Storage Facilities: Important Things To Know About Self-Storage

Do you plan to make room in your house for some extra space? Maybe, you are in the process of decluttering your stuff? Are you looking for a safe place where you can tuck away your belongings? Or probably, you are moving to a new city and in need of someplace to secure your things? Storage facilities are your best option. There are several storage facilities companies in the United States (US) with various features to offer. Before getting yourself a unit to store your valuables, there are important things you should know about storage facilities and self-storage. It is also better to do some research first before getting a unit.

What is a storage facility?

man moving cartons

A storage facility can be a building, or other forms of structure designed to store equipment, food, cars or other vehicles, and other materials. Facilities can be modern in structure or old buildings renovated to house storage units. Storage facilities are composed of ‘storage units.’ These units are separate rooms that can be leased to an individual or a company for a short or long-term contract. Facilities offer units in various sizes. There are various types of storage facilities on the market. You can choose either the warehouse-type, the container, the lock-up garages, or the self-storage type.

What is self-storage?

Self-storage, which means self-service storage, is a service provided to an individual or a company where a storage unit is leased for a short period, usually on a monthly basis. With self-storage, you are in charge of moving your things and arranging them in the unit however you want. Self-storage offers flexibility and convenience as you can access your unit any time of the day to add or remove some possessions.



How big is the self-storage industry in the US?

According to a report published by Self-Storage Almanac (2021), the self-storage facilities in operation within the US are estimated to be around 49, 233. Thirty percent of which are owned by the six largest publicly traded companies and the rest are owned by big and small operators. In 2019, Mordor Intelligence estimated that the industry value of the self-storage market is at $87.65 billion and is forecasted to grow to $115.62 billion by 2025.The six publicly listed storage facilities in the US are Public Storage, Extra Space Storage, CubeSmart, Life Storage, National Storage Affiliates Trust, and U-Haul. In terms of annual revenue, Public Storage is number one on the list. It has an annual revenue of 2.68 billion (2019) and U-Haul comes in sixth place with $367.3 million (fiscal 2019) annual revenue. When it comes to the number of facilities that are owned or managed, Public Storage retains the top spot, followed by Extra Space Storage. Life Storage has the fewest number of facilities amongst the six large companies. When it comes to the amount of rentable self-storage space in the US, Self-Storage – Almanac (2019) estimated it to be about 1.9 billion.

If you are curious about how many Americans are renting a self-storage facility, according to a report published by Self Storage Association Self Storage Demand Study in 2020, it is around 13.5 million households in the US.

When it comes to unit cost, Sparefoot published an article with the year 2020 data.  According to the report, the average cost of a unit is around $90 per month, more or less $.90 average cost per square foot every month. The smallest unit, 5×5 is priced at $44. 23 per month while the largest one, 10×30 units are priced at $183.73 per month. For the cities where self-storage is mostly in demand, Las Vegas makes it on the top list while Colorado Springs takes the 10th spot. Austin, Texas city takes the middle spot at 5th place. If you are moving in between new cities, take note that rental prices vary from one city to another.



Self – Storage in time of a pandemic

The global pandemic has hit waves across several businesses and work from home became an accepted set-up. Business owners had to face the looming recession and downsize, self-storage facilities are the go-to option for storing some of the office equipment which is not being used for now. Some are also forced to move to a smaller office area to cater to the growing cost of sustaining their operation and thus things must be stored someplace safe. For families forced to move to smaller accommodation, moving their possessions to a self-storage facility was the ideal move. According to Forbes, there have been several changes in a person’s life brought about by this pandemic which can be related to space renting or self-storage. An individual who has lost a family, someone going through a separation, people getting furlough, long-time hospitalization of a loved one are just some of the reasons for people deciding that moving their things around will do them good. People are also looking for new ways to sustain their income. This translates into property owners converting their spaces into self-storage facilities for additional income.

Advantages of storage facilities

Self-storage is straightforward. You require extra space and you are willing to pay a rental fee for that additional space. There are several benefits of getting yourself a unit to keep your things away.

It could serve as your temporary extra room while you move to a new location for work. If you are expanding your business, you can get a unit for some extra space. If it’s the other way around and you need to downsize, you can temporarily keep them in a self-storage facility.

Storage facilities are usually protected by CCTV which works 24/7. You are guaranteed that your things are well kept and secured. Some companies offer temperature-controlled units. If you have stuff that needs to be kept at a specific temperature to keep safe from dust or molds, you can get a temperature-controlled unit. Storage facilities also usually can be accessed at any time of the day. If you are having a busy day at work and can only drop by to get some stuff from your unit in the middle of the night, you can do so. You also have an option to get insurance for your things. This is an added service offered by some storage facilities.

storage spaces

Prices vary depending on the size and type of the unit you are after. Lock-up garages are mostly cheaper as compared to warehouse units. The container type is also cheaper than the storage but this type of facility is more susceptible to changes in weather conditions. It may get too hot during summer and too cold over the wintertime. The change in season may affect the items you’ve stored inside.

Various companies offer different services and additional features. Some self-storage companies only allow short-term lease or monthly month basis while others are open for longer contracts. Usually, they could allow a minimum of six months or 12 months lease. Some facilities also offer a moving truck as an added service, you don’t have to worry about moving your stuff around from your house or office, the facility will take care of it. What’s even better is that there are companies which take care of the boxing, moving and storing of your stuff. You’ll just have to let them know which items need to be packed away and which pod or unit should they place them in. Some companies offer packing supplies such as boxes, labeling materials, tapes, scissors, locks, and others. With self-storage facilities, you are in full control of the unit you’re renting. The facility manager can only access your rented unit in instances of burglary, forced entry, nonpayment, end of contract, or units left unlocked. Facility staff would have to advise you of the need to enter the premises before entering the unit. This varies depending on the service provider, it is important to note that if you are renting a self-storage unit read the terms and conditions carefully before signing a new contract.

Which self-storage facility to get?

storage spaces outdoor

There are several considerations to think about before getting any available self-storage unit. First, consider how many items you would plan to store and how big these items are. Estimate the kind of space you would require to store all the items. Sizes of storage units vary from 5×5, 5×10, 5×15, 10×10 and 10×15. Next is the proximity of the storage facilities from your place. Ideally, choose a facility near your place to save you the time and gas moving things around in case you would need to access something from your unit. Check out your budget, how much are you willing to spare for a storage unit monthly? Also, do consider a company that offers flexibility to downsize or upgrade in size by the end of your monthly rental. You might need it at some point. Check out your specific requirement in consideration of the items you are going to store. Would you be needing a temperature-controlled facility or just an ordinary one with good ventilation? Another important factor is the security of your belongings, is the facility well-equipped with surveillance cameras, or alarms? Will a security person be manning the place or can you readily reach out to a customer service advisor in times of emergencies?

Since there are some storage facilities to choose from, visit their website first and check out their offering,  pricing, and other services. Most storage facility providers these days have an online presence, read about them before moving your belongings into one of the self-storage units.

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