There are many reasons why your business might need additional storage space. Whether you had to move into a smaller office, decided to store off-season goods, don’t have any space in your home for your business items, need to declutter, or are in-between office moves, renting a storage unit can meet your needs for temporary or long-term storage space.
Overwhelmed? There’s no need to be. Keep reading for an easy-to-follow guide on renting a self-storage unit for business.
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Renting a Self-Storage Unit for Business
Before we talk about how to rent your first storage unit, it’s important to know what types of storage are available. With self storage, there are two factors to consider: whether the storage unit is inside or outside, and how big it is.
Indoor vs. Outdoor: Which Is Better?
There are many self-storage options available, but you’ll notice that most of them tend to fall into two different categories: indoor, climate-controlled storage, and outdoor-accessible storage.
Climate-controlled storage is typically inside a large building, so that the temperature and humidity can be precisely controlled. This type of storage is perfect for anything that is sensitive to high or low temperatures or wild temperature swings. Of course, it costs money to control the temperature, so in general you’ll pay more than you would for outdoor storage.
Outdoor storage, on the other hand, is more like a well-built shed or garage, so there will be little protection from temperature swings. The main benefits to outdoor storage are that it tends to be less expensive, and you can usually drive right up to the storage unit, making it easier to load and unload.
Determining Storage Unit Size
Once you decide whether you need indoor or outdoor storage, it’s important to figure out how much space you need. The size storage unit you need will depend partly on how much stuff you intend to store, and also how tightly you intend to pack it.
- For off-season storage: If you’re just wanting a little bit of extra storage space, you can probably get away with the smallest storage unit size, usually around 5 feet by 5 feet.
- For the contents (or equivalent) of a one-bedroom apartment: If you’re putting the furniture and other contents of a small apartment into storage, or de-cluttering your home while it’s for sale, the next size up should work well for you, which is usually 5 feet by 10 feet.
- For the contents of a two-bedroom apartment or small condo: Medium storage units typically work best for storing the contents of a large apartment or a small condo. This might be a 5 feet by 15 feet unit, but a more popular size is 10 feet by 10 feet. The larger unit gives you 25 additional square feet, plus a more convenient size for large furniture and better organization.
- For the contents of a house: If your entire household needs to go into storage, you’ll want to look for a large storage unit, such as 10 feet by 20 feet or 10 feet by 30 feet.
Checklist for Renting a Storage Unit
Once you figure out what type of storage you’re looking for and how big a unit you need, it’s time to go on the hunt. Similar to finding a place to live, renting a storage unit is all about finding the amount of space you need that’s available when you need it.
- Figure out your budget. Your budget may dictate details like unit size, type of storage, and location. Decide how much you can afford per month before you begin looking.
- Start your search. As you search, look for self-storage places that offer the size and type of storage you need. Compare prices close to you as well as farther away, as sometimes you can sacrifice a little convenience to save money.
- Visit the location. Before you sign up for anything binding, check out the neighborhood and see how accessible your storage unit will be.
- Read the contract. Be sure to read the contract before you sign anything. It’s important to know about any additional fees, deadlines, and what happens to your stuff if you don’t pay on time.
- Get a good lock. Last but not least, be sure you get a good lock for your storage unit door, as this may prevent potential break-ins.
How to Make Renting a Self-Storage Unit Easy
Regardless of why you’re renting a storage unit, it’s important to do your research first, so that you don’t end up stuck with a unit that’s too small or too hot or too far away. Decide first how much you can afford and how much you need, and then start looking at what’s available near you. Once you find what you need, all that’s left is to fill it!