4 Tips for First-Time Personal Storage Renters

Whether you need to lock up furniture during a home renovation or require a long-term space to keep family heirlooms, a personal storage rental is a perfect solution. Storage facilities are secure and convenient, and chances are you can easily find a self-storage company near you. But with so many options out there, it may be difficult to choose a unit and make sure you’re using it to its maximum potential. Here are 4 tips for first-time renters to make the process less overwhelming.

Tip #1: Determine what you can afford

Prices for storage units are based on size. They can range from as small as 4x5 to those large enough to store vehicles. Determine how much you’re willing to spend per month on a locker and then shop around for the best rates. Most facilities offer discounts for first-time renters and those wanting to store their items long-term. Take advantage of these promotions as they can save you a lot of money. It’s also important to fully understand the lease agreement when signing up. If you’re unwilling to commit to a one-year rental, ask if going month-to-month is an option. Many companies, however, will offer lower rates to renters who enter a one-year lease.

Some facilities also offer the added convenience of full-service storage. This means the company will pick up your belongings and deliver them to your rental unit. If you don’t want the hassle of having to hire a truck and movers, a full-service facility may be right for you. Otherwise, the standard self-storage option is the more practical and cheaper choice.

Tip #2: Assess how much space you’ll need

Before shopping around, determine the amount of storage space you’ll require. If you plan on accessing your belongings often, it’s best to choose a larger unit. This way, you can create laneways when storing your items. This allows you to walk through your unit and easily grab your valuables next time you need them. If you will not require access to your belongings for quite some time, opt for a smaller unit. You can maximize space by stacking your items or placing them right up against each other.

As mentioned earlier, unit prices are based on size. If you cannot afford your ideal size, this is a good time to consider paring down your belongings. Try to get the most out of your rental by only storing items that are of value to you. There’s no use paying extra for a larger storage unit just to hoard junk. It’s a waste of money and you will feel burdened over time by the accumulating costs.

Tip #3: Know what to look for in a storage facility

The top concern among personal storage renters is safety. They want to know their valuables are secure, and that the facility is well-equipped to prevent theft and vandalism. Make sure the company offers 24-hour video monitoring and in-person surveillance. Lighting is also another way to deter criminals, so visit the facility at night to see how well-lit the grounds are. Make sure the facility is fully fenced in too.

Some storage facilities offer 24/7 access to their units as an added convenience for customers. Make sure the security protocol to get to your locker is not too simple. If you can gain access easily, chances are thieves can too. Electronic security measures are standard at most storage facilities. The company will give you a four-digit access code to enter the main grounds. However, the lock on your personal unit will most likely be your own.

Storage renters also appreciate units that are climate-controlled, so items are kept in a constant environment. Many valuables preserve better when they are packed away in a climate-controlled unit. Things like photographs, wood/leather furniture, electronics, and records can become damaged if there’s too much moisture or humidity.

Tip #4: Ensure your belongings are well-packed and protected

Plastic wrap is a cheap yet effective way to protect your belongings. Wrap up large items like furniture to prevent chips and scratches as you move pieces in and out of the unit. Bubble wrap should be used on fragile valuables like glass vases and picture frames. Once your belongings are in storage, the wrap will keep them free of dust and insects.

Keep as many things as possible off the floor. Before moving everything into the unit, place wooden pallets on the ground. You’ll often find these pallets in garbage dumps as people tend to throw them away. To stack cardboard boxes, use cheap plastic bins as a base. You never know when a flash flood or burst pipe is going to happen. By elevating your belongings, you can protect your valuables from water damage.

For more information about self-storage units, please call Real Storage at 1-877-215-7325 or contact us here.