What is a Self-storage?

According to the Self Storage Association of America, from the estimated 50,000 self-storage facilities in 2010, the industry has grown to more than 54,000 facilities (in 2015), and is now in more than 200 cities, specifically, in states that include California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Utah.

Self-storage is an industry in which storage spaces also known as storage units are rented (often on a month-to-month basis) to tenants for personal or business use. This extra space is usually used for storing old furniture items and/or mom’s and pop’s favorite things; things that they may have no need for anymore, but which they simply cannot throw away. For companies, these spaces are great for storing currently unused office equipment, important files and paper works.

Not all self-storage facilities offer the same features and security, though. For instance, some facilities also offer spacious units, big enough for a boat or entire household furnishing. Some also allow drive up access, allow renters 7/24 accessibility, and feature remote cameras, fence protection, personal access codes, and climate controlled units wherein items can be kept totally safe from the weather regardless of how hot or cold is it.

Here are some tips:

  • Utilize all the space in your unit. Make a plan as to how you are going to arrange your items. A good plan will save you the time of having to rearrange your unit. Leave an aisle in the center of your unit so that you have a walkway to the back of the unit.
  • Use freestanding shelves to help organize your unit.
  • Label the boxes on all six sides and keep a list for easy reference. This will save you time if you need to find a specific item.
  • To protect your items, cover them with moving pads, sheets, or light blankets.
  • Be sure to check your unit once a month.

Rent of a unit is usually short term (monthly basis), though, long term lease is also available. With regard to non-paying tenants, the lien law in each state may grant the facility owner to conduct lien sales or storage auctions in order to eject them. Some states, however, first require facility owners to make a public notice, through periodical ads, of the auction or sale; in other states, public notice made via the internet is enough. Until before the start of an auction, unit renters are given the right to settle their bill and so save their belongings (all the contents of their storage unit) from being auctioned.