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Putting your belongings in the care of someone else can be a scary proposition. You want to know that your treasures and heirlooms will be safe — along with all your off-season clothing and equipment and stuff you just don’t know what to do with. To help you feel better about renting a storage unit, make sure you get answers to the questions below.

6 Questions to Ask Yourself

inside storage unitYou’ll need to do some research of your own and decide what you need from storage. Some of these should be answered before you search for a specific facility while others will be asked once you’ve chosen a facility but before you sign the lease.

  1. What are your storage requirements? – How much space? Drive-up access? Air cooled storage? After-hours access?
  2. How do you want to pay? – Many facilities allow you to pay online or even to schedule automatic payments. Older facilities may require you to mail a check or bring payment in person.
  3. Are there positive reviews of the company? – Check their website for customer reviews and testimonials.
  4. How far are you willing to drive? – Most neighborhoods have at least one storage facility nearby, but it may not be the best. Will you drive further to get quality storage at affordable rates?
  5. Do you feel safe? – Is the security system good enough that you feel safe unloading your belongings and visiting the unit? Do you feel that your stuff will be secure there?
  6. Are the lease terms acceptable to you? – Make sure you check things like late payment policies, insurance exceptions, and pest control responsibilities. Also check what items are prohibited by the lease.

6 Questions to Ask the Facility Manager

Then you need to learn about the facility before you commit to signing a lease.

  1. How large are the various units? – Most facilities will offer multiple sizes as well as sizing guides to help you choose the one that will fit all your stuff.
  2. Is the storage unit air cooled or air conditioned? – if you are storing items that are sensitive to heat, humidity, dampness, cold, or severe temperature extremes, this can be important.
  3. What security is provided? – All facilities will have some sort of alarm system, gates, and locks while others will have security patrols.
  4. What fire protection is provided? – Find out if there are smoke alarms, sprinkler systems, etc.
  5. How do they handle insurance? – Many facilities offer insurance for the contents of your unit. Make sure you understand the amount and terms of the policy and whether you need supplemental insurance if you have extremely valuable items.
  6. How much access will you have to your unit? – What are the access hours and do you need a unique access code to get through the gate? Can you drive up to the unit? Are there elevators to higher/lower floors? Do they provide hand trucks for moving your belongings from the parking lot to the unit?

As you assess your needs and start researching you’ll likely come up with other questions that are specific to you. Make a checklist and once you have satisfactory answers to all your questions, you’ll know you’ve found the right place to store your treasures.

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