Self-storage is a viable alternative for housing goods, vehicles, business materials or other items when you have run out of space or need a place to store your overflow. Available in a variety of sizes and styles to fit your needs, a self-storage unit can be considered a great solution for providing extra space that is accessible when you need it.
Used by homeowners, renters, students, military personnel and business facilities, the options are endless. Most self-storage facilities offer a variety of offerings, including climate-controlled, drive-up, business storage, document storage and a host of other selections. Standard unit sizes ranges from 5 feet wide and 5 feet deep (5 x 5) to 10 feet wide and 30 feet deep (10 x 30). Self-storage units are usually rented on a month-to-month basis but vary based on customer needs.
Most self-storage facilities offer 24-hour security surveillance with additional protocols in place to ensure your items are under consistent protection. Open 7 days a week, these units are available before and after standard business operating hours for increased flexibility. Facilities also offer storage and moving supplies, push carts, dollies and online access to provide an enhanced customer experience.
The current self-storage industry is continuously growing with about 2.3 billion square feet being used in the United States. That’s not including the self-storage footprint around the world, which has gained traction in Japan, France, Australia, Canada, the U.K., Brazil and China. Originally conceived during the post-World War II era, self-storage has now become one of the most thriving industries on the planet. It has grown faster than any other real-estate related industry and is dominated by self-owned facilities, also known as “mom and pop” locations.
High demand from the economic downturn helped propelled the industry to new heights. There are currently five publicly traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) which control about 12 percent of the market. A popular remedy for extra space, one out of ten households in the United States has a self-storage unit, even with a garage at their disposal. Approximately 65% of homeowners who have a storage unit have garages, 47% have attics and 33% have basements.
The trend has shifted to an online marketplace, where consumers can find the facility, unit, size and amenities they need with the click of a button. Online searches have become more relevant, being able to provide unique searches based on client preference. As the industry continues to grow, online marketing in the self-storage industry has evolved to include comparison shopping, account management, online rental and content that caters to specific target audiences. The experience of renting a self-storage unit has now become easier than ever and will continue to evolve for the future.
To qualify as climate controlled storage, units need to be heated or cooled to protect your belongings from the extreme temperatures. There is no set rule that dictates the range of temperatures a climate controlled unit should be kept, they vary at each facility, and this is why you should ask the facility what the temperature of their climate controlled units is.
If the area of the country you are storing reaches temperatures of 90 degrees and above, facilities may use air conditioning units to keep your belongings from rotting or molding and in areas that fall below freezing temperatures (32 degrees) facilities may use heating units to prevent your belongings from cracking or warping. Because of this, climate controlled self storage units may have an added cost, depending on how much value you place to your items, this added cost may be well worth it.
What should be stored in temperature controlled units? It is recommended that important documents, electronic and computer equipment, CDs, pictures, leather furniture, books, artwork, and other valuables be stored in climate controlled storage – especially if you are in a part of the country that has severe summers and/or winters.
Musical instruments, important documents, oil paintings, fine furniture, electronic and computer equipment, fine linens and clothing, perishable items are just some of the examples that will benefit from climate controlled storage. High humidity can create mold and mildew, these mixed with high temperature could damage almost anything.
Outdoor storage units, in most cases, will only provide the basic moisture protection offered by a roof and concrete or gravel floor plus protection against some elements like wind and rain. Check with the manager of the facility to see if their drive-up, garage style self storage units will offer some sort of climate control, some do and some don’t.
Indoor self storage units are typically located inside large building with sometimes several floors. While this enclosed units may have some type of heat and air circulation throughout the building, with temperatures slightly more comfortable that the outside temperature, it might only be enough to protect against dust and damage. Certain items may need a better level of climate controlled storage to keep them protected.
Newer and more advanced facilities, offer indirect heating and cooling to your unit by maintaining the entire building within a temperature range, this in addition offers some humidity control. Some facilities also offer units with climate control features that will maintain the unit between a range of temperatures approved by the tenant ahead of time.
The extra expense to rent a climate controlled storage unit may outweigh the cost of having damaged goods to sort through when you need them. Always remember to ask the storage facility manager the temperature they keep the building it might just save your belongings from mother nature.
It is always up to you to make sure your belongings are protected. To protect them from dust, scratches and germs, place a tarp or plastic film on the floor, a cardboard will work better and if you use wood it would be best. Use some moisture absorbing tools to keep humidity levels low and the use of deodorizers in your unit (even old fashioned baking soda) will keep the unit fresh.
An Outside Unit/Drive up access is a self storage unit with outside access that allows you the ability to load and unload your belongings directly from a vehicle or truck. These units are typically located outside the main building of a storage facility and are a garage like unit with roll up doors and concrete walls.
A drive up storage unit, although convenient, may not offer the amenities an inside unit offers. Climate controlled storage being the most important. An Outside Unit/Drive up access will offer protection against rain and wind and will keep your belongings safe, but if you have valuables that are susceptible to extreme heat or cold, then an inside storage unit is for you.
Depending on the size, these outside units can also accommodate your vehicle, boat or motorcycle. Drive up units is great for small machinery, or anything else you might store in a garage. These units are very popular because they are easily accessible.
While most wine is consumed within 24 hours of purchase, fine wines are often set aside for long-term storage. Wine is one of the few commodities that can improve with age but it can also rapidly deteriorate if kept in inadequate conditions. The three factors that have the most direct impact on a wine’s condition are light, humidity and temperature. A fourth consideration can be security for expensive wines. Even though displaying your wines in your kitchen sounds like a good idea, the contrary is true, wine should be stored in specialized storage unit that offer climate control features.
The popularity of consuming and collecting wines has created a new niche in the self storage industry. Whether you are an avid wine collector who is running out of room in your own wine cellar or just getting started, we know that quality storage for wine is very important. Things like temperature and wine storage humidity control are very important things to consider when looking for a wine storage unit. Your wine collection is a huge investment. Make sure that the wine storage facility you choose meets all of the conditions you need. Some of those conditions are: Adequate temperature and humidity control in their wine storage units, adequate security and protection for your wine investment, insurance for the wine you store in their units.
These details should be considered prior to renting a unit. Facilities that offer wine storage have specialized packages and they depend on your collection size and the length of time you will be storing. Facilities specializing in wine storage have built custom wine cellars and wine storage cabinets to meet the needs of their unique clientele.
Mostly used by students this small units can hold up to 150 square feet or more of their possessions. This sometimes is better than having to share a large unit with other students. With one of this small self storage lockers, you have complete control on what you can store it and who has access to it.
Document storage will keep your documents safer and in most cases will deliver them where you want them and when you need them. Document storage can provide your business with quick access to critical information and at the same time free-up office storage space. Document storage companies are state of the art facilities and most will bar code your boxes for easy retrieval and for secure offsite document storage. This barcode technology will ensure complete accuracy in all areas of storage: archiving, retrieval and destruction.
If you are a small enterprise and want to store your paper records yourself in a storage facility, make sure you choose a climate controlled unit, preferable an inside unit and use crates on the floor to prevent damage from moisture and the occasional flooding.
Media storage is another service that document storage companies offer. These facilities are normally in fire lock data security vaults that protect any type of digital media from fire and more. Back up tapes, streaming cartridge tapes, optical discs and irreplaceable media such as vhs videos, audio masters tape, micro cassette tape, laser and video disc, voice and surveillance tapes, DVD and CDs are just some of the type of media storage that need special handling and care.
Media storage will ensure that the critical data your business will need to continue to operate successfully will be available if a disaster should occur. It offers the peace of mind that important documents and data will be safeguarded and available when they are needed in the future.