When looking at different storage companies, there are a number of things to consider. Being prepared will save time, effort, and even money. Although most of the 10 million self-storage facilities in the U.S. are honest, some are not. Therefore, the responsibility falls back on you to make the right decision.
Especially if you are unable to view the storage facility and space ahead of time, the following information will help.
• Storage Items – Search for storage companies that can accommodate your specific items. Make a list of the exact number of boxes, plastic bins, and crates and their coordinating sizes. Also, list any loose goods, such as lamps, artwork, bicycles, ski equipment, and so on.
• Unit Size – The goods to be stored dictate the size of the unit. Even if a unit is narrow, remember there is usually vertical space available. If you need to get into the unit on a frequent basis or you anticipate putting more goods in storage sometime in the near future, choose a space that has some extra room.
• Unit Type – Determine if a climate-controlled unit is required, something that most storage companies offer. Although you can choose this type of unit regardless, it is especially beneficial when storing anything of value that could crack and dry in hot weather or mold and mildew in environments with high humidity.
• Location – For convenience, look at storage companies within close proximity to your new home or business. The location is even more critical if you need to gain regular access to the unit.
• Security – When storing valuable items, including antique furniture, automobiles, and boats, security is a top concern. Storage companies with the best security have video surveillance, high security-type fencing, keyed access, strong security locks, and even on-site security guards.
• Cost – The cost to store items varies significantly. This is why looking at several options before making a final decision is essential. Because certain things, like beefed up security, keypad entry, and climate control, will likely increase the cost, make sure the contract outlines the exact services that you agree to. You might also spend less by choosing a company on the outskirts of town.
• Insurance – Before placing anything in storage, check with your insurance provider to determine if your policy provides coverage and, if so, what kind and how much. In the event your stored items are not covered, look for a storage company that offers its own insurance protection.