Charleston, SC: Top Things to Know About Storage

Lubabah Memon |

Charleston vs. Los Angeles:  A Coast to Coast Comparison

Living in Charleston has some pretty great perks.  You’re close enough to the mountains for skiing during the winter, and even closer to the ocean and beautiful beaches so you can have relaxing beach picnics with the family.  And of course, the weather is pretty amazing as well.  You can also find all of this in Los Angeles, but Charleston has one up on the city of Angels:  a comparatively low cost of living.  Who knew it was possible to get the best of both worlds?

Charleston has an unemployment rate of 4.5%, which is less than the average national rate of 5.3%.  The cost of living in Charleston is a little higher than the U.S. average, but that is definitely worth it given everything the city has to offer.  Let’s make a quick comparison to put things in perspective.  In Charleston, you can get a dozen eggs for $2.50 compared to $4 in Los Angeles.  On a larger scale, if you take a look at apartment prices you’ll find that a one-bedroom apartment in Charleston is about $1,134 a month and a two bed is $1,466 a month.  When you compare that to a one-bedroom apartment that costs at least $1,750 in Los Angeles, you start feeling pretty good about your choice to live on the east coast.

Now let’s take a look at what you’re really interested in:  prices for storage units.  The cheaper pricing doesn’t only apply to rent for housing, it also applies to storage costs.   You can expect to pay $70 a month for a 10 x 10 foot unit, while people in Los Angeles pay $167 for the same size.  That’s almost a $100 difference in price for the same type of unit!  You should definitely appreciate the low cost of storage units in your area, and don’t hesitate to store your things—you can get two units for the price of one that someone in California would be paying.

Wine Storage can be Tricky

Charleston’s humid weather and proximity to the ocean is not conducive to proper wine storage.  However, there are tons of wineries and wine tasting events in the city.  Wineries set up multiple wine tasting tours throughout the year, including the Sunset Wine Tasting Cruise and the Private Sippin’ Tour.

In order to properly store your wine, you don’t have to go to a storage facility specific to wine storage.  Regular facilities are fine too as long as you take some precautions.  First of all, it’s absolutely necessary that you store your wine in a climate controlled unit.  Charleston’s heat and humidity are likely to destroy your wine because wine requires the temperature to be just right.  High humidity can cause mold and mildew that will damage the paper on the bottles, which means it will lose its resale value.  On the other hand, too little humidity can cause the cork to dry out and shrivel, which will let air into the bottle and cause the wine to spoil.  If it gets too cold, wine can freeze and it can ruin the aging process.  Basically, the temperature has to be perfect for it to stay intact, and the best way to do that is to keep the room in which it’s stored under 70 degrees.  Talk about high maintenance!  But it doesn't end there—sunlight is bad for wine, and so are incandescent and fluorescent lights.  Exposure to these lights can damage the taste, color, and scent of the wine.

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of making sure you are storing your wine properly, go to an expert. Charleston Wine Vault is a facility that specialized in wine storage.  Here, you can store your wine by the case, in a private locker, or a secured room depending on what you prefer.  They strictly monitor the temperature and humidity of their units so you won’t have to stress about your wine spoiling.  The facility is located about ten minutes from downtown, which makes it very convenient for you to pick up your wine on your way home from work.  Also, an additional perk that you have as a tenant is getting advanced access to exclusive wine events.

Bearable Traffic

The people of Charleston drive very slowly so you’ll have to bring your patience to the road.  Luckily, rush hour doesn’t last too long (8AM to 9AM and 4:30PM to 5:30PM), but there are some areas that are severely impacted so it can make driving around the city nothing short of a nightmare.  The bridges coming across the Ashley and Cooper Rivers are most impacted with people from the suburbs going in and out of the city.  The biggest traffic jam generally happens on Highway 17 where all roads converge, so it would greatly benefit you to avoid that whenever possible.  Also, be aware that the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and the College of Charleston are in the city, so there are a lot of students walking around during the day.

To avoid traffic altogether, you might want to consider getting to your unit through public transport.  You can use the Charleston Area Rapid Transit Authority (CARTA), which is pretty cheap ($1.25 per ride).

If that’s not something that works for you, store your stuff at the outskirts of the city.  The area is more rural so people living there don’t even know what traffic is!

Your last, and probably best option, is to store at a facility that allows for 24-hour access to your unit.  If you’re working until 5PM and the facility that you’re storing at closes at 6PM, you’re not going to make it to your unit in time to grab your stuff.  Traffic won’t allow it!  Opt for 24-hour access to make your life easier.