The Ultimate Guide to Renting A Storage Unit: What You Need to Know

March 22, 2024

The Ultimate Guide to Renting A Storage Unit: What You Need to Know

Over the years, self storage has become more and more popular. Many people are now renting a storage unit for a variety of reasons. Some people simply do not have enough storage space in their home, others have chosen to downsize, some people have started their own businesses and some people are grabbing life by the horns and heading off on their travels for extended periods of time. 

The ultimate guide to renting a storage unit, what you need to know. Image shows blue storage unit doors in a corridor with a lift at the end.

It is very important that you select the right storage option for your personal or business needs. Within this article we are going to look at everything you need to know before renting a storage unit.

Understanding Your Storage Needs

Before you begin looking at storage options, you will need to assess your storage needs, asking yourself what your plan to store within the unit. This will give you an idea of how big an unit you need. 

Next, you need to think  about whether you need your unit for a short-term period or a long-term period. 

Short-term storage is typically defined as anything less than 3 months. It is often used by people when they are moving house, redecorating their current home or when their children are coming home from university for the long summer holiday. It is an affordable and efficient way in which to keep your belongings safe for a short period of time. 

Long-term storage is typically defined as the use of a storage space for anything more than 3 months. Long term storage is often used by businesses for storing stock, equipment or documents but it does also have many domestic uses. Many people use long term storage in order to store seasonal clothing, sports equipment etc. or whilst they are travelling for an extended period. 

You will also need to think about things like accessibility. Do you need to access your unit at a certain time? This will be a big consideration for businesses. 

How to Choose the Right Storage Facility

After you have thought about your storage needs, you will want to begin looking out for the right storage facility but, what should you be considering?

Firstly, you will want to think about location. Many of our current customers, particularly our business customers love that our stores are in a convenient location that they can get to quickly and easily. You need to think about what is the right location for you and your needs. 

Next, you need to think about cost. Some self storage facilities want large payouts upfront, particularly if you are signing a long-term rental agreement. Others, including Cinch Self Storage, offer monthly payment options. 

It is also extremely important that you look for a self storage facility that has a high-level of security in place. You will want to look out for CCTV surveillance, gated or secure access and alarm systems. Each of our facilities is covered by 24/7 CCTV, we offer secure pin-code access and each of our units is equipped with an intruder alarm and smoke and fire detectors. 

You will also really need to consider when you will need to access your unit. Some self storage companies are open 9-5, others have extended opening hours and some are open 24/7. You need to think about what works for you and your needs. Some of our stores have extended opening hours. Please check our website to see if your local stores have them. 

Understanding Storage Rental Agreements

When renting a storage unit you need to read and understand the agreement and all its terms. You need to know how much you need to pay upfront, how much you will be paying each month and what happens if you need to leave your unit before the rental period is up.

Leaving some units early could accrue penalties so it is important to look for rental agreements that offer flexibility. Flexible rental agreements allow you to upgrade or downgrade your unit, if and when you need to. They also allow you to leave your unit before the rental period is up.

With our storage units, we only offer flexible rental agreements. You are free to upgrade and downgrade your unit, if and when you need to. And you are free to leave before the rental period is up. We just need 14 days notice.

Preparing Your Items for Storage

When you have decided on the right unit and facility for you, it is important that you pack your items in an efficient manner. 

If you are storing large items, such as furniture, it is a good idea to dismantle it all, if you can, so you can store up against the walls, placing furniture covers over them. 

If you are storing items in boxes, it is a good idea to use multi-walled, strong cardboard boxes. When you pack them, make sure that if there are any gaps, you fill them with packing peanuts to prevent anything moving as you bring everything to the unit. Any fragile items should be wrapped in bubble wrap. You will want to tape up each box, once it is full, and then label it with what’s inside. When it comes to stacking the boxes, you should place the heavier boxes on the bottom and, if they are any boxes you will need before the others, place these at the front of the unit. 

If you are renting a storage unit to use for your business, it is a good idea to add shelving or racking. This will help you to maximise the space and allow you to keep your unit organised. 

Moving Your Items Into Storage

When it comes to moving into your storage unit, you need to think about whether you want to do it yourself or hire professional movers. 

Some self storage facilities, such as Cinch Self Storage, offer move-in assistance so make sure to ask about it when you sign your rental agreement. 

Managing Your Storage Unit

Once you have moved into your storage unit, you will want to visit it periodically to make regular maintenance checks, making sure all your belongings are safe and free from damage.

You will want to look out for anything that suggests items are being eaten by mice or moths. You will also want to be on the lookout for mould or mildew. All professional storage units should protect you from this type of thing but it is still important to check.

Tips for Reducing Storage Costs

A good way to reduce some of the costs is to choose a self storage facility that does not charge you or have penalties if you need to leave your unit before your rental period has expired. 

Also, many self storage companies offer promotions or discounts so it is alway best to check. There is no harm in asking.

When to Consider Upgrading or Downsizing Your Storage Unit

If you rent the right storage unit, you will be able to upgrade and downgrade if and when you need to. 

It is easy to spot the signs of needing to up or downgrade. If you need to upgrade, your unit will become harder and harder to navigate and it is full to brim with personal belongings or stock. If you need to downgrade, you will find yourself with more and more space within your unit, your voice echoing around it like you are in a cave. 

If you are renting a storage unit for your business, you may find that you need to upgrade for short periods of time that happen to be busy for your business. An example of this could be the rush you experience at Christmas. You will want to upgrade or add more storage for a few months and then downgrade back to your usual storage afterwards. 

The process of changing storage units will be different with each storage company but, with us, you just need to talk to a member of the team. They will get your upgrade or downgraded as quickly as possible. 

Making the Most of Renting your Storage Unit 

In order to make the most of renting a storage unit, you need to first assess your storage needs, asking yourself what it is you want to store so you can estimate how much storage space you will need. 

Next, you need to begin looking at storage facilities, making sure to be on the lookout for high levels of security, the right location and the right access hours. You will also want to look out for a storage company that offers flexible rental contracts. 

As soon as you have decided on the right storage facility and unit, you need to begin preparing your items, ready to move into your unit. You need to make sure that everything will be protected and easy to stack or to store on shelving. 

Once you have moved in, you need to keep visiting your unit to check that everything is okay. 

Before you rent a storage unit, you need to carefully consider your news and all your options so you can make an informed decision. 

If you would like to know more about the storage units we have on offer, please click here to find your local store. 

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Locations we service.

At Cinch Self Storage we can help arrange a pick-up service for your storage needs. See our locations listed below.

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1 Arkwright Road, Bicester, OX26 4SU

Unit C Hubert Road, Brentwood, Essex, CM14 4JE

The Depositary, South Road, Brighton, BN1 6SB

Bumpers Way, Chippenham

St Margarets Way, Stukeley Meadows Industrial Estate

1 Works Road, Letchworth, SG6 1FR.

Grovebury Rd, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 4SQ

July Court, Willie Snaith Road, Newmarket, CB8 7RL

666-678 Garratt Lane, SW17 0NP

25 Mollison Ave, Enfield, London, EN3 7LW

Newspaper House, Faraday Rd, Newbury RG14 2DW

Unit 4, Crown Quay Trade Centre, 1 Eurolink Way, Sittingbourne ME10 3DY

Unit 22 Mitcham Industrial Estate, Streatham Rd, Mitcham CR4 2AP

Invicta Business Centre, Bredgar Rd, Gillingham ME8 6PG

Cherry Tree Road, Watford WD24 6SB

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