There’s no denying that we live in a consumer world. Americans, as a population, are notorious for collecting excessive amounts of ”stuff”. So much so that living the American Dream fills in excess of 50,000 storage units, countrywide.
While there is no shame in collecting material things throughout your lifetime, what happens when you’ve collected so much that there’s just nowhere to put it? It comes down to selling, donating, or looking for a cheap self-storage solution.
If you’re on the hunt for such a solution, here’s how to choose a good storage unit to suit your needs.
What Do You Need to Apply?
Before you think about renting out a storage unit, it’s important to understand that you’ll need to meet a few requirements, first. Usually, this includes some form of identification such as:
- A driver’s license
- State ID
- Military ID
Keep in mind that your ID must include a photo of you on it. You might also need to purchase mandatory insurance coverage, depending on the storage company’s policies. If you’re looking for the cheapest/most affordable option, make sure to shop around and compare quotes before settling on a decision.
Here’s what to consider while shopping for local storage units:
If you’re storing items that you need access to on a regular basis, then location is a super important consideration. However, if you’re storing items for the summer/winter months, for example, the location might not be a top priority.
In this case, you can save money by choosing a storage facility outside an urban area as they tend to offer better pricing and leasing options.
The amount you pay for storing your items depends on a few factors. This usually includes the size of the unit, its location, the duration of storage, and the availability of units.
While most self-storage companies offer month-to-month lease options, you can save money and find a cheaper option by signing up for a longer term. Keep in mind that other local storage facilities might also impact the price, due to local competition.
If there is poor availability of storage units in your area, the price is usually much higher. On the flip side, you might be able to bag a bargain if you find a storage facility with plenty of vacant units. In short, the greater the availability, the better the price.
3. Specialized Amenities
Not all belongings require a closely controlled climate in order to store well over a long-term period. But there are certain circumstances where you might need to consider a storage unit with specialized extras, such as climate control.
No matter what climate you live in, mold and mildew have a way of creeping into storage units and ruining your valuables. If you plan on storing items such as clothing, leather or wooden furniture, artwork, antiques, electronics, photos, or paperwork, a climate-controlled unit is a good idea.
This way you can protect your possessions from extreme fluctuations in temperature if you’re looking for long-term storage. A climate-controlled unit will maintain the internal temperature at 50-85 degrees throughout the year.
Check out https://www.shipexmoving.com/self-storage-in-bangalore for top-tier storage solutions.
Accessibility might be an important consideration for you if you need to get into your storage unit at all hours of the day/night. For example, you might store specialized equipment or tools in your unit that you need access to throughout the day.
If this is the case, make sure to look for a company that offers 24-hour storage access. But bear in mind that some locations across the country might have varied access hours. The bottom line? Always do your research on the scope of accessibility before you settle on a location/storage company.
The reality is that storage unit break-ins do happen, so when you’re choosing a self-storage company always ensure that safety is a top priority. Yes, the storage unit itself must be secure. But it’s also vital that the building and grounds feature additional security measures.
This might look like security cameras, a patrolling security guard, or guard dogs that roam the yard. Each unit should include individual security cameras, their own alarm system, and top-of-the-range lock systems in place.
It’s also up to you to research the local area and whether it has a high crime rate. If security is a top priority, the local crime statistics could be something to seriously consider.
Finally, you’ll need to think about the ideal size of the storage unit based on much stuff you have to store. A good way to save money on hiring a storage unit (especially over a long-term period) is by packing your items in a strategic manner.
The better you can pack your items, the less space you need–which ultimately means hiring a smaller unit and saving money. If you’re unsure of the exact size unit you need, ask the storage facility for advice.
Here are some quick packing tips to help you maximize space:
- Stack your items (where possible). Make the most of the vertical space in a storage unit and use stacking bins to store your goods
- Store big, bulky items of furniture by disassembling them first (where possible). This does not apply to antiques!
- Make the most of empty spaces and fill them up, i.e. pack dressers and wardrobes full of smaller items to maximize space
Always remember to leave an aisle of space down the middle of your storage unit. This allows you to get into the unit in order to access what you need without having to clamor over everything.
Should Cheap Self-Storage Be the End Goal?
In a world filled with clutter, there’s no time like the present to assess how much stuff you have in your home, and whether cheap self-storage is actually the best solution. In many cases, donating, selling, recycling, and upcycling are the better options–for both you and the environment.
If you want to learn more about how to organize your home and your life, check out the rest of this blog for top lifestyle management tips.
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