Choosing storage units can be challenging. Whether you’re looking for car storage units (both winter car storage and collector car storage), the bottom line is that even armed guards and an armored fortress is still vulnerable. Still, there are plenty of storage unit tips to be learned from online lists. Here are a few storage unit tips we put together based on an admirable level of frankness.
Not All Created Equal
Storage facilities are all vastly different, even if they’re owned by the same company. Different locations means differing levels of cleanliness, different measures of security (and effectiveness), variances in temperature control, quality of customer service, availability of vehicles, stock of packing materials, and on. Don’t make assumptions because you have used one service in a given area that another outlet in a different town or state will be the same. It will not.
Security is Relative
Just because you lock something up tight, unfortunately, doesn’t mean it’s completely safe. More often than not, storage facility robberies are perpetrated by scam artists that pretend to be fellow storage renters. This gives them gate access, which they will use to access multiple units at one time with the assistance of a bolt cutter. Worse yet, once they’re in, they will replace the locks they’ve cut with their own, thus making repeat access easy, especially if you don’t frequent the storage facility often.
When you’re shopping for storage space, find out if the facility uses the newer cylinder locks, which lack the clasp that’s left susceptible to bolt cutters. Also, find out just how many alarms are in the facility; is there a device on every door? If there’s an alarm on every unit, for example, a personal code is required to prevent it from sounding upon accessing the space. Find out how many video cameras are being used and that video surveillance is being logged 24/7 (as opposed to getting erased every 24 hours). If you don’r feel your questions are being answered honestly and thoroughly, look elsewhere.
Be Skeptical of Discounts
If you’re being offered a move-in discount, be sure to find out exactly how long it’s good for. Often, a discount will be granted only to have rates increase after a couple months. Ask how long the discount will be applied; see if you can get it in writing. Once the rate increases, if the company is using an autopay feature with a debit card, the damage is already done. You may be able to get a refund, but the credit will happen much more slowly than that debit.
Climate Control is Worth It
Especially if you’re living in an area with wide variances in humidity and temperature, a climate controlled environment might be the best solution, even if it costs a little more. Particularly with ground-level, drive-up storage spaces, the outer elements can warp, mildew and mold your possessions. If you are storing items that you feel will suffer under the strain, a climate controlled building with individual storage spaces inside might be a better setup. This presents different security issues, however.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it provides some storage unit tips that go beyond the standard “do’s and don’ts.”
More can be found here.