Questions to ask before you rent a storage unit.

We are often asked what our cheapest unit is.   If this is the only question you ask you will not get the information you really need. Sometimes you will know exactly what size unit you will need and sometimes you will need help in selecting the right unit for you. We can help you in determining the right size and type of unit.

The first decision you should make is the type of unit you need, climate-controlled or non-climate controlled. Putting your possessions in a climate-controlled unit is like putting them in a spare room in your home. We normally keep the temperature in our climate-controlled units between 70° and 80°. We recommend climate-controlled units if your possessions are sensitive to extreme changes in temperature and humidity. For example, old photographs, fine furniture, paintings and antiques normally need to be in an environment similar to your home. Climate-controlled units cost more to rent because of the cost to heat and cool them. Putting your possessions in a non-climate controlled unit is like putting them in a shed in your back yard or in your garage. There can be extreme changes in both temperature and humidity. They also may be somewhat dusty depending on the time of year and how long you store your possessions. If you are going to use the non-climate controlled unit for a short time (less than three months) then the non-climate controlled units may work for you depending on the time of year. An important point I need to make here is that our climate-controlled units are not humidity controlled. However, the process of cooling and heating tends to remove some of the humidity. Next you need to decide what size unit you need.

When I am getting ready to put something in a self-storage unit I ask myself what size room in my home would hold everything I want to store. That will give me a place to start when selecting the best size unit. Another factor is do you want to be able to go into your unit from time to time and either put things in or take things out. If you plan to put everything in the unit and not return until you vacate the unit you can pack the unit very tight. However, if you want to be able to go into the unit and look at things or put things in or take things out then you may need a larger unit. Getting a larger unit will allow you to do what you need to do without having to unpack and then repack your unit. Now that you know what type and size unit you need, you need to find out exactly what it will cost you to rent your unit.

Normally the costs you pay to rent a unit are at least the rent and admin fee. Sometimes you will also pay for insurance and a lock. Texas does not require you to insure your possessions in self-storage, nor do we. We give you three options when it comes to insurance. First, you may pay for self-storage insurance that will cover your possessions while they are stored here. We have a pamphlet that will provide you with the cost and policy information. If you choose this option you will deal directly with the insurance company. Second, if you have homeowners or renters insurance then your policy may cover your possessions while they are stored here. Talk to your insurance company and ask them if your possessions are covered here. Third, you may be self-insured. This means that you choose to not insure your possessions and that you assume all risk for your possessions.   You are free to use any of the three options you want. If you want your possessions insured we recommend that you talk to your insurance company and ask what is covered and what is not covered by your policy. An important point we want to make is this, our insurance does not cover your possessions. Always ask about insurance before you rent. If they offer a free month’s rent ask for details on the special before you sign anything. Sometimes there are conditions you have to meet before you get the free rent.

Another additional expense you may encounter at some self-storage businesses is being told you have to buy a lock from them. Ask if you are allowed to bring your own lock or do you have to purchase a lock from them. If you have to buy their lock ask them to show you the lock before you buy it. We allow you to bring your own lock or buy one from us.

Ask to see the unit you will rent before you commit to renting the unit. Is the unit clean? Can you easily open and close the door? Is the staff friendly and helpful? Did the staff clearly explain everything or did you have to ask lots of questions? Did you feel welcome? You should always be treated with respect and made to feel welcome. We do our best to treat everyone as a valued and welcome guest.

Everyone’s situation is unique so we recommend that you talk to us and let us help you decide what is right for you. One factor that will play a part in your decision is cost. As I mentioned earlier, climate-controlled units cost more than non-climate controlled units. Your budget may weigh heavily in your decision process. One more point I would like to make is this, you can always change your mind. What I mean is if you want to transfer to a different unit here you may do so, assuming one is available.

These are some questions we recommend that you ask when you are looking for a company to store your possessions.

We hope you found this helpful. Feel free to contact us if you have and questions, comments or suggestions.

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3 Comments

  1. Thank you for all this great information about choosing a self storage unit. One thing that really stood out to me is that you say to ask yourself if the room will be able to fit everything in the end. It would be nice to know that you will be able to get the most things in the unit.

  2. I like that you mentioned to think about whether or not you need a climate controlled unit. I am going to store a lot of my stuff while I travel this summer. I will be storing most of my electronics and some other sensitive items, so climate controlled is a must for me.

  3. It’s great that this article mentions how climate-controlled units are able to heat and cool as needed. This would be important if you have any items that require a certain temperature so that you can prevent damage. When choosing a self-storage unit, you’d probably want to consider which features you require, such as the size and whether it’s climate-controlled, so that you can choose the best option for what you have.

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