What is Self Storage?
Simply put, self-storage units are compartments where you can store the stuff that won’t fit in your house, apartment or place of business.
Self-storage has the advantage of being affordable, secure and convenient, giving residential and commercial customers additional options for storing their possessions rather than relocating, selling or discarding their excess.
Most traditional self-storage facilities are single-story buildings where tenants can drive right up to the door of their units. Newer facilities are often constructed in multi-story buildings, where access is gained through a common loading area. Some facilities offer a mix of both types of storage.
Whether the storage unit is an outside drive-up unit or inside a building, entry is typically restricted to tenants only by having a secure PIN. Tenants most often access their individual units via a roll-up metal door. The customer also provides his or her own lock and the facility’s workers do not have access to the unit.
Store Space details each facility on its facility pages throughout the website. To find the nearest Store Space Self Storage facility, visit our Find Storage page and search by address, city, state or ZIP code.
What is Self Storage Used For?
While self-storage seems like a straightforward concept, there are still a number of things to consider, such as:
- What circumstances might lead you to a storage unit
- What to look for in a storage facility
- How much you can expect to pay
- Amenities you’ll have access to
- The size of the storage unit
Self-storage is available for homeowners, renters and businesses. Vehicle storage, available at many facilities, is also an important storage option for many customers.
The need for personal storage often revolves around life-changing events, many of them unexpected. With affordable rates, great promotional offers and month-to-month leases, getting a storage unit at Store Space represents a great temporary solution to your storage problems.
While business owners certainly deal with life-changing events, the biggest reason for choosing self-storage is that it’s often more cost-effective than relocating. Just like personal storage, commercial storage is available with affordable month-to-month leases, plus our money-saving promotions.
Did you know that it’s often against municipal code and/or against HOA regulations to keep certain types of vehicles on the street? Not to mention having a boat, RV, work truck or car on the street or in your driveway can invite criminal activity.
Fortunately, many Store Space Self Storage facilities offer vehicle storage options, including secure, gated outdoor parking for larger vehicles like RVs and boats up to 30 ft. in length or larger. Outdoor car storage is also available, and in areas with drive-up storage, larger units (typically 20 ft. or longer) can be used for indoor storage. Toys like side by sides and personal watercraft can also be stored in drive-up units, usually starting at 10 ft. long.
Popular Reasons for Renting a Self-Storage Unit
Residential customers often find themselves in need of a storage unit after any number of life-changing events, such as:
- Growing Family
- Personal Loss
With many storage options available at affordable rates, Store Space makes sense for homeowners and renters.
Business customers have multiple needs when it comes to storage; these can vary from records and documents to inventory and warehousing all of which can be accommodated by storage units. Many small and start-up business can be ran out of storage units.
Relocation is one of the main reasons homeowners and renters choose self-storage. We have storage units that are perfect for a few boxes all the way up to units that can easily store the contents of a 4-bedroom home or more!
Whether you’re moving from apartment to apartment, purchasing into your first home, or relocating cross-country, a self-storage facility can fill the gap between purchase and move-in. It also comes in handy when you’re downsizing and have more possessions than will fit in your new digs.
1. Staging for a sale
When getting ready to sell your house, some real estate agents will want to stage your home by using upscale furnishings. If that’s the case, your day-to-day furniture should be put into storage rather than crammed into the garage or basement.
Similarly, real estate agents and staging companies often use storage facilities to keep their selection of furniture safe and out of the way.
If you’re renting or subletting your home or apartment, you might not want to have tenants destroying your furniture. In that case, finding affordable self-storage makes sense.
From small 5x5 storage units (25 sq. ft.) to oversized 10x30 (300 sq. ft.) units, and many in between, Store Space facilities can accommodate everything from business records storage to seasonal inventory to ad hoc warehouse needs.
Whereas personal customers often get storage as part of the relocation process, it’s the desire to stay in the same location that often motivates business customers to rent self-storage. If a business is established in a particular location, being forced to relocate just to acquire more space could upset a loyal customer base, not to mention lead to much higher leases.
But self-storage offers commercial customers much more than just a way to stay put. Businesses turn to self-storage for a wide range of reasons, including:
- Offsite document storage for professional offices
- Inventory storage for small businesses
- Warehouse storage for manufacturers
- Tool, equipment and vehicle storage for contractors
Much like contractors who don’t want to park a work truck at their house, sales and pharmaceutical reps often use self-storage rather than risk keeping product at their homes or in their vehicles.
Depending on what’s being stored, climate-controlled storage offers a level of protection against humidity and temperature extremes, while drive-up storage offers the convenience of curbside loading and unloading. Some facilities even offer drive-up, climate-controlled storage for the ultimate in convenience and protection.
Changes in Your Life
Lifestyle changes can be planned or unplanned but knowing that there’s an affordable storage facility nearby to help you cope is reassuring indeed. Children coming and going, inheriting furniture from a distant relative, even facing retirement can all spur the need to rent self-storage.
Here are some of the reasons for procuring a storage facility:
- Separation or Divorce
- Death in the Family
If any of these scenarios have left you wondering what you’re going to do with multiple rooms of extra furniture and other possessions, self-storage is a great alternative while weighing your options for moving forward.
College Students’ Storage
Self-storage is made for college students, offering secure storage and month-to-month leases with affordable rates.
Dorms are notorious for being small, and off-campus apartments are rarely spacious themselves, so if you’ve found you brought too much stuff with you, a storage unit makes a safe alternative to shipping items back home.
Storage units are also great to use between semesters, while studying abroad or even during a gap year.
During remodeling projects, it’s risky to leave furnishings uncovered where they might be subject to the elements, construction debris or other hazards. Instead of stacking everything in the garage or basement (if you even have that option), rent a storage space for a couple of months to keep your most sensitive items sheltered.
Don’t allow your personal space to be overtaken by your possessions—when you’re starting to feel crowded, it’s the right time to rent self-storage.
Whether you have a weakness for buying every piece of mid-century modern furniture you find on eBay or just can’t ever pull the trigger on hosting a garage sale, don’t worry. When it’s time to declutter your home or apartment, Store Space has the right-sized unit to store your excess.
Being deployed or transferred can be a challenge in and of itself—worrying about the safety of your belongings shouldn’t contribute to the stress.
At Store Space, we offer a 10% discount for active military and veterans, with valid ID. Thank you for your service!
What to Look for When Selecting a Storage Facility
Not all storage facilities are alike. There are several things you should consider when selecting a storage facility to ensure you’ll have a worry-free self-storage experience, including security measures, hours, prices, access and more.
Gone are the days of self-storage facilities found only on the outskirts of a city. Self-storage can be found in inner cities, suburbs, small towns and yes, even out in the country.
Not only are there all types of facilities, but there are also lots of different storage options available to residential and commercial customers with a wide variety of needs. From vehicle storage to warehousing needs to household items and everything in between, Store Space facilities offer a wide range of amenities to choose from. Amenities and availability vary by location, so make sure to check our inventory which is always posted on our facility pages.
When we talk about security, we’re not just talking about your possessions. We’re talking about you and your family or co-workers when you’re visiting a facility.
We start our security protocols by ensuring that our facilities are well-lit inside and out. Our parking areas and driveways are well-lighted, and our interior spaces use automatic lighting to save energy, too.
Our properties are also fully fenced or are contained within a secure, enclosed building—or both in some cases. Access to areas with storage units is always restricted by a gate and personal PIN to keep out unwanted guests.
We also have security cameras strategically placed around the facility to capture all the goings-on, and our offices have live monitors.
Finally, our staff walks and audits each facility daily, to ensure nothing is out of place.
Prior to the global pandemic, we were obsessed with cleanliness and COVID only increased our desire to ensure our facilities are clean.
At Store Space, all our stores are cleaned and sanitized regularly, with a focus on all high-traffic areas and high-touch surfaces. Our employees have ample hand sanitizer available and have appropriate personal protective gear. Social distancing is also in place, and we can also accommodate curbside service for many transactions.
We also make sure to clean each storage unit before you move in, and facilities have pest and rodent prevention plans in place.
Access and Office Hours
When looking for a self-storage facility, make sure the one you choose offers tenant access seven days a week, like Store Space. Not only that, but our hours also stretch from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Our offices are open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., seven days a week, where you can meet with a store manager, rent or pay your bill with our self-service kiosk, or stock up on moving and packing supplies including boxes, specialty padding and protection, tape and more.
At Store Space, our motto is “Storage That Cares,” which reflects our commitment to you, as well as the communities we serve. Our employees are professionally trained so you can rest assured that you’re getting the best support available.
We also support local and national charities, such as the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Toys for Tots, Wounded Warrior Project, and more.
Finally, our Care Center is available seven days a week for rentals, payments and general customer support. Call them at 833-786-7366.
Store Space is growing all the time, so we make it easy to find the location nearest you. Just use our Find Storage page and search by location, city, state or ZIP code. You can also call us at 833-786-7366.
If we don’t have a location near you, check back soon as we are in growth mode!
We shop the competition daily using advanced technology, so you can rest assured that our storage rates are going to be among the lowest around.
At Store Space, we post our monthly rates right on our facility pages, so you know the price right upfront. We also post our competitive promotions on our facility pages, which can range from a certain percentage off for one month’s rent, a free month or even a percentage off for multiple months. These change frequently but making a reservation will lock in your rate for a limited amount of time.
Wide Aisles, Elevators, and Handcarts
Even if you select a storage unit on the upper floor of one of our storage buildings, we make it easy to move in. Our spacious elevators will minimize your trips and you can borrow a handcart to wheel your load through our wide aisles with ease!
Popular Self Storage Unit Sizes
Self-storage units are available in a wide variety of sizes, from closet-sized units 25 sq. ft. or less, all the way up to oversized units 300 sq. ft. or larger!
Storage units are often known by several different names. Terms like “mini storage” and “storage lockers” are synonymous with the term “self-storage,” but can sometimes refer to the smallest storage unit in a facility, such as a 5x5 unit.
5x5 – Mini Storage
The smallest standard unit at many facilities, a 5x5 storage unit (25 sq. ft.) is comparable to a standard closet. Pack and organize 5x5s like you would organize a small closet. These are great if you have a single piece of furniture and/or several boxes to store. Seasonal items such as decorations are also commonly stored in these units.
A 5x10 storage unit (50 sq. ft.) is about the size of a walk-in closet. It can reasonably hold one or more of the following: 1 or 2 pieces of furniture, a king-sized mattress, a large appliance or two, a piece of office furniture, or a bike/motorcycle. Of course, a few boxes can be added to the mix. If you’re only storing boxes or totes, expect around 10 large or 15 medium-sized ones.
A 10x10 storage unit (100 sq. ft.) is approximately half the size of a standard one-car garage. These versatile units can hold the contents of a 1- or 2-bedroom apartment, or major appliances, or up to 20 of more boxes and totes.
A 10x20 storage unit (200 sq. ft.) is about the size of a one-car garage. These can hold the contents of an entire 3- to 4-bedroom household. These are also popular sizes for small businesses needing space for inventory and supplies. Certain units can also fit cars.
What is the Most Popular Unit Size?
It’s never been a popularity contest, but if it was, the 10 ft. by 10 ft. storage unit would be sporting the trophy. Virtually every storage facility will have 10x10 storage units, and they will comprise most of its inventory. By the way, you’d have to win a lot of contests to fill up a 100 sq. ft. storage unit with just trophies!
Storage facilities are frequently used for storing everything from the smallest bicycles to the largest RVs and everything in between. Vehicle storage typically comes in three types: uncovered, covered or indoors. Depending on the storage facility, one, two or all three of those options might be available.
Outdoor storage typically consists of oversized parking spaces secured behind the facility’s gates and under the watchful eye of the security cameras. If you’re planning long-term storage, an all-weather vehicle cover is recommended.
Covered outdoor storage is akin to outdoor storage, but with the added advantage of a roof to protect from snow, rain, hail and direct sun. If you’re planning to use these on a long-term basis, an all-weather vehicle cover is recommended.
Indoor storage can be one of two types: either in an individual drive-up unit or in a shared warehouse-style facility.
- Drive-up units are the most popular and units 10x20 or larger can hold most cars. In most cases, the only limitation is the doorway, which is typically 7 ft. tall.
- Warehouse-style units typically have larger entranceways to accommodate taller vehicles, but don’t afford the privacy of an individual unit.
Storage facilities with drive-up and outdoor storage options always have wide driveways to accommodate large vehicles. With extended hours daily, accessing your vehicle before a camping or boating trip, or even before heading to work, is never an issue.
Take advantage of month-to-month leases to store your seasonal vehicles during the off-season or just rent year-round and use your storage facility as your base of operations.
Many storage facilities can accommodate everything from personal watercraft like kayaks, canoes and paddleboards, jet skis, all the way up to recreational and fishing boats. If you can carry it, it can probably fit in an indoor unit. If it’s on a trailer, consider drive-up units for small bass boats or uncovered parking for larger ones.
Most cars will fit into a 10 ft. by 20 ft. drive-up storage unit. Motorcycles, mopeds, scooters and bikes can usually fit into 5 ft. by 10 ft. units, while side by sides can fit into 10 ft. by 10 ft. units. Snowmobiles and the smallest cars (think Mini Coopers or older Honda Civics) can go into 10 ft. by 15 ft. drive-up units.
Outdoor parking options vary by facility but are often designed for standard cars and trucks, as well as larger vehicles.
Smaller teardrop campers and pop-up trailers can be stored in some drive-up units, but trailers, fifth wheels and similarly large recreational vehicles are typically best suited to outdoor or covered outdoor parking.
Climate-controlled storage units are vital in many climates. These units are cooled or heated by circulating air to keep the temperature between 50- and 80-degrees F year-round. That helps stabilize the relative humidity, which in turn, helps mitigate damage to your most sensitive items. If you’re considering long-term storage for things like furniture, antiques, delicate fabrics, leather furniture, electronics, or paper and photographs, then these temperature-controlled storage units are a must-have. Check out our guide to see if you need climate controlled storage.
Climate-controlled units are available in all standard sizes and are found in larger, multi-level storage buildings. Some drive-up units also have climate control, which is highly sought after by car collectors and sales reps, including pharmaceutical salespeople.
Drive-up Storage Units
Drive-up storage is the foundation of the self-storage industry. You can drive right up to your unit and load or unload right at car-side. These units are available to residential and commercial customers and are particularly useful for people needing to access their units more frequently or who hate moving.
While not available at all facilities, especially those in dense urban areas, many facilities that don’t offer drive-up will at least have a large, drive-up loading bay to make it as easy as possible to get to your storage unit.
How to Make the Most Out of Your Self Storage Unit
Storage guides will give you a general idea of what should be able to fit into any size storage unit, but it takes a little foresight and planning to maximize your usable space.
1. Plan your storage space
If you have access to a garage or other large open space, it’s OK to do a “test-run” of what you’re going to store and practice arranging your belongings in the space. (Use masking tape to simulate the footprint of your storage unit.)
For perspective, a 10x10 unit is about half the size of a one-car garage and a 10x20 unit is double that.
To make more effective use of your space, remember these tips:
- Stack dressers and tables top-to-top
- Store rugs and carpets vertically
- Load frequently used items last, so they are easy to access
- Use items like wardrobe boxes to store hanging clothes
- Use mattress covers to avoid moisture damage
- Leave a pathway or aisle to get to items in the back
- Learn how to pack for long term storage
- Check out more storage unit tips and tricks
2. Label your boxes
Just like when you’re moving, make sure you label your boxes to have a general idea of what’s what. Don’t put the labels on top, since they will likely be covered, but instead label both ends. It’s even helpful to draw a map of where things are so you can get to them without tearing apart the whole unit!
3. Utilize shelves and pallets
Another great way to manage space and add your own level of protection is to use shelves and pallets to stack your items on. Although climate-controlled storage is helpful in combating humidity and moisture condensation, airflow around your boxes and furniture is also key to keeping things in tip-top shape.
Shelves are also ideal for storing fragile items, by reducing the chance they’ll get crushed or knocked over. The best strategy is to put these toward the back of the unit.
4. Be prepared
If you’ve already gone through our Touchless Rental process and you’re planning on moving in before or after normal business hours, that’s OK. Just make sure you’ve purchased a high-security discus padlock so you can secure your unit when you leave.
- Purchase a high-security lock
- Have a spare key
- Give a friend or family member access if needed
Sometimes, pre-planning doesn’t always go as expected. You misplace your lock, one of your boxes breaks, you run out of tape. It happens. Fortunately, our office sells discus locks, as well as tape, boxes, specialty packing material, mattress covers, plate protectors, bubble wrap and much more
What Should I Put in Storage?
Self-storage can be used to store any number of things for both personal and business customers. The most commonly stored items are furniture and household goods, clothing, memorabilia, papers and documents, and vehicles.
But the versatility of storage units doesn’t end there. Many professional offices (lawyers and doctors, for instance) are required to have offsite storage of documents and records for up to 10 years. Artisans use storage to house their creations before shipping. Collectors often trust storage units for their collections. Pharmaceutical and sales reps use storage for product samples. Contractors keep tools and equipment safe, sparing themselves the need to invest in leasing a full-scale commercial space.
What Should You NOT Put in a Storage Unit?
Of course, not everything can be placed in a storage unit. The main ones are easy to remember since they all start with the letter “f”:
There are other prohibited items that are restricted by state or local laws, so if you’re unsure, it’s best to check with your local store manager.
How Big of a Storage Unit Do I Need?
How big of a storage unit you’ll need to rent largely depends on how much you plan to store. As a rule of thumb, one to two rooms of furniture and belongings can generally fit within 100 sq. ft, which equates to a 10 ft. by 10 ft. storage unit.
Keep in mind that many storage units are quite tall on the inside, so effective stacking is key to getting the most into your unit.
Our trained storage professionals can also help if you have questions about some non-standard sizes—call your local store or contact our Care Center at 833-786-7366.
How Much is a Storage Unit?
Storage units can cost anywhere from a few dollars a month up to a few hundred dollars for the largest commercial-sized storage units. In most cases, self-storage is very cost-effective since the monthly cost of a storage unit is less than renting or purchasing a new location.
There are a number of factors that can contribute to the price of a storage unit, including the size of the unit, its location, plus available amenities and features. At Store Space, we shop the competition to ensure that our rates are competitive in the marketplace and we always offer valuable move-in promotions to lower your out-of-pocket expenses.
Q: Can You live in a Storage Unit?
A: No, although it seems like it would make a cheaper alternative than a studio apartment, you cannot live in a storage unit. There are multiple reasons for this:
- It’s illegal
- Lack of running water and plumbing
- Risk of being trapped (units lock from the outside)
- No power or heat/air in some units
- Dangerous to cook inside (carbon monoxide poisoning)
- No natural light
Q: Is it illegal to live in one?
A: Yes, it’s illegal and against federal and local housing laws to live in your storage unit.
Q: Can you hang out in your unit?
A: It’s OK to spend a limited amount of time in your unit in the course of running a business, such as counting inventory, getting items to ship, dropping off documents, collecting tools, etc., but time in your storage unit should be limited.
Q: Do Storage Units Have Bugs?
A: The truth is, some storage facilities are going to have bugs, so make sure the one you select has a pest and rodent protection plan in place, like Store Space Self Storage facilities do.
Q: Will Clothes Get Ruined in Self Storage?
A: Generally, no, not at all. But improper storing techniques can result in damage. There are a number of things you can do to mitigate damage to sensitive fabrics and leather items, among others. Consider renting a climate-controlled storage unit. Use wardrobe boxes so items can be hung rather than folded. Purchase dehumidifying packets.
Q: Do They Have Electrical Outlets in Them?
A: For the most part, no. You may occasionally find one, but they are not the standard.
Q: How Long Can You Go Without Paying Storage?
A: Bills are due at the first of each month and fees start accruing after the fifth day. Sign up for autopay so you never miss a payment, or ask about our other options, including secure online bill pay.
Q: Does Renter’s Insurance Cover Storage Units?
A: It’s important to check with your insurance agent to verify your particular coverage, but most renter’s insurance at least partially covers items in storage. Store Space offers its Tenant Protection Plan for items that might not be covered.
Q: Can I Park a Car in a Unit?
A: Most facilities that offer drive-up storage are able to accept cars. Some of the smallest cars will fit in 10x15 units, but 10x20 offers more flexibility. The doors on drive-up storage units are usually 7-ft. tall, allowing access for all but the tallest lifted trucks. Outdoor storage is often available as well.
More Questions? We Can Help!
We’ve tried to provide answers to as many questions as possible in this guide, but we understand you might have more questions specific to your situation. That’s OK! Just call us at 833-786-7366 and our Care Center professionals can help you find exactly the right storage unit to fit your storage needs, at a great rate!
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