Storage Units in Chicago

Chicago, IL: Top Things to Know About Storage

The State of Storage in Chicago

Some people call it The Second City, but for you, Chicago is the only city. You’ve got your heart set on Chi-Town, aka The Windy City aka Chicagoland aka The City with Too Many Nicknames (okay, we made that last one up). Whether you’re a long time local looking to

The State of Storage in Chicago

Some people call it The Second City, but for you, Chicago is the only city. You’ve got your heart set on Chi-Town, aka The Windy City aka Chicagoland aka The City with Too Many Nicknames (okay, we made that last one up). Whether you’re a long time local looking to switch neighborhoods or you’re making a cross country move, it’s perfectly normal to feel like you’re totally in the dark when it comes to figuring out what the deal is with self storage in Chicago. Let’s break it down for you.

The first thing you need to know? The storage market is huge in Chicago. In fact, it’s actually the largest storage market in the entire midwest region. There are 1,137 storage facilities in Illinois, 194 of which are in Chicago. You can search for your ideal storage unit here, but remember that if you live in a suburb that you and your friends consider Chicago but the city itself actually considers a separate town, you should factor that into your search.

Where you live in Chicago affects way more than where you’ll store your stuff. It actually affects the availability of storage units. Chicago is the number two storage destination for U-Haul, which means there’s a lot of new folks arriving in town every day, many of whom need storage just like you. If you’re living in the western suburbs, your area is one of the most in demand parts of Chicago as far as storage space goes. If you’re in Glenview or Evanston, you’ll have a better chance of locking down your top facility and the size unit you want. As a whole, central Chicago (you know, the touristy part), sees storage facilities at about 89.6% occupancy. Availability fluctuates throughout the city, but despite this, prices are pretty reasonable. In fact, the average price of a 5x5 unit citywide is a mere $48.31. This is also the most readily available size unit (it’s basically like having an extra closet to store stuff in, rather than a garage).

If all this stuff confused you, just remember one thing: If you’re not planning on accessing your storage unit on a super regular basis, expand your search for storage to include the whole city and you’ll definitely find the space you need at the price you want.

High Rise Apartments, High Rise Storage

If you’re living in a neighborhood like Edgewater, there’s a strong possibility that you either currently are or one day will make yourself at home in a high rise apartment. High rise apartments are awesome for a few reasons. Obviously, the sweet view rules, but you know what else does? The safety. It takes some real Mission Impossible level skills to break into an apartment via a tenth floor balcony. If you’re living in a centrally located neighborhood or one that’s up and coming, you know the difference between hearing something sketchy going on at street level versus hearing it from way up above. If you apply the same logic to your storage unit, it makes sense to opt for a facility with multiple floors versus drive up access. While both options offer various pros and cons, it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether you prefer the security of storage that’s a few floors up or the convenience of a unit that you can park your car next to. The former option is typically pricier, but it’s worth it if you’re unsure of the neighborhood’s crime level or you don’t plan on accessing your unit often and would rather not worry about how secure it is. Either way you go, you should still remember to look for a storage facility that’s secure. This means cameras, fences, a security patrol and most importantly, a gate in place that restricts access to tenants and staff only.

Storing Instruments in the Home of Jazz

Whether you’re a serious fan or you just think you look really, really cool sipping a gin martini, Chicago has the jazz scene for you. It’s the place where artists like Muddy Waters, Nat King Cole, Howlin’ Wolf, and Buddy Guy made history. You can be a part of it every year at the annual Chicago Blues Festival, a free three day celebration of the music that really put Chicago on the map. If you’re training to become a jazz legend yourself but your apartment doesn’t exactly have the space for all of your equipment, you might consider using storage as a solution. Some facilities actually allow bands to practice inside units, but if yours doesn’t, doing so could look a little too much like you’re living in your unit, so always ask first. When it comes to actually storing your instruments, remember that they need special care. Consider the importance of climate control and facilities that offer great security. Some of these features will increase the amount of money you’re spending, but it’s worth it to keep something as valuable as a musical instrument safe. You can’t become a Chicago jazz star without it!

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Storage FAQ's

  • 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.

  • Can I rent climate-controlled spaces in Chicago?

    Yes, climate-controlled spaces are available in Chicago due to the varying weather. Temperatures range from 42.8 to 45.3, 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • What storage space sizes are available?

    In Chicago, there are 132 storage facilities, with a total of 108 storage units. Storage unit sizes generally range from 3' X 3' to 10' X 30'. Call one of your local facilities to have a representative find what size unit is best for you.

  • Do you accept deliveries for customers?

    Most storage facilities in Chicago 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.

  • 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 Chicago vary based on the size of the storage unit and the location of the unit in the facility. Prices range between 30.0 and 299.0, but representatives can better assist you once they have the details of your storage needs.

  • 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.

  • Do you have pest control?

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

  • 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 3' X 3' unit. Please reference our size guide for more information.

  • 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 access will I have to my belongings?

    You have 132 facilities to choose from in Chicago. Access hours range from 8 to 24 hours a day. Please contact your local facility for more specific information about your unit.

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

    Storage companies in Chicago 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.

  • Will I receive a monthly invoice?

    Most storage companies in Chicago only provide invoices upon request.

  • 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.

  • 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 Chicago. See our resource guide for movers in Chicago.

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

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

  • 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 Chicago to find out what security measures they take to protect your belongings.

  • 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 Chicago 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.

Chicago, IL RV and Boat StorageViewHide

Chicago, IL RV and Boat Storage

Chicago rises from the flat midwest like an urban oasis of beachfront highrises, jazz clubs and architectural wonders. While it’s certainly possible to spend a lifetime exploring the city’s museums, bar scene and diverse entertainment offerings, owning a boat that you can take out on Lake Michigan or an RV that you can camp on the shore with really allows you to appreciate Chicagoland even more. Unfortunately, owning an RV or boat in the city isn’t always easy. If you’re living in an apartment, parking it outside most likely isn’t an option for you. Even if you’re a homeowner, parking it in your driveway or on the street can leave it vulnerable to the elements along with neighborhood crime. We don’t think that your city slicker status should mean giving up the joy of owning an RV or boat. Search for RV and boat storage in Chicago and you can truly have it all. Before you choose a storage facility, let’s go through what you need to know about RV and boat storage in Chicago.

RV and Boat Storage Basics

So what does RV and boat storage actually look like, anyway? Well, there are actually a few different types of this specialized kind of storage, ranging from basic to fancy. The most traditional type of storage is basically a parking space at a storage facility. This is the easiest to find because many RV facilities have extra space on their property that they’re willing to rent out for this purpose. This type of storage is the least expensive, and while it still typically comes with security benefits (we’ll elaborate on those in a moment) like 24 hour cameras or at least a facility manager who walks around the property once in awhile, it doesn’t come with any kind of covering that will protect your RV or boat from the 37 inches of snow and 36 inches of rain that Chicago sees a year. You can always take your RV and boat storage needs to the next level by opting for covered storage which can range from a parking spot with a roof over it (like you’d see at an apartment complex) to a parking spot with walls around it. This is slightly more expensive and harder to find than the parking lot option. If you want to go all out, you can choose the Cadillac of RV and boat storage, which is also a nice option if you’ve got a vintage car you want to keep safe. We’re talking about an indoor space, which is essentially your own personal garage. These are the most secure, the most expensive and unfortunately, the hardest to find. You should assess your needs based on the size of your RV or boat and how often you use it.

Avoid Lakeshore Drive

If you’ve ever driven an RV through Chicago, or any other city for that matter, you know how hard it can be to navigate the streets with a large vehicle or something extra in tow. You absolutely cannot drive an RV down Lakeshore Drive, so if you’re not already aware of that, keep it in mind when planning out where you’re going to store your RV and what route you’re going to take when you drive it from your campground of choice to the storage facility. Trust us; this isn’t a lesson you want to learn the hard way. One great option for something centrally located is StorageMart on North Halsted Street. The facility is centrally located and while it’s only a few miles away from Lakeshore Drive, getting there won’t force you to commit the faux paux of driving on it. We hear that pickup trucks are banned on Lakeshore Drive too and that the reason is some archaic rule having to do with the road being designated for enjoyment rather than commercial purposes. Personally, we can’t think of anything more enjoyable than an RV or boat, but we don’t make the rules. While you shouldn’t run into too many other driving restrictions in Chicago, you will run into plenty of parking restrictions with your RV or boat. Most neighborhoods don’t allow you to park any vehicle over 22 feet on the street unless it’s for loading and unloading purposes. Your storage unit should cover any chance of that rule being broken, but it’s still nice to know that if you ever need to make a quick trip to your house to grab some groceries from the fridge, you should be in the clear when it comes to parking for the short amount of time that it takes to grab your stuff and hit the road.

Why Security Matters

Even if you can park your RV or boat outside of your home, there’s one pretty major downside to doing so. You can’t watch it all day to make sure it’s safe (well, you could but you’d probably end up losing your job and all of your friends). That’s why you should look for a facility with good security features. Even the basic, parking lot style storage option should still offer you peace of mind. A great storage facility has good lighting at night, a fence to keep unwanted people out and a gate that only allows you, the other tenants and staff members in. Security cameras, security guards and management that lives on-site or at least spends a great deal of time their are other things to look for. If you’re paying to store your boat, RV or any other vehicle, make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.

Chicago, IL University StorageViewHide

Chicago, IL University Storage

If you’re looking for a college town where you can learn just as much from your surroundings as you can from your professor, it’s hard to beat Chicago. The Illinois city is home to plenty of public and private universities along with incredibile extra-curricular opportunities. It makes sense that students come from all over the world to study in Chicagoland. If that’s you, you’ve got some serious decisions to make when it comes to deciding what you should bring with you and what you should leave behind. Luckily, storage saves you from making too many of those tough decisions. Search for storage in Chicago and get back to focusing on the important decisions, like where to grab a slice of deep dish pizza.

Storage on a Student Budget

We know what you’re thinking. How are you supposed to pay for all of those $300 a piece textbooks and afford storage? In Chicago, rates are pretty reasonable. Unless you’ve got an apartment’s worth of stuff in tow, you’re probably going to want a 5x5 unit. These typically rent for around $48.31 on average, which means about $200 a semester. If you’re not sure what this size looks like, picture a closet, only much bigger than the one in your dorm room which you’re forced to share with two other roommates (this should be a crime). You can use it as a place to store seasonal items like clothing and sports equipment. Chicago summers are glorious, which is good news if you’re sticking around for an internship in between semesters, but winters are cold, harsh and made possible with the help of plenty of warm clothes and a bar that allows hibernation. Use your storage unit as an off season wardrobe and you’ll never have to worry about being inappropriately dressed for the weather. If you’re a student athlete, you can apply this same principle to storing your gear during the off season. Just make sure you clean it before putting it in storage and consider climate control so that your items aren’t ruined by mildew.

Storage Near Your Campus

If your university search efforts were focused on one Chicago university in particular, let us be the first to tell you: There are a lot of colleges in Chicago. You don’t want to just focus on a storage facility that caters to the needs of college students in general. You want one that focuses on the needs of college students at the place where you actually go to school. If you’re attending the University of Chicago you’ll be searching for storage in the Hyde Park neighborhood. There’s a StorageMart facility just a mile away that offers climate controlled units which are perfect for summer break along with specials like a free month of storage just for signing a lease. If you’re a student at Chicago State University, you won’t be able to find storage that’s walking distance from school, so if driving a few miles or taking public transportation isn’t for you, consider PODS portable storage. If you’re attending the University of Illinois at Chicago, check out Uncle Bob's Self Storage. It’s just a mile away and it offers online bill pay, so you don’t have to endure the winter cold just to drop off a check.

Student Safety and Storage

Whether you’re aware of it or not, your campus has ample security measures in place. There are most likely cameras in your dorm common areas, key coded access to housing, security officers and police dedicated to the area. Your campus is (or should be) well lit so that you feel safe walking home from your evening classes. We think that a storage facility should make you feel the same way. This is especially important if your weekday class schedule and weekend social schedule has got you visiting your storage unit at odd hours. In Chicago, the growing popularity of indoor units with multiple floors can mean security for everything you’ve decided to store, but what about security for you when you’re visiting the facility? When choosing the one for you, ask the facility manager about what security measures are in place. This should include ample lighting, solid fencing and a gate system that only allows tenants and staff to enter the property. If you’ve got key coded access, find out how often that code is changed. If the answer is never, that means that previous tenants and anyone else who has the code will be able to enter the facility. Your facility manager should understand how important it is to keep tenants safe while they’re accessing their belongings. We know that sometimes accessing your storage unit can feel like a chore, but it shouldn’t feel like a chore in a place that compromises your sense of security.

Chicago, IL Military StorageViewHide

Chicago, IL Military Storage

It’s not easy to take a census of military members in Chicago and that’s because it’s a population that’s always coming and going. Chicago is home to Naval Station Great Lakes, and while it’s a huge base, its main purpose is “sailorization,” or training men and women to be in the navy. Rest assured that if you’re thinking of a career in the military (or you just like a man in a uniform) Chicago is a great place to be. Here’s what you need to know about storage as a military member in the Windy City:

Military Recruits and Storage

If you’re headed to Naval Station Great Lakes for training, you’ll be in good company. About 40,000 men and women go through this process at the base every year. In fact, the base has sent the Navy more than two million sailors since opening. The base sits on 1,600 acres and has 1,153 buildings including a post office, fire department and a public works department, so it must have room for all of your belongings, right? Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Recruits live in some not very glamorous barracks, which are called Ships (they’re named after important ships in naval history). Each ship contains classrooms and a place to sleep, shower, iron uniforms and get inspected by officers on a very regular basis. These inspections will pretty much prevent any chance of you storing your extra stuff where you sleep, and the 1,300 people you’re sharing your Ship with should make it just about impossible. This is why storage in Chicago is a total game changer when it comes to leaving home without leaving all of your stuff behind. Local storage facilities understand the temporary nature of training, so renting a storage unit isn’t a huge commitment. Month to month leases make coming and going a total breeze. After all, training to be in the military is tough. You deserve something easy.

Military Staff and Storage

Fortunately, military officers who are stationed at Naval Station Great Lakes aren’t subjected to the same intense, spartan living conditions as recruits (mostly because they’ve already been there themselves), so if this is your situation, your storage needs are going to be a little bit different. If you’re opting for single status housing, you can request a room in the barracks, in which case you might want to use storage as a temporary solution for any furniture you’ve got with you. If you’re a military family, housing is available through Forest City Residential Management and is privatized. As the base population is always changing, getting the floor plan you want can often mean putting your name on a waiting list. Temporary housing is available at the Navy Lodge and can offer a place to rest your head during this time, but storage can offer you a place for your furniture, household items and extra clothing. Be sure to contact the base’s Naval Housing Office with any questions about getting your belongings to Chicago and of course, contact your storage facility manager with any questions about your unit.

Special Military Storage Considerations

If you’re a military member, moving around has likely been a part of your career in some capacity. Deployment, temporary relocation to another base or even permanent location to another base are all situations which influence your life and therefore influence your storage needs. Whether you’re headed overseas or you’re just off to another state to train some troops for a few weeks, there are a few things you can look for in a storage facility to make at least one part of your life a little bit easier. Search for storage facilities that offer online bill pay, that way you can manage your lease from all over the world. Consider 24 hour access that way your erratic schedule doesn’t affect access to your belongings. Look for a storage facility with top notch security and save yourself the hassle of worrying about a break in happening while you’re deployed. Also be sure to include someone else on your lease if your career has got you traveling often or subject to deployment. A good storage facility won’t let just anyone onto the premises, so make sure your spouse or someone else close to you can get in if the need arises. And last but not least, carry your military ID with you and ask for a discount.
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