Things You Should Know When Shopping for Self Storage

Moving, downsizing, de-cluttering, or expanding your business? A storage unit can provide solutions to many life changing events. Here’s what to watch for when looking for self storage.

Watch For Hidden Costs.

  • Is the price reasonable after any “move-in promotional discounts” have expired?
  • Are there any hidden add-on deposits or fees such as security deposits, accessing the unit outside normal business hours, multiple daily visits, or move in/out charges?
  • What happens if you miss a payment?What happens if you cause damage to your unit? (E.g. furniture scraping walls.)

Communication – Professional staff offering personable service can make a big difference to your moving/self-storage experience.

  • Is there staff onsite? Are they on site on a regular basis or just periodic (For Example: staff are there only when a new customer is moving in).
  • Can you communicate directly with the site manager and storage staff or are calls routed through a call centre?
  • How and when does the facility contact you if there is a problem with your storage unit?
  • How do they proceed if you are not available?

Before you commit do a site visit.

  • Is the unit clean and dry?
  • Are there water, mold or mildew stains on the walls or floor?
  • Are there any “off” odours? Strong smells of bleach or vanilla may indicate the facility is trying to cover the odour of something else.
  • Is there a pest control system in place?
  • Have there been any pest problems in the past? If so, what measures were taken?
  • Are there any items that are not permitted in storage? Most self-storage units have restrictions on tires, small engines (lawn mowers, motorcycles), firewood, propane tanks, medical or pharmaceutical supplies, perishable products (food, pet food), construction equipment, firearms, ammunition, hazardous household products (cleaners) and explosives.
  • Do customers supply their own locks? What type of locks are permitted/recommended?
  • What type of background checks/training do the employees receive?
  • Have there been any burglaries at this facility? (You may wish to ask the local police for any incident reports regarding this facility.)

Asking a few questions about the storage facilities in your area will help keep the stress of your move or other life changing even to a minimum.