What Makes a Better Storage Facility?
What factors make one storage facility better than another? Location, amenities, price and security are among the things that you should look for. Every facility is different. Ultimately, choosing a better self-storage facility means finding the right space for your needs.
Someone who is storing their RV for the winter in Minnesota has very different needs than someone who is changing jobs and moving to a smaller home in Nevada. Determining which storage facility is best means taking into consideration all the variables and aligning them to your situation. Luckily, Storelocal has self-storage across the country to match you with the perfect self-storage unit. Here are ten things that we think make for a better storage facility.
No matter what you’re storing, you want it secure. If you have valuable collectibles, electronics or heirlooms you’ll want to know that they are well-protected. Things to look for in a secure facility include:
- Video cameras
- Password protected entrance
- Fenced outdoor facility
- No open space between units
- Uncuttable unit locks
Before you stow that priceless comic collection or winter fur coat, make sure that you feel comfortable leaving your stuff. If you’re visiting the site at night alone, make sure you feel safe.
2. Indoor vs Outdoor
Some people prefer the convenience of a drive-up outdoor site where they can easily drop their things. Others want the shelter and security of an indoor unit. Each has their advantages.
Outdoor. Best for car, motorcycle, RV, boats and snowmobile storage. Also, easy to access any time of day and often less expensive.
Indoor. Protected from the elements. You won’t be unloading your stuff in a rainstorm. More layers of security, less temperature fluctuation.
3. Climate Control
A climate-controlled storage unit is important for items that could be damaged by mold, mildew, or temperature. Wood can warp in high heat; metal might rust in humidity and paper can deteriorate quickly if not stored properly.
If you’re storing anything valuable beyond a month or two, consider investing in a climate-controlled unit to preserve it.
4. Customer Service
Good customer service is a universal requirement for any business. When you’re choosing a storage facility, make sure that your questions are answered in a timely manner and that someone answers the phone when you have a problem. A friendly and helpful staff can make a big difference.
You might wonder what amenities a storage facility might possibly have. After all, it’s basically like and extra garage, right?
A better storage facility will offer the right amenities to make your time there as easy and worry-free as possible. Look for:
- Clean units
- Secure steel doors
- Secure locks
- Room to park a truck or trailer
- Freight elevators
- Easy to navigate
Location is a big factor for most. If you need regular access to your storage unit, choose a location near your home. Storage in urban areas is usually more expensive than in rural areas but weigh the cost of a cheaper storage unit against the amount of time you’ll spend going back and forth.
7. Unit Size and Availability
Deciding on the right size for your needs is a critical decision. Too small and you’re squeezing the door shut on a closet crammed to the rafters like Wile E. Coyote. Too big and you’re paying for extra space that you don’t need.
Once you know the size of the unit you need, you can check the availability. Obviously, the right facility for you will have the size you need available when you need it. Plan ahead and reserve early.
Storing for the long-term means budgeting for monthly storage costs. Make sure that you can afford the plan you ultimately choose. Also consider any extra fees like insurance and understand the cancelation policy so you’re not stuck paying longer than expected.
9. Hours of Operation
Your storage facility is worthless if it’s closed when you need to get in. Many units have 24-hour access. Others have strict business hours. Check that your schedule aligns with the hours your facility is open, including weekend hours.
10. Reviews and Ratings
Searching reviews on Google, Yelp and Facebook can alert you to flags – positive and negative – about your prospective facility. Word of mouth is a great way to find a better storage facility and there’s always the Better Business Bureau.
Find a Better Storage Unit for Your Needs
Start with Storelocal’s location finder to find a storage facility near you. We can help make sure that it has the amenities you’re looking for and that it meets all your self-storage needs.