Is your home overflowing with stuff? Perhaps you’re moving and can’t take some of your belongings with you? Whatever your reason for needing to rent a storage solution, you should know what you’re getting into before you sign on the dotted line.


Knowing what to expect and asking a few key questions can help you find the right storage facility for your needs. Below, the experts at Ace Moving & Warehousing in Rochester, MN explain what you need to know (and ask) before you rent a storage unit.


What Do You Need to Rent a Storage Unit?

Before you can sign a contract for a storage unit, you’ll need to provide some form of government-issued identification. You can use:


●        A driver’s license

●        A passport

●        A state ID

●        A military ID


Depending on the storage facility, you may also need to provide some form of electronic payment. Some storage companies prefer their customers to set up auto payments with a debit or credit card, while others accept in-person monthly payments. Even if you plan to make in-person payments, you may still need to have a card on file.


When you visit storage facilities during your consideration process, be sure to inquire about accepted payment methods, as well as payment terms and conditions.


Standard vs. Climate-Controlled Storage Solutions: Which Is Right for You?

Self-storage solutions are available in two types: standard units and climate-controlled units. The type of unit that will suit you best depends on what you plan to store and whether it may be vulnerable to deterioration or damage with temperature and humidity fluctuations.


Consider renting a climate-controlled storage unit if you plan to store any of the following items:


●        Furniture

●        Clothing

●        Art or photos

●        Electronics

●        Books

●        Temperature-sensitive media, like CDs, records, or DVDs

●        Musical instruments


For more information on renting this type of storage solution, check out our blog, 7 Benefits of Climate-Controlled Storage.


If you plan to store items that have a low likelihood of incurring temperature- or humidity-related damage, a standard unit will likely suit your needs. What kind of items are we talking about? Things like:


●        Seasonal outdoor decorations

●        Patio furniture

●        Recreational equipment

●        Tools


If you’re unsure about which type of storage unit will provide adequate environmental protection for your belongings, don’t hesitate to ask the facility manager. When in doubt, it’s usually best to opt for a climate-controlled unit to be on the safe side.


Questions to Ask Before You Rent a Storage Solution

When you plan to rent a storage unit, it’s always a good idea to evaluate several options in your area. Don’t blindly rent a unit from the first facility you find!


As you consider your options and tour various facilities, ask the right questions to ensure the company can provide what you’re looking for. A few key questions you’ll need to ask include:


●        What are your hours of access?

Every storage facility operates differently. Some allow 24/7 access, while others only allow access during normal business hours. Depending on your schedule, certain facilities may not meet your access requirements. In addition to asking about hours, you should also inquire about access restrictions and what is required (ID, passcode, etc.) to access the units.


●        What are your rental terms?

Does the facility offer short- or long-term contracts? Can you opt for a month-to-month contract? Consider how long you’ll need to store your belongings — there’s no need to pay for more months than you need.


●        What type of facility maintenance do you perform?

How often do employees clean the grounds? Do they inspect units for signs of deterioration or damage? How do they prevent pests from entering the units? The extent to which the facility is maintained is usually a solid indicator of the level of service and protection you can expect.


●        How frequently do you inspect smoke alarms and sprinkler systems?

Storage facilities should inspect smoke alarms and sprinklers on a monthly basis. If you run across a storage solution that doesn’t have these safety measures, don’t rent a unit there.


●        What type of security measures do you have in place?

Tight security is paramount when you put your belongings in storage, so don’t hesitate to ask for details about how to company protects your belongings. You should look for a facility that has cameras, regular security monitoring, indoor units, and well-constructed doors and locks. The more security measured the facility implements, the better.


●        Do you perform inventory checks?

Inventory checks are important as they alert facility employees to potential criminal or pest issues. If you want premium protection for your things, opt for a facility that provides this service.


●        Has there ever been criminal activity at this location?

Asking about previous criminal activity can help you determine whether a storage solution maintains tight security. If there have been past incidents, ask how long ago they occurred. If the facility has since implemented more robust security measures, it may still be a viable option.


●        What is the long-term monthly cost of renting a unit?

Certain facilities offer upfront discounts for long-term rentals or new customer specials. Be sure to ask about long-term costs, so you don’t get hit with surprise charges you weren’t expecting.


●        How do you handle late payments?

Some storage facilities are absolute sticklers about late payments and may put your belongings up for auction if you forget to pay your rent. Always ask about payment terms and conditions before you sign a contract!


When you store a bunch of stuff, preparing and organizing it can be a challenge. To make process easier, follow our top tips on storage unit prep and organization.


Looking for Storage Solutions in Rochester? Trust Ace Moving & Warehousing

If you need a secure place to store your belongings, look no further than Ace Moving & Warehousing’s climate-controlled storage units. We’ve proudly served Rochester residents since 1958 with the highest-quality storage solutions in the city. To learn more or get started, feel free to request a quote, give us a call at 507-288-3341, or contact us online.