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When you go looking for a self-storage company, there are a lot of things to consider. Is the security good, or great? Do you need a large space or a small one? Will a drive up space be necessary, or is an inside unit okay? There’s more to consider than just these questions, too. Of course you want to be sure to get a self-storage unit that fits your needs the best.
There are features and benefits to self-storage that you may not know to look for, though. These are things you may not have thought about or might not know are available. Maybe you’re new to self-storage and just aren’t aware of what’s out there, or perhaps you’ve used storage before, but not recently. No matter why you don’t know about these things, the fact is, they are available at a lot of storage facilities and can take your storage experience from good to fantastic simply by making your life easier or saving you money.
Here are a few of the great features you might look for in order to get the most value and satisfaction from your self-storage company.
Mailboxes. Often a self-storage facility also offers mailbox service. This is a great advantage since most people tend to rent storage in or very near their own neighborhoods. If you have need of a separate mailing address for any reason, whether it be for a small business or out of concern for the security of your home mailbox, having mail service in a convenient, nearby location is a big positive.
Packing supplies. When you’re packing up your belongings you want to be sure they’re protected and secure. Often, though, finding good, strong boxes can be difficult. Whether you’re packing for a move or just to store extra things, you want solid boxes, strong tape, and plenty of protective packing. If your nearby self-storage office has boxes and packing supplies for sale, you’ll be able to pick up what you need as you come and go from your storage unit; frequently, you’ll find that these items are discounted, too!
Online payments. Checks, of course, are rapidly falling out of favor. To pay the bills, most of us use our debit and credit cards, and our bank’s bill paying system. A lot of self-storage companies are moving toward accepting online payments rather than requiring that you stop in every month or mail a check. Quick, easy, and secure online payment options will save you time and hassle every time you pay your storage rental.
Month-to-month contracts. Why agree to store for longer than you need to? What if you aren’t sure how long you’ll need a storage unit? What if you have a contract and something happens to change your storage needs? In all of these situations, the lack of a long-term contract for your storage unit is a good thing. While some companies still want you to commit to six months or a year, many don’t. Find a company that will let you rent on a month-to-month basis and avoid having to pay for storage you don’t need, or for terminating your rental early.
Giveaways. Whether it’s a gift card or basket, cash, or anything else, winning a prize is always fun, and sometimes it can save you money! Offering the occasional giveaway - often several a year - is your storage company’s way of saying how much they appreciate your business. Take advantage of that great, customer-oriented attitude by renting at a storage facility that offers giveaways in addition to everything else they offer you.
Referral bonuses. Does your storage company pay you for sending customers their way? If not, find one that does! Most people in America will use self storage at some point in their lives; this includes your friends, family, and co-workers. Why not recommend to the people you know that they store where you do? And if that company gives you and extra $20, or $30, or even $50, so much the better! You could make a little extra money every month doing that, since there’s usually no limit on how many referrals you can make!
Getting as many extras and conveniences as you can find in the self-storage company you select makes storing both better and easier for you. Look for these and any other additional offers and features when you choose a storage facility and you’ll save money, time, and stress while you’re storing your belongings.
The MOST Important Feature of Great Self-Storage
When you’re in the market for a self-storage unit, whether it’s for a month or a year or longer, you want to find a facility that offers value in not only price, but in their way of doing business. A company that has these key traits is a company that will meet your needs and give you peace of mind while you store.
Is your self-storage facility affordable for you? This doesn’t necessarily mean the lowest priced unit in town; sometimes you give up a lot to get that cheap space and besides, affordability is a different thing altogether.
Consider the price of your storage unit, of course. But also consider other things, like:
Security - More features are always better, but cameras and keypads are the barest minimum you should accept. Unique gate codes, individually alarmed units, security patrols, and more, are all value-adds for your storage dollar.
Lighting - Particularly in winter, when the days are shorter and the sun doesn’t always shine, you need to be able to see clearly. Whether opening your unit, loading or unloading it, or adding to it, good lighting is not just convenient, it’s also a matter of safety.
Hours - It doesn’t matter how inexpensive your storage unit is if you can’t get into it. Ask what days your storage facility is open and ask about both office hours and access/gate hours, and consider these carefully when renting a storage unit.
Access - Is your storage unit indoors or outdoors? Does it have a large, roll-up door or a regular door for entry? Can you drive up to the space or is it only accessible on foot? If you can’t reasonably get into or out of your unit, or if the things you’re storing won’t fit in the hallways and driveways, then it’s not worth renting no matter what the price.
Staff - Your storage staff should be professional, friendly, knowledgeable, and ready to help. When you need information on units or aren’t sure what size of space will work best for you, or if you have questions about security, pricing, and service, your storage facility staff should be able to help you. An understaffed office, or one with untrained employees who aren’t customer focused, is not a place you want to have to work with.
When these things are considered, in addition to price, you end up with a self storage unit that won’t break the bank, but which offers you everything you need and want when storing your property. Affordability is about getting the right storage unit with the right features and people, at the right price.
Trustworthiness and Reliability
A self-storage facility is a human-centered business. What they do is store your stuff, but what they are is a service, and service is all about the people. You want to work with people you can count on, and who you can believe when they talk to you. It’s vital that your chosen storage company be accountable, dependable, and honest.
Asking questions of several different people is a great way to gauge the reliability of the information you receive from your storage staff. You don’t want to sign a rental agreement and then find out that everyone in the store is giving out different answers to the same question!
There are other things you can look at to determine reliability, too. Are the hours actually observed, or does the store often open late or close early? Is the unit in the same condition as you were told it would be? Do the staff seem positive and friendly or do they appear discontent or disinterested? Are there hidden or unexpected fees that weren’t initially mentioned when you inquired about storage? These things can indicate a storage facility that you may not be able to relax with.
Self-storage is much more than just storage spaces and padlocks! It’s a growing, changing, evolving service that should be keeping up with the times to make it that much easier for you.
For instance, are units at a facility simply padlocked, or does the company give their customers secure, tamper-resistant locks to use? Is the entry gate electronically controlled or does everyone get a key? The more up-to-date and modern features like these are, the more likely it is that this facility continually works to make improvements.
A big aspect of this is having an online presence. Not only should a storage company have a website and a social media presence; Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest, at the very least. You should be able to get information on their units, pricing, and more through these venues, and to pay your monthly rent online, too. Being present across multiple devices is a big plus, too! The internet makes it easy for self-storage to offer you convenience and savings.
A business that involves itself and its staff in the community is a business that is committed to the people it serves. Participation in community events like parades, joining civic organizations, working with charities and schools; these kind of activities make a business of any type a part of the town or neighborhood they serve. A self-storage company that engages with its community is one that can be relied upon to support that community. Community involvement by a your self storage company means they value their customers and the place they live, and they are a contributing member of that place.
Whether you need to store just a few things, a whole house full of furniture, or a vehicle, you want to find the best storage facility around. It should be reliable, innovative and affordable, as well as being a good citizen of its city or neighborhood. And once you’ve found that place, you’ll find that storing your belongings is not just easy, but that it’s a positive experience for you.
If you're looking for self-storage while you move, want to get the absolute most for your money. Look for a facility that offers these outstanding features and extras. Convenience, security, and savings can all take your storage experience from okay to fantastic!
Is retirement beckoning to you? Are you about ready to give up the daily grind and enjoy your life, free from the obligations of a job? You’re not the only one; every day, approximately 10,000 Americans reach retirement age and apply for their pensions, Social Security benefits, and Medicare.
Of course, retirement also means change. You may move, downsize your home, travel extensively, or make other big alterations to your daily life. For some of these changes, self-storage can be a big help! Read on to learn about ways self-storage can assist you in making your retirement all you want it to be.
A lot of retirees find that they have a lot more house than they need or want to maintain. Perhaps part of their retirement plan is to sell their home and reinvest the money in a retirement community or possibly a motorhome, and adding any remaining profits to their savings. Downsizing, of course, means getting rid of stuff; in the case of retirement, a lifetime of accumulated belongings will need to be sorted out. But how are you going to decide what to keep and what to give up, what you can’t live without and what to donate or sell? It’s hard!
Renting an affordable self-storage unit can be a big help when it’s time to downsize. You can keep the thing you love, like furnishings, musical instruments, housewares, heirlooms, and all the other things you love but don’t have room for. You may find that you don’t enjoy a smaller living space as much as you’d expected; storing your things keeps the available if you decide you’d like a bigger home after all. You can also store things that will, one day, be passed along to your children and grandchildren but which they can’t take on right now.
Upon retirement, many people choose to travel. Some folks visit the four corners of the globe, returning home periodically and then quickly head out for the next destination. For others, travel means taking to the open road in an RV, visiting relatives and seeing all the sights the country has to offer. Maybe you just plan to travel a few times a year to visit your grandkids and then go home!
But what about the safety of your property while you’re gone? Things like collections, photo albums, antiques and the like will be safer in a secure, locked storage unit than left in your house or apartment while you’re gone. You’ll be a lot more comfortable knowing that your grandmother’s china and Uncle Bill’s book collection are stored in a locked unit in a protected self-storage facility.
Whatever kind of traveling you may choose to do, retirement definitely offers you the opportunity to go where you want, when you want, without needing to show up at the office ever again. Self-storage can help you relax and enjoy your trips and visits, knowing your belongings are protected.
It’s common to find, in retirement, that you’d prefer to live in warmer climates during the cold winter months. Plenty of retirees leave the cold and damp of the cooler areas of the country for the sunshine and warmth to be found in places like Arizona, Florida, and southern California.
When you decide to leave home for three to six months at a time, self-storage can be there to protect your property and keep it immediately available to you when you return. Of course, you’re not likely to remove sofas and beds from your home, but things like electronics, art work, and even jewelry will likely be safer and more secure in a self-storage unit. With the great security most storage companies offer today, the use of affordable storage to safeguard your belongings, even for just a few months, just makes sense.
Another living option that some retirees choose is to live in a different country, returning to the U.S. for visits, or for holidays and other big events. Living in a different country can be a great way to stretch retirement dollars; moving to a country with a moderate climate is a big bonus!
So, once you’ve decided to move to Mexico, or Ecuador, or wherever else appeals to you, what are you going to do with all your stuff? It doesn’t make sense to get rid of everything when you may find that the expat life isn’t really for you. And again, what about all those things you’re saving to pass along?
Self-storage can hold as much or as little as you want to store, to guard against having to replace even basic household items if you decide you’d rather retire in the United States after all.
Maybe you’ll decide to retire, travel very little, and instead buy some of those grown-up toys you never had time for before. An RV, travel trailer, boat, classic car, or other large recreational item might be exactly what you want to spend time and money on. But you can’t do that every day.
When you’re not camping in that trailer, fishing in your new bass boat, or cruising in your Mustang convertible, you may need a place to keep that toy safe and sound. Self-storage can do that!
A vehicle parking space, or even a storage unit large enough for your RV or boat, is a great way to keep things handy and accessible when it’s not in use. Considering that many homeowners associations have rules and prohibitions regarding the presence of recreational vehicles, and the size of some of these things, self-storage may be a necessity. Luckily, you’re sure to find a storage facility near you, with great security and service, so you can feel good about keeping your new “baby” there.
Whatever your plans for your impending retirement are, self-storage can help you with those changes you know are coming by giving you the space you need to accommodate your new life. Even if you only use it for a short time, self-storage is a great help in transitioning to retirement.
When you find yourself in need of self-storage, the idea of finding the right storage facility, getting the right sized unit, deciding between heated or not, and making your monthly payments can all seem a bit labor intensive and, sometimes, overwhelming. Lucky for you, self-storage in the new millennium has gotten a lot less complicated and a lot more user-friendly! From online tours to online payments, self-storage is now an e-friendly solution to your need for more space.
Online tours, photo albums, and videos.
Many self-storage companies have virtual tours and online photo albums available for you to visit their facility without ever leaving home! Of course, you don’t want to rent based solely on a a video you found online, but you can certainly get a good idea of whether or not a specific place is right for you.
When you’re self-storage shopping, check out Facebook and Google Plus pages, You Tube, self-storage listings sites (like SpareFoot and StorageFront) and even the company’s own website for these types of presentations; they’ll help you narrow down your search pretty quickly, and in the comfort of your own home.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list, make a visit to your top two or three choices, to select the one that will work best for you; be sure to consider extras and amenities when deciding. It’s still a bit of a time and effort investment, but you want to make sure that the facility you pick is as good as it looks; videos and photo albums are definitely a “best foot forward” kind of thing.
Choose and reserve a space online.
Once you’ve decided where to rent your storage unit, go back to the company’s website or other site (like Northwest Storages) to determine what size of unit you’ll need. Most places have graphic representations of what a particular unit will hold, which will help you choose the size of space you’re going to need.
At this point, you want to reserve your storage unit. The company you’re renting from will likely let you do this online, too. There should be a link on their website, or one of the listings sites mentioned above, which will take you to a secure page from which to select a storage unit and reserve it. Generally, the page will include pricing. Pick a unit size, fill out the form, and the space is reserved for you. It’s like magic!
If you’re sure you’ve selected the right size space and are ready to get moved in, you can even rent your space online. You will definitely need to visit your storage’s office to sign paperwork and provide proof of insurance (your homeowner’s insurance will cover your stored belongings so you don’t have to buy an additional policy) to be put in your file.
Pay the easy way!
One of the best things about the internet is the fact that you don’t have to pay bills in person, or by check (which is just so 20th century!); you can pay your bills using your checking, debit, or credit card and do it online!
Once again, your storage company likely offers a secure online payments platform on their website. Just a few clicks and a little information and, viola!, your monthly rental payment is made. Just a reminder: be sure the url for the payment page begins with “https://” to be sure you’re on a secure site! You might even be able to set up automatic monthly payments, so you don’t need to worry about forgetting to login and pay rent.
The use of online options for choosing, reserving, renting, and paying for your self-storage unit makes self-storage easier and more convenient than ever before. Just one more benefit self-storage has to offer you!