A Beginner’s Guide to Self Storage

The Basics: What Are Self-Storage Units?

Self-storage units are rent-able rooms in a facility where you can store items and retrieve them at your leisure. The size of the unit and length of rental are flexible, making self-storage a popular option for moving, home renovations, and even small businesses.

What Should I Know Before I Rent a Storage Unit?

If you’ve never used self-storage before, knowing where to begin can seem pretty daunting. Consider the following factors before you start looking at storage facilities, and if you have any questions along the way, don’t hesitate to ask! Many of the items people choose to store have personal memories attached, so be diligent and make sure that the unit you rent is one that will provide both the space and the protection your items require.

Which Size of Unit is Best?

Self-storage units come in many different sizes, ranging anywhere from 20 to 200 square feet. The “best” unit size depends on what you, the client, must store. If all you really need is an extra-large closet for some books, clothing, or a bicycle, a small little 4’x5’ unit will do just fine. If, however, you’re moving the contents of a house, a 10’x20’ unit will allow you to keep everything in one place. If you’re still not sure, check out our free indoor storage estimator.

The Importance of Lighting
There are few things that can match the frustration of trying to carefully load a moving van by the li

ght of a camping lantern. Self-storage gives you the freedom to move your items whenever you wish, so make sure that the facility you choose provides enough light to see by at any time of the day.

Control Your Climate
If you’re storing anything composed of fabric or wood (think clothing and furniture), a climate-controlled unit will help keep humidity and extreme temperatures at bay. The contents of units that aren’t climate-controlled run a greater risk of developing mold and mildew.

Is it Secure?
You want your items to be safe while they’re in storage, so make sure that the storage facility offers proper security measures. At Heated Self Storage, for example, our units are monitored 24/7, and each customer receives a uniquely coded access card for entrance to the facility, which means that their units are off-limits to the general public.

Work Smarter, Not Harder: Packing Your Self-Storage Unit

Storage isn’t just about boxes and packing tape. It’s just as important to spend some time thinking about how you’re going to arrange and pack your items. A little bit of consideration will help you avoid complications later and can save you from both wasted time and sore muscles.

Label Everything – There is no such thing as too much labeling. Figure out a labeling system for your boxes and bins. It can be as simple as scribbling what’s inside with a pen or as detailed as numbering the boxes and recording what’s inside each. Whichever way you choose, labeling your belongings will make unpacking easier (especially if you’re looking for something specific).

Plan Ahead – One of the most common mistakes to make is cramming everything into your unit as tightly as possible…and then realizing that you need something at the very back. Before you bring the first box in, determine if you’ll need to leave aisles open for easy access. If so, take stock of what you’ll be packing, and have a rough idea in mind of where everything will go.

Shelving – You’ll need to check with your storage providers, but if you have lots of small items that should be kept organized (or may need to be accessed frequently), consider bringing in some shelving units to help organize your belongings.

Pack Up, Not Across – You’ve paid for a specific amount of space, so make that space count! Stack your items vertically whenever possible to maximize the items you can fit. Remember: heavy, sturdy stuff should be placed first on the ground, and then smaller, lighter items can be stacked on top.

That’s A Wrap! – Dirt and dust are necessary parts of moving, but they don’t have to leave the unit with you. Wrapping your mattresses, couches, and other large furniture items will protect them from the grime of moving (and save you some cleaning when you move them to their new home).

Booking Your Unit

No matter whether you just need a little extra space or if you’re stashing things for a big move, a self-storage unit can make life a lot easier. Plus, once you’re ready to go ahead and book, the process itself is quick and simple, usually taking no more than fifteen minutes out of your day. Once that’s done, your self-storage unit will be all set and ready for loading.

If you’d like to learn more about our fully secure, climate-controlled storage units, give us a call at (705) 330-4055 or contact us online today!