Storage boxes stacked on top of each other

Storage 101: Your Guide to Getting Started

Understanding What Self Storage Can Do for You

How self storage works is simple: by renting a storage unit, you can expand the amount of storage space you have beyond the walls of your home. If you find yourself in a situation where you don’t have enough storage space, self storage can be the perfect solution for you.

There are many reasons why people use self storage, but they all ultimately come down to space. Storage units give you the additional space you need at an affordable monthly rate. Some of the ways you can use self storage include:

  • Additional Storage – One of the most common uses for self storage is to get more space for belongings. Renting a storage unit allows for more breathing room at home without needing to get rid of anything valuable.
  • Seasonal Storage – A lot of belongings are only used for a few months out of the year. When they aren’t being used, they take up space. A storage unit is perfect for seasonal items like holiday decorations, seasonal clothing, and lawn equipment.
  • Moving – A storage unit is a great tool for transitioning between homes because it gives you a place to store furniture, appliances, and boxes while you’re waiting to get in to your new home.
  • Remodeling – Remodeling your home can be a huge project and take several weeks or longer. Of course, in order to remodel a room, you need to empty it first. Renting a storage unit gives you a place to store your furnishings during that time.
  • College Storage – Instead of lugging dorm belongings back home during summer break, you can rent a small storage unit near campus. That way, the trip home is easier and moving back in at the start of a new school year is a breeze.
  • Military Storage – Similar to college students using a storage unit, many military members will use self storage as a means of keeping their belongings safe and in one spot during a deployment. You may also find many storage facilities offer military discounts to help and honor those who serve in our armed forces.
  • Business Storage – Self storage isn’t reserved only for personal use. A lot of businesses utilize the affordable rates of storage units to expand office spaces. A storage unit can be used for storing inventory, supplies, or equipment as well.
  • Vehicle Storage – Often used with RVs, boats, sport cars, motorcycles, and show cars, vehicle storage can come in three forms: outdoor parking, covered outdoor parking, and fully enclosed parking in a storage unit with drive up access.

Storage Facility Types

Indoor Storage Facility

Indoor

Storage units are accessible from hallways inside the facility. The facility could be several stories tall and require the use of elevators in order to access units.

Outdoor Storage Facility

Outdoor

Storage units are accessible on the outside of the facility, usually with drive-up access. These are great for storing heavy items, such as furniture, appliances, equipment, and vehicles.


There are also facilities that offer a mixture of both types of storage, offering consumers a choice. Indoor storage units offer better temperature regulation and a higher level of security while external storage units have better accessibility for heavy items.

Features Offered at Self Storage Facilities

The storage industry is constantly evolving to improve storage for their consumers. New features that improve the storage experience are constantly being introduced and widely adopted at facilities around the nation. These features include:

  • Storage unit size – One of the first and most obvious features, storage unit sizes vary to accommodate a variety of needs, from a few small boxes in a 5x5 unit to everything you may own in a larger 10x30 storage unit.
  • Electricity – Some facilities offer storage units equipped with electrical outlets. With electricity, you can operate a business out of your unit, charge vehicle batteries, and more.
  • Climate Control – A lot of items can be damaged by extreme temperatures while in long-term storage. To combat this, many storage facilities offer climate-controlled units to protect sensitive belongings, such as antiques, photos, electronics, musical instruments, and more.
  • 24-Hour Access – Some facilities offer 24-hour access, giving you the freedom to visit your storage unit whenever it’s convenient for you. That way, you don’t have to adjust your personal schedule around the hours of your storage facility.
  • Drive Up Access – The drive up access feature allows self storage renters to drive their vehicle or trailers directly up to the unit and is convenient when storing heavier or larger quantities of items. Some facilities will even allow for vehicle storage inside storage units with drive up access.
  • Security – Many storage facilities offer great security measures, including gated access, alarmed units, video surveillance, and on-site management.

How to Find the Best Storage Unit for You

Now that you know what self storage has to offer, you can narrow down choices to find the perfect match for your storage needs. The best way to do this is to look at your personal storage situation and find the right features that match your needs.


For example, do you need to store excess belongings like an extra dresser or seasonal clothing?

Then a 5x5 storage unit with climate control would be a perfect solution for you, as long as the dresser will fit. Clothes and wooden furniture can be easily damaged by heat and humidity, so climate control is recommended, especially if you live in an area with high temperatures and humidity.

Diagram of 5 by 5 Storage Units

For example, do you need to store excess belongings like an extra dresser or seasonal clothing?

If you’re moving the contents of a house, a 10x20 or 10x30 should do the trick. Make sure to get a storage unit with drive-up access so it’s easier to load and unload.

Diagram of 10 by 20 Storage Units

Another example would be if you’re using self storage while relocating.

Often times you may have a week or two between the time you move out of your current home and into your new one. When you’re moving the contents of a house, a 10x20 or 10x30 should do the trick. Make sure to get a storage unit with drive-up access so it’s easier to load and unload as well as strong security features at the storage facility, such as electronic gate access and video surveillance.

Storage.com offers many blogs for a variety of different storage needs, including tips on how to pack your belongings and move them into your storage unit, and you can explore them by clicking here.