Tucson, AZ: Top Things to Know About Storage

Krista Diamond | March 20, 2016 @ 7:17 PM

Cheap Rent Means More Money for Storage (And Tacos)

Or, you know, whatever else you like to use your disposable income for (we recommend storage and tacos). In Tucson, $600 a month will get you a decent one bedroom apartment and the average listing price for a home is $159,000. Storage follows a similar trend. Expect to pay around $50 a month for a smaller storage unit (like a 5x5) and around $100 for something a little bigger (like a 10x10). There are 121 storage facilities in Tucson, which means plenty of options for the city of about 750,000 people. You’ll find that storage facilities are pretty spread out which is a reflection of Tucson’s own sprawling nature. Individual neighborhoods tend to be very walkable and bikeable thanks to 72 miles of multi-use paths. Public transportation is available, so if you’re going carless (or just looking to save money on gas) and you’re interested in a storage unit you can walk, bike or take a bus to, this is doable as long as you keep it close to where you live. It’s a good idea to have a car in the summer though, as walking, biking or waiting for the bus in the hot sun can sometimes feel like a death wish, plus you’ll be able to enjoy drive up access at your storage facility if that’s a feature that’s on your wish list.

University Storage isn’t Just for University Students

It seems like everyone in Tucson either works at the University of Arizona or goes there. The school has almost 33,000 students and more than 12,000 employees. In fact, it’s one of the largest local job sources in town. This means that students aren’t the only ones who need storage during certain times of the year. Faculty and staff who either don’t work over the summer, work elsewhere or work less and travel more also need storage. That’s about 45,000 people potentially looking for storage during the summer months. Naturally, facilities closer to campus or offering student specials will go first and may be able to jack up rates as a result of their desirability. Steer clear of any special that looks to good to be true and be sure to consider a storage facility that’s on the outskirts of town rather than in the heart of the city. This rule actually applies to just about every major city when it comes to storage. If you’ve got a car and don’t mind adding another 10 or 20 minutes to your commute, you can find a storage facility with low rates and high availability. If you consider the fact that most people only visit their storage units a few times a year (or in the case of university renters, at the beginning and the end of the summer), the extra few bucks of gas money are totally worth it.

Don’t Drive in a Flood and Don’t Store in One Either

That brings us to our next point. Monsoon season. During the summer, Tucson experiences periods of huge thunderstorms and heavy rainfall. The city receives 11.3 inches of rain a year, most of which occurs during the summer monsoon season. In 2008, for example, 8.5 inches of rain fell hard and fast and many residents were stranded without power. You might be thinking, what does this have to do with storage? Well, if you’ve opted for indoor, climate-controlled storage, the answer is probably not much. But if you’ve got an outdoor, drive-up unit or you’re storing a vehicle in an outdoor lot, you might want to pay attention. The Arizona Stupid Motorist Law (not the law’s real name) requires anyone who drives into a flooded area to pay their own rescue fee. If you’ve just got to access your unit and your run into this, we suggest going back home or at least brushing up on your arc building skills. And as for your stuff? If water enters your unit during a flood, this can destroy precious items like artwork and antique furniture. It can also seep into clothing and books causing them to rot. In addition to this, remember that flood water often contains mud, debris and sometimes even raw sewage. You don’t want that stuff in your unit. Do some damage control before the damage occurs by storing items on top of pallets, opting for plastic bins instead of cardboard boxes and minimizing the amount of soft items (like pillows and stuffed animals) that you’ve got in your storage unit.

Use Your Storage Unit as a Seasonal Sport Locker

Did you know that Tucson is home to the southernmost ski area in the country? We didn’t either, but now we’re totally wanting to invest in some skis and hit up the 9,157 summit of Mt. Lemmon. You can invest in a smaller storage unit and use it to store your ski equipment during the summer. It’s also a great place for all of that golf equipment (you know you want to hit up one of Tucson’s famous golf courses) and hiking gear that’ll come in handy when exploring Saguaro National Park. And don’t forget about RV storage. Most cities are lacking when it comes to this specialized type of storage but Tucson’s RV storage facilities are outstanding. And last but not least, choose a climate-controlled storage unit and keep all of your gear looking fresh for years to come.

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