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How to Choose a Storage Facility

Storage is storage, right? Wrong! You may think that you can simply rent a space at any random facility near you, but you very well may end up full of regret. Not all facilities are the same. Whether you need a place to put everything for a month while you look for a home in a new city you are moving to, or if you are moving in with your significant other, but not ready to part with everything, just in case things don’t work, you should put a little thought into the unit and facility you choose.

 

Decide on a Location
The first thing you need to do is decide where you should get the storage unit. Obviously, if you are staying within the city, this will not be a big deal. If you are moving cross-country this will be a major decision. If you get one in your hometown then you will either need to fly back to meet with the movers when it comes time to move, or you will need someone else to handle it for you. Alternately, you can get the hard part done first. Hire the movers to empty your home, transport cross-country, and place everything in a storage unit in your new city. With the second option, you have direct access to your belongings. Plus, you will not have that nagging in the back of your mind that keeps telling you that you still have a lot to deal with.

Compare Companies
One of the main reasons many people hate the thought of renting a storage unit is because they have to go through the process of comparing facilities, units, prices, and reputations. It is a lot of work, but this is where all your belongings will be, so it really is an important decision.

Fortunately, SpareFoot makes the process easy. It is a comparison website similar to unpakt.com, but it deals exclusively with storage. It allows you to compare facilities and choose from boat, car, RV, wine, college, and self-storage options. When you click on the type of storage you are looking for, you simply enter your zip code, and you are presented with available options. The system tells you the company’s address, phone number, storage size units, pricing, and hours. It lists if there are security cameras and hand carts, and if it is fenced and lighted for safety. You can even reserve a unit online, thereby eliminating the need to even talk to a human.

Choosing a Size
Choosing which size unit you need may get a little confusing. You don’t want one that is overly large or you will simply be paying for wasted space. However, you do not want everything so crammed inside that you cannot walk through. When you realize that you packed something you absolutely cannot live without you will understand why a little wiggle room is important.

  • 5 x 5 – Small furniture, such as a dresser or a couple end tables, plus some boxes will fit.
  • 5 x 10 – A 50-square-foot unit is about the size of a walk-in closet. You can squeeze in a mattress set, sofa, and boxes. It will hold about the same amount as a cargo van.
  • 7.5 x 10 – Belongings from a one bedroom, lightly furnished apartment will fit, including a washer and dryer.
  • 10 x 10 – A more heavily furnished one bedroom will fit, including major appliances and an average amount of boxes.
  • 10 x 15 – Items from a small house or two-bedroom apartment, plus boxes, but without appliances will use this size.
  • 10 x 20 – Furnishings from a home with appliances, or two-to-three-bedroom apartment will need this size unit. This is about the size of a full 24-foot moving truck.
  • 10 x 25 – A large house with major appliances will use this option.
  • 10 x 30 – A four or five-bedroom house will need this size. It will hold the same as a 40-foot moving truck.

Do You Need Climate Control?
If you have anything that could ruin from extreme temperature variations or humidity then you will want a climate-controlled storage unit. As the name implies these units remain at a comfortable temperature. Items that could be damaged include metal appliances, wood furniture, books, mattresses, sports equipment, movies, video games, electronics, art paint, canvases, instruments, and candles are a few examples.