Below are some things to think
when choosing a self storage facility, we hope they're helpful
Will Your Rent Be Raised Shortly After
You Move In?
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.
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.
all the units on the ground
floor or will you
have to deal with stairs
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.
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.
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
- 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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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!
on/ask about the following features:
Is it located in a "bad" part of town
with a high robbery or drug abuse rate?
Can the buildings be seen from a main thoroughfare?
Is the area regularly patrolled by the police at night?
If so, is it well-lit at night so any suspicious activity
can be seen by them?
Is it enclosed by a security fence that is locked
at night? (This one is extremely important).
What other security features are present?
Other Helpful Hints
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.
Copyright(c) 2005 K.S.
Simison. All rights reserved.