Storage Options In Your Area
There are over 50,000 self storage locations in the US.
The largest national storage companies are Public Storage, Extra Space, U-Haul, and CubeSmart.
But there are also many small and regional storage facilities.
There's a lot of competition, so consumers can find good deals by shopping around.
There are many things to consider when choosing a storage unit:
- How convenient is it to get to? Real estate in a big city is expensive, so storage is cheaper the farther away you go.
Storage facilities are often near freeway exits.
- The most common storage unit sizes are 5x5, 5x10, and 10x10.
Most companies have all of those. Some have odd sizes in between. Some have very large spaces.
Since smaller units are in higher demand, they're not always available.
Storage units turn over regularly, so check back often.
Storage unit size are quoted in square feet, but don't forget to check the height.
Heights vary and that can make a big difference if you can stack everything high.
- Storage demands are seasonal. They increase in the summer when people are moving.
When a storage facility is near capacity, they don't offer discounts.
You can usually find better deals in the winter.
- Is there a loading dock? Is there 24 hour access?
Some storage centers are closed on certain days or times.
- Is there video surveillance and an alarm system? Is there staff or security guards around the clock?
Are the entrances, hallways, and storage units well lit?
- Is there air conditioning and heating? Many storage places are not climate controlled.
If your area can get very hot, very cold, or very humid, would your belongings get damaged?
Would you be uncomfortable accessing your storage unit on a hot summer day?
Storage Pricing and Contracts
Prices vary based on the storage size, amenities, proximity to a big city, and availability.
There is usually a security deposit.
Free or discounted first months are popular in the industry.
Signing a longer contract may have a lower monthly price and avoid rent increases.
Prices can increase over time. Make sure you understand your lease to know when rent increases are allowed and by how much.
Self Storage Alternatives
If you don't want to drive and load all your stuff, you have several options.
You can hire movers to do it. You can use services like Clutter and MakeSpace that pick up and store your stuff.
You can use Pods or similar services that drop off a big container on your street. You fill it and then they pick up the whole container for storage or moving.