Most people think that renting storage before their upcoming move is just about having a place to safely stash thing during the move. That’s only part of it. What most don’t realize is that they’re likely going to keep using self-storage after their move! They see the convenience of having a storage space and decide to keep it for things like holiday decorations, seasonal clothing, unused furniture and more.
If there’s any possibility that you’ll keep using moving storage after your moving date has come and gone, make sure you take the time to choose a storage provider that’s going to give you the most bang for your buck. It’s not about how much space you can get for the monthly rate, either. When we’re talking about the true value of moving storage, we’re talking more about the facility and the benefits it offers you. There’s a lot more to it than just choosing the right size space!
Moving storage features and amenities
When you rent moving storage, you’re paying for more than just space. You’re paying for convenience, security, accessibility and peace of mind. Ultimately, that means you need to get these things from your choice for storage provider to make it all worth it.
The best way to maximize your value in self-storage is to look beyond the unit itself. What does the facility offer in terms of perks? Amenities? Security? What are you getting for your money beyond just a place to stow your stuff? Here’s a look at some examples of value-add items that make moving storage worth it, beyond just a place to store your things during a relocation.
- Security cameras (CCTV): You want to know your belongings are safe under lock and key at all times. That means having more than a padlock on the door! Look for facilities that have a complete CCTV system overlooking the premises and inside the facilities.
- Intrusion alarm-systems: If the facility you choose isn’t a 24-hour one, make sure they have a robust alarm system and intruder detection features. This ensures that even if there’s no on-site staff, there’s still someone on-call if there’s an incident overnight.
- Security guards: Even better than intruder alarm systems is on-site staff. This goes for both 24-hour facilities and those that close overnight. A security officer or two on-site will give you peace of mind that your belongings are under guard at all times.
- Fire safe: A fire at a storage facility can wipe out everything. Look for facilities that have fire protection and suppression systems that are up-to-date, regularly tested and appropriately installed. Sprinkler systems and fire alarms at a minimum!
- Computerized gates: Drive-up storage is a major convenience and facilities with on-site parking are great—but they need to have some form of computerized access gating installed. Choose a facility that prioritizes security at the point of entry.
- Third- party insurance: If anything should happen to your belongings while in storage, you don’t want to be on the hood for lost value. Make sure any storage facility you choose has third-party insurance available, with an assortment of coverages.
It goes without saying that in addition to these value-add features and amenities, the best moving storage providers will offer private units in a variety of sizes. Whether you need an 8’x10’ space or something larger, like a 12’x12’, you should be able to get it at an affordable rate, with the peace of mind that your stuff will be safe.
Need to keep a vehicle in storage while you’re moving? Not every self-storage facility offers vehicle storage, so be sure to check that the one you’re interested in does. Keep in mind that many facilities advertise storage space, but not all vehicle storage is equal! Some providers only offer uncovered outdoor parking, while others offer indoor vehicle storage. Determine what you need before you pay for a parking arrangement.
Confirm rates and terms
The last thing to consider when picking out a moving storage facility are the rates and terms available. As mentioned above, most people only rent moving storage with the intention of storing their items over the short term; however, they end up opting for a longer term out of convenience. Check out the rates and terms affiliated with different facilities to make sure you can get storage for as long as you need it, at a price worth paying.
Look out for things like annual contracts with early termination fees and instead, opt for month-to-month if you’re not sure how long you’ll need storage. Also beware of surcharges hidden in the contract. Some charges are legitimate, such as annual pest control spraying. If anything stands out as an unnecessary or extraneous cost, question it before you sign a contract.
At the end of the day, moving storage is about a lot more than just a space to stow your stuff. These are your worldly possessions! Make sure you’re considering all the extras and amenities you deserve before deciding on a storage facility.