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Debunking 9 Self Storage Myths

Jon Fesmire | October 3, 2022 @ 12:00 AM

People have misconceptions about everything, which is why checking facts is so important. Self storage is no exception, so we’ve decided to bust some common myths about the self storage industry. These mistaken assumptions may have kept you from renting a unit in the past, even if you have important stuff that just doesn’t fit at home or in the office.

After you read this, you’ll be in a better position to decide if self storage really is right for you.

Storage Theft is Rampant

This is false. Is storage theft real? Of course. Thieves know that self storage units have a lot of stuff in them and some will risk breaking into a random unit for quick gain. However, storage facilities use a number of security measures to keep your unit safe. Most facilities are safer than homes and offices.

Not all security is equal, so compare facilities when looking for a unit. Look for coded, gated access, a high fence with barbed wire or a high wall surrounding the property, 24/7 video surveillance, and good lighting indoors and outdoors, at minimum.

Storage Is for Hoarders

TV has led many to believe that self storage is for hoarders. Yes, hoarders use self storage. However, we actually do our best to discourage hoarding while pointing out better uses for self storage. A lot of people declutter their homes before deciding what to store. Then, they store things they need, but just don’t need at the moment. These include business documents and inventory, furniture being temporarily set aside, business tools or samples, holiday decorations and ornaments, furniture and so on while renovating a home, and more.

Storage Facilities Attract Pests

The self storage industry is highly conscious of the risks of pests and do a lot to keep their facilities clean. Do pests sometimes get in anyway? Of course, but a reputable facility will immediately call in an exterminator and take care of the problem.

The fact is, facilities prohibit storing items that commonly attract pets, like open food containers and other perishable food, fertilizer, and more. Many facilities work with an exterminator who does maintenance every few months or comes by when needed, such as if a tenant has been storing pest-attracting items. You may notice that there are no trees or bushes near the storage buildings, and that’s to ensure they’re as far away from potential pests as possible.

You Have to Rent Long Term

This is absolutely false. Storage facilities rent units on a month-to-month basis. The primary exception is when they offer a deal on the first month of rent. In that case, they may require you to rent for two months initially, but will then switch you over to month-to-month.

Abandoned Units are Full of Treasure

If you’ve watched storage auction shows, you may have the wrong impression that abandoned units, which you can win at auction, are full of expensive treasures. This can happen, but is rarely the case. It is possible for savvy buyers to make a profit off units they’ve won, but the chance of finding big-ticket items is low.

Storage Is Too Expensive

We consider this the case only if you’re storing stuff you don’t need. If you pack everything you don’t want to keep at home and put it in storage, you’ll probably look at it later and think, “I don’t need this. Why did I pay for this space?”

However, if you take time to declutter before you put stuff in storage, the price is worth it. Self storage space rents for less than commercial or residential space and is especially great for off-season items and business stuff.

Climate Control Is Unnecessary

While climate control is optional, depending on the yearly weather patterns where you live, you won’t want to do without it. While a unit will protect your stuff from sunlight, rain, wind, and snow, without climate control, it’s subject to changes in humidity and temperature, and both can cause damage to your belongings. Facilities keep the temperature in climate-controlled units between 50 and 80 degrees and the humidity between 30% and 50%, excellent conditions for most things.

Self Storage Units are Dirty

While some renters don’t keep their units neat, when you rent your unit, expect it to be clean. If the previous tenant doesn’t adequately clean the unit when they move their stuff out, the facility will.

You Can Store Anything

As mentioned, certain things are prohibited. When you rent a unit, make sure to carefully read the part of the contract that covers them. Such items include perishable or open food items, live animals and plants, combustible and flammable materials, weapons, and illegal items. The latter includes stolen items.

Now, if you’d like to find a self storage facility near you, we can help. We have listings for facilities across the U.S. and Canada. Just click our “Storage by Cities” link to get started.

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