7 tips for picking the right storage unit

ID-100219757Sometimes you just don’t have enough room for all your stuff. You might be transitioning from a house to an apartment, or maybe you’re moving to a house that isn’t ready yet. Self-storage units can come in very handy in situations like those.

They can also come with problems–you don’t want your valuables to wind up lost, damaged or stolen, or hard to access when you need them.

Your BBB urges you to make the best choice when you rent a storage unit. Before signing on the dotted line, BBB recommends consumers consider these 7 factors when selecting a storage unit:

  1. Cost. Obtain a written estimate. Costs to consider may include a deposit, monthly rental fee, storage preparation and fees for extra options such as electricity, pest control and insurance. Ask about the fees, how they are to be paid and by what date.
  2. Size. Ask what storage units and sizes are available based on your needs. Ask if there is a maximum weight limit for unit contents and if you are able to pack your belongings in the entire unit from floor to ceiling.
  3. Climate. Keep in mind the general climate and whether your belongings might be subject to mold and/or water damage. If so, you may want to consider an environmentally-controlled unit.
  4. Insurance. Make sure your items are insured from theft, fire or other damage. The storage facility may provide basic insurance or you can choose to purchase insurance from an alternate source.
  5. Safety. Ask if the facility has surveillance cameras on the property and if a system is in place to restrict access.
  6. Access. Ask if there arehour restrictions that determine when you can access your unit. If so, make sure it works with your move schedule. Also, get as much contact information as you can to reach someone at the facility in case of an emergency, both during and after business hours.
  7. Contract. Get everything in writing, including; the size and location of the unit, whether the unit is climate controlled, term regulations, insurance coverage and the payment schedule. Make sure the facility has provided you with several different ways to get in touch with you, either by home phone or cell phone in case there is ever a problem with your unit or your payment.

To find a list of local Accredited storage unit facilities, visit checkbbb.org.

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