Do's and Don'ts of Self-Storage

By Alyssa Laffitte on June 13, 2017

Self-storage can be a tricky thing, especially if you’re a young college student who has never used it before. Here are some do’s and don’ts to help you have a successful self-storage experience.

Do: Make a plan

Before self-storing, it’s a good idea to make a plan. Check out your storage provider’s website and see what they have available.

Some things to plan for/think about before you consider storing:

•What will you store? There are certain things you aren’t allowed to store in self-storage units (more on that later!).

•Who will help you move your stuff? It’s best to at least have one other person helping you move your stuff.

•Will you need a ground floor unit? Ground floor units are easier to carry things into/out of. If you get an upper-level unit, you will have to take an elevator to get to your unit.

•Will you need your unit to be air conditioned? Some units have air conditioning, but only get it if you need it, because they might be more expensive.

•Will you need to store a car? The rules for storing cars are different than for storing other things. Check with your storage provider to see their policy on cars.

Do's and Don'ts of Self Storage

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Don’t: Store dangerous things

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to know what you are and are not allowed to store in a self-storage unit. It’s good to be familiar with the list of prohibited things so that you don’t bring any of them. Of course, if you have any questions about what you’re not allowed to bring, ask the manager at your storage provider.

Examples of prohibited items include:

•Combustible/flammable/toxic materials (no gasoline, propane, fireworks, explosives, corrosives, etc.)

•More than four tires, because it’s expensive to dispose of them.

•Radioactive materials

•Some construction equipment

•Perishable food

•Plants — dead or alive

Do: Research

It’s so important to do your research before self-storing. A quick visit to your self-storage provider’s website can give you a lot of information that’ll help you plan what/how you will store. For example, it will tell you what size units they have and if the units have air conditioning.

Don’t: Keep things uncovered

Self-storage units can get very dusty. Keeping things covered, wrapped, or in a box will ensure they won’t get dirty or dusty. Be sure to protect your stuff by not leaving them in the unit without the proper protection!

Do: Get the appropriately sized unit

Self-storage providers have multiple sizes of units available that can range from 5×5 (the size of a small walk-in closet) to a 10×30 (the size of a 1.5 car garage). Figure out what sizes your provider has and which one works the best for the price and the number of things you want to store. Usually, you can easily find this information on your provider’s website.

Extra Space Storage has a convenient “Storage Calculator” tool to help you decide which size unit is right for you based on the number of things you plan to store.

Don’t: Forget about insurance or locks

Some self-storage places require you to purchase insurance and locks to protect your belongings. Check your storage place to see their specific requirements for what you need to bring with you. (Also, a lot of storage places will have insurance and locks available for you to purchase from them. Another reason to look into it!)

Do: Let them know in time if you plan to move out

Self-storage places need to know in advance if you plan to move out. A good rule of thumb to remember is that they need to know at least 10-15 days before you move out. This not only helps them accommodate new people who want to self-store, but it also helps them charge you only for what you use. You won’t have to pay for the entire month if you don’t use it for the entire month. It’ll be more convenient for the storage place, for new self-storers, and for you, if you let them know in advance you’ll be moving out.

Don’t: Store anything that requires electrical power

Most self-storage units don’t have electrical outlets, so don’t store anything you would have to plug into one. This means don’t bring and expect to plug in a generator, a refrigerator, or anything similar. If you need to plug something in while you store it, or if you don’t know whether an item you want to bring is allowed, ask the store manager at your storage place.

Self-storage doesn’t have to be scary! As long as you make a plan, do your research, find an appropriately sized unit, and don’t store anything you shouldn’t, you should be good to go!

22, ISFJ. Biology student. College lifestyle blogger. Avid reader and writer. Dog lover. Nerd. Boyband enthusiast. Superhero in training. Here to help you become the best you can be!

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