Individual self-storage facilities can vary widely in their features and benefits. Not every facility is a fit for everyone. Storage units can vary in price, security, size accommodations, technology, location, and more. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a self-storage facility.
How much space are you going to need? Storage units are available in many different sizes. Are you thinking of storing items from one room or a whole house? Some facilities have accommodations that allow for vehicles, boats, and RVs to be stored in addition to household and business items. Common storage unit sizes can vary from 5×5 (perfect for a small closet) to 10×30 for storage of multiple rooms.
How close do you want your storage unit to be to your home or business? It is important to assess how often you will be visiting the unit and whether you will need 24/7 access before evaluating whether nearby facilities have the options you need. Space and price are not the only requirements you should be thinking about. Are you storing special items that hold a lot of value, may be susceptible to humidity or temperature, or require specific types of access and security? Newer or Older Facilities
Newer self-storage facilities may be more expensive but could have more high-tech features. The self-storage market is extremely competitive, so many older facilities make enhancements to attract new customers.
- A climate-controlled unit is great for storing valuables such as musical instruments, sensitive photographs, collectible books, electronics, furniture, and vinyl records. Businesses may need climate-controlled storage for sensitive inventory or equipment. Remember to verify the options available at a facility: temperature-controlled often means that humidity is not controlled. Be sure to ask before signing a rental contract.
- Keyless entry is another popular feature for storage units. In 2020 many businesses are upgrading technology including touchless entry. Additional security features are becoming more popular each day. Look out for facilities with remote access, an on-site security guard, high-tech security cameras, excellent lighting, and on self-service kiosks for payments. Security is a critical feature no matter what you plan to store. Check out our blog here to learn more about how to determine if a facility has good safety features.
Insure Your Items
Wherever you decide to store personal or business items, there is one more choice that needs to be made: insurance. You may be surprised to learn that your items in storage are not automatically insured by the self-storage facility. Double check your homeowner’s and renter’s insurance policies to determine what, if any, coverage is included for items stored off-site as well as the dollar limit of the coverage and deductibles applied in the event of a claim.
The best way to protect against loss and protect the value of your stored items is to purchase tenant insurance for household items and collectibles insurance for fine art or collectible items that are expected to appreciate in value. Many self-storage facilities offer tenant insurance. If your chosen facility does not have an insurance program in place, you can purchase it on your own. Check out MiniCo’s tenant insurance program here. MiniCo also offers specialty insurance for self-storage business owners as described here.
This may seem like a lot of information, but it’s important to think about your needs and choose a self-storage facility carefully. What features do you look for in a self-storage facility? Let us know in the comments below.