Storage units provide an immense amount of convenience. People are often surprised to learn, though, that there's more to the units than just a place to stow their belongings. Modern storage units for rent are increasingly packed with conveniences, and that can make a huge difference in the choice you may make. Here are four tips for matching a unit to your needs.
Understand the Available Options
Today's storage units range from what are fundamentally metal boxes with doors on them all the way up to fully climate-controlled and secure systems. Take a close look at what you're planning to store and ask some questions about how these things should be cared for. For example, a collection of wooden furnishings should be stored in a low-humidity environment. Conversely, some plastic or vinyl supplies left over from a project can probably be left in some pretty rough conditions.
Know the Costs
Storage units in the U.S. are almost universally measured in feet. At the low end of the scale, a 5-by-5 locker with no features may cost as little as $20 per month. A similarly feature-poor model at 10-by-30 will be closer to $300 per month in a major metro region.
For some frame of reference, you can probably get a few pieces of furniture into 5-by-5 unit. A 10-by-30 unit, on the other hand, can store most of the contents of a house for a typical family of four.
As you'd reasonably expect, features increase the cost. Climate control, for example, will tack on about $25 per month. The option to store vehicles may add $45 a month or more, depending on the capabilities of the facility. Security options may add significantly more costs, especially if the location has 24/7 protection by guards.
Plan for Some Space
The temptation is to get every possible cent of value out of the storage units you'll be renting. Refrain from doing this because getting items in and out is more important than packing everything as tightly as practicable. With a 10-by-20 unit, for example, it's best to leave an open lane down the center of the unit that's large enough to get a hand truck in and out without having to climb over things and do tricky maneuvers.
When in doubt, pay for slightly more storage unit than you plan to use. This is especially the case if you intend to store more items in the future.