What to Look for in a Self-Storage Facility

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So, you’ve decided to finally rent a self-storage unit. Great! It won’t be long until you start to see the benefits in housing your items in secure storage! Whether you’re renting short-term to make moving easier or are thinking long-term for convenience, renting a storage facility is a smart idea. The question is, what should you be looking for from a storage facility?

Let’s face it: there’s no shortage of storage facilities in New York City. What makes one better than another? While it’s easy to compare prices and look at online reviews, the truth is that finding the right storage facility takes a comprehensive look at many different variables. Here’s what to look at to make sure you’re getting the most out of your decision to rent a self-storage unit:

  • Cost of rental: Cost is the thing most people look at first when choosing a self-storage facility in New York City. Obviously, you want to make sure you can afford to pay the monthly or annual rate associated with renting a unit. But make sure you’re not just valuing the most affordable storage provider. Cost can be a race to the bottom. Instead, look at cost in terms of value. What are you getting for your money?
  • Rental terms: Go with a storage facility that offers rental terms that are amicable to your situation. For example, if you’re not sure how long you want to rent in the short-term, you might want month-to-month pricing. If you know you’ll rent for at least a year, you might prefer an annual contract. See what each storage provider offers in terms of rates and make sure your needs are accommodated.
  • Security: If you’re storing your belongings at a facility, make sure it’s secure. Look for security features like CCTV, on-site staff, guards, keypad entry, gated access and more. Security is extremely important and not something you should compromise on—after all, your belongings will be at risk if there are adequate security measures in-place to keep wrongdoers away!
  • Track record: How long has this company been around? How many locations do they operate? Before you decide to entrust your belongings to a self-storage company, make sure you know a little about who they are and what they stand for. This isn’t to say a company with a 10-year history is better than a brand-new startup! Just make sure you feel good about the self-storage provider you’re working with.
  • Reputation: Don’t be afraid to go online and read some reviews! Word of mouth is a powerful force and can tell you a lot about how current and past customers feel. Look for a storage facility that has a good reputation with its customers and plenty of reasons for people to be happy about. If you’re only seeing negative reviews or bad ratings, take that into account as you investigate the company further.
  • Proximity: How far is a storage facility away from where you live or work? Do you have to go far out of your way to get to it? Is it on your daily route? Proximity is important to consider as you choose a self-storage facility in New York City. Remember, part of renting storage is for convenience. It’s not very convenient if you need to take two trains and a taxi to get to your unit every time you need to grab or stow something!
  • Accessibility: Accessibility dictates how easy it is for you to get into your unit when you need to. This is something to consider at every level. For example, is the facility open or accessible 24 hours a day? If not, you’re restricted to operating hours. Do they have drive-up storage or dock loading? If not, consider how far you might have to carry stuff to and from your unit. Other variables like handicap accessibility or keypad access are worth considering as you think about accessibility.
  • Amenities: What else does a facility have to offer you besides a storage space to put your stuff in? What sets facilities apart is their emphasis on the extras, and it’s part of what adds value to your overall rental experience. Do they offer boxes for packing? Can the facility accept packages? Is there free Wi-Fi available? Consider what you’re getting in addition to your storage unit.
  • Pest control: The last thing you want is to open your storage unit and have critter scuttle out. Pest control is an underrated part of self-storage facility maintenance and something you should always check for before signing a contract. You should need to bring your own rat traps and bug bombs! Some facilities might have a small surcharge for this, and it’s always worth the cost.
  • Communication: Let’s say you have a problem or need to discuss your rental agreement. How easy is it to get ahold of someone who can answer your questions? Is there staff on-site? You need to be able to communicate with people who can help you and answer your questions. The easier that is, the better your self-storage experience will be overall.
  • Incentives: Finally, consider how a self-storage facility rewards you for choosing them. Do they offer discounts on long-term rental contracts? Are there specials for renting during a certain time of the year? Are there packages for multiple types of storage that lower the total cost? It never hurts to ask, “what can you do for me?” Often times, there’s a deal or discount you didn’t know existed!

While some of these variables are weightier than others—security is more important than incentives, for example—it’s important to look at all of them before signing any type of contract. Do your research and make sure your storage provider of choice checks all the right boxes. You should feel good about choosing them and not have any doubts in your mind—after all, you’ll be storing your worldly possessions with them, so you better be confident!

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