New York, NY: Top Things to Know About Storage

Jon Fesmire | March 20, 2016 @ 6:54 PM

The Weather

Across the United States, people are aware of New York’s intense snow storms as they often make the national news. During bad rain or snow, virtually no one goes to their self-storage units. New York weather is relatively mild, yet humid, in the summer, and gets very cold and snowy in the winter. We recommend getting climate control at any time of year. However, some facilities use other measures to minimize the effects of weather on your items. Some open access doors and allow the breeze to go through the building, or warm up the entire property during the winter.

Getting Insurance

There’s one funny thing to look out for when getting insurance for your self-storage facility in New York. Sometimes, that insurance will cover only things that never happen in the area. For instance, flooding happens, and so do mouse infestations, from time to time. If you find a contract that will not cover them, but does cover tornados, which never happen in New York, steer clear.

Straightforward Facilities

Of course, not all facilities are like that. New Yorkers like things to be simple and to be able to take care of them quickly. They want to rent a self-storage unit with no extra charges, and most facilities provide that. Some also have 24-hour access with a resident manager. For RV owners or people who keep odd hours, that is a huge benefit.

Get Off the Curb

New York does not allow trucks parked on the street, and much of the time when people bring their possessions to self-storage, it’s in a truck. Therefore, if this is how you get around, it’s essential to get a facility that allows you to drive your truck into the grounds for unloading. In any case, be aware of traffic regulations in this crowded city.

Who Uses Storage

Just as with anywhere, some people keep items in storage long-term because they have more items than will fit in their homes. Some swap out their summer and winter wardrobes and other seasonal items. Often, people move from one small apartment to another in New York, and temporarily rent a unit as a place to keep their belongings. This practice can allow a person to move out of one place quickly, and move items into a new apartment at an easier pace.

Boats and RVs

In Long Island, more and more people want to store their RVs and boats, so facilities are working on adding appropriate spaces.

Funny Customer Practices

One facility manager shared an interesting story with us. A facility she worked in had a customer who did his religious rituals in his self-storage unit, leaving behind powder and grains that attracted pests. Clearly, this is not allowed. Other times, tenants will leave behind mattresses, either in their units or in the hallways, forgetting that they will incur extra charges for doing so.


Although New Yorkers like to get business done simply and quickly, they also like to haggle. They’ll often compare prices with other facilities and then try to wager a price. It’s important to understand that facilities set their prices at certain levels for good reasons. For example some facilities already have low prices because they don’t provide rubbage disposal. So, a company that does has to charge a bit more. Haggling generally won’t work. However, some facilities, like Lockaway, want to make customers and even potential customers happy. One gives anyone who comes in to check out the facility a Dunkin Donuts gift card, and provides free freshly baked cookies, coffee, tea, and water to its tenants every day.

Charities and Unusual Uses

Some facilities go above and beyond for charities and will do things like fill out paperwork for a charity, with permission, to make their operations move more smoothly. While you will have to look hard to find a facility that allows band practice, you may find some that allow things like working on a motorcycle, editing film, or testing lights and sounds for video production. Even in everyday actions, New York charities interact with the community on a frequent basis. Everything is so close in New York that self-storage employees will head to a deli for lunch or shop nearby in their off-hours and talk about work with others.

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