Factors for Choosing Self-Storage

Whatever your reason for needing self-storage—planning a move, downsizing your home, or you just have too much stuff—there are several factors to consider when choosing the storage facility that is right for you.

  1. Assess your inventory: When deciding whether to store your items, consider what you really need to keep, what can go, and what you may need some day. Storing only what you really need reduces storage costs. If you choose to get rid of items before storing them, you won't need move them again later. Divide your inventory into three categories: items to store, items to keep yourself, and items to be sold, donated, or thrown away. After you make your final decisions, think about how to dispose of everything you decided you don't need and won't store. Throw items out, give them away, or donate them to charity. Remember to get a receipt for tax purposes. Another option is to hold a garage sale.

  2. Size matters: How much storage space do you need? At Moishe’s, we make it easy to calculate how big your storage unit should be with our Storage Manager. Simply enter the items you plan to store on the calculator and we do the math for you. Plus, it’s free to use. Once you determine how much space you need, ask the storage facilities you are considering what size units they offer. At Moishe’s, our units range in size from 4' x 4' x 2.5' to 10' x 20' x 8' feet.

  3. The long and short of it: How long do you need your storage unit? The length of time that you intend to store your items factors into your decision. If you only need storage for a couple of months, you probably want to pay close attention to monthly rates. If you need long-term storage, you will want to consider the different amenities each facility offers.

  4. Mobile storage vs. self-storage: Have you considered mobile storage? With mobile storage, we drop off a large, portable container at your home. You load it, and the container is either stored on your property or at a large facility. Moishe’s offers mobile storage services—click here for more information.

  5. Location, location, location: If self-storage is your choice, consider a facility close to home. This saves money and time if you make frequent visits.

  6. Is time on your side? Be sure to ask about the storage facilities’ operating hours. Some offer 24-7 access, others have average business hours. Others, such as mobile storage centers, require 24-hour notice to access your unit. So if you work odd hours, you may need a storage facility that offers flexible access.

  7. Security: One of the most important details you should look for when choosing a storage facility is a comprehensive security system. Investigate the security measures for the facility you choose. How do they intend to store your goods within the unit itself? Are the security measures different during regular business hours compared to after-hours? What kind of neighborhood is the storage facility in? Would you feel comfortable visiting at off-hours? At Moishe’s, our storage facilities are monitored 24/7 using state-of-the-art burglar alarms, security checkpoints, motion detectors, closed circuit video recording, and constant patrol. We are dedicated to keeping your belongings safe.

  8. Price: The cost of renting a storage unit depends on size, storage period, and any special needs. Special offers and discounts from the storage facilities will be fewer during busy periods. Don't forget storage companies try to offer incentives to persuade you to commit to a longer rental period. You’ll often find deals for the first month free; shop around! When considering price, remember to ask if the company provides free pick-up, a free move, or free truck. Make sure that you get a complete breakdown of all applicable charges; and check that there are no “hidden” fees. These include: monthly deposit, lock and key charge, and electricity usage among others.

  9. Insurance: Storage insurance is an important issue to consider, especially if you plan to store high-value items. Storage companies usually offer their own insurance against loss or damages. In most cases they will either offer full replacement value or limited liability. But, this covers as little as 60 cents per pound per article. That means if your storage handlers damage your 10-pound stereo that cost you $1,000, you would only receive $6 in compensation. You must fully understand how the insurance they offer will cover any potential damage in cases like fire, flood, etc. Also, call your own agent to see if your renter's insurance or homeowner's insurance covers you.

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