate of what you’ll pay.
Storage unit prices are usually higher in popular city locations.
Asking whether the storage facility offers climate controls could be important to you? Your possessions will be kept in better condition if they do, and this is particularly important for furniture, clothing, and other sensitive items.
A climate-controlled storage unit will ensure that your possessions are kept at a similar temperature all year round. This should stop mold or mildew growth that will damage your stuff.
If you need the benefits of climate control, it will cost you more. The extra cost will ensure that temperature changes don’t allow for conditions where mold will grow on your moving boxes and should be worth the extra expense for long-term storage.
You can look at the guide to see which items in storage should have a climate-controlled environment.
Moving Your Items Into Storage
If your items are relatively small and you are quite close to the storage facility, you might be able to make do transporting items in your car. But if you have larger items and the storage facility is further away, perhaps you might need a moving truck.
Some storage facilities may offer free truck rental, which can make things easier. Otherwise, you will need to rent a truck for the day and perhaps enlist some friends or family to help.
How to Make Better Use of the Space in Your Storage Unit
You can save money on your storage unit costs by packing items more efficiently. Typically, the ceiling’s height is inside the storage unit is going to be fairly high, so stack your items up to make use of it. Avoid leaving empty spaces, and use drawers and cupboards in furniture to store items as well.
You do need to leave some space, though. Make sure you can access your possessions when you need to, leave an aisle, so you don’t have to remove everything each time you need to get to something. You might also consider donating to a charity if you’re taking things you don’t really need with you.
What is Full-Service Storage?
Have you heard the term full-service storage and wondered what it meant? There are full-service storage companies that will come to your home and pick up all your stuff for you. They will deliver and unload all of your things at the self-storage facility and then bring them back when needed. Full-service storage has been growing in popularity.
It could be an especially valuable service when you have many large items to move.
It costs extra money for having full service, but some of that cost will be offset if you planned on renting a truck to transport your things. This is a great option for those who lead hectic lives and would rather have the ultra-convenience of someone else doing the work for them.
Video: How to Pick The Right Size Storage Unit
Get some helpful guidance from Sparefoot on how to choose the right size storage unit for your needs.
Is it Possible to Rent Storage for Just a Week?
Normally, storage companies rent monthly, but some may allow you shorter rental periods. You can expect to pay more per day for your rental over a shorter term, however.
Are you Allowed to Work in Storage Unit Rentals?
The lease you will have signed with the storage company will prohibit you from using the unit as an office. Of course, you can still use the unit to store your business-related items, like files or stock.
Some storage facilities may include a business center where you can work and carry out some normal office tasks. This is very clearly much better than trying to run your business from a windowless storage unit.
Car Storage Restrictions
If you need to store a vehicle, many storage facilities offer this service. A self-storage unit can be a great place to keep your car safe, but you can’t treat it as a garage.
When keeping your car in self-storage, don’t be tempted to work on it in the unit. This won’t be allowed as per your terms of rental, and storage facilities are stringent on not allowing hazardous materials.
For obvious reasons, flammable and other hazardous chemicals are restricted from being stored in the units to protect other customers’ possessions. Car storage can be especially helpful if you ship a car across the country.
Items That Can’t be Kept in a Storage Rental
When you rent a storage unit, there will be a few things you won’t be allowed to have. Along with flammable and other hazardous chemicals, there are a few other restrictions on what you can store.
You shouldn’t store food or other items that could potentially attract bugs or pests. Plants, animals, and anything else living – like humans – aren’t allowed to be kept in the unit.
These are the standard restrictions that storage unit facilities will have, but they may have others. Check with the manager or read through your contract if you’re unsure about something you need to store.
Should I get Insurance When Renting Storage?
The storage renting company that you use isn’t responsible for the contents of the unit. Even if the storage facility has the greatest security, and somehow a criminal gets past it stealing from your unit, it won’t be the company’s responsibility.
For this reason, you should get self-storage insurance to protect yourself from theft or an act of God.
The storage facility is likely to offer you some insurance, but there may be better options. You could get a better deal arranging your own insurance separately, or you might already have coverage.
Homeowners’ insurance or renter’s insurance may include some level of cover in your policy. However, this may be fairly limited, possibly only covering you for $1,000 worth of your possessions.
You might be able to increase this cover for a small fee and much less than the storage facility will charge you for their insurance. Check the details of your insurance policy before you rent a unit to find out where you stand. Insurance policies can vary based on the provider.
Who Are The Best Storage Companies?
These five companies consistently get excellent ratings as being the best self-storage companies. Each of these facilities offers climate-controlled storage options as well.
- U-Haul – One of the big advantages of U-Haul is that they are located in all fifty states. While most people think of U-Haul as a company to rent a truck from, but they also offer self-storage.
- Cubesmart – Cubesmart is best known for having ultra-competitive pricing. They also tight security features and electrical hookups in their units, which isn’t typical of other facilities. Another nice perk is Cubesmart will throw in a free truck rental in some locations.
- Public Storage – Public Storage has a great reputation for having secure facilities and very competitive pricing. They also have more locations than any other storage company. They should definitely receive strong consideration as a top storage company.
- Life Storage – Life Storage is known for its pricing transparency, an easy-to-use website for consumers, and three different types of climate-controlled units.
- Extra Space Storage – Extra Space Storage offers regular rodent and pest prevention treatments along with discounted truck rentals and several unit sizes.
Once you do your research, it will be easy to see why these companies have some of the best storage facilities.
Final Thoughts on Renting a Storage Unit
Renting storage is very popular today, especially when there is an interim move. When you buy and sell a home, sometimes dates do not align perfectly, creating the need for temporary storage.
Like many other things related to moving, it is essential to do your due diligence when picking a storage facility. Similar to vetting a moving company, it’s common sense to research a local storage facility.
Hopefully, you have found this storage guide to be useful. Renting a storage unit is far less daunting when you know what you’re doing. You should now be well armed with everything you need to know about a storage unit rental. Best of luck!
About the author: The above Real Estate information about renting a storage unit was provided by Bill Gassett, a Nationally recognized leader in his field. Bill can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 508-625-0191. Bill has helped people move in and out of many Metrowest towns for the last 34+ years.
Are you thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise!
I service Real Estate Sales in the following Metrowest MA towns: Ashland, Bellingham, Douglas, Framingham, Franklin, Grafton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hopedale, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Natick, Northborough, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Sutton, Wayland, Westborough, Whitinsville, Worcester, Upton, and Uxbridge MA.