Every now and again you’ll come across things around the house that you never use but you can’t throw away or donate. These items can take up significant space in your home and become quite a hassle to store. If you find yourself in such a situation, using a storage facility is a great option to keep your possessions secure and easily accessible. Below are some crucial factors to help you decide on exactly what you’re looking for when it comes to choosing a self storage facility.
What type of storage do you need?
You should choose a facility that provides the right storage options to suit your specific requirements.
It can be difficult to judge how much space you will need to adequately store your items. Renting a unit that is too large is a waste of your funds, while storage that is too small, will obviously not be able to hold all of your items. To estimate the amount of space you will need, make a comprehensive list of all the items that you wish to store and shop around for quotes and advice from storage companies on the size of storage unit you will require.
Climate controlled storage
While they can be more expensive, climate controlled storage units are ideal for keeping items that are delicate or of sentimental value. Or if you reside in an area that is affected by varying climatic conditions, climate controlled units are a great way to keep your possessions safe and secure from the elements.
Storage that is located close to larger cities tends to be rented at a premium, whereas more isolated storage locations are usually cheaper. If you require your items to be regularly accessible, it is a good idea to choose a storage location that is nearby to your home. If you only rarely need your items, a cheaper facility that is further away from your home is worth considering.
Ease of access
Standard weekday access to your storage unit may not fit with your schedule, while some storage facilities are accessible 24/7 and may be more suited to your needs. Decide how often and at what times you will need access your storage unit before researching the accessible hours available at different storage facilities.
You want your possessions to be secure, so security is a priority when choosing a storage facility. Make sure that the storage company offers the following security and safety features.
CCTV and alarm
The facility should have a modern camera surveillance system and alarm system. It should have comprehensive coverage of the whole site to ensure the security of the storage units.
The facility should be equipped with fire alarms and a sprinkler system to protect your items from fire damage.
Storage units should be adequately ventilated by gaps at the top of the walls, or a ventilation system, to ensure that there is circulation of air to prevent any mildew. The floor of the unit should be raised to avoid the flow of any surface water, and the door should be secure and equipped with a strong latch so you can use a personal lock.
Upkeep of the facility
The condition of a storage facility is a good indicator of the trustworthiness of the company. When researching facilities you should ensure that:
The buildings a well maintained and not structurally damaged. Holes and cracks in a building can indicate leaking, infestations of pests, and other issues.
The property is kept clean and in a good state of repair. Dirty and cluttered areas indicate a lack of maintenance and increased fire risk.
Useful equipment and loading docks are available to clients.
Ample parking, with direct access to the storage.
Adequate lighting to ensure you can easily handle your belongings during the day and night.
A high occupancy of storage units, a lack of occupancy indicates the facility may have underlying problems.
Friendly and helpful staff that are knowledgeable about the operation of the facility.
Visit storage facilities in person before choosing a company. You will be well informed of the strengths and weaknesses of each site before making a decision. Make sure that the facility you choose provides satisfactory theft and damage insurance to cover your valuable items.
The author, Rick Sheppard, is a licensed real estate broker in Pennsylvania and a 32 year veteran of the real estate trenches. He knows a lot because he’s seen a lot. If you have any questions about this or any real estate related topic, feel free to contact Rick at [email protected] and he’ll do his best to answer your questions.