10 Self Storage Do’s and Don’ts

Krista Diamond |

Pssst...can we tell you a secret? There are 10 easy ways to make your self storage experience even easier. Whether you’re renting a storage unit to help with a move, to keep inventory for a business, to decrease clutter at home or as a repository for your belongings during summer break or a military deployment, you can get the most out of it by knowing a few insider tips and tricks.

What’s that? You don’t know an insider to hook you up with said tips and tricks? Guess what—you totally do. It’s us. Here are those tips and tricks below, in the form of self storage do’s and don’ts that will save you time, money and stress.

Do: Pay Rent on Time

The standard self storage lease is a month-to-month contract which requires you to pay rent on the same day of each month. Pay rent on time to ensure that you don’t end up on an episode of Storage Wars. Consider setting up auto pay to make this easier.

Don’t: Wake Up the On-Site Manager in the Middle of the Night

Obviously if it’s an emergency (like a real emergency, as in the storage facility is being abducted by aliens), you can disregard this one. But if it’s something non-essential, like a forgotten gate code, save it until business hours.

Do: Ask Questions

There are no dumb questions in the self storage world. Okay, maybe there are a few dumb questions, but go ahead and ask them anyway. Whether you’re confused about operating the on-site kiosk, curious about how to store something fragile or stumped by your self storage insurance policy, it’s okay to ask an employee for help.

Don’t: Store Dirty Items

Whether it’s clothing, bedding, camping gear, sports equipment or something else entirely, you’ve got to make sure it’s clean before you store it. Dirt, crumbs, grease and other messes can attract pests and cause damage to your stuff. Yes, doing laundry is a pain, but it’s worth it.

Do: Read Online Reviews Before Renting

Reading online reviews allows you to use real consumer’s opinions to help you find the best storage unit. Look for recurring details, whether good or bad, and check a variety of review sites including Yelp, Google and Facebook to get an accurate picture of whether or not a facility is right for you.

Don’t: Forget to Make an Aisle in Your Storage Unit

The box you need is always in the way, way back, isn’t it? If your search for that one item you need from your storage unit looks a lot like this, make a pathway inside to save yourself the headache of climbing around on top of your stuff.

Do: Look for Discounts

Want to save money on self storage? Um, of course you do. Luckily there are so, so many ways to find discounts. Before renting, look for first-time renter deals, online-only specials and seasonal discounts. If you’re a student or a military member, you should also ask about discounts. Just make sure you have your ID with you.

Don’t: Abandon Your Items After You Move Out

Moving sucks. So does paying totally avoidable fees. If you leave trash or belongings in your storage unit after you move out, you may forfeit your security deposit or be charged a cleaning fee. A storage unit is like a campsite in the forest (except slightly less majestic). You have to leave it in the condition you found it in. So haul out your stuff, sweep the ground, and if you have items you wish to recycle, donate or throw away, ask your facility for local resources.

Do: Get Climate Control

Climate control regulates the temperature and humidity inside a storage unit. If you live somewhere humid, you need it. If you live in a dry desert, you need it. If you live somewhere with extreme cold or heat, you need it. If you’re storing long-term, you need it. If you’re storing antiques, electronics, artwork, family photos or leather, you need it. Getting the picture here? We’ll say it one more time: you need it.

Don’t: Live in Your Storage Unit

Tiny houses may be super trendy right now, but let’s not get carried away. Living inside your storage unit is not just a violation of your lease agreement; it’s super dangerous. If you are struggling with homelessness, there are better solutions, we promise.