After shopping around for a storage unit, you might feel pretty proud of yourself for finding a facility that offers rock-bottom rent and a clean front office. However, you might be surprised to learn that veteran storage customers might look for other features too. Here are two not-so-common things you should look for as you shop for storage, and why they might improve your experience:
1: Built-In Storage
Sometimes storage customers decide to upgrade their units with custom wooden additions, and sometimes owners decide to leave it there. When you shop for a storage unit, ask managers if they have any units with these convenient built-ins:
- Shelves: Those shelves might seem like they are taking up your floor space, but they can actually help you to protect your belongings. When boxes are stacked on shelves instead of each other, you won't have to worry about heavier boxes crushing lighter ones. Also, shelves can make it easy to organize your things. Because you can evaluate shelf inventory at a glance, you might be able to track down missing belongings and keep your unit tidy.
- Lofts: To take advantage of vertical space, some people decide to build lofts in their unit. These lofts are typically basic — consisting of a few sheets of plywood over a frame bolted to the wall. Lofts are usually accessible by a basic staircase or a ladder. Depending on the stability of your unit's loft, you might be able to use it to store extra boxes, strangely shaped furniture pieces, or light, billowy items like comforters and couch cushions.
Before you use existing shelves or lofts to hold your belongings, test the structural integrity by pulling on beams and inspecting planks. If you notice excessive movement, warped planks, or rotting wood, think twice before unloading expensive belongings. Also, ask storage managers if they are willing to conduct maintenance on the built-in storage additions if it becomes a problem.
2: After Hours Self Storage Kiosks
Sure, those self storage managers might be incredibly helpful when they are on shift, but what happens after hours? Unless your chosen facility pays managers to live onsite, you might be on your own until the office opens in the morning. However, some facilities these days are turning to self storage kiosks to handle after hours customer concerns. These kiosks take advantage of two-way videoconferencing, letting remote managers answer questions and concerns face to face. Here are a few reasons kiosks might come in handy:
- Making Payments: Nothing is worse than realizing that your storage rent is due — after the office closes. Fortunately, self storage kiosks typically accept multiple forms of payment, so that you can take care of the rent without incurring a late fee.
- Completing Paperwork: If you are moving across the country, it might be hard to accurately determine what time you will arrive at the storage facility to unload your stuff. If you arrive late, you might have to wait until the morning to get a unit. However, self storage kiosks can even be used to complete new rental paperwork, so that arrival time doesn't matter.
- Reporting Unit Issues: If you experience an issue with your storage unit, such as a broken door hasp or incoming water, you might not want to leave your space unattended until maintenance can arrive. Fortunately, self storage kiosks can be used to report emergency concerns, so that you can keep your unit safe.
If you find a facility that offers after-hours self storage kiosks, ask for a tutorial from storage managers when they are available. You might be able to learn more about system quirks, so that you aren't left wondering what to do in the middle of the night.
By finding a storage facility with convenient, unique features, you might be able to avoid common hassles and enjoy your experience. Click here to learn about other services a self storage facility in your area might offer.