Although self-storage seems like a basic concept, renting a unit for the first time can be a little intimidating. In addition to figuring out how much space you need, you might also be concerned about calculating your costs and deciding how long to reserve the unit.
However, interesting information about the storage industry as a whole could help you to answer your own questions. Here are four little-known facts about the self-storage industry and how they could help you.
1. Self-Storage Isn’t a New Concept
While the first modern self-storage facility was built in 1958 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the concept of storage as a business has been around for centuries. In fact, researchers have discovered ancient Chinese storage units that date 6,000 years ago filled with items our ancestors didn’t want to store at home.
Among these items, scientists discovered extra pairs of flip flops, family heirlooms, and even collectibles, giving hints about how storage units could be used in the future. In today’s world, people love using storage units to house extra boxes of clothing, spare furniture pieces, and seasonal décor, making it easy to keep living spaces, garages, and attics clean and organized.
If you are thinking about renting a storage unit, go through your space and think about which items you use on a daily basis. Consider using storage units like our ancestors did — as places where you can temporarily relocate things you don’t currently need.
2. Estimated Costs Are Easy to Calculate
Sometimes people shy away from renting storage units because they are nervous about the added expense. Since renting storage units is usually tied to expensive life transitions like redecorating a house or moving to a new place, it only makes sense that most people are nervous about adding a monthly bill.
However, calculating your projected monthly budget is easy because industry averages are listed online. Nationwide, the average price for a single square foot of storage is $1.01 a month according to The SpareFoot Storage Beat. By calculating the estimated amount of space you need, you can use this information to quickly and accurately determine how much you will spend on storage.
For instance, if you have a 10’x10′ spare bedroom in your home filled with things you want to move into storage, you can figure that a storage unit will cost a little more than a $100 a month.
When you calculate estimated storage space, keep in mind that you can stack furniture and boxes to take advantage of vertical space. Talk with storage facility professionals about the height of their standard units, and think about which items you can nest, stack, and hang from ceiling rafters.
3. Most People Rent Storage Long-Term
Storage units are so convenient that most people rent them longer than they initially anticipate. In fact, according to a poll conducted by a Self Storage Association, 52% of respondents reported renting their unit longer than a year, and only 13% of polled participants said they rented storage shorter than 3 months.
In light of these facts, it only makes sense to rent a storage unit you could use comfortably. For instance, although you might be tempted to rent a small unit to save a few dollars a month, renting a larger 10’x20′ unit could help you to access your things easily and prevent damage.
Instead of tripping over items and being forced to unstack boxes to find certain objects, a larger unit means you can lay things out in an organized way, sort objects by category, and prevent wear and tear on your belongings.
Additionally, keep in mind that you can always transfer to a smaller storage unit if you find you don’t need the extra space. Oftentimes, storage facilities can prorate monthly rent and apply your prepaid balance to new spaces, saving you time and money.
4. Storage Facilities Outnumber McDonald’s Restaurants
So many people rely on self-storage to keep their homes clean and organized that the industry has exploded, giving customers more options than ever before. In fact, with more than 48,500 storage facilities in operation at the end of 2014, there are more than three times the number of storage facilities in the US as there are McDonald’s restaurants. However, this incredible competition paves the way for storage facilities that are cleaner and more secure.
Because the competition for storage customers can be fierce in some parts of the country, don’t stop shopping until you find a storage facility you are sure about. As you call around, ask about security features like 24-hour video surveillance and keypad entry gates.
Talk with management teams about access hours and rental discounts, and don’t forget to check the business website to see if you can reserve units and pay online.
If you are planning an upcoming move, renovation, or decluttering project, come visit us here at North Star Mini Storage to find the perfect unit for your family. With a commitment to cleanliness, security, and low prices, we can help you to keep your belongings safe and organized. To rent a storage unit, visit us online today.