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Everything You Need to Know about Self Storage Options Near You
The goal of our nationwide directory is to help you find the perfect storage facility based on your specific needs. That starts with answering some basic questions about storage facilities. At USA Self Storage Network, we know storage better than almost anyone, so we’ve compiled a list of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to assist you with determining your needs and researching your options.

Renters, homeowners, businesses, students, hobbyists and military personnel all use self-storage facilities temporarily or longer term. Common reasons for renting a temporary storage unit include re-location, extended trips or overseas travel, seasonal work or schooling as well as divorce or other life events. Longer term or ongoing storage customers include people who need additional storage space outside of what is available in their home or residence or business who need to store records for a prescribed period of time. Individual customers may have downsized or want to free up space or declutter their home by storing items such as seasonal or holiday decorations and seasonal, sporting equipment, bicycles or landscaping supplies. Customers also frequently items that are not currently used, but that they don’t want to discard including furniture, appliances, clothing, sporting equipment, sentimental or heirloom items.

Self-Storage Options
The self-storage industry has grown rapidly over the last couple of decades as more individuals and businesses require additional storage. The growth of the storage industry means that customers have an ever-increasing number of options available including unit sizes and facility amenities.

Most facilities offer one or more options of indoor storage, outdoor storage, drive-up storage or vehicle storage as well as climate controlled storage options.

With each of these types of facilities, units are available in a variety of sizes. Based on how much space you need, you might find units from small lockers of just a few square feet to medium-sized units of 5x5 or 10x10 feet all the way to units that are large enough to store an entire house full of items. Many facilities offer a size calculator to help you to determine how much space you’ll need. Our recommendation is that if you’re debating between two sizes, go with the larger one because you have more flexibility. You don’t want to end up moving 90% of your items into a space only to realize that everything won’t fit.

How Can I Find a Storage Facility
You’ve already come to the right place! Our nationwide self-storage directory will help you to find a convenient storage facility near you and compare the options for each facility so that you get a unit that meets your needs. We always recommend starting with a search on your location by zip code or radius search to find the facilities in your area. Narrow your search based on the type of storage or amenities that are important to you. Finally, you should contact the short list of facilities that you’ve found to discuss rates and terms. You should also plan to visit the facility if you have time.

What Documents are Required to Rent a Storage Unit?
You will need some form of photo identification in order to rent a storage facility. That is typically a driver’s license of other form of state, military or valid identification card. A passport will also work. If you are not a US resident, your own form of government ID or passport will generally be accepted. If you have questions about what type of identification is required, contact the facility to make sure that you bring the documentation that they will need to finalize a rental agreement with you.

Unlike residential rentals, storage facilities will not run a credit report or credit history as part of the process.

You will generally need to make a deposit or payment in order to finalize your rental contract.

What are my Payment Options?
Self-Storage contracts are generally on a month-to-month basis. In some cases, you may be able to rent a unit based on a set term, but you will always want to make sure that you have the option of going month-to-month if the term expires, but you need additional time.

Rentals can be temporary for a few months, longer term or ongoing as permanent storage. The average length of a storage rental varies widely based on the location and clientele, for instance facilities near schools or military bases have shorter term averages than facilities in established or residential communities. Across the board, the average storage customer keeps a unit for several years. The rental payment for your unit is due monthly, and you should always be sure you understand when the payment is due. Based on your contract, rent could be due on the same date every month or on the 1st of each month. Most storage companies offer a wide range of payment options including auto-billing to a credit card or bank account as well as online payment or check options. Make sure that you have a payment option that works for you because you don’t want to miss your monthly payment. Late payments are subject to fees and can lead to the cancellation of the rental contract.

Many storage facilities offer frequent specials or first-time rental discounts including first month free, free locks or even gift cards. Be sure to ask if there are any specials.

Ready to Move?
Once you’ve found a the right storage facility and the right sized unit, you are ready to move your items into storage. Before you pack your items for storage, you’ll want to carefully tour the facility and inspect your unit to make sure that you have a solid game plan for moving your belongings.

Many facilities have their own trucks or moving equipment that you can use or rent. Most also offer a variety of packing supplies including moving boxes, tape, bubble or protective wrapping supplies and labels.

Next, you need to figure out if there are items that you will need to access while they are in storage. Typically, you want to put the larger items in the back of the unit because these items are not likely to move until you’re ready to leave the unit. Smaller items or items that you will need to access frequently should always be in the front of the unit, and you may need to leave some additional space within the unit for shifting boxes around to access other items. It is also very important to clearly label each box and keep the labelling facing towards you as you load your unit so that you can easily find the items that you need when you need them.

Finally, you’ll want to make sure that you have your access codes and hours of operation in mind before you start your move.

Security & Protection
While all good storage facilities come with a base line of security that typically includes secured access to the facility and security cameras, keep in mind that most rental contracts do not include any liability for loss or damage of your stored items. Most facilities require that you purchase your own lock for the unit and you can generally buy it from them if you don’t have one. It is also highly recommended that you get insurance for your items. If you already have homeowners or renters insurance, you might check with your provider to see if your stored items are covered. It’s generally required to have a separate policy for items in storage. These policies are economical and provide added protection.

As with any environment, all renters play a key role in security. Always be sure that doors or gates are closed securely when entering or leaving, and never allow people you don’t know to enter the facility without entering their own code.

Do I Need a Storage Unit? Or Will a Storage POD Work?
One of the more recent additions to storage options are portable storage containers or storage PODS. While these can be a workable solution for some customers, it is important to weigh your options carefully. Portable storage units are delivered to your home or residence, you fill up the container with your items, and the company hauls it away until you need it.

This option is best for customers who need storage for a defined period of time and do not need access to the items during that period. It’s also important to compare the costs for these portable storage solutions fully as there are often additional delivery costs as well as charges for extending or shortening your contract. You also need to make sure that you have a place to put the portable unit while you fill it up. They usually can’t be placed on a street and have to be placed on your own private property which generally doesn’t work for many urban locations.

What Items Can I Store in a Storage Unit?
Customers often ask what items are safe to be stored in a storage unit. Most items are safely stored in your unit, though the list depends on whether the unit is climate controlled or not. Common categories of items include:

• Electronic Equipment: computers, televisions, audio or speakers
• Hobby Equipment: sewing machines, art supplies, brewing supplies
• Landscaping or Household Tools: gardening or lawn maintenance equipment, construction equipment, table saws, tile cutters
• Automotive Equipment: spare or snow tires or chains, convertible hard tops,
• Clothing: seasonal clothing, baby clothes, sentimental items
• Furniture: antique or unused furniture, items that no longer fit in a downsized home, baby furniture, heirlooms
• Household Items: books, CD’s, DVD’s, VHS tapes, toys, items belonging to other family members

There are also some items that should never be stored in your storage unit:
• Flammable or toxic items
• Food or perishable items
• Guns or ammunition
• Live animals or plants
• Items of excessive value may be better stored in a lockbox at a bank
• Items that are sensitive to the elements should only be stored in a climate controlled unit

What Happens if I Can’t Pay the Rent on My Unit?
Before you rent a storage unit, you should consider how much you can afford to pay and how long you anticipate needing the additional storage. You should then be absolutely sure that you can cover the rent on your unit for the time that you’ll need it.

Paying your rent on time is highly important to keep your belongings safe and secure. Make sure that you understand your rental agreement. While most storage facilities and management companies are willing to work with clients, you will likely incur late fees or additional payments if you do not stay current with your rent. While auctions or removal of your items are always the last resort, a facility will not hold a unit for a customer indefinitely if they aren’t paying the rent.

If you’re going to be traveling or out of town for an extended period of time, inquire about remote payment or pre-payment options.

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US Self Storage Network is your one-stop public self-storage resource. Your storage unit needs are unique to your situation, and US Self Storage Network has the perfect affordable and clean storage solution to meet your storage needs.