SELF STORAGE GUIDE
10 Factors for Choosing Self-Storage
Whatever your reason for needing self-storage—planning a move, downsizing your home, or you just have too much stuff—there are several factors to consider when choosing the storage facility that is right for you.
- Assess your inventory: When deciding whether to store your items, consider what you really need to keep, what can go and what may be needed some day. Storing only what you really need will reduce storage costs, and if you choose to get rid of items before storing them, you won't have to move those items again later. Divide your inventory into three categories: items to be put into storage, items you will hang onto yourself, and items to be sold, donated, or thrown away. After you make your final decision regarding the items, think about how to dispose of everything you have decided you don't need and will not store. Throw the items out, give them away, or donate them to various charities. Remember to get a receipt for tax purposes. Another option is to hold a garage sale.
- Size matters: How much storage space do you need? At Moishe’s, we have made it easy to calculate how big your storage unit should be with our Storage Manager. Simply enter the items you plan to store on the calculator and we’ll do the math for you—it’s free to use. Once you have determined how much space you need, you can ask the storage facilities you are considering which size units they offer. At Moishe’s, our units range in size from 4' x 4' x 2.5' to 10' x 20' x 8' feet
- The long and short of it: How long do you need your storage unit for? The length of time that you intend to store your things will factor into your decision. If you only need storage for a couple of months, you will probably want to play close attention to monthly rates. If you are thinking about long-term storage, then you will probably want to look at the different amenities each facility offers.
- Mobile storage vs. self-storage: Have you considered mobile storage? With mobile, a large, portable container is dropped off at your home, you load it, and the container is either stored on your property or at a large facility. Moishe’s offers mobile storage services—click here for more information.
- Location, location, location: If self-storage is your choice, consider a facility close to home. This will save money and time if you make frequent visits.
- Is time on your side? Be sure to ask about the storage facilities’ operating hours. Some offer 24-7 access, others have more normal business hours, and some facilities, such as mobile storage centers, require 24-hour notice to access your unit. So if you work odd hours, you may require a storage facility that offers flexible hours.
- Security: One of the most important factors you should look for when choosing a storage facility is a serious security system. Investigate the security measures for the facility you wish to choose. How do they intend to store your goods within the unit itself? Are the security measures different during regular business hours versus after-hours? What kind of neighborhood is the storage facility in? Would you feel comfortable visiting at off-hours?
At Moishe’s, our storage facilities are monitored 24/7 using state-of-the-art burglar alarms, security checkpoints, motion detectors, closed circuit video recording, and constant patrol. We are dedicated to keeping your belongings safe.
- Price: The cost of renting a storage unit depends on size, storage period, and any special needs. Special offers and discounts from the storage facilities will be fewer during busy periods, and storage companies will try to offer incentives to persuade you to commit to a longer rental period. You’ll often find deals for the first month free; shop around.
When you consider price, don’t forget to find out if the company will provide free pick-up, a free move or free truck. Make sure that you get a complete breakdown of all applicable charges; and make sure that there are no “hidden” charges. These can include: monthly deposit, lock and key charge, and electricity usage among others.
- Insurance: Storage insurance is an important issue to consider, especially if you plan to store high-value items. Storage companies usually offer their own insurance aganst loss or damages. In most cases they will either offer full replacement value or limited liability, which covers as little as 60 cents per pound per article. This means if your storage handlers damage your 10-pound stereo that cost you $1,000, you would only receive $6 in compensation.
Make sure you fully understand how the insurance they are offering will cover any potential damage in cases such as fire, flood, etc. Also, check with your own agent to see if your renters insurance or homeowners insurance will cover you.
- Specialized storage: Not every item should be stored in your everyday storage unit—some belongings, such as fine art or wine, require specialized storage with climate control. Moishe’s offers fine art, document, and wine storage services—contact us to find out if your items belong in specialized storage.