The Ultimate Self-Storage Checklist For New Tenants
Don’t underestimate these tried and true tips when renting a new storage unit in St. Louis!
Renting a storage unit is a pretty easy process, but it’s important to be educated and know a little about self-storage if you’ve never embarked on it before. This way you have a great experience and protect your belongings.
EZ Storage in St. Louis cares about safely and securely storing your items — we take a host of precautions and employ enhanced security so your stuff is safe with us! Go step-by-step with us in renting a new storage unit.
What to Consider as a New Self-Storage Tenant
New to renting a self-storage unit in St. Louis? No worries, we make it a breeze! Before committing to a specific storage facility and storage unit, let’s examine a few considerations to take.
Research the Storage Facility
It’s important to know a little bit about where and who you’re entrusting your belongings to. Get to know them by scoping out their website, and, if you have the time, drive by the facility at various hours — early morning, mid-day, and late at night.
What’s your overall take? Do you get the feeling that it’s a safe storage facility?
As you’re looking into the perfect storage facility for you, consider these additional questions:
- Is the self-storage facility in a convenient and nearby location?
- What amenities does the storage company offer?
- What do the contracts look like?
- Does the storage facility have the vacancies for the rental size I need?
Observe the Location
Location is everything, especially when it comes to your new storage unit! Not only does it need to be convenient for you to access, but it needs to be safe, and the location can make or break this.
All the enhanced security in the world may not be enough if the storage facility is in a high-crime area. So, what should you look for?
Look for a storage facility that isn’t on the outskirts of town but one that also isn’t in the heart of a city — both locations can draw crime. When a storage facility is in more sparsely populated areas, people aren’t around which can give criminals a sense of security — the “nobody is looking” type mentality. In the case of a storage facility in the heart of the city, there may be so many people around that crime can occur in plain sight because again, no one is watching.
Ultimately, choosing a storage facility that’s in a business park or within the proximity of other businesses is ideal.
Decide On What Size of Storage Unit You’ll Need
For many new self-storage renters, figuring out the size of the unit is determined quite haphazardly and can lead to a storage unit that is way too big or one that is too small, which makes it all the more important to really estimate and calculate what size you may actually need — don’t be stuck with a bill for space you don’t need or stress out about running out of space halfway into packing your storage unit!
Before you decide on a storage unit, get an idea of what you need to store and always keep in mind the height. When you can’t stack out, you can always find room when you stack up. If you’re more of a visual person, check out our size guide.
It’s also important to consider indoor and outdoor storage. Typically, outdoor storage costs less, but you lose a great deal of protection. Outdoor storage is ideal for vehicles such as RVs and work vans.
Indoor storage is often the preferred choice because it provides the most protection and safety, keeping your belongings away from the outdoor elements.
Insure Your Storage Unit
Property insurance is required at most self-storage facilities, and is highly recommended and encouraged at EZ Storage in St. Louis — you can never be too careful! Connect with your insurance company and make sure your policy covers belongings such as clothing, electronics, appliances, and furniture, in addition to coverage for extreme weather and pest and rodent infestation.
You can get insured in a variety of ways including:
- Homeowner’s insurance (off-premises personal property)
- Renter’s insurance
- Third-party storage facility insurance
Invest in Security
Security might just be the number one factor you want to check off when it comes to renting at a storage facility, but it happens on both ends.
Tenant – Security is widely on the storage facility, but it’s important that you also take precautions. Know your inventory and invest in the best lock money can buy. Some highly reviewed padlocks include the Stanley Shrouded Hardened Steel Padlock, Desired Tools 4 Digit Combination Lock, Kwikset SmartKey, and Master Lock Word Combination Lock.
Storage facility – Safe and secure storage facilities often have things in common such as 24/7 surveillance and on-site managers, a gated facility, computerized access, and 24/7 grounds lighting.
At EZ Storage in St. Louis, security is our top priority. Not only are there individual door alarms, but our self-storage facility offers state-of-the-art security including computer-controlled gate access and video surveillance, in addition to 24/7 exterior lighting and resident managers on-site.
Maintain an Organizational Method
A common mistake that new storage unit tenants make is unloading their items mindlessly, not taking into account any organization. Being unorganized will come back to haunt you! Sure it may be fast and efficient, but when you come back in a month or two looking for a specific item, don’t be surprised if you have to spend the entire afternoon searching for it!
Instead, have a plan in mind. Many people organize their storage unit according to their needs — items you’ll likely never need are in the back and stacked high, while items you may need more frequently are placed up front and well-labeled.
Optimize How You Store Items
It’s plain and simple — there is a right and wrong way of storing your belongings! The wrong way is almost always taking the easy route and stuffing things in boxes and chaotically storing it in your unit. While there are some really great tips for storing just about any kind of item, here are a few basic storing tips:
- Keep things off the ground. Invest in wood pallets to help elevate your bins and boxes from the concrete.
- Avoid using boxes from a restaurant, grocery store, or anything that contained food.
- Use plastic bins over cardboard boxes if you can.
- Invest in a climate-controlled storage unit if you have fragile and expensive items.
- Store heavy things at ground level and stack lighter items on top.
As a potential new tenant at a storage facility in St. Louis, it’s important to understand what you may encounter in your first rental experience. Don’t go in blindly, and take in some considerations such as:
- Researching the storage facility
- Observing the location
- Determining what size of storage unit you’ll need
- Insuring your storage unit
- Choosing a facility with state-of-the-art security
- Organizing and storing your belongings properly
EZ Storage in St. Louis is here for our first-time renters! Schedule an appointment with us to figure the right size or learn more about our other amenities!
If you have a lay of the land and are ready to get started, reach out to us at EZ Storage in St. Louis today!