Storage Tips




Finding the Appropriate Size
One of the most common problems encountered by new renters is size expectations not meeting reality. Some felt misled by size guidelines supplied by the facility or booking service:

“Don’t just follow the standard size guidelines. Every site said I needed a 10×15, but I actually needed a 10×20, at minimum. Take the time to figure out the size of your furniture and the volume of your boxes.”

  • “Make sure you realize that the storage unit sizes are not always as large as they seem.”

  • “Don’t underestimate the size of the unit you will need.”

Other renters offered advice on how to better estimate the size you need:

  • “The best way to figure out what size you need is by experimenting with how your things fit together using an empty corner in your home, then measuring the best fit.”

  • “Be organized and know exactly what’s going into the unit in order to make sure you book the right size.”

One of the best pieces of advice was a reminder that while storage unit sizes are listed in two dimensions, taking advantage of that third dimension is an important part of fitting everything in:

“Realize that even though the size of the room is small, your items can always be stacked. You aren’t reserving a space that is 5 feet tall.”

Actually, storage units generally are between 8 and 10 feet tall.


Choosing a Facility

Another challenge that storage-seekers cope with is finding the right facility. While a resounding number of customers recommended using the Internet to find and compare facilities, many also advocated checking out the facility in person before signing a lease:

  • “Go to the unit in person to check on the security and appearance of the unit you require.”

  • “The Internet is easiest way to find storage. But after looking at facilities online, you need to physically check out the ones you have selected.”

Other customers added that the perks a facility offers–and potential downsides, like limited opening hours or additional fees–often can be more important than price itself:

  • “Check out at least 3 facilities and compare them, apples to apples, including any move in discounts and free truck usage.”

  • “Ask about time access to your unit as far as entrance goes. Ask about any rate increases and additional fees and insurance. For example, do they have a truck available to help you with your move?”

  • “Cheaper is not always better. The extra $5 or $10 you may pay each month is well worth the peace of mind knowing that your items are secure, free from pests and ever-changing weather.”
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Sizing Up the Unit
Many respondents suggested giving the storage unit itself a thorough inspection before signing any paperwork:

  • “Measure the inside of the unit: sometimes measurements like 5′ x 5′ are not exact.”

  • “Make sure you check the lock holder on your new unit. Sometimes they are loose from wear and tear.” “Make sure the storage unit is not easily floodable.”

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Making the Move
Finally, after selecting a facility and a unit and filling out the paperwork, many renters offered solid advice on what to do when you’re actually moving in. A common theme was communicating closely with the storage facility:

  • “Make sure you call before you arrive at the facility because some facilities are closed for lunch or at other designated times. They could also be closed due to an emergency or a shortage of staff.”