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Below are some things to think about when choosing a self storage facility, we hope they're helpful to you:

  Will Your Rent Be Raised Shortly After You Move In?

 

Some facilities quote you a very low rental rate to get you to move in and they intend to raise your rent shortly after you move in without telling you that ahead of time!!!! (Note this is different than a temporary special or seasonal sale, this is an unethical practice). These facilities know that most people do not want to have to move their stuff after they have moved it in (much less rent another truck). They have them right where they want them. Ask ahead of time how long they guarantee that rental rate for.

 

Convenience

 

  1. Is it easy to drive to & from your unit? Some storage facilities are a nightmare to get around in and if you're in a U-HaulŪ, forget about it. If there are dead ends, you may have to back the rental truck up a long way when leaving your unit. Narrow drives & sharp turns make it harder to drive around in and if another renter is at their unit loading, etc., they can also stop you from getting to your unit for several hours at a time (most people access their storage unit often while renting it). If the drives aren't paved, dust can be a problem and rolling a dolly or something with wheels can be very hard.
  2. Are all the units on the ground floor or will you have to deal with stairs or elevators? This may be the most important consideration of them all for Climate Controlled units as it can greatly increase the difficulty of loading/unloading (especially appliances) & accessing your belongings while they are stored. Again, most people access their storage unit often while renting it.
  3. How far down the hall(s) is your Climate Controlled unit going to be? This determines how far you have to carry your things to load/unload. Distances greater than 100 feet are very annoying and tiresome.
  4. Can you pull the truck right up to the entrance to the Climate Controlled Building to load/unload or will you have to park away from it? This could greatly affect how far you have to carry everything to load/unload.
  5. Do the hours of access meet your needs? Remember, however, that a facility's security can be greatly compromised if access is allowed too late at night.
  6. Traffic. Is the traffic heavy on the road that the facility's entrance is located on? Most people drive moving vans or trailers very seldomly, if at all. Heavy traffic while travelling to/from and entering/exiting the facility can make this difficult, stressful task much more nerve-racking (especially if you have to wait forever for traffic to clear enough to have time to pull that big truck or trailer out of the facility)
  7. If using a portable storage box (PodsŪ for example) transported and stored at their warehouse: Do they allow you to access your things? If so, how often can you access your container to get to your things? Do you have to schedule it ahead of time? If so, how much notice do you have to give them - 24hrs? 48hrs? If notice is required, what happens if suddenly you need access right away? If notice isn't required, how long will you have to wait while they get your container down off the stack so you can get in it (the answer may surprise you)? Is there a charge for accessing it? How long will they allow you to look for something in it before they put it back up? How big of an area do they supply you with to access it? Do they allow you privacy when accessing your possessions? What measures do they take to minimize damage to your things when moving your container (other than simply selling you insurance)? Where is their warehouse located? etc., etc., etc.

 

  Hidden Charges

 

Many facilities charge a deposit or high administration fees. These fees can easily add up to $50 or more. Some will tell you the first month's rent is free or $1 and then hit you with fees that are more than the first month's rent would have been anyway! Many times the customer does not find this out until they are ready to sign up with their first truck load waiting. Be sure to ask over the phone before you show up if there are any "hidden" charges in addition to the rental rate you were quoted. If there are charges, see what potential benefits you may receive such as a free lock.

 

Location

 

This one sounds like it should be obvious, right? Well, it may not be as cut-&-dry of a decision as it sounds. Some facilities have their office located in a popular area, but the storage unit they rent you is in another city or town, entirely! Sometimes it can be two or more towns away!! If convenience is important to you, make sure to ask on the phone where the unit you will be renting is located instead of just where their office is.

 

If price is more important to you than location, consider storage facilities farther away from you. Especially if you live in a medium to large city, check prices in the suburbs. As an example, monthly rates in the suburban areas of Satsuma & Saraland, AL can be 50% less than in the city of Mobile -- yet it's only 15 minutes away!

 

  Security

 

Check on/ask about the following features:

 

1. Is it located in a "bad" part of town with a high robbery or drug abuse rate?

2. Can the buildings be seen from a main thoroughfare?

3. Is the area regularly patrolled by the police at night?

4. If so, is it well-lit at night so any suspicious activity can be seen by them?

5. Is it enclosed by a security fence that is locked at night? (This one is extremely important).

6. What other security features are present?

 

  Other Helpful Hints

 

For tips on determining what size storage unit you want, see the Product Info page.

Good Luck to you in your search! And, as a reward for reading this far and becoming an educated self storage customer, you will receive a free disk lock & we will waive any fees if you choose to rent with A.C.E.-for-Space Self Storage and mention you saw it on the Helpful Hints web page.

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Copyright(c) 2005 K.S. Simison. All rights reserved.