Self storage is used by nearly 1 out of 10 American households to store their excess goods. Self storage consists of renting a ‘storage unit’ from a storage facility. When renting self storage you must take your goods down to the facility and unload them into your unit. Many facilities offer the use of a rental truck to load your belongings. Sometimes as a promotion it is discounted or free to use for moving in. It is often used during times of transition such as:
- Military deployment
- College/semester breaks
- Business excess (inventory, equipment, supplies, etc.)
Self storage rentals are almost always month to month with a signed lease. Most storage facilities also charge a onetime administration or move-in fee. Once you have signed your lease then you alone have access to your storage unit. Most storage facilities will require some type of insurance on your goods. Sometimes your homeowner’s policy will cover the contents of your storage unit; if not, almost all facilities will have insurance that you can purchase.
Most of the time you must provide your own lock. The disk lock is recommended as the most secure type of lock. Self storage facilities often have other security measures such as:
- Fenced in properties
- Electronic Gate Access
- Security Surveillance Cameras
- Bright Lighting
- On-site managers
Typically storage facilities will have office hours and gate hours. They usually follow normal business hours during the week and have limited hours on the weekends. Gate hours are the hours that you can get onto the property to access your unit. These are much more extended than the office hours and are typically somewhere around 6am – 10pm seven days a week.
Storage units range in size the smallest being a 5×5 and the largest being somewhere around a 10×30. Ceiling heights are usually somewhere between 8 and 10 feet tall. Many facilities have model units to help you determine what size of unit you need. You can also reference our Size Estimator to help make your decision. To learn how to maximize the space in your storage unit visit our storage and packing tips page. Most storage facilities sell everything you will need for packing and storing including boxes, bubble wrap, tape, mattress covers, and more.