Choosing a self-storage facility seems like an easy task, but there are a number of factors you should consider before signing your name on any papers. Over 10 million Americans are using self-storage facilities today. Some people need storage units to store prized possessions, large pieces of furniture, cars, or items you might not have enough room for in your house anymore.
When choosing a storage unit, you need to consider more than just the size of the unit – you need to consider who you are going to trust with all of your belongings. Finding a trustworthy storage unit is like finding a trustworthy landlord. The best part is that, hopefully, you won’t have to deal with them once you sign your paperwork.
Use your gut and your common sense to determine if the unit you are looking at is right for you.
Self-storage experts say you should pay attention to these 6 things when choosing a self-storage facility.
- Customer ServiceThe very first contact you make with a self-storage facility will tell you how they treat their customers – no matter if the first interaction is through email, phone, or in person. A good manager will greet customers in a friendly manner and answer every question thoroughly. If an office manager isn’t giving straight-forward answers, there is probably bad organization in the office. To save time, make sure you read reviews from other customers before visiting a facility.
- Facility ConditionDecide if you need a storage unit that is climate controlled. Climate controlled units control the humidity to keep your valuable belongings from ruining. If you are storing antique furnishings, dry climates could crack the furniture, and humid environments could create mold and mildew. However, climate control will also cost more.
Pay attention to the cleanliness of the office as well! If they aren’t taking care of the office they are working in, do you think they are taking care of a unit they don’t interact with? A clean and well-maintained office shows the staff takes care of the tenants’ belongings in the same manner.
- Pest Control ServicesA good self-storage facility will bring in pest control services regularly. Pests can do a lot of damage to your items, so make sure you ask about this service. Moths can ruin rugs and furniture, while rats can chew up wood and contaminate your unit. Facilities should be addressing pest issues seasonally, if not monthly. If a facility does not include pest control services, they probably aren’t taking very good care of the customers’ units.
- Tight SecurityThis is one of the most important factors! Does your facility have 24/7 cameras? Is it gated? Is the outside lighted well? These are questions to always ask and consider when choosing a facility. You don’t want your belongings to get stolen, and a good facility will understand that. Some facilities may even have an on-site manager to monitor activity during off hours. Take note of each facility’s security options and weigh out the top ones.
- LocationReal estate applies to storage facilities just like it does to any other business. A facility located next to a major highway or in the middle of the city will probably cost more than one outside of the city or away from highways. Consider how much you’re willing to pay for convenience. If you won’t need constant access to your unit, you should choose an inexpensive unit that might be a longer drive away from you. However, if you will need to visit the unit regularly, it might be worth it to pay a little more for closer access.
- Sizes AvailableWhen choosing the size of storage you need, the first thing to do is to make a list of all the items you plan to store. See what can be packed into boxes and what is big enough to stand alone. Then, estimate how many boxes you’ll need. Take into consideration if you will be able to stack anything on top of each other because that could help you cut down on costs by choosing a smaller unit.
Visit the storage unit in person, and ask to see the units available by size. Feel free to take pictures! This could be your space so you need to be able to see what you’ll be getting and if it will work for you.
You may be wondering, what about price? That is an obvious one! But remember, you are paying for what you are getting. Don’t jeopardize the safety of your belongings just to save a few bucks. When it’s time to choose a storage unit, visit Storage 4U! We have locations conveniently located all throughout San Antonio! Our goal is to provide you with the best value for your dollar. Visit our website for more information.