Storage Unit FAQs

  • Introduction

    Storage units are secure, enclosed spaces that people rent to store possessions they aren't using or they don't have space for in their homes. Some of the most popular items to put in a storage unit are old furniture, vehicles, seasonal clothing, mattresses, toys, art, and other collectibles.

    Storage units are leased from the owner of a storage facility, which usually has many of such units on a single lot. Units are typically rented per month, with a rental agreement that details activities and items that are prohibited in the unit.

    At some facilities, there are indoor and outdoor units. The indoor units are sometimes climate-controlled. Units usually come in a range of sizes for different amounts of storage, with the price fluctuating based on the size and other amenities like climate control and electricity.
  • How much do storage units cost on average?

    The average cost of renting a storage unit can fall in a range between $20 and $450 per month. The variance in price depends on a variety of factors, such as size, the value of the items being stored, and whether it is temperature controlled.

  • Can you live in a storage unit?

    No. Living in a storage unit violates the rules of most storage unit rental companies, and most local and federal housing laws require that the owners of a storage facility evict anyone found living in one of the units.

  • How can you figure out what size storage unit you need?

    To select a storage unit big enough to fit your belongings but not so large that you'll be paying for unfilled space, put the possessions you intend to store in one place, calculate the approximate volume by measuring the height, length, and width of the load and multiplying them together.

  • How do you know if you need a storage unit?

    If you have more possessions than you have space to store them in your home, you may need a storage unit. It's a practical, cost-effective option to put things that you don't use often or are not appropriate for the current season in another location.

  • Does homeowners insurance cover a storage unit?

    Most homeowners insurance policies don't cover storage units automatically. If your homeowners policy has coverage for "off-premises personal property," items in a storage unit are usually included.

  • How do you store clothing in a storage unit?

    An important consideration when storing clothing in a storage unit is making sure it stays dry. When storage facilities are not climate-controlled, you'll want to use a vacuum-sealed bag or a wardrobe box to protect your clothes against moisture and insects.

  • How do you know if you need a climate-controlled storage unit?

    Climate-controlled storage units keep possessions in a precise temperature and moisture range. They are very useful when you need to keep certain valuable possessions — such as paintings, musical instruments, and clothing — from being damaged by extreme temperatures or humidity.

  • Who is responsible for a storage unit if it gets burglarized?

    Under most laws, the owner of a storage facility has to provide a "reasonable" expectation of security for your possessions. This usually means a lock on your unit and a fence around the property. If this standard is met, you're liable for any lost or damaged possessions.

  • Can you use storage units as a workshop?

    If the agreement you sign with the business that rents you the storage unit doesn't specifically say it's not permitted, you can use a storage unit as your workshop. In fact, some rental companies use this as a selling point, but others specifically outlaw it. 

  • Do storage units have electricity?

    While you'll usually find lighting and electrical heating and cooling systems in the facility where you can rent a storage unit, they aren't usually wired with outlets in the units. However, some higher-end facilities do offer electrical access as a premium amenity.

  • What happens if you leave things in a storage unit?

    If you stop paying for a rented unit without removing your possessions, the owner of the unit has the authority to remove them after a few unpaid bills. Usually, the items are sold at a public auction to cover the lost rent for the unit.

  • Do storage unit companies report to credit?

    In many jurisdictions, the storage unit company has to go to court to get authorization to access your unit when you haven't paid on it. In this case, it will be reported to credit agencies.

  • How to store a mattress in a storage unit so it doesn’t get damaged?

    To prevent damage to your mattress while it's in storage, the first thing you'll need to do is make sure it's completely clean. Use a gentle upholstery cleaner to remove dirt and oils. When it's dry, seal the mattress inside an airtight, plastic mattress bag before you put it into the storage unit.

  • How do you prevent mold in a storage unit?

    If the unit in question isn't climate-controlled, mold is definitely a concern, especially if it's an outdoor unit. To prevent mold, your possessions should be lifted off the ground on pallets or furniture and should be sealed in protective plastic.

  • Can you store a car in a storage unit?

    Yes, you can put your car in storage. In fact, many people seek storage units for the sole purpose of storing a car that they aren't currently driving or that they've purchased as a collector's item. For this reason, there are specialized units designed just for cars.

  • Can you play drums in a storage unit?

    Most storage rental agreements don't specially prohibit the playing of musical instruments, so playing drums is usually permissible. There are certain aspects of most storage units, such as lack of space, uncontrollable climate, and bad acoustics, that decrease the practicality of practicing in a storage unit.

  • What should you not put in a storage unit?

    You should not put anything hazardous or combustible in a storage unit, such as fuels, chemicals, or explosives. If you store items like these, it's likely that you'll be in violation of the rental agreement you signed with the owner of the storage facility.

  • Can you ship things to a storage unit?

    This depends on the storage unit in question. Some policies allow the company that rented you your unit to accept deliveries without your presence, but others do not. If you're planning on shipping items to your unit, you should check with the facility first.

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