If you’re planning a move and have a bit too much stuff, renting a storage unit can give you a bit of breathing room while you pack and transport your belongings to your new home. But before you rent one, beware: not all storage units are created equal. Unless you know what to look for, you could easily end up locked into a contract for a storage unit you’re not happy with.

What should you know before you decide on a storage unit and sign on the dotted line? Read on to find out.

Storage Unit Size Requirements

First and foremost, you must make sure you have a general idea of how much space you need for the belongings you plan to store. To get a rough idea of the size unit you’ll need, gather everything you’ll be storing and clear out a space in your garage or somewhere else in your house. Put your items inside that designated space and measure its dimensions.

Keep in mind that there’s usually room for a few storage shelves inside a unit, so if you need to stack things to optimize your space usage, you probably can. Once you have some rough dimensions, make note of them and take your notes with you when you check out storage facilities. For reference, here’s a rough estimate of various storage unit sizes and what they can typically accommodate:

●        50 square feet: various items from a small, one-bedroom apartment

●        100 square feet: most contents from a one-bedroom home

●        150 square feet: contents of a two-bedroom home

●        200 square feet: most contents of a three-bedroom home

●        300 square feet or larger: most contents from a four-bedroom or larger home

When you start scoping out storage facilities, call each one before you visit to make sure they offer the size unit you think you’ll need. Then, when you make visits, ask to view units of a couple different dimensions to get a better feel for your size requirements. The last thing you need is to end up renting a too-small unit that won’t fit your stuff or a too-large unit that’ll cost you more than you really need to pay.

Whether You Need Climate-Controlled Storage

What exactly do you plan to store? Any items that might suffer deterioration as a result of heat, cold, or moisture exposure? If you’re looking to stow items that require a controlled environment to remain in optimal condition, it’s probably in your best interest to opt for a climate-controlled storage unit.

What types of belongings do best with temperature and humidity control? Generally, you’ll want to keep the following items in climate-controlled storage:

●        Furniture (upholstered, wood, metal, leather, etc.)

●        Apparel

●        Antiques and artwork

●        Documents and physical photos

●        All electronics

●        Media (cassette tapes, CDs, DVDs, records, etc.)

If you store any of the above items in a standard unit, they’ll be subject to daily temperature and moisture fluctuations, which can prompt deterioration. If you plan to store your things for a while, your belongings could end up rusted, faded, corroded, or warped, which may render them unusable once you want them back. 

Storage Facility Reputation

To save yourself time, frustration, and hard-earned cash, it’s in your best interest to thoroughly research each storage facility you’re considering. To get the lowdown on each one, you can:

●        Look for customer reviews on Google, Yelp, etc.

●        Check each facility’s rating with the Better Business Bureau

●        Check out the company’s profile and reviews on Angie’s List

●        Review each company’s website to find out what kind of security measures they have in place

If anything strikes you as a potential red flag while you’re researching, make note of it and ask the facility staff when you pay the property a visit. Sometimes, asking the business directly is the best way to get accurate information.

Length of Time You Need to Keep Items in Storage

Most storage facilities will ask you to sign some type of contract, whether it be for a month-to-month agreement or a specific rental term length. While some facilities only offer predetermined contract lengths, others offer month-to-month, short-term, and long-term contracts.

To ensure you don’t end up paying for time you don’t need, make sure you have a general idea of how long you’ll need to store your items before you start making facility visits. Having a timeframe in mind will also help you rule out facilities that aren’t a good fit for your needs.

Questions You Should Always Ask Before Renting a Storage Unit

Once you’ve made a list of storage facilities you plan to check out, it’s time to pay each one a visit. When you stop by, make sure you ask the following questions:

●        What are your rental terms? Do you have multiple options?

●        What are your access hours? Do I have to notify you in advance?

●        What security measures does this facility employ? Cameras? Inventory checks? Continuous security monitoring? Single-key access to each unit?

●        What consequences will I face for late payment?

●        Has this facility ever dealt with criminal activity on the property? If so, how long ago did the incident occur? Have you implemented any additional security measures to ensure nothing of that nature occurs in the future?

●        How frequently do you test your fire alarms?

●        Do you offer both standard and climate-controlled storage units?

●        What features do your climate-controlled storage units have to ensure the interiors are not exposed to temperature and humidity fluctuations?

●        Are you currently offering any sign-up promotions? (for the best deal, you can typically get a discount if you pay for several months upfront).

Hedberg Moving Solutions: Your Minneapolis Source for Moving Storage

Do you need short- or long-term storage before, during, or after your upcoming relocation? Then don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at Hedberg Moving Solutions in Minneapolis! We offer climate-controlled storage units at reasonable prices and our professional movers can help you pack, transport, inventory, and load your items into storage as safely as possible.

To learn more about our storage options or get a pricing quote, feel free to give us a call today at 763-434-6683 or request a free estimate online, and we’ll be in touch promptly!

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