What Is Self Storage | Moving 101 | Long Distance USA Movers

What Is Self Storage and Why You Should Use It

If you don’t have a basement or a garage that you can put your things in, you might be in need of self-storage. But you might wonder what is self-storage and why you should use it in the first place? This term represents a service in which space is rented to businesses and individuals, usually on a short-term basis.

Storage unit overlay
Storage unit

It is primarily a United States-based industry and it is estimated that there are between 44,000 and 52,000 facilities currently in the country. 

What Is Self Storage Used For?

This concept became popular in the USA in the mid-’50s, but then it spread worldwide very quickly. 

This industry involves renting spaces such as rooms, lockers, and containers. This type of service gives you full control over what’s inside the rented unit and how stored items are arranged.  One of its biggest advantages is flexibility. You can add new things or take out the ones you need, whenever you need to. People who can’t afford to throw away certain belongings opt to rent these spaces to make sure that the items are secure until they need them. 

Those areas are used mostly for: 

  • Reducing clutter – you can put unused items in it, such as old furniture, clothes, appliances.
  • Guaranteed security – these facilities offer more protection with cameras, exterior lighting, security fences, security guards.  Therefore, they are better for storing valuable items than a garage or basement.
  • Ensures safety – if you own tools like drills, saws or ladders, it is safer to store them away. 
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Personal and Business Storage

These warehouse units can be rented to individuals for storing household goods, but businesses can act as tenants as well. 

Business renters usually use the facility for storing inventory or archived records. Since nobody likes to work in a cluttered office area, having a place where you can put all of the things you don’t need is beneficial. 

Supplies like copier paper, pens or even desk chairs can be safely stored until there is a need for their use. The same goes for many documents that the company doesn’t use on a daily basis. Documents like tax records and customer transactions can be stored and kept safe. 

This Is How Self Storage Looks Today

There are a variety of options to choose from when it comes to unit sizes. Most popular sizes are:

  • 5×10, about the size of a large walk-in closet,
  • 10×10, about the size of a child’s bedroom – for a few years now, this is the most popular unit size
  • 10×20, about the size of a one-car garage
  • 15×20, about the size of a large master bedroom
  • 20×20, about the size of a two-car garage.

These spaces come without windows, while their walls are covered with a special type of metal. The location is accessed by a roll-up door protected by a padlock.

Reasons for Using a Self Storage Unit

There are many reasons why you might decide to use these types of facilities: 

  • Downsizing – when you are in need of a space to store your extra possessions
  • Moving away – temporary relocation is something that might persuade you to use this service. Moving for a short period of time means that you don’t want to transport all your belongings with you.
  • Small business owners –  you are a small business in need of a place to store inventory that is not used on a daily basis.

If your family grows and your home becomes too crowded, sometimes it is more economical to rent a unit than to move out. This is the reason why the number of Americans who use this type of service is rising. 

A self-storage unit overlay

Story of Choosing the Right Facility 

Choosing the space that will cater to your specific needs can be tricky. There are several factors you need to consider: 

  • Distance – having your belongings near your home but not in it can be practical. They will be easily accessible, and you can use them whenever you need them.
  • Cost of renting – have in mind that the cost of renting can vary, and that price depends on size and location. In regions where real estate prices are higher, the cost of renting is likely to be higher as well. 
  • Policies – each company has its own rules. Some only rent for fixed contracted periods and others do month-to-month rentals. Besides, there are some restrictions on the type of items you can store. 
  • Facility features – make sure that you have access to your belongings whenever you need them. Some companies offer 24-hour access while others are available during restricted hours. 
  • Check reviews – read about the experiences of previous users before you make your final choice. Look for a company with excellent services and is convenient. 
Background image of cart with cardboard boxes in empty hall of self storage facility, copy space overlay

Organization Is One of the Key Tools for Packing

When it comes to packing, a proper organization is key. Firstly, you need to decide what items you want to put away. They might be items that you will use soon enough or the ones that you will sell or donate when the opportunity arises. 

While packing, have in mind that stacking can be easier if you are using the same size boxes. But don’t overfill them or leave them half empty. Keep the heavy boxes on the bottom and the ones with fragile items on the top. 

Furniture should be covered so it is protected from tears and scratches, but try to polish wood before for extra protection. Wipe metal objects with machine oil, it will prevent rust. 

Remember, if you are ready to move to a new home, chances are you will need professional moving services, efficient packing services or top-notch storage facilities. So make sure to find a reputable and fully-licensed moving company that will suit all of your needs. 

Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

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