You need more space to store your belongings, and you’re ready to look into self storage options. You know price isn’t the only factor in determining a self storage facility, but what are the other important features? Use these tips to help you choose a self storage facility that offers not just affordability, but also security, flexibility, and exceptional customer service.
Decide How Much Space You’ll Need
The first thing to do when choosing a self storage facility is deciding how much space you’ll need. Self storage units vary widely in size and price. For instance, a 5’ x 5’ storage unit offers a perfect closet-size space for storing a few items, while a 10’ x 40’ is the space equivalent of a two-car garage. Beware of facilities that offer “one-size-fits-all” units; you’re likely to pay for more space than you need. Instead, look for a self storage facility with a wide range of unit sizes to accommodate your storage requirements. Some even offer a unit size guide to help you choose the right amount of space for your budget.
Protect Your Belongings
As a self storage customer, you need to know that your valuables are protected from theft. A reputable self storage facility will offer the following security systems:
- Perimeter fencing
- Controlled and regulated access
- 24-hour surveillance
- On-site management office
Make sure that consistent security protocols are followed, such as requiring prospective tenants to provide a driver’s license and proof of current address prior to storing items.
Self storage facilities vary in quality. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, schedule tours of potential facilities to determine their condition and cleanliness. Often, the state of cleanliness at the storage facility’s office is a good indicator of the cleanliness of the rest of site and units. Ask to see multiple units during your visit. Keep an eye out for the presence of:
- Mold and mildew
- Dusty floors
- Rust and water damage
To make sure vermin and critters don’t permanently damage your valuables, ask if the facility has a pest control plan.
Get to Know Who You’re Doing Business With
A tour of self storage facilities will also help you get to know the people you’ll being doing business with. Your initial interaction with on-site personnel speaks volumes about the value your provider places on customer service. Don’t be afraid to ask questions such as:
- How long has your company been in business?
- Are you locally owned?
- Do you have an on-site manager?
The more thorough and helpful the answers you receive, the more likely you will receive reliable and personalized service.
Make Sure You Have Access to Storage Supplies
Your packing requirements can change as you deliver and retrieve items to and from your storage unit. So, whether it’s an extra roll of tape or a mattress cover for that long drive, it’s important you have access to the right storage supplies. A self storage facility that offers storage materials onsite provides you with easy access to the supplies and cartons you need for your belongings.
Look for Value-Added Amenities
A self storage facility that offers extra amenities means you will enjoy a more comfortable and convenient storage experience each and every time you visit. For instance, ground-floor and drive-up access saves time and eliminates dragging heavy items up flights of stairs. When storing an RV, a facility that has a black and grey water dump station on site means you can go straight from unpacking to storage without having to find another facility in between.
Some storage facilities offer gently used boxes for packing your items and even feature electronic waste recycling programs!
Understand Your Cost Commitment
Many self storage tenants choose a self storage facility only to find out later that they have been billed for services they don’t need. Look for a self storage company that offers transparent pricing and contract terms. Best of all, a month-to-month lease offers you the option of vacating your unit anytime with no penalty. And flexible invoicing options should be available so it’s easy to pay your storage bill.
Following these tips will help you find just the right self storage facility.
Sentry Storage Solutions offers San Diego residents and businesses a secure, reliable and cost-effective self storage solution. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.