Moving is costly most of the time and renting a storage unit may be pretty expensive as well. However, if you’ve just moved out and are not planning to move into a new apartment just yet, this is the only option you have. One might wonder why storage prices are so high. The answer is simple: more than 10 million Americans rent storage units nowadays, so the demand is huge. But it’s possible to find some good deals. So how to avoid unnecessary expenses and rent a storage unit while not going completely broke? Here are a few tips to consider.
It matters a lot what you want to store
Not all storage units are made equal, so they vary in:
- – size
- – design
- – features.
You should rent the exact storage unit you need – but in order to opt for the right size, you need to plan first. Don’t end up renting more space than you need only because you were too lazy to do some planning beforehand.
When it comes to design, some units are narrow but provide a lot of vertical space, while others are wider but come with lower ceilings. Sometimes this does not matter at all, but sometimes it does, depending on the items you want to store. Make sure you opt for the one that fits your needs, that is your belongings the best. When you’ve done with that, it’s not over yet – you also need to pack your items efficiently.
When you’re about to rent a storage unit and choose features, think of your belongings you’re going to store. Is it going to be a car? Then you need a facility with strong security. Do you want to store some paperwork or power tools? Then you should opt for a climate controlled unit. This one is not only about the stuff you want to store though. It does have something to do with the climate in a particular city as well.
Do you really need all that stuff?
We sometimes tend to store things like it costs nothing – but it actually does. When you put things in perspective, you might find it more beneficial to get rid of some of your belongings. Let’s start with a car. You might be moving somewhere you won’t need it or won’t be able to take it with you – such as NYC or overseas. But wouldn’t it be cheaper to just sell it and buy another one later one? Who knows, you might end up staying way longer at that place than you’ve ever imagined.
The location means a lot
Just like with real estate in general, the better location – the higher prices. To avoid this when you rent a storage unit, look for a place outside of town, but only if you don’t need regular, quick access to your belongings. You should figure out how many times you’re going to be visiting the facility so that you could plan accordingly. Sometimes renting a unit in the heart of the city can be a better option if you’re about to be getting back to it every once in a while.
What about insurance?
Check with your insurance company first. They might have special requirements, such as climate control or security features, or they might not be providing insurance coverage while your belongings are in storage at all. If this is the case, you should not change your plans immediately as you should be able to purchase insurance from the storage facility you’re planning to rent space from. In any case, make sure to safely store your belongings.
Take your time to search for the right company
You obviously want to get done with renting a storage unit as soon as possible. However, taking a bit more time can save you a lot of money down the road. So Google the storage companies you’re thinking about and try to find some reviews or visit Yelp. Quick decisions are rarely the best ones, so try to avoid unnecessary mistakes.
Shop around to get a better price
Once you’ve made up your mind on what you’re looking for and decided on the size, design, features, and location, it may seem to you that nothing else matters and you can just rent any storage unit that’s suitable to your needs. That’s not true. There are many storage facilities that are independently owned and just like any others their owners set their own prices. Always take time to calculate your moving costs and look for the best offer when you want to rent a storage unit. Check prices and conditions with at least a few facilities. However, make sure you’re on the same page when it comes to the exact features you’re going to be paying for.
Shop for deals
Self-storage business is no different than any other, so they often run promotions, trying to attract new customers. And even if you can’t see them advertising any deals at the moment, you can still ask about it when looking to rent a storage unit. Sometimes they would be willing to offer you a deal as they would not like to lose you to a competitor who might be running their own promotion at the moment.
But beware that some facilities offer low rates for the first few months only to raise them significantly later on. To avoid such a thing, always ask upfront how often they raise their rates. Also, ask for a guarantee that your rent is going to stay the same for a certain period of time. Don’t forget to ask them to put that in writing. If they don’t want to do that, you should consider looking somewhere else.
Check the company’s payment policy before you rent a storage unit
You obviously don’t plan to be late with your payments, but things may happen. So it’s good to know beforehand what happens next in a situation like this. This is why you should check the company’s payment policy and review the contract before signing it. You might not be aware of it, but some companies have very harsh policies. That sometimes means that if you don’t pay on time, they can even auction off your belongings. In order to prevent something like that from happening to you, make sure to check all the details upfront. As the old saying goes, better safe than sorry.