Storage Units in Des Moines

Des Moines, IA: Top Things to Know About Storage

The Basics

There are 65 storage facilities in Des Moines, almost all of which are in our network. If you haven’t been in Des Moines long, or you’re in the process of moving there, it’s easy to underrate the midwestern city. But we kind of think you shouldn’t. Forget Brooklyn, Portland and Austin. The prairie paradise

The Basics

There are 65 storage facilities in Des Moines, almost all of which are in our network. If you haven’t been in Des Moines long, or you’re in the process of moving there, it’s easy to underrate the midwestern city. But we kind of think you shouldn’t. Forget Brooklyn, Portland and Austin. The prairie paradise of Des Moines is a hipster wonderland that’s growing in population, and let’s face it; people need space for all their stuff. That’s where we come in. Des Moines has a metro area of 611,549 people, but the population is up by 7.4% since 2010 and it’s still on the rise. So is there enough space for everyone? With just an estimated 35,750 individual units in the city, competition for storage can be tight. Des Moines has a relatively low cost of living (expect to pay around $800 a month for a one bedroom apartment) and a good job market, which means that there are more people in town who can actually afford extra space. It stands to reason that these same people who can afford to rent a storage unit can also afford a slightly bigger apartment, so expect to find a wider availability in storage units if you’re looking for a larger size. StorageMart has a ton of facilities across Des Moines and they offer desirable features like climate control and online bill pay. They’re also one of many storage facilities that offers new customer specials like one month of free storage, so if you’re new in town and you’ve never rented a storage unit before, you can save money by taking advantage of this.

You Can Bike to Your Storage Unit

Obviously we don’t suggest trying this if you’re carrying a couch or something, but we do want to point out that unlike in larger cities (Los Angeles, Atlanta, Houston, Washington DC...we could go on and on), it’s very easy to get around Des Moines which means it’s very easy to access your storage unit. The city has a 19.2 minute average commute time, and most residents boast that they can make it from their suburban homes to their downtown offices in 15 minutes flat. That’s thanks in large part to the recent widening of I-235 and also a user-friendly bus system. Des Moines is ranked 28th in the nation for bike friendliness, so getting to your storage unit on two wheels is possible if you want to do it, plus it’s eco-friendly. Another thing to think about when taking into account the commuter-friendly nature of Des Moines is whether or not you need 24 hour access to your unit. This isn’t an easy feature to find in Des Moines, but if you need it, you can rent a storage unit at M&W Mini Storage. Fortunately, unless your schedule is totally crazy or you’re some kind of midwestern vampire who can’t go out in the sun, you can probably live without 24 hour access.

Does Des Moines Make You Think About Insurance?

We don’t know about you, but all of these big insurance companies in Des Moines (ING, Nationwide, Principal Financial Group, Allied Insurance and Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield) have got us thinking about the super fun topic of insurance. It’s easy to assume that your storage facility lease includes some kind of automatic built in insurance. Unfortunately, this is pretty much never, ever the case. Even if your facility does offer coverage, it’ll probably be pretty basic and won’t necessarily cover what you want it to. If you’re storing something like a car, RV or boat that’s already insured, you should be all set. But what about a 10x10 storage unit full of furniture? What about your book collection which contains a few valuable first editions? You can always take the additional step of renting a climate-controlled storage unit to protect against weather damage, but if you’re storing something that’s important, expensive or totally irreplaceable, it’s worth considering insurance on the storage unit. Make sure to read your policy carefully. In Des Moines, you’re going to want insurance that covers natural disasters, which brings us to our next point:

When it Rains, It Pours

Des Moines gets 36 inches of rain a year. In fact, The Great Flood of 1993 left citizens without running water and forced Anheuser-Busch to start passing out cans of water in a relief effort (though we’re pretty sure passing out cans of Bud-Lite would have been pretty much the same thing). You can imagine the effect that a flood can have on your home, but not everyone thinks about the effect that it can have on your storage unit. Besides considering insurance, you should also ask your facility manager about how floods (and all other types of weather related scenarios) have affected the property in the past. Your storage facility manager will contact you if something like this occurs and damages your storage unit, but isn’t it great to be a few steps ahead and do everything you can to protect the items in your unit as much as you can before the worst case scenario happens? We recommend indoor storage to prevent water from seeping under the door of your unit. We also recommend avoiding the use of cardboard boxes, which can absorb moisture. Don’t place items like books, artwork, photographs or cushioned furniture directly on the bottom of your storage unit either, even if you are storing inside. Yes, these extra steps might require you to purchase a few extra items (like plastic totes and pallets) and they may require a little more of your time, but they’re totally worth it.

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Storage FAQ's

  • What storage space sizes are available?

    In Des Moines, there are 23 storage facilities, with a total of 30 storage units. Storage unit sizes generally range from 5' X 5' to 10' X 30'. Call one of your local facilities to have a representative find what size unit is best for you.

  • Do you have pest control?

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

  • 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 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 Des Moines vary based on the size of the storage unit and the location of the unit in the facility. Prices range between N/A and N/A, but representatives can better assist you once they have the details of your storage needs.

  • 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 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 Des Moines 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.

  • Do you accept deliveries for customers?

    Most storage facilities in Des Moines 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 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 Des Moines to find out what security measures they take to protect your belongings.

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

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

  • 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 5' X 5' unit. Please reference our size guide for more information.

  • 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 access will I have to my belongings?

    You have 23 facilities to choose from in Des Moines. Access hours range from 8 to 24 hours a day. Please contact your local facility for more specific information about your unit.

  • 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.

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

    Storage companies in Des Moines 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.

  • 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.

  • Will I receive a monthly invoice?

    Most storage companies in Des Moines only provide invoices upon request.

  • 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.

  • Can I rent climate-controlled spaces in Des Moines?

    Yes, climate-controlled spaces are available in Des Moines due to the varying weather. Temperatures range from 41.0 to 51.8, 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.

  • 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 Des Moines. See our resource guide for movers in Des Moines.

  • 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 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.

Des Moines, IA Military StorageViewHide

Des Moines, IA Military Storage

If you’re in the military, you’re used to having a lot asked of you at times when it comes to serving your country. Sometimes the thing that’s asked of you is a relocation to another part of the country. If you’ve recently moved from somewhere else to Des Moines, get ready to enjoy a rapidly growing city that still feels like a small town. There’s a lot of things to figure out when you’re somewhere new. We think that storage should be one of the easier ones. Here’s what you need to know about storage if you’re in the military and you’re in Des Moines:

Storage and the Des Moines Air National Guard Base

Des Moines Air National Guard Base is a small base located at the Des Moines International Airport (so basically you have no excuse for being late for your next flight). As you might expect, if you’re moving to work at this base, you’re not going to be offered any kind of barracks or privatized housing. This would be unnecessary since the base is centrally located and housing in Des Moines is very affordable. It’s so affordable, in fact, that you might be able to afford a bigger place than you’re used to having if you’re from a pricier city. You may be able to factor in an extra bedroom or an apartment with bigger closets when calculating storage space. A high percentage of storage users report moving as one of the main reasons for using storage. Because housing is reasonably priced and widely available in Des Moines, you may consider taking your time and shopping around for your new apartment or home rather than renting online sight unseen. Thanks to flexible leases at storage facilities which allow for month-to-month rentals, you can keep your furniture and other belongings in storage for as little or as long a time as it takes to find your new home. For nearby storage, check out StorageMart’s facility on Army Post Road, just three miles away.

Storage and Camp Dodge

Camp Dodge is actually located about 20 minutes outside of Des Moines in the nearby town of Johnston, but due to its proximity to the big city, it’s easy to understand why so many troops there call Des Moines home. Like Des Moines Air International Guard Base, there’s no housing here either. Housing and storage options will be very similar. If you’re looking for storage close to the base, search for storage in Johnston rather than Des Moines. You’ll have your choice of many different facilities.

Military Considerations

Besides looking for discounts at places like Adventureland (great for families), you should also be sure to ask your storage facility manager about military discounts. Another thing you’ll want to ask your storage facility manager about if you’ve got some personal weapons is whether or not they allow the storage of guns. Some facilities do allow this, but none allow for the storage of ammunition. If you can’t find a facility that allows this, contact a local gun club or store and see about options for storage there. And of course, speak to superiors on the base about this, as they can either provide weapons storage or help you find it.

Des Moines, IA RV and Boat StorageViewHide

Des Moines, IA RV and Boat Storage

One great thing about Des Moines in addition to its cultural offerings is its proximity to rolling hills and fishing holes. It’s a great excuse to work the word “bucolic” into your vocabulary, plus it’s a great excuse to take your RV or boat out for a spin every now and then. Because the weather isn’t perfect year round (the area experiences 36 inches of snow a year), it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to take advantage of these toys for 12 months straight. During the off-season, you’re going to need a place to keep your RV or boat. If your driveway isn’t an option, or you just like the idea of keeping it somewhere that’s more secure, RV and boat storage can provide you with a great solution. Here’s what you need to know:

Space is Limited

Des Moines is growing fast. What was once a small town is turning into a world-class city. It’s our hope that the number of storage facilities will keep up with the pace, but as it stands right now, options are somewhat limited. When you’re looking for any kind of specialized storage, these options naturally become even more limited. Case in point: One of the only places out there that offers RV and boat storage is M&W Mini Storage. Their RV and boat storage options range from 10x27 to 10x45, so you’ll want to make sure your rig can fit before you consider this option. Because this is pretty much the only game in town, it’s to your advantage to lock down a space long term if you can get one. Many RV owners do this in cities with limited storage. It may seem annoying to have to pay for a storage spot that you’re only parking in for a few months, but it’s less annoying than not having storage at all.

Think About the Seasons

Des Moines experiences some pretty drastic temperature variations throughout the year. In storage facility language, this is worst case scenario for tenants who don’t take the extra time to properly prepare RVs, boats and cars for storage. Read up on preparing your RV for winter storage so that snow and cold temperatures don’t adversely affect your vehicle. Besides snow, storage is also affected by the 35 inches of rain that Des Moines experiences a year. There have been some pretty nasty floods in the area, so you’ll want to take a moment and review your RV or boat’s insurance policy before you park it in storage and forget about it. Some insurance policies protect against natural disasters, while others don’t. Go for the former. And be sure to ask your facility manager about how rain and snow have affected the property in the past.

The Iowa State Fair and Storage

You’ve probably heard about the epic Iowa State Fair which brings together the national pastimes of eating deep fried Oreos and looking at goats. But did you know you can park your RV there? This is a great event for RV owners to take advantage of, so that you can truly immerse yourself in all 11 days of fun. The Iowa State Fairground has 2,300 sites and is open for most of the year. It’s super close to downtown and offers 24 hour security and dumping stations. Getting a spot here in the off-season is easy, so if you can’t find storage right away, this can make for a relatively inexpensive option if you’re okay with living in your RV for a few months. If you’ve got your RV in storage, the proximity to the fairgrounds should give you a head start on waiting in the long, long line that’s required of folks looking to get in without reservations. Believe it or not, all 2,300 sites do fill up. If you’re looking for a permanent one, be warned that there’s a 10 year waiting list. We think the deep fried Oreos are worth it.

Des Moines, IA University StorageViewHide

Des Moines, IA University Storage

In 2015, Des Moines was ranked third on a list by SmartAsset of best cities for grads to get started in, and in 2014 it took the top spot on a Forbes list of best cities for young professionals. Thanks to a massive influx of careers in insurance and publishing plus a low cost of living, Des Moines is an ideal community-and job market-to dive into. If you’re relocating to Des Moines for college, small dorms and student apartments are sure to create space issues for you after living with your parents. We understand that storage might be a bit of a foreign concept to you, but we’re here to help you figure out how it can work for you in Des Moines.

How it Works

Before you start searching for a storage unit in Des Moines, you’re going to need to figure out how much space you’ll be needing. Found out how big your dorm room or apartment is along with features like closet space, whether or not dressers are provided and whether or not campus housing allows bed lofting (this will let you store a lot more stuff underneath your bed and is a solid reason to opt against taking the top bunk in a bunk bed situation). If you’re only planning on bringing basic items like seasonal clothing, sports equipment and a few other odds and ends, you’ll probably want a 5x5 unit. If you’re bringing a lot of furniture or a celebrity closet sized clothing collection, you’ll want to size up, but probably not by much. Because Des Moines is easy to get around and offers great public transportation, you don’t need to look for storage within walking distance of your school, but if this is important to you, be sure to speak with a facility manager about what you need to do to lock down a spot early, as units will fill up before summer and winter break. Once you’ve picked the right size and the right facility, you’ll sign a lease. These are typically quite flexible and run month-to-month. Most facilities also allow you to share a space with a friend which will cut down costs big time. Last but not least, look for student specials. Many facilities post flyers about deals in the spring that allow you to pay a low rate up front for the whole summer, that way you don’t have to worry about paying a bill every month while you’re on vacation.

Summer Storage

Ah, yes, that brings us to summer storage. This is the most popular season for student renters. We’ve already covered how demand for storage affects availability, but let’s talk about something that you might not think of if you’re new to storage. That’s climate control. Des Moines experiences some of the worst weather conditions for storage users. Summers are hot and winters are cold. In addition to this, the city sees 35 inches of snow and 36 inches of rain annually. In the summer, you should protect vulnerable items in storage like electronics (that big TV you’re storing) and antique furniture (that one of a kind armchair you found thrifting) against heat and humidity by opting for climate controlled storage. There are 11 StorageMart facilities that offer climate control in Des Moines, so if the first one you call doesn’t have availability, see if the facility manager can refer you to a property that does have the unit you’re looking for.

Students and Security

Maybe it’s the midwestern charm, but Des Moines has a very low crime rate. However, this doesn’t mean that you should throw caution to the wind when it comes to thinking about security. Try to choose a facility in an area that you feel comfortable going to, as security at a storage facility should be about your safety in addition to the safety of your belongings. A property at which staff walks the grounds on a regular basis will add to this feeling of safety. You should also look for a storage facility that’s fenced in, well-lit and only accessible to tenants and staff. Other great features include security cameras, actual security officers and individual alarms on units.
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