If you’re as obsessed with best self storage practices as we are, you know how important it is to choose a storage unit with the right features.
A self storage facility should treat your belongings like precious cargo, but that doesn’t mean that you should have to invest in a fancy diamond encrusted storage unit that comes with its own security detail. If you care about keeping your items safe, the perfect storage unit should be somewhere between the one that offers four walls and nothing else and the one that was probably featured on an old episode of MTV Cribs.
The following are four self storage features that you think you need but can probably live without. Keep in mind that your self storage needs may differ based on what you’re storing and where you live, so if you’re still not sure about what amenities to choose, be sure to ask the storage facility directly.
24 Hour Access
24 hour access to anything is nice but rarely necessary. Case in point: IHOP. Pancakes at 3am are always awesome but you can hopefully meet your nutritional needs without them (Sorry, IHOP). The same goes for self storage.
You might think you need access to your storage unit 24 hours a day, but unless you work especially long hours at your job or have a weird policy where you only run errands after dark, you don’t.
If you still want some flexibility, look for a storage facility that’s open later than 9-5. You’ll have far more options than you would if you limited your search to only storage facilities that allow for 24 hour access.
Drive Up Access
If you’ve ever stayed at one of those motels where you can park right outside your door, you know how great it is to only have to lug your belongings a few feet. Drive up access is kind of like the self storage version of that.
But did you know that the alternative to drive up access doesn’t mean carrying that ridiculously heavy dresser across a parking lot and up some stairs? Storage facilities actually have carts and elevators to make the process easy.
As an added bonus, indoor storage provides your belongings with better protection and doesn’t require you to stand outside when it’s cold or rainy.
This one is a little bit controversial. We’re not saying that no one needs climate controlled storage—quite the contrary, actually. A lot of people need it. But before you select a storage unit that has this feature, make sure you’re one of those people.
How can you tell? Climate control is necessary if you’re storing items like electronics, photographs, musical instruments, wine, antiques or anything else from this list. It’s also necessary if you’re storing in a climate or during a season where drastic temperatures and high levels of humidity (or in desert regions, extreme lack thereof) occur. Climate controlled storage may also be necessary if you’re storing long term.
Bottom line: If you’re storing items that aren’t susceptible to damage from harsh temperatures and humidity and you won’t be using your storage unit long term, you can probably live without climate control.
Close to Your House
The number one feature that most people look for when seeking out self storage is convenience. It makes sense: you want a storage unit that’s five minutes away from your apartment, not all the way across town.
We hate to break it to you, but that line of thinking isn’t always right. Self storage facilities that are centrally located or otherwise located in desirable areas (For example, a boat storage facility right next to the lake.), are able to charge more. That’s why a 5x5 storage unit downtown might cost more than a much bigger unit a few miles away.
If your budget is important to you, expand your search radius to include facilities that are located outside of your city’s central business district. You just might get an the deal of a lifetime.