Chicago, IL: Top Things to Know About Storage

Krista Diamond | Mar 10, 2016 @ 10:26 AM

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!