What to look for when choosing a self-storage facility?

If you have decided to store some of your belongings at a self-storage facility, then these selected belongings are surely valuable to you and the last thing you would want is to have something bad happen to them due to your wrong choice of a storage facility. Price, of course, is one of the most important factors to take into account, but deciding on a self-storage facility based solely on how much you will have to pay for the service is definitely the wrong approach here. When you’re choosing the right self-storage facility for you, remember that the old axiom that you get what you pay for rings truer than ever before.

Besides price, here’s what to look for when choosing a self-storage facility:

Great security

Before you rent a self-storage unit, you must be absolutely sure that the storage facility in question has excellent security so that your precious items are safe at all times. Good self-storage facilities are equipped with a number of modern security features for guaranteeing the well-being of your items and your peace of mind.

  • Surveillance system. You need a good surveillance system whose cameras monitor not only the exterior area but also the interior of the facility, including the hallways. This way, no authorized intruder or illegal activity will go unnoticed.
  • Fence. The fence should surround the entire complex and be in good overall condition – no rust, no holes, no cuts and no broken supporting poles.
  • Gate. Of course, the storage premises must be securely gated to keep unauthorized visitors away. Is there a keypad-equipped gate that only the right access code can unlock? It’s important to know that once you get inside the self-storage facility, especially after the official business hours, you will be as safe as your items stored in the storage unit.
  • Storage unit door. The door to your self-storage unit should be in good condition with no visible problems whatsoever. It should open and close easily, and its seal should be tight when the door is closed in order to prevent water from entering the storage space. The door latch – the spot where you will place your personal lock, should look strong enough and in good working condition.
  • Live guards. Some great self-storage facilities will also provide live security guards as an additional safety measure against any ill-intentioned acts. Inquire whether such security personnel will be available on site.
  • Additional security. The presence of adequate fire prevention systems, fire alarms and fire suppression systems (for example, sprinklers) is a clear sign that you’re choosing the right self-storage facility for your valuable possessions.

Great overall condition

Here’s another set of essential features you should look for when choosing a self-storage facility.

  • Structures. The storage buildings should look in good shape with no noticeable structural damage of any kind. Holes along the structure can be a sign of leaks or pest infestation so if you spot any holes regardless of their size, look for another storage facility.
  • Cleanliness. The premises should be clean, tidy and clearly tended to. Scattered trash around the area means lower maintenance standards which can lead to a load of troubles for you later. You want a storage facility that is very clean and well-kept, period.
  • Loading docks. Good storage companies provide high quality loading docks to their valued clients. The availability of such loading docks, which should be appropriate for both cars and trucks, is a clear sign that your experience at that self-storage facility will be problem-free.
  • Parking space. Looks for a storage facility that provides plenty of convenient parking places with direct access to the self-storage units.
  • Access. Best self-storage facilities offer 24-hour unlimited access to their customers. But even if a storage facility has limited hours of operation, you must make sure that these business hours are reasonable enough so that the place will be open when there’s a high chance that you need any of your stored items.
  • Good occupancy. A good level of occupancy is always a positive sign that your household items will be in good hands.
  • Enough illumination. Light is essential for a good self-storage solution. You need a self-storage facility that is well-lit regardless of the time of day or night. The overall illumination should offer a great level of visibility so that you can avoid any types of injuries while you’re handling your stuff.

Great service

There are many factors to consider when choosing your self-storage facility, but if the on-site personnel are rude, ignorant or simply as useless as a screen door on a submarine, then you should just turn around and look for a great storage facility with polite, knowledgeable and really helpful staff. A friendly property manager is definitely another plus which you should consider when choosing the right self-storage facility for your valuable possessions.

In short, what to look for when choosing a self-storage facility? You need affordable price, first-class security, impeccable overall condition and excellent service. And most importantly, you need to tour the self-storage facility in person first and then to reach the right informed decision.

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12 thoughts on “What to look for when choosing a self-storage facility?

  1. My husband and I are going to be renting a small apartment for a year and we think we are going to store our things in a storage unit like this one. I like how you point out the importance of finding a facility that has high security and many security features. That will help me have a lot of peace of mind that my things will be secure while we are gone. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. My wife and I are about to make our first move and are very excited about it. We do have some important stuff though that we we aren’t going to bring with us right away, so we figured it would be worth finding a good storage unit. We at first had no idea what to look for in a good storage unit, but after reading this, we feel much better about finding one and will use these tips to help us out.

  3. I just graduated college and am moving from my parents’ house to a small apartment. I won’t have room for all of my stuff, and I need a storage unit as I am moving out of state. I really appreciated your tips on checking out different aspects of each facility’s security. I never would have thought that some places have live guards. That would definitely give me peace of mind.

  4. My parents are moving and need to find a place to store some of their things. Thanks for the advice about finding a facility that has 24-hour service so that you can always get to your belongings. Hopefully, we can find a storage service that also has good security.

  5. I like the advice to explore the storage facility to see how well kept it is. If the fences are damaged, that can be a good reason not to use the facility. I also like the options that are available according to this list. Having a loading dock can be a vital aspect to make using the storage facility more easy.

  6. I’m really glad you talked about adequate parking spaces in the storage facility grounds. That’s something I’ve never thought of, before, but it’s actually really important. If you have to park far away and lug all of your stuff over to your unit, you probably will not be as well off. Access is also a big deal; you need to know that you can get to your belongings at a moment’s notice. It would be a shame to have an emergency and not be able to get to your belongings in time for any reason.

  7. I have been thinking about renting a storage unit to store some extra things in, so it is good to know what I should be looking for. I like that you mention choosing a surveillance system. You make a good point about how you need your things to be monitored to no type of intruder or other illegal activity will go undetected. Hopefully, I can find a safe, reputable facility to keep my things in.

  8. I agree that access is a big point of concern if the facility and unit itself is hard to get to then the trips over there are going to be dreaded. I prefer if the facility is secure I just don’t want it to be out in the boonies.

  9. I’m so glad you included great service in this list of things to look for in a storage company! This is something you don’t often consider when looking at storage facilities because if it’s a self-storage unit, you probably won’t be interacting with them terribly often. However, you want to make sure that when you do need help, they are ready and willing to offer it in a polite and efficient manner.

  10. My brother bough a few dirt bikes this past summer and needs a place to store them during the upcoming winter months. You advised choosing a storage facility that has a good surveillance system. My brother loves these new bikes he bought, so knowing that there are eyes on them at all times would give him a lot of peace of mind. Thanks for the advice.

  11. I agree that security is the most important aspect in choosing a self storage facility. I like that you mentioned to make sure the facility has cameras. That way, if somebody did break in, they could be easily identified. I am getting ready to move, and I need a storage facility for some of my stuff in the mean time. I will definitely be looking out for these features.

  12. I didn’t realize how important it is to look at parking space at a self storage unit facility to ensure you have convenient places to park that give you direct access to your belongings. My sister is getting married next month. Hopefully, she can use this info to find a unit that can keep her unneeded armoir safe for a few months.

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