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Storage Units in Washington

Washington, DC: Top Things to Know About Storage

The Basics

There are 16 storage facilities in Washington, DC proper, but that number increases dramatically when you expand your search to areas outside of the city. Unfortunately, because of the scarcity of storage, you can expect to pay a little bit more if you’re really set on having storage in a certain area. You’ll also

The Basics

There are 16 storage facilities in Washington, DC proper, but that number increases dramatically when you expand your search to areas outside of the city. Unfortunately, because of the scarcity of storage, you can expect to pay a little bit more if you’re really set on having storage in a certain area. You’ll also be facing a lot more competition for space especially if you don’t have much flexibility on the size of your unit. That’s why it’s important to calculate the amount of space you actually need. You might think that you only need a closet’s worth of storage but if you forget to factor in larger pieces of furniture (or how much space your dress collection actually takes up), you might find that a larger unit actually makes more sense. You’ll also want to factor in your disposable income because, let’s face it, a storage unit is going to mean an extra monthly bill. You can always make this bill lower by storing outside of the city or going in on a storage unit with a spouse, a roommate or a friend. DC ranks as the 10th highest concentration of households earning at least $150,000 a year in a large city, and 30% of the job market is made up by typically recession-proof federal jobs and another large amount is accounted for by contracted jobs that are affiliated with the government. The $10.50 an hour wage (which could likely jump to $15 pretty soon) doesn’t hurt either. If like most of us, you’re not a millionaire and your educational credentials still aren’t cutting it for a government job, you can still make pretty decent money in the service industry because, hey, politicians have to drink beer somewhere. The cost of going out to eat is about 50% higher than the national average, so tipped workers are bound to pocket some serious change, meaning that even with the average apartment costing $1,700 a month, your disposable income should still cover a $70 a month 5x5 unit and those weekend cocktails.

Millennials and Storage

A lot of those friendly new faces around DC are recent college graduates, people taking gap years or young professionals. Basically, the kind of people who like technology and almond milk lattes. That’s right: millennials. According to a survey by the Urban Land Institute, people between the ages of 18-35 make up for 38% of the city’s population. If you’re one of these people, your storage needs are going to be different than the needs of your parents or older coworkers. You’re probably living in an apartment, potentially with roommates, meaning that your closet space leaves something to be desired. Your storage unit should have enough space for your seasonal wardrobe and all of those little odds and ends that your roommates or significant other have duplicates of as well as a few pieces of furniture. Unlike your parents, you’d probably rather pay bills online than via old fashioned snail mail, which is why it’s useful to look for a storage facility that offers online bill pay. If you don’t have a car and you anticipate moving at least a few more times over the next few years, you can save yourself a lot of extra stress (and money) by choosing a facility that has its own trucks for rent. It’s also worth considering a place that can provide you with boxes and supplies. Occasionally these features will cost a little extra when you actually use them, but many facilities will offer them up for free.

DC Climate and Storage

DC wasn’t built on a swamp, but it sure feels like one sometimes.The humidity is no joke. If you haven’t spent a summer in the city yet, prepare yourself and the contents of your storage unit for hot weather and heavy, moist air. Just as you’d take care of yourself by staying hydrated (or at least doing your day drinking in a pool), you should take care of everything in your storage unit. Opt for a facility that offers climate control and you won’t have to worry about a thing. Items like photographs and artwork can gather moisture when left in non climate-controlled storage and end up in pretty rough shape by the end of summer. Antique furniture and leather items are susceptible to this as well. Cardboard boxes (or anything made of paper) can wick moisture and suffer damage as well. Another thing that causes moisture in DC is precipitation. You might think to guard the contents of your unit against summer rain, but have you considered the effect of snow? It snows a lot in the winter, and in the spring that snow melts and can seep under your unit if you’re storing in an outside space. If you can’t find or afford indoor storage, take extra precautions against this by stacking items on top of a pallet or something similar. The more delicate, expensive or important an item is to you, the further it should be from the ground. Many facilities, like Security Public Storage offer upper level units, which are a surefire defense against the elements.

You Won’t See the President Everywhere, But You Will Experience the Traffic

DC residents spend about 82 hours a year sitting in traffic, most of which comes from commuters gridlocked on I-95. On top of that, at some point you’ll end up stopped in traffic thanks to the presidential motorcade. The first time, it’ll be super cool, the second time, you’ll wonder why there are so many vehicles involved (Here's the answer.). This will affect your commute to work or your commute home, but it will also affect access to your storage facility if you’re storing at a place that isn’t open 24 hours a day. If you need to access your unit on a regular basis (this especially applies to small business owners), consider the advantages of 24 hour access or at least budget for a few extra hours of time.

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Storage FAQ's

  • Do you have advice on how to pack my storage space?

    Yes, storage managers can provide you with tips and techniques on how to most efficiently utilize your storage space. Their hope is that you can have easy access to your items and that your storage space is worth every penny of your money.

  • Do you accept deliveries for customers?

    Most storage facilities in Washington accept deliveries for their customers so that they don't have to go through the process of moving every time they need something to be placed in their storage units. They will keep your items in the office and will inform you when they arrive so that you can place them in your storage unit at your convenience.

  • How long is the lease and what are its terms?

    Storage companies in Washington offer a month-to-month lease. If for some reason you would like to cancel your lease during a particular month, please contact one of the facility managers to assist you.

  • How do I know what size storage I need?

    Storage managers would be happy to help you determine which size unit is best for you so that you're not paying for a 10' X 30' unit when you really need a 4' X 5' unit. Please reference our size guide for more information.

  • Do you provide your customers with movers?

    No, storage facilities do not provide movers. However, managers and team members would be happy to provide you with a list of reliable and reasonably priced movers in Washington. See our resource guide for movers in Washington.

  • Will the company have access to my space?

    No, no one in the storage facilities has access to your space unless you specifically ask them or give them the right to do so. For example, you may want them to have access to your unit for things you may want delivered directly to your unit.

  • What security measures are taken to protect the storage units?

    Security is every storage operator's priority. Speak with the storage manager of a facility of your liking in Washington to find out what security measures they take to protect your belongings.

  • Should I rent a drive-up or interior storage unit?

    Drive-up storage units are typically more expensive and not as clean as interior units. Drive-up units are more exposed to the elements (water, dust, etc.) and are therefore not as clean as interior units. Interior units, on the other hand, have a much better climate. Essentially, the desire to rent a drive-up unit comes from clients thinking that they will be visiting their unit very frequently, which is surprisingly not the case. Most people don't come to their units as often as they think they will, so given the cost and cleanliness issues, it's better to rent an interior storage unit.

  • Do you have different policies and prices for students or active military members?

    Students and active military members are clients that have unique needs because of the nature of their schedules. Most storage facilities in Washington offer discounts to students, and discounts and different policies for active military members. Please call your local facility or see our students and active military members pages to get detailed and updated information.

  • What are the prices of the storage spaces? Are prices based on the square footage of the storage space?

    Generally the prices of storage units in Washington vary based on the size of the storage unit and the location of the unit in the facility. Prices range between 70.0 and 399.0, but representatives can better assist you once they have the details of your storage needs.

  • Do I need insurance for my storage unit?

    We recommend that you get insurance for your belongings because the contents of the units are not insured through storage facilities.

  • What options do I have for payments? What forms of payment do you accept?

    Most storage facilities accept cash, credit cards, or checks. Always ask about autopay, it's faster and much more convenient.

  • What access will I have to my belongings?

    You have 62 facilities to choose from in Washington. Access hours range from 8 to 24 hours a day. Please contact your local facility for more specific information about your unit.

  • Do you have pest control?

    Most facilities in Washington schedule professional pest control services every month, and twice a month during summer months.

  • Do you sell boxes and moving supplies?

    Yes, most storage facilities sell boxes of various sizes, tape, bubble wrap, labels, and other items for your packing and moving needs.

  • Can I rent climate-controlled spaces in Washington?

    Yes, climate-controlled spaces are available in Washington due to the varying weather. Temperatures range from 30.2 to 44.6, which can dramatically affect things in your storage unit. For storing items such as wine, wooden items, electronics, metals, artwork, etc. storage facilities recommend that you rent a climate-controlled unit. For questions and more details, please contact a local facility.

  • Will I receive a monthly invoice?

    Most storage companies in Washington only provide invoices upon request.

  • If I lose my key, can you provide another one?

    No, storage facility employees do not have copies of the keys used for the units. If you lose your key, check with the facility for lock cutting fees. They may also be able to sell another lock and key to you.

  • What if I need more or less space after I move in?

    Once you move in and feel that you need to move into a smaller or bigger space, storage facilities are happy to accommodate your move. Before renting a space, it is recommended that you speak to a storage facility representative to help you find the best sized unit for your needs. If things change through the course of your lease, they will help make the transition to your next unit as efficient and simple as possible. We also have a size guide that may answer some preliminary questions you may have.

  • Is there anything unique to keep in mind when choosing a storage facility in Washington?

    Some factors to keep in mind when choosing a storage facility in Washington are: weather, peak rush hour times, items that you will be storing, and location within Washington.

  • What storage space sizes are available?

    In Washington, there are 62 storage facilities, with a total of 33 storage units. Storage unit sizes generally range from 4' X 5' to 10' X 30'. Call one of your local facilities to have a representative find what size unit is best for you.

Washington, DC University StorageViewHide

Washington, DC University Storage

DC is a decidedly different kind of college town, and that means it’s a decidedly different place for university storage. With its growing number of young professionals, large local network of connected alumni and trendy nightlife offerings (where you just might meet your future boss), DC is more than just a great place to go to school; it’s a great place to build a life after graduation. If your idea of name dropping at brunch is a little more Clinton and a lot less Kardashian, DC is the right place for you. Here’s what you need to know about storage.

Storage for Students in Campus Housing

One thing that really sets DC apart from other cities with a lot of colleges in them is the large number of students who live on campus. We blame this one on the high cost of rent. Some schools, like Howard University and Gallaudet University host over half of the student population on campus. That’s a pretty big number when you compare it to universities across the country which often see on campus housing numbers well below 25%. Whether you’re planning on it or not, there’s a pretty big chance that you’ll be in student housing well past the traditional freshman year experience. However, this doesn’t mean a tiny dorm for four years. Most schools in DC offer university owned apartment style housing in addition to dorms, so if you think that living in student housing throughout college means that you have to leave furniture, extra clothing or other items behind, you might be mistaken. We suggest opting for a 5x5 unit during your time in the dorms so that you have those extra belongings available when the time comes to move to a university owned apartment or a regular apartment in DC. Moving between dorms, apartments and fraternity/sorority housing will invariably affect your storage needs. Fortunately, unlike the binding lease required by your landlord, a storage facility contract is actually very flexible. Most leases are month to month and allow for you to switch unit sizes as your storage needs changes.

Summer Storage and Scary Humidity

Most students typically need storage in the summer more than any other time. This makes sense as it’s expensive to ship your stuff home and it’s worrisome to trust your friends who are staying on campus with your beer pong table. Ideally, you’ll be able to lock your stuff up and forget about it while you go back to your parents, study abroad or chill on a beach somewhere. Make this a reality by opting for climate controlled storage. DC summers are not only hot; they’re super humid. While the heat alone can be detrimental to sensitive items, the humidity is what really does some serious damage. When moisture enters your storage unit, whether it’s through humidity in the air or through rainwater seeping in on the floor (Familiar with DC’s summer heat storms?), it can wreak havoc on your belongings. If you’re an art student storing paintings, drawings or photographs or just a typical college student with posters and books, you’ll want to take extra care of these vulnerable items. A stack of photographs might look great at the start of the summer, but if you leave it in a unit that isn’t climate-controlled, the water will have turned it into a solid brick. We get it; outdoor units are cheaper. If you decide to choose one, you can still store most items (though we’d caution you against the photographs) as long as you take a few steps to keep them safe. Pack items in plastic totes rather than cardboard boxes, as cardboard will absorb moisture and can also damage the pages of important books. Heavy duty garbage bags will help too. Also remember that you should never, ever place items like books directly on the ground as any water that seeps under the door can ruin them. Instead, place items that aren’t damaged by water (like those plastic totes) on the ground and put those delicate items on top of them.

Washington, DC Military StorageViewHide

Washington, DC Military Storage

For soldiers and civilians alike, Washington DC is synonymous with military. Not only does every branch have a massive presence, but historical and cultural sites throughout the city serve as a constant reminder (and tourist attraction) to those wanting to honor or simply learn about the military. If you’ve been relocated to DC for military reasons, storage is an important tool that can help ease the transition and provide you with some much needed extra space. Because of the huge government operation that in fact is Washington DC, it’s nearly impossible to estimate the city’s military population on a given day but it’s safe to say that the number is higher than almost anywhere else in the country, which means lots of competition for storage. Here’s what you need to know when choosing a unit.

Consider Your Housing Situation

Most bases offer privatized housing (or barracks if you’re a lower rank). If you’re at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling you can find housing through Bolling Family Housing. However, while there are various options available for both small and large families, you might have to wait for your desired spot to become available. While temporary housing at the Navy Lodge can ease the problem of finding a place to sleep in the meantime, you can’t be expected to keep all of your furniture in such a small space. Fortunately, most storage facilities offer flexible leases, so even if you’re not sure how long you’ll be waiting to move into a house, you can keep your belongings safe, secure and out of your way for as long as you need to. If you’re at Joint Base-Myer Henderson Hall, your base itself won’t offer you housing but you can apply to live at a nearby base or go through the housing office for help finding an affordable apartment or home around DC. Affordable is the key word. In DC, a one bedroom apartment will run you at least $1,700 a month and a two bedroom home usually goes for about $620,000. Unless you’re relocating from an expensive city like San Francisco or New York City, these prices might force you into a smaller home than you’re used to living in. We don’t think you should have to put all of your stuff on Craigslist or force it into a small space. Instead, you can save money on rent by living in a smaller apartment and store your items until the day comes when you’re comfortable enough to move into a larger place. Military discounts will help out with the cost of storage, so bring your ID with you and ask your facility manager about perks. If you’re one of the 23,000 military members and civilians working at The Pentagon, you’ll have to find housing in the city. Don’t be afraid to opt for storage outside of the city as availability is better and prices are lower. Some facilities can even be accessed by public transportation, so if you don’t have a vehicle, this is still an option for you. And if you’re only going to access your storage on a seasonal basis, the extra time spent traveling to your unit won’t be a huge hassle.

Storing Weapons

Most storage facilities don’t allow you to store firearms, but some do. If you’re looking to store weapons, always be sure to ask your facility manager what the rules are. While some storage facilities are okay with you storing guns, you won’t be able to store ammunition. If you can’t find a storage facility that allows you to store guns, find out about storage options on either your military base or one that’s nearby. You can also typically find storage at stores that sell guns. If you can find storage for your weapon, remember that DC’s humid climate can have detrimental effects on it, so it’s important to store it in an indoor space that offers climate control. This typically costs extra but is worth it in the long run when you factor in the preservation of your weapon. Climate control is also an important consideration if you’re storing leather furniture or other sensitive goods, especially if you’re facing deployment. You shouldn’t have to worry about items in an outdoor unit while you’re overseas. Instead, put your items somewhere that’s safe from the elements and keep them literally out of sight and out of mind. And speaking of deployment, remember that the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act protects the contents of your storage unit from being auctioned off if you miss payments during a deployment.

Washington, DC RV and Boat StorageViewHide

Washington, DC RV and Boat Storage

When you’re traveling across the country in your RV, Washington DC makes for a great pit stop. But what if you’re an RV or boat owner who’s actually living in our nation’s capitol? It’s true that Washington DC is busy and often—okay, usually—congested and urban driving (and urban living) doesn’t leave much room for parking a regular sized vehicle let alone a truck pulling a trailer, but we still think you can hang onto your RV or boat thanks to a little thing called self storage. No, you can’t park your RV on the White House lawn and invite the POTUS out for a brewski, but you can park your RV in a place that’ll keep it safe from crime and readily available when you need it. Here’s the lowdown on RV and boat storage in Washington, DC.

It’s Scarce

Look, we like to deliver bad news first, so that’s where we’ll start. Run a search for RV and boat storage in DC and you’ll see that the options are limited. We spoke with several local facility managers to get their expert opinion and they suggested what most urban storage facility members suggest when it comes to not only RV storage but storage in general. If you’re willing to expand your search outside of the city, you’re going to have a lot more options and you’re going to save money. For example, if you don’t mind the 45 minute drive to Fairfax, Virginia, you can store your RV at the StorageMart facility there. They offer those highly coveted indoor storage spaces and often run specials like your first month free (print the coupon out from our website) which covers the gas money to get to and from a few times. Another advantage to storing outside of the city is that you’re eliminating the stress of navigating the city’s narrow, traffic-clogged streets with a boat in tow or a 45 foot vehicle.

24 Hour Storage and DC Traffic Nightmares

It’s a fact; there are few things worse than DC traffic. The average resident spends 82 hours annually sitting in it. It stands to reason that you can expect to log in some of that time on gridlocked I-95 when you’re heading to or from vacation. If you’re headed to Sandy Point State Park, which is one of DC’s closest beaches, you can expect the drive to take you about an hour. However, if prefer to camp or boat near a beach that forces you to cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in the summer, you can expect miles of traffic heading in on Fridays and heading out on Sundays (more than 47,000 cars crossed the bridge on a single day in 2007). Add in the traffic you’ll experience heading back into the city itself and your storage facility’s 5 p.m. closing time doesn’t sound so doable anymore. Don’t find out the hard way what happens when you and your RV or boat are locked out with no place to park. Opt for a facility with 24 hour access.

What if Your RV is Your Only Vehicle?

Residents of other cities (we’re looking at you, Los Angeles) might laugh at the mere mention of a fabled person who dares to live their life without a car. But you’re a DC local; you know it can be done. If your only vehicle is an RV, you can access it a  storage unit quite easily thanks to DC’s excellent public transportation. It’s the second busiest public transportation system in the nation and it’s known for being clean and efficient. You can take the Metrorail throughout the city and the Metrobus to all of those places that the subway doesn’t go. There’s also a citywide bike sharing program that has 3,000 bikes at 350 stations throughout the metro area. You can also take advantage of ridesharing programs like Uber and Lyft which allow you to split the cost of the ride between multiple passengers. This gets you to your storage facility cheaply and efficiently so that you can get your vacation going faster.
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