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A self storage unit is a great option for anyone with belongings they need to keep safe during a move, temporary relocation, or just wants to protect extra stuff. But as easy as that might seem, not all units are the same, and neither are all facilities.

With varying degrees of quality come varying degrees of security, space, and other amenities and features. Before you decide on one, you should be aware of factors that can help improve your overall experience. Here are five of the most important ways to get the most out of your self storage unit.

Choose Carefully

The best way to have a satisfactory self storage unit experience is to choose your facility with a lot of care. Even if you aren’t storing anything particularly valuable, you’re just going to have a better time storing belongings somewhere you can trust.

You’ll want to look for a facility with strong security measures in place such as cameras, keypads (with individual codes, so ownership knows who is there), and even on-site security guards working around the clock. While not all facilities utilize all of these measures, it’s important you know which ones are in place. Even if they do have all of these, you should also check to make sure their equipment is updated.

Once you’ve learned all the security features, it’s time to check other features which can come in handy depending on what you’re storing. For example, some facilities require you to bring your own locks, and others don’t. Some facilities have climate control, while others are outdoors. You should make sure you know what you need for your items before moving in. Finally, it’s a good idea to find 2-4 facilities you like and check their pricing and reviews online before signing on the dotted line.

Know Your Priorities

Depending on what you need to store in your unit, your priorities might be different. If cost is your highest priority, that’s completely okay. However, choosing the first budget option that comes your way carries risk, as many self storage facilities cut costs by using cheaper materials (and not remodeling and/or updating their buildings) as well as using less/cheaper security.

Not every place is out to rip you off, but they may care less about protecting your belongings the lower the price is. If your priority is the security and safety of your items, it’s good to know this before you start so the price doesn’t make you think twice. Like any transaction and especially ones concerning rental property, what you get is what you pay for, so make sure you know how much you’re willing to spend before moving in.

Insure Your Belongings

Even in the safest self storage facility, accidents can happen. From bad storms and floods to robberies, there are a myriad of things that can go wrong with your stuff. Just as you would at your home or apartment, you should absolutely get your belongings insured before moving them into a self storage unit (or after, if you forget, but it’s best to do it before you’ve packed it all up).

Insurance can and will protect your things in the case of fire, flood, and theft. You can often buy coverage from your actual self storage facility, but in many cases, your existing insurance coverage for your home or rental property will work.

Pack Well

One of the worst ways to take advantage of a self storage unit is to haphazardly throw your belongings into the space and then shut the door. Not only do you run the risk of damaging your precious (or not so precious, but still) valuables, this also makes it incredibly difficult to find anything that you happen to need later on.

Even if that sounds ridiculous to you, it happens. Customers renting self storage units are often moving, and anyone who’s moved a few times knows that by the time you’re packing and unpacking the extra, remaining stuff, all you want to do is toss it wherever it goes and lie down. Still, resist the urge. Your self storage unit will do much better in the long run if you take the time to organize thoroughly and effectively, with clear labels on boxes and heavy stuff on the bottom.

Be Thorough

The last thing is not one simple thing but many; make sure you take time to consider the various important aspects of renting a self storage unit, many of which we’ve already discussed. From the location of your unit to its accessibility, everyone has different needs, and your unit should work for you. 

You should also check on smaller, seemingly less vital elements like checking the atmosphere of the area (humidity, average temperature) and measuring your belongings to compare with the size of the unit to make sure everything will fit properly.

If you have more questions about a self storage unit or would like to discuss renting one, please contact us at 405-360-0445! Or if you’d like more storage and cleaning tips, read the rest of our blog.