7 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Self-Storage Company
Most people don’t have an infinite amount of space to store things, as they do not live in mansions or sprawling estates.
Despite this physical limitation, it can be hard to stop picking up items and goodies. After all, it’s human nature to want new, shiny things, and this impulse may unfortunately result in some people finding their homes overflowing with belongings.
Thankfully, rather than be forced to let go of objects that you still like, you can choose instead to store them in one of the many self-storage units available, including the ones at Abacus Self Storage.
When you are plagued with the curse of too much, choosing the right storage facility out of many is a decision you want to make carefully. Thankfully, there are some questions you can ask to help determine which storage company is the best fit for your needs.
1. Is it well-located for ease of use?
This question has a self-evident purpose. You don’t want to choose a storage company that’s too far from home, as lugging your belongings and visiting to pick things up will be made significantly more time-consuming and less convenient.
Considering that most people will visit their storage unit at least a few times in a year, it’s up to you to decide how far you’re willing to travel to pick things up. After all, you don’t want to drive 30 minutes just to pick up a suitcase; most people don’t want to drive more than about 15 minutes.
2. What is the availability of the unit?
Building on the last question, another matter of convenience is ensuring that your storage unit is available during evenings, weekends, or other times as dictated by the demands of your schedule.
Most facilities will be open during normal business hours, with slight variations. Again, this is up to your personal preference. Are you the type of person who will need something at 3 in the morning? If so, then seek out 24-hour access storage facilities. Otherwise, find the one that offers the best times for you to access your goods.
3. Is there temperature and climate control?
This is another big question on which the condition of your belongings hangs by a thread. Most locations today will offer temperature and climate control. This is important because the maintenance of an appropriate temperature and humidity level is crucial to ensuring that whatever you’re storing doesn’t get damaged or mildewy over time (and makes it comfortable when you visit your unit) . It’s extra important if you’re storing in extreme climates.
4. How good is their security?
The only thing worse than throwing things out is having them stolen from you entirely. You want to make sure that your storage unit is secure enough to deter would-be thieves. Look to see if anyone can just drive up the units or if there is a secure, gated access. Also check to see if there are ample security cameras located around both outside and inside to capture ne’er do wells.
Another consideration is the actual lighting and feel of the place. You don’t want to be stumbling around in the dark, and more importantly, you want to feel safe visiting the storage unit. Remember, both your possessions and your body are of critical importance.
You might even want to seek out more advanced security offerings like emergency generators, individual alarms on your unit or even an actual security guard. As well, feel free to talk to on-site management about any aspect of their security.
5. Does it keep out pests?
Yet another consideration is just how well the unit can keep out pests. You should visit and see for yourself if there are visible signs of active pest control. You don’t want bugs or rodents infesting your stuff. Ask around to see if the storage facility contracts a reliable pest control service. You want a place that regularly sets traps, sprays the property, and takes the necessary precautions to keep the icky creatures out of your things.
6. How much will it cost?
This question should perhaps be slightly higher up, as cost will likely be the most restrictive factor for many people.
You may find that storage companies will advertise specials and online discounts, but this is not reflective of how much it really costs. Find out how much it’ll be over time, after these promotions wear off. Don’t get suckered in by a good first-month deal.
Finally, ask about one-time set-up fees or, if you want to protect the investment that you have in the replacement costs of your possessions, about insurance availability and premium costs. (A good thing to do is prepare a list of all your possessions going into the storage unit, as well as purchase receipts and appraisals of jewellery and other precious items, to help in any insurance claim.)
If there are other fees beyond a security deposit and administration fee, you may be getting ripped off. Of course, just because a promotion isn’t reflective doesn’t mean that it isn’t still a good deal. Get the best of both worlds and find a deal combined with a reasonable normal cost.
7. Do you like the company you’re going to use?
This may seem like an unimportant question, but considering the fact that you will be essentially entering a long-term relationship with your storage company, you want to make sure that you choose one that you feel you’re compatible with.
Are the employees helpful and able to answer your questions or handle specific requests? Is there someone who is regularly there in person to meet you, talk to you, and offer help when needed? Are the people you interact with kind and reasonable, or are they rude and standoff-ish?
Just like any relationship, you want to find a company that will treat you right. You want to be taken care of; after all, you’re putting down a sizable sum and making an ongoing commitment.
These questions are not the be-all and end-all when it comes to choosing a storage unit, but they are a good first step. Questions of convenience, cost, and location should be your first priority, but afterwards consider the intangibles, such as how they treat you.
For more answers to the questions you’ll have when choosing a self-storage company, reach out to us at Abacus Self Storage. We’ve been offering storage solutions for more than 20 years and can be contacted at 289-807-1033. Alternatively, try us through our contact page here.
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