How to Choose the Best Self-Storage Option


With more and more families moving every year and space being at a premium in many cities, more consumers are seeking out self-storage facilities to meet their short term and long term storage needs. There are many reasons why a self storage facility may be a great option for you. Some common reasons include:

  • De-cluttering a home of seldom used items
  • Making space for major home renovations
  • Getting ready for a home sale
  • Downsizing to a smaller residence
  • Seasonal storage needs – boats, skis, etc.

Before you start looking into the various self storage options in your area, you should first determine how much space you will need and how long will you need the space. Below is a simple guide to storage space needs based on standard facility sizes and dimensions:

  • 5' x 5' – the 25 sq. ft. space is ideal for storing smaller items such as furniture, office supplies, business files or tools
  • 5' x 10' – the 50 sq. ft. space is ideal for storing items from a studio or 1 BR apartment
  • 5' x 15' – the 75 sq. ft. space is ideal for storing items from a 1 bedroom or small 2 BR apartments
  • 10' x 10' – the 100 sq. ft. space is ideal for storing items from a 2 bedroom apartment or a personal office
  • 10' x 15' – the 150 sq. ft. space is ideal for storing items from a 2 or 3 BR apartment or house
  • 10' x 20' – the 200 sq. ft. space is ideal for storing items from a 3 or 4 BR house
  • 10' x 25' – the 250 sq. ft. space is ideal for storing items from a 4 or 5 BR house

Once you know the size that you will need for your storage needs, here are some of the factors that you will want to take into account. You should look for the right combination of convenience, cost and features that best meet your needs. Here are the features you should look for:

Accessibility – Most storage facilities are accessible seven days a week. Some facilities may make special arrangements for those who cannot make it to the facilities during normal business hours. Some facilities use access cards or password controlled entry. You should note whether your unit is accessible by car or truck as this will make loading and unloading much easier. In addition, the location of the facility in relation to your home or business is an important factor in making it easy to get items into and out of storage.

Air conditioning/climate control – Being able to control the temperature of the storage unit ensures that your more delicate belongings are well-protected from heat and moisture. Depending on the type of items that you will be storing, this feature could be very important to you.

Equipment – You may want to have access to dollies or other loading equipment at the facility to help you move heavier items. Many facilities will provide this type of equipment for free, while others may allow you to use them for a small rental fee.

Insurance – Even though storage facilities take various measures to keep your belongings secure, it is always a good idea to purchase insurance for peace of mind.

Security – In addition to being well-lit, storage facilities may install equipment such as alarm systems, coded entry systems, electronic gates, and surveillance cameras to keep your possessions safe. Some facility managers even live on the premises, and can take care of any emergencies immediately, should they arise.