rent a storage unit

Everything to Know About Renting a Storage Unit

An Easy Way to Help You Move

Renting a storage unit in your local area is a brilliant solution to countless storage concerns. Whether you’re moving house, looking to declutter your home or storing your boat for the winter months, renting a storage unit is a hassle-free and cost-effective answer to your space concerns. With climate-controlled units and 24-hour security services, you can relax knowing your possessions are safe and taken care of until you’re ready to house them again. Let's take a look at how you can rent a storage unit.

Self-Storage vs. Full Service

When you are looking into storage units, you can choose between renting a self-storage unit or a full-service unit. Typically, a full-service unit will cost more, but it does come with several perks.

Full Service

Full-service storage units come with a valet-style experience. The company will collect and deliver your belongings for you and organize them in the rented unit on your behalf. Once your belongings are in storage, you can request specific items and have them delivered to your property. An additional perk of full-service units is that the company will photograph and document all of the items within the unit. Not only does this allow you to keep track of what is in the unit, but it also provides an extra layer of security.


Self-storage units are a significantly cheaper option than full-service rental units. Primarily, this is because it is the individual’s responsibility to transport, organize and remove the items they are placing in storage. You are responsible for keeping track of the items in a self-storage unit, so if you choose to rent one, remember to photograph and document your possessions.

The Rental Process

Renting a storage unit is a relatively simple process, but, to guarantee that you are finding a storage facility best suited to your needs, there are several things to consider before signing a rental contract.


Beyond choosing between a full-service or self-storage unit, you need to determine what size unit you need to rent to comfortably and safely store your possessions. Prices will vary between companies, but typically, you can expect to pay more for the larger units. If you want to rent a cheap storage unit, you will need to be able to fit your possessions into the smallest available unit. There are five standard unit sizes that most facilities offer: 5’x5’, 5’x10’, 10’x10’, 10’x15’ and 10’x20’.


Once you have determined what size you need, get quotes from several different companies to find a rental price that suits your budget. Reliable full-service storage companies include MakeSpace, RedBin, Cubiq and Clutter. Each of these companies hosts facilities across the United States; all you need to do is order their boxes/bins, and they’ll store your items for you. Some companies also offer packing assistance and portable storage in the form of vans and trailers.

If you have opted for a self-storage unit, consider renting a unit from U-Haul, CubeSmart, Extra Space Storage and Public Storage. These companies offer climate-controlled units and budget-friendly prices, including several sign-up bonuses.

The Contract

To rent a storage unit, you need to provide a valid form of government-issued ID. This can be your passport, driver’s license, state ID or military ID. The company will issue a rental contract - also called a lease agreement or self-storage contract - for you to sign.

This outlines what you can and cannot do with your storage unit. For example, it is illegal to live in or conduct business from a storage unit. While the specifics will vary across states, several items are prohibited in rental units, including perishable goods, hazardous materials and ammunition.

Be sure to read through the entirety of your rental contract. Each company will have its own regulations regarding payment, non-payment penalties and how to terminate the contract.

Qualities to Look For

There will be little variation in the basic amenities offered by storage facilities across the United States; however, there are several factors to assess when you choose to rent a storage unit.


When you are placing your possessions in someone else’s care, you want to ensure that every precaution has been taken to guarantee their safety. Check to see if the company provides video monitoring, on-site personnel, security gates and locks.


Before signing a rental agreement, you must determine whether the company’s hours match your availability. Some companies are open 24 hours a day whereas others operate on a standard 9 am to 5 pm schedule. Choose a company that grants you access to your possessions as and when you need them.

Climate Control

A climate-controlled unit will protect your belongings from extreme heat, cold and humility. This is especially important for furniture and clothing, as these items are susceptible to mold and mildew.

Preparing Your Belongings

When it comes to placing your possessions in storage, it is best practice to be thorough and organized. As you pack items, photograph and document everything. An itemized list will help you remember what’s in the unit, especially if it is going to be in storage for a considerable amount of time. In the unlikely event that your possessions are lost or damaged, the photos can also be helpful when filing insurance claims.

Labeling everything and placing items in clear, plastic containers can make it easier to find exactly what you are looking for as you remove and return your possessions to the rental unit.

It can also be beneficial to clean your belongings before packing them. Washing any clothing and upholstery helps prevent the growth of mold and mildew. To free up space in the unit, consider disassembling your furniture as you clean it.

Final Thoughts

Storage units are a simple, stress-free way to free up space in your home. From your seasonal decorations to furniture you no longer use, there are storage units across the states that can safely house them on your behalf. Find a storage unit near you today and enjoy a clutter-free home.