Whether you are downsizing, planning to travel, or want to clear the clutter in your house without actually getting rid of belongings you love, consider investing in a self storage unit to keep your stuff safe in the long term. They're typically secure, affordable, easy to access, and come in a variety of different sizes to meet your specific preferences. Here are a few features to look for when choosing a long-term storage unit that should help ensure that your needs and expectations are met as time goes on:
One of the most important features to look for in your storage unit is adequate security, especially if you won't be visiting the space on a regular basis. In addition to a fenced perimeter with keycard or code access, the facility where your storage unit is located should have a security guard on duty outside of regular business hours if not around the clock. Security cameras and an automated emergency alert system should also be in place. Ask the facilities you consider renting a storage unit from to provide you with a printed list of security functions that they feature so you can compare them and figure out which options will best protect your belongings when you aren't there to do it yourself.
Personal Locking Options
While you should expect your self-storage unit to come equipped with a sturdy locking mechanism of some type, it's important that you are able to incorporate your own personal locks for an added sense of security and peace of mind. Every storage unit in the facility will likely be equipped with the same type of locks, so if someone were to figure out how to manipulate them no matter how small the chance, they probably won't bother trying to get into your storage space if it's equipped with a personal locking system. Look for a storage unit with an entryway that allows for the addition of a padlock, combination lock, or even an electronic locking system if you're so inclined to invest in one.
Temperature Control and Weather Protection
Whether you are storing furniture, jewelry, clothing, artwork, antiques, or basic household goods, if temperatures aren't controlled inside your unit and it isn't protected from the exterior elements, things can get ruined pretty quickly while you're away. For example, humidity can wreak havoc on your stuff, and flooding can simply ruin it and make it unusable. So, make sure that the self-storage unit you choose features an elevated floor to minimize the risk of flooding, and temperature control options that can be monitored and maintained remotely via your smartphone or laptop. At the very least, the unit should be fully insulated to help keep temperatures consistent throughout the year. The unit should also be completely sealed so dust and allergens can't make their way inside.
The Ability to Customize
Being able to customize your self-storage unit will make it more useful and convenient as time goes on, so choose a facility that will allow you to make small changes that won't affect the performance or integrity of your unit overall. For instance, you should be able to set up utility shelves and drill them into the walls for stability as long as you fill the holes up with putty or pay a small repair fee afterward. You should also be able to hang things from the rafters and even install a light fixture if you want to. Make sure you have permission to make the specific changes you want to make in writing ahead of time so you have proof.
These are just a few of the features you should look for when choosing a self-storage unit for your ongoing needs. Add your own preferred features to this list and use it as an outline during your search so nothing that's important to you is overlooked.