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Renting A Storage Unit: All Your Questions Answered

Renting a storage unit is something you should consider no matter if you are moving or you just need some extra storing space for your belongings. In the previous article, we mentioned the basic things you need to know about storage units and how to choose the right one for your needs.

Now that you learned these basic things, it is time to talk about this topic in dept. This article will answer all your questions, even those ones you didn’t know you needed to ask. 

Renting A Storage Unit – Factors You Need To Take Into Consideration

A high-quality storage
You will need some high-quality storage units for your storage purposes

If you thoroughly read our previous article by now you realize that not all storage facilities are created equally. Some are smaller, some are larger, some are more suitable for commercial storage, and some are great for storing fragile items like art, wine collections, etc.

If you are still in doubt about renting a storage unit, you should think about these factors and the answer will come to you in no time.

How long will you need a storage unit?

Knowing how long you’ll need a storage compartment is crucial and will affect the final price significantly. Luckily, most storage facilities rent their unit on a monthly basis. However, keep in mind that many have minimum renting periods. 

Logically, the final price will be dictated by how long you used the storage unit as well as how much valuable and vulnerable the possessions in storing compartments are. Renting a specialized unit with climate control will cost you more than renting a regular storage unit.

Usually, people rent storage compartments for 6 to 12 months. But don’t worry, you’ll usually have the option for shorter or even longer-term contracts.

Size of the storage unit

The square footage and height of storage units vary widely. Generally, units range from 25 square feet (where you can fit a few boxes and small furniture items) to 300 square feet (you can fit heftier furniture from multiple bedrooms).

When renting the unit make sure you choose the one that provides extra space compared to your needs. This gives you some kind of security in case you have potential miscalculations and or if you decide to add more items. Larger units are more expensive, so calculate wisely. For instance, if you know you can tightly fit all in a 10 x 10 unit, choose 10 x 15 just in case. 


As you might expect, the prices of storage units vary drastically based on their size and type. Luckily, a few factors can help you narrow down your choices and know exactly how much money you’ll need:

  • Type of unit – If you are renting an indoor unit you will pay around 20% more than renting an outdoor unit. Also, climate-controlled storage will cost you 30% more.
  • Availability – Naturally, an area with fewer available storage spaces will drive the prices up. Higher demand, higher rent.
  • Location –  Storage unit in urban areas is more expensive to make up for higher leasing prices and more limited space.
  • Provider – Not all companies charge the same. Make sure you run some research and choose the one that fits your bill the most.

Features and amenities

Don’t get fooled by thinking that indoor storage is always climate controlled. Also, not all climate-controlled storage units can guarantee humidity control. The worst thing you can do is blindly assume you get features that aren’t in your rental contract. Inform yourself so you don’t overpay for something.

Also, it is important to know how secure your storage unit is. Storage facilities have different levels of security and surveillance on the premises. Determine if the level of security on the premises meets your standards for your property.

Facility maintenance is a factor you need to think about. The space you are considering renting must provide sufficient protection from different kinds of damage. This includes pest control, smoke damage, and mold and mildew prevention. 

What Documentation You’ll Need To Provide When Renting A Storage Unit?

Just as with leasing a house, you’ll need to furnish the storage facility with a valid, government-issued form of identification. These are your options:

  • State ID;
  • Military ID;
  • Driver’s license;
  • Passport.

Besides that, you’ll also need to sign a contract or storage unit agreement. Just like with all other contracts male sure you read it carefully to avoid any unpleasant mistakes.

Is Renting A Storage Unit For A Week Possible?

Whether or not you can rent a unit for a week will depend on the individual company. Some storage companies don’t require a storage contract. So you can lease on a weekly or another short-term basis. However, there’s a catch, you will pay a higher price for this type of storage.

Can You Work In A Rented Storage Unit?

Tempting as it may be, using your storage unit as an office or a dwelling is illegal and amounts to a violation of the lease contract.

You can only use your storage unit to keep files and other business-related items. However, many storage facilities have on-site business centers where clients can work, mail packages, and print documents.

Can you repair a car in a storage unit?

Most reputable storage companies are not willing to let you use your unit as your personal auto repair shop, given that cars contain flammable and hazardous chemicals. Moreover, since most storage units don’t have electricity, you can find it challenging to fix your vehicle.

Do You Need Insurance Coverage When Renting A Storage Unit?

If your possessions aren’t covered by homeowners insurance, renters insurance, or another type of coverage, you’ll want to learn about the insurance policy options that may be provided by the facility and if their policy meets your coverage needs. Then you can decide whether or not you need insurance coverage for your stored belongings.

Some storage companies mandate that customers furnish them with an insurance plan before signing a contract – no insurance, no coverage. On the other hand, some companies let their customers decide whether to get self-storage insurance coverage depending on how valuable the items they’ve stored are.

How Can You Save Space In Your Storage Unit?

How you pack your items will determine how much storage space they occupy. Efficiently packing your items may mean you can rent a smaller storage unit. Here are some tips to help you save space as you’re renting a storage unit:

  • Disassemble bulky furniture – Remove table, chair, and bed legs to stack and store them in less space.
  • Stack your items –  Storage units usually have high ceilings, so make use of stackable bins and arrange various items to fill the space all the way to the top.
  • Leave an aisle – Leave a space to easily access your goods whenever you need them while you’re renting a storage unit.
  • Fill up –  Fill wardrobes and dressers with smaller items to maximize space.

What can you store in a storage unit?

Storage units are designed to hold personal, business, and household goods such as clothing, files, furniture, refrigerators, and bicycles. They are not built for anything dangerous, toxic, or alive. Some of the things that you shouldn’t store while renting a storage unit include:

  • Hazardous materials
  • Combustible or flammable materials
  • Food or other items that can attract pests and bugs
  • Animals and plants
  • Weapons, explosives, and stolen items
  • Wet or scented items

Long Story Short

If you are planning a DIY relocation, these are all the things you need to know about self-storing and renting storage units. 

As you can see this isn’t as easy as you may think. Also, when you rent a storage compartment, you’ll also need to rent a truck. This significantly increases the cost of your DIY move so ask yourself if all of this is worth it just to save some money. Even better, think about whether will you even save some money this way.

Our best advice is to rethink the decision. Why don’t you give us a quick call so we can schedule the estimation and tell you how much our services will cost you? After that, you can decide which option is better for your wallet and your nerves.