6 Things to Know Before Renting a Storage Unit

6 Things to Know Before Renting a Storage Unit

Before renting a storage unit, there are a few things you should know if you want to avoid spending more money than you need to.


No, I’m not talking about the final frontier, I’m talking about storage space. It seems like there’s never enough. Whether it’s because you’ve moved into a small apartment and don’t have room for everything, or because you’ve just accumulated too many things over a lifetime, you need more storage space. You could always just sell stuff, but it can be difficult to decide what you can afford to get rid of and what you’ll need later. While you make up your mind, it clutters your house.

That’s when you decided to rent a storage unit. There are plenty of reasons why you might rent one, but I’m not talking about those today. Today, I’m talking about the things you should know before you rent one. Here are the things that Vernon Storage told us were most important to consider.

What You Need to Know

1. Make Sure You Know the Costs

Price is a major deciding factor in determining who you rent storage space from. That’s something that any company will quickly tell you if you ask. What you might not know, however, is that some storage companies have “introductory rates” that they draw customers in with. They’ll promise a low price up front, but after a month or two, maybe a few more, the rates rise. Not every company does this, but those that do will try to make customers think this is how all companies work. It is not, so if you find a company with this set-up, check around and make sure there aren’t better options before you sign up.

2. Set A Deadline Before You Begin

Storage facilities are more than happy to have you store your stuff for a long time, but this isn’t a long-term strategy that’s good for your finances. Unless you have a very specific reason for using having long-term storage, you should set a deadline for how long you will stay in the unit. Decide what it is you want the unit to be for – such as storing things while you’re in between houses, or moving things out of the house while you sort through your possessions – and how long you’ll need to do that. Maybe a month, maybe two. Whatever you decide, stick to that schedule. Spend a little bit of time when you get it to sort through your things, removing what you don’t need, finding better places to store them at home, etc. That way, you won’t get stuck with an indefinite monthly expense.

3. Know the Access Hours

It’s important to know when you’ll be allowed to access the facility. Most facilities have security precautions, such as gated fences. In these cases, storage units might only be accessible during business hours. Some facilities may have other security features that allow then 24-hour access, but that’s not always a given. Before you rent from any location, make sure you know when you’re going to be able to get in and that their hours of access will be at a time when you can get into them. It’s no good having a storage unit that’s only accessible during the day if you work during the day and therefore have no free time while it’s open.

4. Always Have Pallets

wooden pallets are useful when renting a storage unit

A lot of people rent a unit and just spread things out on the ground. This is a terrible mistake. For one thing, you have no guarantee that melting snow or excessive rain won’t leak into the unit and dampen the ground. This could ruin your possessions if they’re not raised up. For another, packing things directly on the ground makes them harder to move around or take out when it comes time to clear out. Make sure you don’t make this mistake.

5. Consider the Climate

When packing things up for storage, you need to think about the climate. A storage unit is going to be subject to the temperature and humidity changes of the area where it is. Changes in temperature and moisture can damage or destroy some things you might need to store. If you live in an area where this is a concern, you need to make sure you pack things up in a way that will protect them from the climate. After all, you want your things to still be in good condition when you take them out.

6. Label Everything

Even if you don’t think you’re going to be storing things for very long, it’s a good idea to label everything before you put it into storage. You’re not going to be able to see through the boxes, so even if you’ve masterfully organized everything, you won’t know what box anything specific is in until you open it up. If you don’t label things well, then you’ll have to spend a lot of time opening boxes to look for things, then putting them back when you’ve found what you want. Spending a little time to label your stuff before you put it in storage will save you a lot of time and annoyance down the road.

A Good Call

Renting a storage unit can be a very convenient way to make space, or help you organize your things. When things are too cluttered, it becomes nearly impossible to get it under control. The mess just makes it disheartening. That said, it’s important to know what you want to use the storage unit for. Once you’ve got that worked out, the tips above will speed up the process and help you make the best decisions while renting. If you take follow these tips, you’ll get the most out your storage unit, while also spending the least amount of money to do it.

As with everything, don’t hesitate to shop around. There’s usually more than one storage company in any given town, so if one isn’t good for your needs, don’t be afraid to see what other options you have. You want your storage unit to work for you, not the other way around.