How to Select a Self Storage Facility

storage space

As today’s consumers buy more products, there has been a sharp increase in self storage units. For those unaware of self storage facilities, these businesses rent out empty spaces that are provided on a monthly basis for rent. These can be used to store personal belongings such as books, clothes and maybe even valuables. Its obviously not advisable to store perishable goods in self storage facilities. Having said that, many facilities now come equipped with temperature control units, so environment sensitive products can be stored with ease.

Selecting a storage unit can be a little tricky. This depends on each individual's specific needs and the quantity of personal belongings to store. Typically, storage facilities are created on the size of living spaces. For example, you can rent a space for a small closet, a studio apartment, a one bedroom apartment or a 2-3 bedroom house. Its actually ingenuous the way storage facilities have arranged their storage spaces. It was intentionally designed to store the belongings of a house, so that it can directly cater to families or those that move are in-between a move or relocation. Having said that, storage facilities are not limited in their uses. Units can now be used to store anything from cars, boats and whatever one can fit inside a walled enclosure. Its actually pretty versatile.

So the first step would be to calculate how much space you require. This can be done by "eye balling" your belongings or actually measuring the space needed with a measuring tape. Since the storage space is a room, make sure you measure in square feet and height. Once you have the exact measurements of how much space you will require, the next step would be to call the closest storage facility and get a space with those measurements. Make sure you leave some extra room to compensate for any measuring mistake. Next, its time to determine how long you require the space for? Often times, you get additional discounts the longer you plan on renting the space, so that may be a consideration as well.

Now the next step is moving all your stuff to the facility. My next article will discuss in detail, how you can efficiently move your stuff
Stay tuned!

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History of Storage Units
self storage units

The first storage units were discovered in ancient China, but the modern understanding of storage facilities did not come into existence until the 1960's. The first public storage unit was created by a family in Fort Lauderdale Florida. The Collum family opened the first public storage facility in 1958. Soon afterwards, there was an explosion in storage facilities all across the country as demand outpaced supply for this new type of service. Before storage facilities, families had to do with little space and throw away household items that were not deemed valuable. Today, industry statistics have shown that self-storage facilities are opening at a whopping 3,000 new facilities each year from 2000-2005. Its a rapidly expanding business. This growth is also due to the expansion of the middle class American family and the transformation into a much more consumer oriented society. Families tend to purchase many more consumer goods and this requires more space.

Today, there are approximately 58,000 self-storage facilities across the United States. In terms of land space, self-storage facilities reside on more than 2.35 billion square feet of land (this is equivalent to 3 times the size of Manhattan. Typical sizes of storage units start at the 10x5 (the size of a walk-in closet), 10x10 (size of a child's bedroom), 10x20 (a one car garage), 15x20 and 20x20 (a two car garage). Many units now even have various features such as temperature control camera monitored and security gates. Self-storage units have also expanded into other avenues such as boat and RV storage as well as vehicles. This is to cope with rising demand for more space, especially in metropolitan areas that are densely populated. Studies have shown that one every ten Us families has a self-storage unit. This increase is also due to large portion of the Us population which moving. According to the US census, there are about 40 million American families moving each year. A survey taken by shows that the self-storage industry as whole is growing profitably as well. This is certainly a healthy part of the US economy.

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The Advantages of a Storage Facility

I'm a big hobbyist. I collect lots of toy and models. My interest is mainly in World War 2 replicas and models. This includes tanks, planes, artillery and soldiers from all the combatant countries. I buy most of the models from antique stores or other collectors on-line or through eBay. Believe it or not, there's a huge following for World War 2 models. This is especially true for German models. They are probably the hardest to find and collect. These are real prized possessions Panzer tanks being diamonds. Unfortunately, my wife is not a big fan of my hobby or my models. She thinks its childish and a very expensive hobby. I guess collecting clothes and jewelry is not.

So last summer, I was given a strict ultimatum to get rid of my collection. I was in a predicament. I certainly did not want to give up my collection of 15 years. There had to be a solution. And that lay in renting out a self-storage unit. I could keep my models and still display them, but just not in my own home. The first thing I did was find the closest storage facility (using Google) with temperate controlled units. Since these were valuable models, I needed a facility with temperate control to make sure the heat would not destroy my prized collection. It cost me about $60 a month, but it was well worth the money and it was a short walk from my home (Austin). For all you model and toy hobbyist, I highly recommend getting a temperate storage unit for your personal collection. This way the models are out of sight from your wife and family, plus you get alone time when visiting the facility. Consider it your man cave, literally!

Depending on where you live, storage units can be very cheap or expensive. The best thing to do is conduct an extensive Google search. Location and pricing can be found on-line in a matter of a few clicks. Check out the reviews as well. They can be a quick indicator of the service you are likely to receive.

God Bless storage facilities!

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