With space being a luxury feature in modern homes, self-storage is rapidly becoming a booming industry across the US, with a high demand for facilities among both consumers and investors. You probably saw them popping up in your town and thought that wrapping your belongings in a bundle and putting them in a storage unit until you’re ready to use them is a brilliant idea. Whether you’re moving, downsizing, or you’re simply in need of a substantial decluttering session, a self-storage unit can save the day. But, before you embrace the modern-day minimalistic approach, take into consideration the following five questions that you need to ponder on before renting the ideal self-storage unit:

1. What Items Do I Want to Store?

The first and most important question you need to ask yourself is what items, precisely, you want to store. You know you want to store your ‘stuff’, but what does that mean? Depending on the items, you will choose the length of your storage, the money you are willing to invest and the size of the unit you need. Start by making an inventory of what you’re going to be packing away and figure out whether you want to store wood, leather, antiques, electronics, artwork or all of the above. This will help you not only to be more organized, but also to figure out what amenities you need.

2. How Long Will I Be Storing For?

The average self-storage rental agreement is a month-to-month lease. While keeping in mind the items you will be storing, consider how long you’ll be renting the facility for. If you opt for a short-term rental, you may not need fancy extra features, such as valet services. However, if you plan on storing long-term, you must take into consideration additional things such as pest  and climate control, visiting hours and much more. Safety and security also have a heightened importance if you want to keep your belongings in a unit for a longer period of time.

3. How Much Do I Want to Spend?

The cost of a storage unit generally depends on a multitude of factors, such as the size, the location and the amenities it includes. Before you start searching, you should figure out how much money you are willing to pay on a monthly basis. If you start your search without sticking to a specific budget, you might find a storage unit that works for you but is more expensive than you can afford. Furthermore, when you determine your budget, you might take into consideration only the price of the unit itself, but there is more. You should also factor in the extra costs, such as insurance, because storage facilities do not automatically take responsibility for the damages to your possessions and you need to have some coverage from fire, wind, theft, leaking water and so on. Besides, you will also have to pay an administration fee, which is a nonrefundable fee charged when a lease is signed. Prices may vary and it is very important to find a place that will meet all of your storage needs with ease and convenience.

4. What Size Do I Need the Unit to Be?

Once you’ve decided upon the items you need to store, you should think about what size you want your unit to be. You don’t want to rent a small one and figure out halfway through that there’s not enough space for all your stuff, or, alternatively, to rent one that is too big and end up with half of the space empty. The ideal solution is to make an inventory and approximate how much space you need. For example, if you want to store just a couple of boxes or some small pieces of furniture, you should opt for a 5×5 or a 5×10. When you need enough space for bigger furniture or even bikes or motorcycles, go for a 10×10 or 10×15, which can normally hold the contents of a two-bedroom apartment. The biggest options available, namely 10×20 or 10×30 are used for storing cars or the contents of large houses. However, if you don’t inherently understand what a 5×5 or 10×10 storage unit actually looks like in real life, you can watch size guide videos, or, even better, take some time to visit the units and see for yourself how much you can fit inside.

5. What Are the Most Important Factors to Me?

After going through the previously mentioned steps, you need to ask yourself what other factors are important so that you can ensure the wellbeing of your belongings while they are in storage. Take into consideration the security and safety of the facility as well as pest control, because you don’t want your belongings to become infested in any way. Then think about how often you want to visit if you rent for a lengthy period of time, and whether you will have 24/7 access or if there are special visiting hours. Last, but not least, consider the payment methods, the most convenient of them being autopay.

All in all, there are many things you have to think carefully about before renting a self-storage unit, which is why you should take into consideration these five tips in order to make a smart decision. If you’re not sure where to get started, browse through our available listings on STORAGECafé and find your ideal storing unit.



Diandra is a creative writer for RENTCafé.com. With an academic background in English literature and linguistics, Diandra has a strong passion for real estate. She covers a variety of topics, from marketing trends to entertaining articles about urban development. When she’s not catching up on the latest real estate deals, she’s usually busy traveling, reading, or learning new languages. You can get in touch with Diandra via email.

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