Millions of Americans rely on self storage to cope with clutter even though naysayers tell us self storage is what happens when we consume too much. The reality is that 10% of Americans who rent a storage unit, do so for good reasons.
In some ways, looking for a great self storage unit with a reliable company is like looking for a great apartment with a reliable building manager. The unit will ideally have everything you want at the right price, and you’ll be able to trust the self storage company to take care of any problems that arise, from security to pest control.
However, unlike the building manager for your apartment, you may only meet the manager of a self storage facility once or twice, if all goes well. Your trust in the company will be partly based on this initial meeting, as well as any background research you do.
For this reason, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you’re looking for and the questions you want to ask before visiting and choosing a self storage company. This preparation and research takes a little extra time, but in the end, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your property is stored at a top-notch self storage company.
To find a trustworthy and affordable self storage facility in your area, here are some steps you can take while researching your options.
Step 1: Decide what kind of storage unit you’ll need
In particular, you’ll want to think about size, climate and access. First off, gather together the items you want to store and estimate how much space you’ll need, both for the items and for yourself, moving around. Although you can technically fill the unit to the max, you might regret that decision later if you need something specific at the back of the unit. With extra space for moving around, you’ll be able to reach anything you want without needing to haul everything out first.
Next, check whether anything you’re storing is sensitive to moisture, dust or changes in temperature. For example, you wouldn’t want to expose wine to the balmy heat of summer or bitter cold of winter. Artwork, family heirlooms, a library of books or collection of photos are other items you might want to keep in a climate controlled unit.
Finally, consider how often you’ll want to access your unit. Not all facilities offer 24-hour access, 7 days a week. Being restriced to business hours may not be a problem for you, but if it is, you’ll want to find a self storage company with more flexible hours.
Step 2: Make a list of self storage companies in the wider area
The wider your search, the more likely you are to find a company that fits your needs at an affordable price. You can find great deals just by considering facilities farther away, especially if you live in a city. Driving 10-20 extra minutes might sound inconvenient, but it might be worthwhile for a more reliable company at a lower price.
Step 3: Compare reviews, prices, and office/gate hours
You can often find reviews about self storage companies on websites like Yelp. With enough reviews, you can start to get an idea of whether a company is reliable or not. If nothing else, you’ll have a background idea of what to expect when you visit the facility.
As you look at the opening hours, keep in mind the difference between office hours and gate hours. The gate may be open for longer than the office is. In other words, you may be able to access your unit even though the office is closed. However, if you have a problem, you’ll have to wait until the office opens again. Make sure that the facilities you’re considering have convenient office/gate hours for your schedule, as well as prices you can afford.
Step 4: Choose and visit several self storage facilities
When you visit each facility, pay special attention to its cleanliness, security and customer service. Essentially, you want to see whether the image you had of the facility from your online research matches the reality. Are the personnel friendly and helpful? Do the buildings look in good shape? Is there trash lying around? The best self storage companies take pride in their customer service and excellent facilities, so you should expect nothing less than good organization, tidiness, and a welcoming atmosphere.
Step 5: Ask plenty of questions
As you speak with the facility manager, make sure you ask for specifics about security, pest control, and payment policies. For example, how often do pest control professionals visit? What will happen if you’re a day late with payment?
You can also ask to look at the unit you’d actually be renting. This way, you’ll get exactly what you’re expecting when you sign the contract. Definitely ask about deals or discounts, too, so you know exactly how much (or little) you’d be paying.
Step 6: Make your decision
If your visit goes well, you can ask to take the contract home to review at your own pace. With the contract and a clear picture of each facility, you can make a decision with confidence, knowing that you’re choosing the best self storage company.
Step 7: Enjoy your decision
Storing your property at a trustworthy self storage facility will not only give you peace of mind; it’ll also free up more space for you to travel, find a new home, or simply enjoy living with less clutter. Congratulate yourself for making a good decision, and savor your new freedom!
While Halloween kicks off the winter holiday season, Thanksgiving offers an opportunity for some serious celebrating. Will it be last-minute planning and chaos? Or, will you keep calm and Thanksgiving on? There is no time like the present to get ready to entertain—learn how to organize holiday helpers and keep leftovers safe with our thankful Thanksgiving storage tips.
The holiday rush can make it easier to get distracted and miss out on the special moments. It’s why Metro Self Storage is dedicated to helping you live an organized life every day of the year. Continue reading “Thankful Thanksgiving Storage Tips + Free Printable”
The holidays are a special time of year. It’s when we gather together with family and friends to celebrate the year that was and look ahead to the year to come. And while we all love the holidays, there’s no denying that it can be a hectic time of year, especially if your home is cluttered. That means before the sleigh bells ring and the snow starts to glisten, you need to get organized and declutter. Continue reading “10 Tips to Declutter Your Home Before the Holidays”
Clothes on the ground. Papers stacked up on the desk. A lone shoe missing its mate. Does that sound like your bedroom storage? If the answer is yes, then it’s time to get organized.
When most people think of affordable bedroom storage, they think of big ugly boxes, plastic totes, or DIY furniture from big-box stores. Metro Self Storage is here to change your mind and offer an alternative. Here are a few ideas to help you organize your bedroom and do it in style.
Five Cheap and Easy Ways to Organize Your Bedroom
Buy Bed Risers
Call it a trick from our college days. If you’re living, or have ever lived in a dorm, then you know that when space is tight, you’ve gotta get creative. Bed risers are the perfect budget solution to give you more space and help you get organized. Sold in sets of four, some lifts can raise your bed up to six inches. While that might not sound like much, you’d be surprised at the amount of storage space you actually get with six extra inches. You can purchase bed risers for under $10 from many retailers and big-box stores, including Target, The Container Store, and Bed Bath & Beyond.
Vacuum Pack Bulky Winter Items
It’s no secret that parkas, puffy jackets, and down comforters take up a lot of space. And while they are vital for warmth during the winter months, you don’t need them year round. One of the easiest ways to store these bulky winter items is to seal them in a vacuum packed bag. Not only will it save you space, it also makes these items easier to store under your bed or in the closet. Bags cost only $6.99 when purchased from Kohl’s or Walmart.
DIY Jewelry Organizers
If you wear jewelry, then you know what a pain it is to untangle a necklace chain or track down missing earrings. Sure, you could buy a fancy jewelry holder on Etsy, but it’s much cheaper to make one on your own. All you really need is a cork board and push pins from your local office or art supply store. Simply hang the cork board on your wall and insert the pins to begin organizing your jewelry. You can hang necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets, and more!
Unlike a chest of drawers which can take up too much room in your closet, vertical hangers are a great storage solution for when you’re short on space. Tie on your scarves, hang up your belts — there are even vertical hangers just for storing your shoes. Best of all? They’re cheap, like under $10 apiece cheap, so you save both money and space.
Clever Storage Spaces
Anyone who has ever searched for “bedroom storage ideas” on Pinterest can tell you that repurposing everyday items for storage is all the rage right now. Not only is it chic, it is also quite affordable. Hit up your local thrift shop or second-hand store for a gently-used ottoman with removable lid, or pick up a few old suitcases to stack on top of one another as a statement piece to put next to your bedside table. The trick is to find pieces that are beautiful but also double as storage.
Other Ways to Store
Have you followed all of our tips, but are still feeling short on space? Consider leasing a small storage unit from Metro Self Storage. We offer affordable storage units for rent throughout the Midwest and Eastern United States. Contact our friendly leasing team to learn more about bedroom storage on a budget.
Moving is usually a stressful event. Even if you’re moving someplace fun like Minneapolis or Corpus Christi, the difficult process of packing, unpacking, and changing homes inevitably causes some stress. That stress doesn’t have to overwhelm you, though, especially if you use self-storage. Besides providing you with moving supplies like boxes, a self-storage facility can help ease the difficulties and complications of moving. Here are four ways self-storage can make your next move much easier. Continue reading “How to Make Moving Easier with Self-Storage”
When you think of family heirlooms, what may come to to mind might be an expensive object such as antique furniture or a Cartier necklace. However, anything from furniture and musical instruments to recipes, photos, and diaries could be considered a family heirloom. When it comes to preserving your family traditions and memories, it is important to learn how to prepare heirlooms for storage.
The decision to rent a storage unit for your heirloom or declutter it all depends on your family, the types of items under consideration, and whether or not you consider the items in question valuable multi-generational heirlooms. Continue reading “How to Prepare Family Heirlooms for Storage”
Sweaters are great for December but do you really need them in June? When the seasons change, so does our wardrobe. Unfortunately, closets are often too small, and even walk-in closets don’t offer enough clothes storage if you are sharing with a roommate or spouse.
The solution? Seasonal clothes storage will instantly give you more closet space. However tempting it may be to store extra clothes in the garage, basement, or attic, these spaces can be detrimental to your clothing. Especially, if it is hot or humid where you live. Where and how you store your clothes determines how long they last.
Seasonal clothes storage will inspire you to declutter your closet and keep it organized. We offer you a few simple steps and the best solutions to keep your clothes fresh and ready-to-wear when the seasons change.
When you use a self-storage facility, you expect that your items will be safe from theft. After all, isn’t safety one of the top reasons for using self storage?
Unfortunately, though, not all self storage facilities are equally safe. Some provide excellent customer service, yet have gaps in their security. Once you’re gone, your items become vulnerable. That’s why it’s important to carefully evaluate the security features of any self-storage facility you’re considering. While friendliness and cleanliness are important, they ultimately won’t protect your property.
But what exactly should you look for? To judge a self-storage facility’s security, you should look at the following 5 features.
The best time to visit a self storage facility is after sunset. Then, you can easily see how much lighting the facility has. There should be plenty of light. A self storage facility shouldn’t be trying to save electricity. Security should be its #1 priority, not reduced light bills.
Sufficient lighting is an easy way to discourage crime, but it’s also important for other security features. For example, video surveillance is only effective if the area is well lit. Before asking about high-tech security, then, first check out the quality of the lighting.
2. Video Surveillance
If there’s enough light, start looking for and asking about video surveillance. Are there enough cameras? Are they always on? For how long do they record video?
Recorded 24-hr video surveillance is absolutely necessary. Don’t be satisfied with just ‘video surveillance’. Be curious about it, since you want any potential crimes to be on video. Otherwise, if your stored property does get stolen or vandalized, you won’t be able to identify the criminal or get your property back.
3. A Good Fence
Robert Frost once wrote, “Good fences make good neighbors.” The same could be said of self storage facilities. An excellent fence is an essential security feature every self storage facility should have. The fence should surround the entire perimeter, not just the entrance, and be sturdy and difficult to climb. A chain-link fence won’t be enough to keep criminals away from your valuables.
4. Secure Access to Storage
Let’s say you want to get something out of your self storage unit. How does the self storage facility allow you to access your unit? Is it easy—perhaps too easy?
Accessing your unit should be convenient yet secure. Simple locks are convenient, but not secure enough. Coded keypads are much safer. The main gate to the self storage facility should definitely have a coded keypad, ideally monitored by video surveillance. Then, entering the premises will be difficult for outsiders, yet easy for you.
5. Disc Locks
Getting an excellent lock is an essential part of making sure your storage unit is secure. The self storage facility might have the best security possible, but that shouldn’t stop you from choosing the best lock—a disc lock.
While padlocks are cheaper, they’re not the most secure option. Even an inexperienced thief can pick a padlock or cut it off. Disc locks, on the other hand, were designed especially for storage units. They’re resistant to picks, bolt cutters, and heavy hammers. A thief would have to grind it off, a loud, time-consuming process.
Disc locks are more expensive than padlocks, but that extra investment is worthwhile if you’re storing valuables. They definitely discourage theft, and they’re not hard to find. You should be able to buy one at the self storage facility.
If a storage facility offers these five security features, you can rest assured that your storage unit will be safe. However, keep in mind that security features can’t protect your property from natural disasters, like earthquakes and flooding. For complete peace of mind, take advantage of tenant insurance, which covers accidents and unexpected events.
For more information about security features, contact Metro Self Storage and check out what we offer our clients!
Have you ever wondered why wine improves with age? So many things do.
The great English Philosopher and Statesman, Francis Bacon, explains why, “ … age appears to be best in four things—old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.” Many red wines—and some white wines—are meant to be aged before they are opened. Our 6 top wine storage tips will guarantee your wine tastes great when you are ready to drink it. Continue reading “Top 6 Wine Storage Tips”
If you are passionate about crafting, you’ve probably experienced first hand how quickly your work space can go from clean to cluttered. Crafting utilizes many different types of objects, which can make craft storage at home a challenge. Add small children or pets to the equation, and you may choose to opt for offsite craft storage.
There are lots of reasons why people decide to remodel rather than move. If the kids are in a great school, or you love your neighborhood, you might not want to give those things up. While spring and early summer are the best times of the year to put your house on the market, you might decide to undertake a home remodel instead. If you utilize self storage during your home improvement project, you can decrease the chaos of remodeling while increasing the value of your home. Continue reading “Utilize Self Storage During Your Home Improvement Project”
A room that is the heart and soul of a home needs special consideration when it comes to kitchen storage. Successful kitchen design is equal parts work space, storage solutions, and seating areas for family and friends. If you want a storage-packed kitchen that is both functional and beautiful, these tips will help make the most of any kitchen. Continue reading “Kitchen Storage: Tips and Tricks in the Kitchen”
To celebrate National Moving Month, we questioned storage managers from 10 Metro Self Storage locations to bring you the top 10 tips from over 40 years in the storage business.
Founded in 1973 by Karl F. Nagel, Metro Self Storage has grown to over 100 storage facilities in 11 states and continues to help people just like you find the perfect storage solution when moving or experiencing another type of life transition. Continue reading “Top 10 Moving Tips from 40 Years in the Storage Business”
Business growth is a great thing. It is a healthy sign that business is doing well and making money but getting bigger doesn’t come without its challenges. For many businesses growth and expansion equates to the need for more physical space. Renting a business storage unit can be a cost-effective solution for businesses who want their growth to remain profitable. Continue reading “Business Storage: How a Self Storage Unit Can Help Your Business Grow”
Say, what? You are no doubt asking, “How is it possible to reduce, reuse, and recycle on Earth Day with self storage?” It’s a legitimate question because according to the media America has a serious problem with consumption. Even Slate weighed in to tell us how we have become a self storage nation. But the reality is that self storage is most often used to ease stress during life transitions like moving or relocating for a new job, an unexpected death of a beloved grandparent, or combining households. Continue reading “Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle on Earth Day with Self Storage”
Spring cleaning (or a visit from an outspoken friend or relative) can inspire you to finally get everything organized and stored properly. While self storage is a great option for some, you may also decide to find enough space for storage in your home. If you choose to “do it yourself,” keep in mind the following 5 tips to increase your chances of success.
Continue reading “Top 5 Tips for DIY Home Storage”
You might be wondering how self-storage could possibly be related to the party-hearty green explosion of St. Patrick’s Day. Perhaps you think of self-storage as a useful place to keep things while moving or living in a small apartment, not as the kind of place you’d need for a party.
In fact, self-storage can make anyone’s life easier, especially around holidays. While a storage facility isn’t the next hot spot for a club or festival, it can definitely make hosting a St. Patrick’s party more fun. Here are 3 reasons why self storage should be a part of your festivities this year. Continue reading “3 Reasons Why Self Storage Makes St. Patrick’s Day More Fun”
Every neighborhood has at least one garage that looks organized by someone suffering from OCD, a cross between a hospital operating room and a home improvement store ad. However, truth be told, deep down, we think, “If only I could have a garage that looked half as good as that.” My garage looks like the stock room of the local Goodwill store. What’s in your garage? If you are ready to crush the clutter in your garage, here are some organizational tips and tools to help you get started.
Are you thinking about moving to El Paso, Texas? The sixth-largest city in Texas and locally known as “Sun City” due to 297 days of sunshine, El Paso has a lot to offer current and new residents alike. From leading universities and the world’s largest military base to a thriving economy and restaurants dishing up delicious Texas barbecue and Mexican food, who wouldn’t love moving to El Paso?
Continue reading “Why People Love Moving to El Paso, Texas”