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Philadelphia, PA: Top Things to Know About Storage

Jon Fesmire | March 20, 2016 @ 6:58 PM

Indoor Versus Outdoor Storage

Self-storage facilities in Philadelphia distinguish between outdoor storage, meaning sheds on a self-storage facility’s property, and indoor storage, meaning the large buildings. Items in outdoor storage are much more susceptible to changes in weather than is indoor storage. Also, indoor storage can have climate control. In Philadelphia, climate control is a must for most items, as summers get hot and humid, and winters cold and dry. Items like books, fabric, musical instruments, and old VHS tapes will need climate control to not suffer permanent damage from mold, mildew, and temperature changes. For your outside storage, you may want to stick with storing garden tools and covered furniture.

Finding a Facility

Though Philadelphia has a large student population, self-storage facilities generally rely on internet searches to draw in clients.  Prospective tenants can book online, call in, or simply stop by a facility to rent. Facilities will often have deals based on what is available and what sort of units they want to get rented out. As for unit sizes, residential units generally range from 5’x5’ to 10’x30’.

Flea Markets

At some facilities, there are tenants who store items to be sold at flea markets. They might pick up their items and take them to market once a week or so, but there are facilities that hold these weekly markets on their property. These markets can take the form of auctions on individual items. So, if you live in the area and want to find some interesting items for cheap, ask around to find out which facilities do this.

The Safest Area

Whenever you want to rent a self-storage space, before you do, look into the security offered. Many facilities strive to keep their security up to date, and it helps to know what to look for. Probably the safest self-storage facilities in Philadelphia are located in Foxchase, in the northeastern area of the city. It’s an upscale residential area with low crime. Remember, you don’t have to live in an area to rent a storage space there.

Challenges for Philadelphia Facilities

The weather in Philadelphia affects more than just items stored in units without climate control. The city experiences about 160 rainy days per year, so facilities need to frequently check for and fix potential leaks, protect against rodents and other pests seeking to get out of the rain, and ensure the vitality of their paved areas. Another thing that contributes to the pest problem is people bringing in things that they shouldn’t, like food or living plants or animals. When you rent a storage unit, make sure to follow the rules. Not doing so can be grounds for eviction.


Interstate 95 often has ongoing construction, especially on the off ramps. Also, the city frequently has construction going on somewhere. This can cause unexpected traffic delays and detours, which in turn can make it difficult for residential or commercial customers to get to their storage units. If you need to get to your unit, just be aware of what construction is happening. Often, this will be posted before the date that construction starts. That way, you can find an alternate route and save time.

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