What to Look for in a Storage Unit

There are many reasons why you may want to rent a storage unit to store your belongings. Maybe you are downsizing or moving from one home to another. Or perhaps you are moving abroad, or have just acquired new equipment needing temporary storage. Whatever the event, looking for an ideal storage unit is not always an easy task. Most people have a hard time finding the right location for them, especially considering the number of possibilities and features offered by various companies.

You are not sure what type of storage you should get? This article may help guide you through the process by providing details on essential aspects you may want to consider when looking for a storage unit, as well as information on the different types of storage available and special features to look for, depending on your needs. This way, you will have the key tools you need in order to make strategic choices based on your own situation.

Are you moving and wish you had some help? Check out our free interactive checklist.

Tackle Your Move in Minutes.

1. Save time with every task
2. Access exclusive deals
3. Track your progress

Widget Dashboard

Size and Location of Storage Unit

For obvious reasons, including the fact that size and location will have a central impact on the cost of your storage rental, those are the two aspects you may want to consider first in your search for a storage unit.

cost of storage

Size of Storage Unit

It is important to choose the right size for your storage unit. Usually, the larger the unit is, the higher the cost will be. So, make an inventory of your belongings needing storage, consider only what is essential and measure your items in advance to avoid paying for more space than you need or not having enough storage room. To give you an idea of the size you may need, depending on the items you must store, we have listed below different common storage size units and the amount of storage each unit may allow – for example, a 5×5 unit would normally be adequate for storing belongings filing a home closet.

  • 5×5 unit (25 sq. ft.) – for storing belongings filing a home closet
  • 5×10 (50 sq. ft.) – for storing belongings filing a studio apartment
  • 5×15 unit (75 sq. ft.) – for storing belongings filing a 1-bedroom apartment
  • 10×10 unit (100 sq. ft.) – for storing belongings filing a 2-bedroom apartment
  • 10×15 unit (150 sq. ft.) – for storing belongings filing a 3-bedroom apartment

Location of Storage Unit

In general, storage facilities located downtown are more expensive than those that are in suburban areas or close to residential areas. Therefore, if you do not need to access your items on a regular basis, you may want to consider renting a unit outside the city, even if away from your home, in order to save money. On the other hand, if you plan on going back and forth to retrieve your items on multiple occasions, you might consider getting a unit close to your home.

Click here to find our recommenced storage facilities near you.

Types of Storage

Below, we have listed different types of storage options you can consider when choosing your storage company. 

Indoor or outdoor storage

Before deciding whether to opt for an indoor or an outdoor storage facility, you might want to consider the following factors. First, depending on the type of items you need to store, you might want to consider an indoor storage, where temperature and humidity are maintained to a specific level. If this is not the case, you may want to consider an outdoor facility, which is usually less expensive. Second, while normally more expensive, indoor storage is usually more secure, but access might be restricted to some specific hours. On the other hand, with outdoor storage units, the door to access your unit is located outside. This is particularly interesting as it allows for an easy access from your car when you need to pick up some of your belongings.

Self-service storage

Some storage companies will offer a “valet service,” meaning that they will pick up your belongings and deliver them to your storage unit. Additional fees will generally apply, but this service can be useful, especially if you do not have a means of transportation to and from the storage unit, or if you do not want to get into the hassle of renting a truck or trailer. When you need your items back, instead of travelling to the storage facility, you can request a delivery to a specific location. 

Storage with a moving company

Many moving companies will provide storage spaces in case you need to store your belongings for a short or longer period of time. This is particularly interesting if, for example, your new home is not ready at the same time as you’re leaving your current home, as it gives you the opportunity to store your belongings in a safe place in between your moves. In addition, from a logistics point of view, you only have to deal with one company.

Container

The temporary use of containers may also be a good idea for you. In general, a container can be delivered to your home upon your request. You can then take the time you need to load it with your belongings based on your own schedule. You can then choose a pickup time and a delivery location (for example, a storage facility or your moving destination). Some companies will also offer you the possibility of storing the container on your own property.

Vehicle parking space

Whatever the size or type of vehicle you have; whether it is a motorcycle, a car, an RV, a boat or a pickup truck, there are storage facilities that will provide secure parking spaces where you can leave your vehicle. Those facilities will offer outdoor parking spaces, covered or not, and/or enclosed parking spaces, the latter offering more protection.

Special Features

Below you will find other features you may want to consider when selecting your storage facility.

Climate-controlled storage units

If you need to store items such as wooden, leather or metal furniture, electronics, artwork, photographs, musical instruments, wine, antiques, medical supplies, sports equipment, etc., you should consider choosing a storage facility that offers climate-controlled units where temperature and humidity levels are stable to better protect your belongings, especially if you plan on storing them for a long time.

Hours of operation

Will you need to access your belongings on a regular basis? Are you planning on accessing your storage unit outside business hours? If so, you might want to consider renting a storage unit at a facility that is accessible 24//7. Check the facility’s hours of operation to make sure you will be able to retrieve your belongings at the time that best suits you.

Special security systems

In general, storage facilities ensure that your belongings are secure. However, the extent of the security measures will vary from one facility to another. Some will provide you with a simple lock, some will have a security guard on location and others will include advanced security systems, including video surveillance and alarm systems. Take a look at your contract to verify what is provided in terms of security. Although you may have to pay a little extra to store your belongings in a storage facility equipped with additional surveillance features, this may give you greater peace of mind.

Insurance coverage

In general, storage facilities ensure that your belongings are secure. However, the extent of the security measures will vary from one facility to another. Some will provide you with a simple lock, some will have a security guard on location and others will include advanced security systems, including video surveillance and alarm systems. Take a look at your contract to verify what is provided in terms of security. Although you may have to pay a little extra to store your belongings in a storage facility equipped with additional surveillance features, this may give you greater peace of mind.

Online Reviews

If you think you have found the perfect facility that has all the features you are looking for, we recommend that you check its reviews and ratings online, on Google or Facebook, before signing a contract. This final check will give you an even better idea of the quality of the facility and of its customer service. Click here to find storage facilities that you can trust near you. Also talk to your friends, family members or colleagues; they might have recommendations for you. 

Conclusion

Whether you are looking for short or long-term storage, we hope this brought answers on aspects to consider when choosing a unit. Keep in mind that first, you will have to evaluate your needs and choose accordingly. Having listed all your requirements, all that remains to do is select the appropriate storage option for you. Good luck!

Share this article on social media

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Relevant for your move

Local storage
How to find a Storage Unit

How to find a Storage Unit In recent years, there’s been an increase in the price of rent and a greater mobility between cities, which has contributed to the positive growth of the rental storage sector,

Read more »
storage_belongings
Moving tips
What is the cost of storage?

What is the Cost of Storing my Belongings? Before deciding to rent a storage unit for your belongings, you would probably want to get an idea of the cost. Normally, companies will provide information on cost

Read more »
Community post
Discover a Better Way to Move and Store Your Stuff

When you think about “moving” and “storage”, what images and associations instantly come to mind? Perhaps flashbacks to a previous move that was just way too much effort? Maybe a dingy, damp self-storage unit? A U-Haul jampacked with your disorganized possessions?

Read more »
Best Self-Storage Campany in Canada
Local storage
Best Self-Storage Companies in Canada

Best Self-Storage Companies in Canada – Find the perfect self-storage unit near me. Whether you are moving, or you simply have too many possessions for your home, self-storage is a great way to get your belongings

Read more »

Need help moving?

Check out MovingWaldo’s free moving platform and find everything your need for your move. No sign up required!

You're moving.

We got you.

Get our printable change of address checklist directly in your inbox