The Ultimate Guide to Storage Rental
What’s involved in renting a self-storage unit? A storage rental can be as simple or complicated as you want to make it. At its core, all you really have to do is go to a self-storage facility, sign up for the right unit size and then move in. However, you might want to do some research into the facility you choose, the services you need, the size of unit you need, whether there are any discounts or offerings, whether you really need to store everything you think you need to store, and so much more! Below, we run through some of the steps to getting your storage rental and what you should think about along the way.
Step One: Finding your Perfect Fit
You will probably Google “self-storage” and a number of facilities will come up and you’ll go to their webpages and probably get your list down to two or three facilities to consider. It is very important that you do your research into storage facilities in your area before you sign up. You can get a lot of information off of a facility’s website and everything else can be asked in an email or over the phone.
Here are ten things to think and ask about:
- Is the facility clean?
- Do you find the staff friendly and approachable?
- What kind of security is in place?
- How much is the monthly rental?
- Does the location make sense for you?
- Do you know what size you need?
- How often will you need to access the unit and does the facility meet that need?
- Will the facility be easy to move things into and out of?
- Does the facility spray pesticides to deal with bugs or vermin that they might have? (this is important because, especially if you are storing children’s items, you most likely do not want these harsh chemicals around your belongings)
- What happens if you don’t pay your rental bill?
We like to tell people to think about all self-storage rental as long term storage. First off, we love our long term customers, but more importantly, you never know how long you’ll actually need the storage for. Short term moves can turn into long term moves, a quick renovation project can change into a lot more, overflow of inventory sometimes means an offsite warehouse.
Step Two: Signing Up for Your Storage Rental
Signing up for your storage rental shouldn’t take too long. All facilities require you to sign a contract and most people rush through this. Why? Because they’re usually signing up in a hurry while their U-Haul is parked out front. You can always ask for the contract in advance so you can read it properly.
When you sign up, you should also pay close attention to the contact information you are providing. A lot of people who use self storage are moving and they forget to update their address. Give the storage facility your email. Emails rarely change, but addresses are pretty flexible. You should also try to leave a back-up contact. You might take a long trip or be on vacation and there is an emergency with your unit – it is best if someone else can be available.
Finally, when you’re signing up, always make sure to try out your gate access card so you know how it works. The systems are all fairly straight-forward, but it’s good if you’re comfortable and also good if you know the emergency after-hours number that you can call if you need assistance.
Step Three: Moving Day
The rental of a storage unit should be easy and at Storage Solutions, we make move-in simple – just bring photo id and we’ll do the rest. The hard part is your moving day. Self storage does mean that you’re doing the heavy lifting (or movers are), and moving day is usually stressful and takes longer than you think it will. Try to plan ahead and stay organized in the moment, even if it means taking a bit more time. Try to remember exactly where you put things in the storage unit or take a picture to help trigger your memory. Don’t let your movers tell you how they’re going to pack your unit – you’re the one who needs to access things, so you should be very firm about where things are going.
From a paperwork side of things, make sure to keep your storage rental agreement in your glove box so you can file it properly when you get home. We’ve had customers who are so flustered that they literally forget what storage facility they ended up choosing.
Above all, make sure you put a lock on your unit and you put the key someplace safe!
Step Four: Visit your Unit
You shouldn’t dump things into your unit and then forget about it; if you’re paying a monthly rental, you should get value out of that! Make sure to check in on your unit, look at what you have packed in your unit and update your contact information with our office. We’re always happy to have our customers come in and say “hi” and to answer any questions you may have.