Choosing the right residential self-storage facility requires a review of both short-term and long-term storage needs. Some main points to consider include access, safety, protection, and fees, but additional options like full-service and item cataloging add a new dimension to the standard unit.
Asking a few key questions can help narrow down your needs and limit your options to those who meet the basic requirements.
What items will be stored?
One key concern with self-storage is the long-term protection of the items stored. Different items require different levels of care to remain in good condition over a period of months or years. A storage unit full of clothes and other linens is more likely to benefit from climate control in order to keep the fabrics fresh for removal and use over an extended period of time. Similarly, paper products like books can become musty and even mold fairly quickly in high humidity, unregulated environments. For household storage more focused on holiday decor overflow or larger wood pieces, climate control is less necessary, particularly in more temperate environments.
When considering climate control and air recirculation as an option, also think about if anyone in the household is sensitive to allergens as these individuals generally benefit the most from items staying fresh in storage.
What is the value of items?
An additional security point in a residential storage facility is the physical protection of items. Most storage units allow for the use of individual locks unique to the owner to prevent tampering. However, the best facilities also take security and break-in prevention seriously with additional features, such as high-visibility lighting 24/7, the use of security cameras, and the gating of the storage units via keyed entry. Each layer of security provides additional protection, but you may still want to inquire about insurance options to protect items stored away from the home.
What is the cost?
Self-storage facilities range greatly in price based on location, services offered, and other amenities. Always balance these three factors to pick a facility that provides a good value based on the items most important to your needs. For example, extra security may not be as important as easy access close to home, making a higher-cost storage unit in the neighborhood a more practical rental.
Is cataloging necessary?
A new variety of high-service, self-storage units provide additional value for consumers with exceptional storage needs. These facilities can pick up items, catalog them in the storage unit, and provide a photo-based inventory system to the owner for review and requesting items. When a residential facility is truly a long-term extension of the home, these features can make it easier to access personal items quickly and easily.
Contact a local residential self-storage facility to learn more.