By Grace Bailey, Guest Blogger

Whether you would like to free some space in your office or home or if you are moving, renting a storage unit is pretty much the best option for you. It offers you as much space as you need in a safe place, to which only you have access. However, prior to renting your storage unit, there are some thing you need to know.
1. Keep in mind that not all storage units are alike
Storages vary in terms of size, security, cleanliness, temperature, moving trucks availability, reliability, price and many more factors. Choosing the storage, perfect for your needs, will be a lot easier when you keep those facts in the forefront.

2. Don’t forget that padlocks and security gates don’t necessarily prevent burglaries
According to a recent research, a big percentage of the self-storage thefts are due to ‘an inside job’, or in other words, criminals, pretending to be possible customers. Storage burglars rent a unit of their own just like a traditional customer, and wait for an appropriate time to execute the crime. What they do is get into the facility, use bolt cutters to cut a certain amount of padlocks, which are subsequently replaced with identical ones, to which the burglar has keys. These storage units will be later accessed by the burglar, who will easily pass through the security, using his own confidential gate code.

Despite the risk of that happening, you can still do a thing or two to prevent getting in trouble and losing some of your personal possessions. Before you rent the unit, ask the management if they use modern cylinder locks instead of padlocks. The advantage of the cylinder locks is that they don’t have an exposed hasp, which can be cut with bolt cutters.

Also, see if there are plenty of alarm systems and surveillance cameras installed, so that the place is properly guarder against unwanted intruders.

Ask as many questions as possible, whatever comes to mind. You are a possible client, so the staff is supposed to answer to and explain all your concerns.

3. Negotiate and set a fixed rate
Some storage unit owners have the practice of increasing the price more than once, so the price you agree on could be surprisingly raised as soon as a week after you ‘move in’. Make sure there are no such unpleasant surprises and that the price is set in the contract.

4. Look for ‘climate controlled’ units
Depending on the type of items you will be storing, make sure the storage offers climate controlled units, so that the contents don’t suffer from any weather extremes. That includes severe cold, unbearable heat and dampness, which may cause mold and mildew. This is especially crucial if you will be storing food products or electronic devices.

5. Look for moving trucks discounts

All of your possessions will, of course, have to be moved to the storage unit. And if you don’t have a means of doing so, this may turn into a real challenge. For this purpose, you will definitely need a moving van or truck. Ask the management of the storage unit you will be renting whether they offer such moving services. Most companies do and will even make you a certain discount for using both services.

6. Be responsible and choose a certain insurance

Usually, the storage facilities do not take full responsibility for your unit’s contents. However, most of them offer insurance, which is always a good idea to take advantage of. This way, if the worst does happen, at least you will know that you will receive a refund.

Grace Bailey is an expert writer, working on behalf of  -a reputable company in the field of moving and storage in Londonand Europe. 

This is a guest post. The thoughts and ideas expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of