Life change means you have to deal with your stuff literally. Moving to a smaller apartment, getting married, joining a household, or relocating an elderly parent may mean that the property needs to be stored.

One in 10 Americans rents a spare unit, according to Timothy Ditz, president and CEO of the Self Storage Association, and more than half of those people are in transition. To meet demand, Ditz says there are currently 55,000 warehouses across the country, almost three-quarters of which are privately owned. Their terms may vary, so you may need to shop before choosing the one that best suits your needs.

If you do not want to do DIY, there are other services called mobile, portable or valet that will do everything for you, from packing your boxing box to storing it. This type of service takes a photo of each item in the box, tags each box with radio frequency identification, and creates your item catalog. When you need something from the warehouse, just ask and they will deliver it to you. Just be aware that since these services are not self-contained, the rules and legality will vary.

However, if you do decide to do DIY, here are some things Ditz says he might want to consider.

GEICO can help protect your home.

The size of the storage area

How much space you need depends on what you need to save. Items usually range from 5 ‘x 5’ (good for small items) to և 10 ‘x 30’ (if you have a lot of furniture և other large items). To figure out what size is best for you, use a tape measure to measure the width, depth, and height of your boxes that will give you the cubic feet of your product.

Hint. You can overestimate the space you need, so if your storage needs increase, you will have room for that.

Climate control (or not)

It costs extra to keep your belongings cool in summer and warm in winter, but do you need this feature? It depends on what you keep and where you live. If you are in a humid area or a place prone to bad weather, և you store moisture և temperature sensitive items, you will want to have a climate control unit; otherwise, your stored items will be affected by the items.

Login և Security

Some features to consider.

24-hour access

Some storage units only have daylight hours for security reasons, while others offer 24-hour access. Ask yourself, is restricted access an inconvenience or is it worth devaluing security?


Is the facility well lit in general? If there are indoor corridors, are they illuminated by motion sensors, are they connected by timers, or is there a switch? As for the unit itself. Is there any lighting or not at all?


Is the facility close to your place of residence or in a suburban area? The 3 to 5 mile radius is average for most tenants. Anything beyond that can be inconvenient if you need regular access to your belongings.


Is the place surrounded by a fence? If so, how high is it? Are there any additional security features, such as a keyless entry gate?

Control system

Inside և outside is a camera, as in case of intrusion – alarm system. Most modern structures will have them.

Fire prevention պայքար pest control

Does the facility have an entire facility smoke detection system? Do they regularly spray for pests?

Lease terms և payment

Both the rental agreement and the homeowner have the right to request as much information as they want, which may include a Social Security number, so that they can have a background check. If you prefer not to submit this information, you can look elsewhere. Self-sufficiency is usually flexible և paid monthly, but there is a restraining order that takes effect if you do not pay. To make sure the monthly payment is not late, many people choose to debit their bank account or credit card automatically.


Many storage unit operators will ask you to provide proof of insurance. Your homeowners’ or tenant’s insurance may include coverage for your stored property. Check your policy or call your insurance company to find out.

Package Smart:

Think about what you are using the backup unit for – will you need to access what you are going to leave there? If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner և you need to keep equipment or files in your warehouse, you will want to put these things in the last place so that they are close to your unit entrance և easier to get there. Keep large, heavy items such as furniture in the back. Put more light items on top. Also, do not store anything that could pose a fire hazard (something that will be listed on the lease).

Hint. When packing, make sure the ones you are considering are moving. Use plenty of wrapping paper on the inside, sides and top to protect the inside. Specify what is in each box.

No matter where your belongings are, help protect them hosts: or: Tenant insurance Through GEICO Insurance Agency. Get fast, free quotes today!

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By Elise Pierce