First Timer’s Complete Guide to Renting a Storage Unit

Are you running out of space in your home but can’t bear to part with your belongings? You may be moving and need a temporary spot to store your things. Whatever the reason, renting a storage unit can be a smart solution. But before you sign on the dotted line, there are a few things you need to know. From choosing the right size to understanding the contract, our team at SecureSpace Self Storages first-timer’s guide to renting a storage unit will help you quickly navigate the process.

Storage Smarts: A First Timer's Guide to Renting a Storage Unit

How Do Storage Units Work?

Storage units give you a safe and practical location to keep your possessions. Usually, you’ll sign a leasing contract with a storage facility, giving you access to a specific storage space for a particular period. You may select a unit size and kind that suits your needs, and you’ll be in charge of packing and transferring your belongings to the unit.

You will have access to your goods during the facility’s defined access hours after storage. While many institutions provide access around-the-clock, some may only be open during certain hours, so check with the facility before visiting. While the storage facility offers a safe atmosphere, it’s important to remember that you will still need to take precautions to preserve your goods, including using suitable packing materials and ensuring that any precious or fragile items are kept carefully.

When you’re prepared to remove your belongings from storage, you’ll often need to give the facility early notice and take out your belongings from the unit on a specific date under supervision.

Analyze both options for rental storage units.

Self-storage units are individual storage units rented out to people or businesses to store their belongings. Self-storage units can vary in size, from small units holding a few boxes to large units storing furniture or vehicles. These units are usually rented monthly and can be accessed by the renter at any time during the rental period.

Warehouse storage: This type of storage is typically used by businesses that need to store large quantities of goods or materials. Warehouses are larger than self-storage units and can be rented for extended periods, usually yearly. They often have loading docks and other facilities that make it easier for businesses to move their products in and out of the storage space. Warehouse storage can be a cost-effective solution for businesses that need to store large amounts of inventory but need more space or resources on their premises.

How to Rent a Storage Unit?

Storage Smarts: A First Timer's Guide to Renting a Storage Unit

Anyone needing more room to keep their stuff might benefit significantly from renting a storage container. A storage container may be a simple and adaptable solution for anybody who needs to clear their home or place of business, whether moving or simply downsizing. Pick the one that best suits your demands and budget from various unit sizes and types. Additionally, many storage facilities provide comforts like climate control, drive-up access, and security measures like gated entry and video surveillance.

 Process for Leasing Storage Units.

The process for leasing a storage unit typically involves the following steps:

  1. Determine your storage needs: Consider what you need to store, how much space you require, and how long you need the storage.
  2. Research storage facilities: Look for storage facilities in your area and compare their offerings, such as unit sizes, security features, and pricing.
  3. Choose a storage unit: Once you have found a few storage facilities that meet your needs, select the one that offers the best value and availability.
  4. Reserve the unit: Contact the storage facility to reserve your unit. You can reserve the unit online or over the phone.
  5. Sign the lease agreement: Read the lease agreement carefully and sign it. Be sure to understand the lease terms, such as payment schedules, late fees, and the facility’s policies.
  6. Pay for the unit: Make the necessary payment, including any deposit or fees.
  7. Move your belongings to the storage facility and move them into your unit. You may need to provide your lock, or the facility may provide one.
  8. Access your unit: Depending on the facility’s access policies, you may need to use a code or key to enter the facility and your unit. Make sure you have this information and follow the rules for accessing the facility.
  9. Maintain your unit: Keep your storage unit clean and organized, and follow any rules or regulations the facility sets.
  10. End your lease: When you no longer need the storage unit, notify the facility and remove your belongings. Be sure to follow the proper procedures for ending your lease, such as giving notice and cleaning out the unit.

Choose The Right Type of Storage Unit

Storage Smarts: A First Timer's Guide to Renting a Storage Unit

The key to ensuring your possessions stay secure and safe is choosing a unit that fits your needs, whether you’re storing furniture, paperwork, or sensitive goods.

Several storage unit kinds are available, including drive-up, indoor, outdoor, and climate-controlled ones. Electronics, artwork, and antiques are perfect examples of objects that benefit from climate-controlled storage since they are sensitive to changes in humidity and temperature. Drive-up units are the best option if you need to store essential things or anticipate using your unit frequently. Outdoor units are often the least expensive choice, but inside units give security and shelter from the weather.

Your possessions will be safe and convenient to reach whenever you need them if you take the time to evaluate your storage needs and select the right sort of container.

What Do You Need To Rent A Storage Unit?

Although renting a storage unit is a simple procedure, there are a few things you must have in place before you can begin. First, choose which size and kind of unit best suits your requirements. Consider the items you intend to keep, the space you’ll need, and any unique specifications like climate control or drive-up access.

You must also present evidence of insurance and a legitimate identity, such as a driver’s license or passport. Many storage facilities provide insurance choices for an additional cost if you don’t already have insurance. Finally, be ready to sign a rental agreement describing the terms and conditions of your rental and submit a deposit.

You’ll be well on your way to renting a storage unit and taking advantage of the convenience and extra space once you have these fundamental prerequisites.

Situations when you can consider renting a storage unit

There are several situations where renting a storage unit might be a good option:

Moving: If you are moving and need a temporary place to store your belongings, a storage unit can be a great option.

Downsizing: If you are downsizing your living space and don’t have enough room for all your belongings, a storage unit can help you keep your items safe and secure.

Renovating: If you are renovating your home and need to move furniture or other items out of the way, a storage unit can provide a safe and secure location for your belongings.

Business Storage: A storage unit can be a good solution if you are running a business and need additional space to store inventory or equipment.

Seasonal storage: If you have items that you only use during certain seasons, such as holiday decorations or sports equipment, a storage unit can provide a convenient location to store them when they are not in use.

College storage: College students often require storage units to keep their belongings safe during the summer or while studying abroad. Dorm rooms and apartments can be small and cramped, making it challenging to keep everything organized. Storage units provide a convenient solution for students who need to store clothes, books, electronics, and other personal items.

Military service: Military members often require storage units to keep their belongings safe while deployed or stationed in a new location. Military personnel may need to store their vehicles, furniture, and other personal items during a move. Storage units provide a secure and affordable solution for military personnel who need to store their belongings.

To store vehicles: Storage units can also be used to store vehicles such as cars, motorcycles, and boats. Vehicle storage units provide a secure and safe environment to protect vehicles from the elements and theft. For those living in extreme weather conditions, such as hurricanes or snowstorms, vehicle storage units can be particularly useful in protecting their cars or boats.

Determine What You Need To Store?

Storage Smarts: A First Timer's Guide to Renting a Storage Unit

Choosing what to store is the first step in hiring a storage unit. List everything you need to maintain, then calculate how much room each item will require. This can help you determine the size of the storage unit you require. Consider any more products you might need to keep in the future when calculating the necessary amount of room for your items.

The stages to figuring out what you need to store are as follows:

Make a list of your possessions: Begin by listing everything you need to store. This will enhance your idea of the space you’ll need and the kind of unit that will work best for you.

Categorize your items: Sort your belongings into categories, such as seasonal things, sporting goods, paperwork, furniture, etc. This will enable you to choose the kind of storage space you want, such as a bigger unit for a table or a climate-controlled unit for delicate things.

Consider your things’ sizes: To decide the unit size you’ll need; measure the larger goods you’ll store. Remember to account for any extra space for pathways or aisles.

Identify the degree of access you require: Consider how frequently you’ll need to use your things. If you plan to use them regularly, pick a unit that is simple to get to, such as one on the first floor.

Think of any extra features: Additional services offered by some storage facilities include 24-hour access, security cameras, and on-site administration. When selecting a facility, consider whether these elements are significant to you.

Setting a budget and considering other amenities will help you choose a storage unit that suits your demands and keeps your stuff safe and secure. The first step in selecting the best storage unit is to decide what you need to store.

Is it necessary for me to opt for a storage unit with climate control?

Whether or not you need a climate-controlled storage unit depends on the items you plan to store. These units maintain a consistent temperature, which can benefit things sensitive to the humidity level, temperature, and humidity changes, such as wooden furniture, electronics, artwork, musical instruments, and photographs. If you plan to store items susceptible to damage from extreme temperatures or humidity, a climate-controlled unit may be an excellent investment to help protect your items. However, if you are storing more durable items and are not sensitive to temperature and humidity changes, a regular storage unit may be sufficient for your needs.

Choosing the Right Storage Unit Size

Choose a unit that is the proper size and kind. Small units, ideal for keeping seasonal goods or boxes of documentation, are available at certain facilities, as are big units, which may accommodate furniture or automobiles.

Determine Your Needs

Consider how much stuff you need to store to choose the appropriate size storage unit before hiring one. Small Units are ideal for storing a few things, tiny pieces of furniture, and boxes. Large units are perfect for storing furniture from a two-bedroom apartment, a car, or a small boat, while medium units are perfect for storing furniture from a one-bedroom apartment and a few boxes.

Consider Accessibility

Choose a size that allows you to effortlessly maneuver around your belongings if you require regular access to your storage space. When selecting a size, keep the aisle width in mind. If you intend to stack products, you should also take the unit’s height into account.

Environment Control

Consider hiring a climate-controlled unit if you want to keep objects that are delicate to fluctuations in humidity and temperature. A unit with humidity control is suitable for storing artwork, antiques, and musical instruments, while a team with continuous temperature control is ideal for storing electronics, wood furniture, and documents.

Factors to Consider When Renting a Storage Unit

Storage Smarts: A First Timer's Guide to Renting a Storage Unit

There are several crucial variables to consider when renting a storage unit to ensure you get the one that best suits your needs.

Payment process

When renting a storage unit, the payment process is typically straightforward and can vary depending on the storage facility. Most storage facilities require you to sign a rental agreement that outlines the rental terms and payment schedule. Generally, payments are made monthly, and you must pay the first month’s rent upfront and a security deposit. Some storage facilities may also charge administrative, insurance, or other fees, so it’s essential to read the rental agreement carefully before signing. Depending on the storage facility’s policies, you can pay online, in person, or by mail. Making timely payments is essential to avoid late fees or having your unit locked out due to non-payment.

Here are some helpful hints!

 Verify The Rental Contract

A rental agreement for a storage unit typically includes essential information such as the names of the renter and storage facility, the location and description of the storage unit, the rental period, the rent amount and payment due date, any late payment fees, the access hours for the storage unit, the responsibilities of the renter and the storage facility, and any other terms and conditions related to the storage unit rental. It may also include clauses related to the termination of the rental agreement, insurance requirements, and further important details that both the renter and storage facility need to agree upon before signing the contract.

Verify that you understand the rental agreement before renting a storage space. Ask any queries you may have after carefully reading the terms and conditions.

Pay close attention to the rental time, available payment methods, late fees, and other potential charges.

Determine Your Budget

Budget planning is essential when hiring a storage facility. To ensure the unit is within your budget, consider the monthly rental rate, any additional costs, and the duration of your requirement for the unit. The price of renting a storage unit might vary based on the unit’s size, location, and kind.

Choose a storage unit that falls within your budget after determining your budget. Remember to account for supplemental expenses, such as insurance and security deposits.

Secure Your Storage Unit

It is crucial to check the security of your storage facility. A facility with suitable security measures, such as video monitoring, security gates, and on-site security guards, is what you should pick. Ensure your flat has a reliable lock, and don’t give anyone your access code or key.

Consider Location

When selecting a unit, take into account the storage facility’s location. To simplify access to your unit, pick a facility close to your house or place of business when necessary. By selecting a storage unit in a convenient location, you’ll find it simpler to retrieve your goods and have peace of mind knowing they’re safe and secure.

Security measures are in place, such as video surveillance, secure entry systems, and on-site security personnel. Ensure the facility has a good track record of preventing break-ins and theft. Ask about any insurance options to protect your belongings in case of theft or damage.

 Determine Access

Access is another critical factor to consider when choosing a storage facility. You’ll want to select a facility that offers 24/7 access to your unit to get to your belongings whenever needed. Look for facilities that have convenient hours and are open on weekends and holidays, and consider the accessibility of the unit itself, including the size of the unit and the height of the door.

Look for Amenities

Finally, amenities can also be essential when selecting a storage facility. Some facilities offer climate-controlled units, which can be necessary to store delicate items such as artwork or electronics. Others may offer additional features such as on-site packing, moving supplies, and truck rental services. Consider your needs and budget, and look for facilities that provide the most essential amenities.

Packing and Storing Your Belongings

Proper packing and storage of your belongings are essential to ensure they remain in good condition during transportation and storage. Below are some tips and techniques to help pack and store your belongings effectively.

When preparing your items for storage, you must first familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of the storage company you’re using. This will ensure you store your items safely and according to their guidelines.

Here are some steps you can take to prepare your items for storage:

Read the company rules and regulations: Before you start packing, read the rules and regulations provided by the storage company. These will provide important information about what items are allowed in storage, how to pack your items, and any other requirements you need to know.

Choose the proper storage unit: Once you’ve read the rules and regulations, you’ll want to choose the right one for your needs. Consider the size of your items and how long you’ll need to store them. If you’re storing fragile items or items requiring specific conditions (like temperature-controlled units), choose a unit that accommodates those needs.

Gather packing supplies: Next, gather all the necessary supplies. This may include boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, packing paper, and labels.

Sort and organize your items: Before packing, sort and organize your items. This will make it easier to pack them efficiently and help you keep track of what’s in each box.

Tips for Packing:

When packing your belongings, it is important to use high-quality packing materials to protect them from damage. Some essential packing supplies include sturdy boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, and packing peanuts. When packing fragile items such as dishes, glasses, and artwork, wrap them carefully in bubble wrap or packing paper to prevent breakage.

Labeling your boxes can also be helpful to keep track of your belongings and locate them easily later. Use a labeling system that works for you, such as labeling boxes by room or by contents. When packing heavy items, use smaller boxes to make them easier to lift and avoid overpacking boxes to prevent them from becoming too heavy.

Organizing Your Unit:

Proper storage unit organization can make accessing your belongings easier and more efficient. Before placing items into your unit, plan how you will organize them. Consider grouping similar items and placing them in the same area of the team. It is also helpful to leave walkways or aisles between boxes to make accessing items in the back of the unit easier.

In addition to grouping items, consider using shelving or other storage units to maximize your space and make it easier to access your belongings. Labeling your boxes and shelving can also help keep track of your items and their locations within the unit.

Maximizing Space:

Maximizing the space in your storage unit can help you store more items and save money on renting a larger unit. Use vertical space by stacking boxes and other items, but stack them securely to prevent them from falling over.

Another technique for maximizing space is to use furniture and other larger items as storage. For example, you can store items inside dressers, cabinets, or even your refrigerator or freezer (if they are not in use). It is crucial to make sure that these items are clean and dry before using them for storage.

Pros and Cons of Indoor and Outdoor Options

Indoor and outdoor storage has advantages and disadvantages depending on what you need to store and the specific circumstances of your situation.

Indoor storage:

Indoor storage is typically more secure and protects your belongings from the elements. It may be a good option for items sensitive to temperature changes, such as antiques or electronics, or for items requiring a controlled environment, such as a wine collection. However, indoor storage may be more expensive and less accessible than outdoor storage.

Outdoor storage:

On the other hand, outdoor storage is usually less expensive and provides more flexibility in accessing your belongings. It may be a good option for items that can withstand exposure to the elements, such as vehicles or boats. However, outdoor storage can pose security risks and be affected by weather conditions such as rain or snow.

Choosing between indoor and outdoor storage depends on your needs and priorities and the items you need to store. It may be helpful to consider security, accessibility, cost, and environmental factors before deciding.

Thanks For Reading!

Renting a storage container is easy and economical to free up more room for your possessions. If you’re a first-timer looking for a storage unit to rent, we hope this was the perfect guide to help you through the process. From understanding the different types of units available to maximize the space in your unit, we hope our guide provided helpful tips and advice to make the most of your storage experience. Remember, finding the right storage unit can help you declutter your home or office and provide a secure and convenient space to store your belongings. If you’re looking for a storage unit for rent, consider using our teams tips to make an informed decision.

SecureSpace Self Storage

We hope you found everything you needed to know! If you find yourself in need of a place to rent out a storage unit for the short or long term consider renting out a spot at one of our local SecureSpace Self Storage facilities today. Thanks for reading!


How can I transport my items to the storage unit?

If you’re looking to transport your belongings to a storage unit, there are a few different options available to you:

DIY Transport: If you have a small number of items, you may be able to transport them in your vehicle. This option is best for those with only a few boxes or smaller items to transport.

Rent a Truck: If you have more items or furniture, you may need to rent a truck. Many truck rental companies offer different sizes of trucks to accommodate different amounts of items. Be sure to reserve the truck ahead of time to ensure availability on the day of your move.

Professional Moving Company: If you have many items or need help packing and moving, consider hiring a professional moving company. These companies can provide packing materials, movers to pack and load your items, and transportation to the storage unit.

No matter which option you choose, plan and make all necessary arrangements to ensure a smooth and stress-free move. And if you’re looking for a complete storage solution, our company offers transportation and storage services to make the process even easier.

What to Expect When Renting a Storage Unit?

For individuals who want more space for their stuff, renting a storage container might be an easy answer. But you should know what to anticipate if you’ve never rented a storage facility.

Executing The Lease: You must sign a lease agreement outlining the terms and conditions of your rental when renting a storage space.

Bringing In: Bring a lock to secure your unit and any other goods you might require, such as boxes, packing supplies, and dollies, on the day you move in.

Recurring Payments: Your storage unit will need monthly payments from you, which you can generally make online or in person at the facility.

You may be specific in your choice and get the most use out of your storage space by knowing what to anticipate when renting a storage unit.

Can I store anything in a storage unit?

Most storage facilities have restrictions on what can be stored in their units. Items such as perishable goods, hazardous materials, and illegal items are typically prohibited. It is important to consult with the storage facility to determine what items are allowed.

What happens if I need to move out of my self storage space early?

Most facilities have policies regarding early move-out, which may include penalties or prorated rental fees. It is important to communicate with the facility if you need to move out early.

Can I share a storage unit with someone else?

Yes, you can share a storage unit with someone else, but discuss the arrangement with the facility beforehand to ensure it’s allowed and establish clear guidelines for use and payment.

How long can I rent a storage unit?

Storage unit rental periods vary by facility, but most offer monthly rental options. Some facilities may offer long-term rental options or discounts for extended rental periods.

Can I access my storage unit at any time?

Most storage facilities offer 24-hour access to their units, while others may have limited access hours. It is essential to check with the facility to determine its access policies.

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