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Things to Consider Before Renting a Storage Unit


Have you ever rented a storage unit? They’re an excellent solution for storing things either short or long-term, and they’re secure and convenient. If this is your first time renting one, there are some things you should know.

  • First, let’s talk about how storage units work, because the process is typically similar regardless of your storage company. You find a storage facility near you, and sign a contract to secure a unit within that space for a specified amount of time. Some companies have a three-month minimum requirement, while most others rent units on a month-to-month basis. You’ll need government-issued ID to rent the unit, like a driver’s license, military ID, passport, or state ID. Read your contract thoroughly before you sign it, so you make sure you’re clear on the terms. For instance, you’ll need to know things like when your payments are due and how much notice you’ll need to give before moving out of your unit.
  • Rules for storage units are basically common sense. You can’t live in your storage unit or conduct business there, and you’ll be restricted in terms of what kinds of items you can store. Essentially, nothing hazardous to your unit or the units around you can be stored in a storage unit, nor can anything illegal.
  • There are a few different reasons people rent storage units. Some people need seasonal storage of things like holiday decorations or sports gear. Others need temporary storage, during a move or a renovation. Sometimes, people who are decluttering or downsizing need a place to store things, and sometimes when a family member comes to stay for a while, extra space is needed to store what used to be stored in the guest room. College students often store their dorm room furnishings over the summer, and members of the military use self-storage when they’re deployed. People often choose self-storage for a car, boat, or RV.
  • There are two different types of storage. Full-service storage involves a company that will pick up a customer’s belongings and transport them to the storage unit. Often, customers can request a pickup or a return on a smartphone app, which is very convenient. Full-service storage facilities take pictures to document what you’re storing and create an online inventory list. Self-storage is a more popular option because it’s more affordable but still safe and secure. Self-storage customers take their things to the storage unit themselves, and pick things up when they need them.
  • Before you rent a storage unit, consider your needs carefully. What do you need to store? Do you need climate control? What size unit do you need? Self-storage units typically come in at least five sizes: 5’x5’, 5’x10’, 10’x10’, 10’ by 15’, and 15’ by 20’. The size you need will be based on how much you need to store, and you can find online calculators to help you estimate the appropriate size.
  • Do you need indoor, outdoor, or climate controlled storage? Indoor storage units are sometimes climate-controlled and sometimes not. Outdoor storage units are covered and locked, with drive-up access. They’re good for large items and vehicles, but indoor storage is better for anything valuable or fragile. A climate-controlled storage unit is best for storing clothing, furniture, and anything else you want to protect from extreme temperatures, mold, and mildew.
  • Assess the amenities before deciding on a storage unit. How accessible will your storage unit be? Some facilities offer 24-hour access, while others are closed on certain days, like Sundays or holidays. It’s important to find a facility with hours that are convenient for you. You’ll also want to make sure the facility you choose is secure. Is there in-person surveillance? How safe and secure is the facility? Pay attention to the location and the lighting, and make sure you feel safe on the property.
  • Prepare your things before you store them. Acquaint yourself with the rules and restrictions about what you can store before you pack up your things. Then take the time to create a detailed list of everything you’re storing. Taking inventory can help you remember what you’ve got in storage, and it can be useful if you ever need to file an insurance claim. Clean all items before placing them in storage, and disassemble furniture to make better use of your storage space. Pack everything carefully in high-quality boxes, cushioning it as you would for a move, and label everything clearly. Place items strategically so that you’ll be able to find things easily and nothing will be damaged.
  • Consider insurance. Having your items properly insured will give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you’re protected in case of breakage or theft. This does not necessarily mean, though, that you need to purchase storage insurance. While many storage facilities offer affordable self-storage insurance options, you may already be covered by your homeowners or renters insurance.

When you’re ready to rent a self-storge unit, choose Pouch Self Storage. We’ve been operating mini-storage facilities since 1979 and we’re committed to keeping our clients’ belongings safe. Founded by John Yelland, who hails from Australia, Pouch Self Storage is named in honor of the kangaroo’s pouch- nature’s safe and secure storage spot. We’re an industry leader in design, building, and maintenance of self-storage facilities, and we strive to give our occupants the most advanced security systems available. At our nine Southern California facilities, you’ll find state-of-the-art computer monitoring systems that allow our self-storage managers to monitor the opening and closing of every storage unit door, 24 hours a day. For more information, call (800) 378-4598 or contact us through our website.