Moving soon? That probably means you’ll need movers and storage. (Hint, hint: Bellhops has you covered on the movers front.) If you’re like most Americans, you have a lot of stuff. Many of us have so much stuff, in fact, that we find ourselves needing to rent storage units to accommodate it all. Not surprisingly, the self storage industry is growing by leaps and bounds.

According to data collected by the Self Storage Association, there are a handful of large storage companies—and scores of smaller, independent ones—currently operating more than 54,000 self-storage facilities across the United States.

Ready for some storage statistics? Here you go:

Roughly 9.5 percent of U.S. households currently rent a storage unit—up from 6 percent in 1995. Some 68 percent of those renting units live in single-family households, while 27 percent live in apartments or condos. Approximately 65 percent of all self storage renters have a garage, but still rent a unit. Some 47 percent of renters have an attic in their home, while 33 percent have a basement. More than 30 percent of those renting a storage unit will do so for more than two years.

Some people utilize self-storage facilities because they need a safe place to stow prized collectibles, heirlooms, or extra pieces of furniture. Others are downsizing their homes and don’t want to get rid of the things that won’t fit. Still more are starting families and need to make extra room for their kids. Millions of people are simply overwhelmed with everything they’ve accumulated and, even after donating stuff, they need to put some of it in storage while the figure out how they’re going to pare things down. Roughly 10 percent of those using storage units rent them while they’re serving in the military.

Regardless of why you need one, here are some things you should consider when picking a storage unit:

1. Location:

Moving stuff to a storage unit can be a big task, especially if you need to hire someone to help you do it. Your first instinct might be to look for movers and storage units in your immediate area. But before you ask yourself, “Which are the best moving and storage companies near me?” don’t get too settled on any particular location. A unit isn’t worth renting simply because it’s near your house. Conduct a wider search. You might find a better, nicer, and cheaper deal a few minutes outside town. The extra distance won’t make too much of a difference if you’re only occasionally visiting the unit, and hiring movers to help you make a small, cross-town move can be worth it if you’ll be saving a few bucks a month buy renting a cheaper unit. Take time to research moving and storage companies online (Step 1: See if you’re in a Bellhops service area). Not only can online reviews give you valuable info about which businesses to avoid, they can also help you find great price points you might not have been aware of.

2. Size of the storage unit:

Most storage units range in size from a small closet to a long garage. (Units typically come in the following standard sizes: 5×10, 10×10, 10×15, and 10×20.) While you don’t want to rent way more space than you need, you will need a enough space for all of your stuff, as well as a little room to move yourself around inside the unit. Take measurements of your items to see what will fit. Consider measuring the length and width of a potential unit with tape on the ground to get a better idea of what size will work best for the items you’re trying to store.

3. Contract features:

Different self-storage facilities offer different terms. Shop around and ask questions. What are the various pricing options? Do you need to sign a long-term contract, or can you rent the unit month-to- month? Are there any rental specials or discounts available? What methods of payment do they accept? What happens if your payment is late, or your miss a payment? Is there a grace period? What is the damage policy? The more you know about the contract, the better.

4. Accessibility of the unit:

Your unit might have plenty of space, but if you have trouble accessing it, it’ll likely be more trouble than it’s worth. Will your unit be on the first floor? If not, is there an elevator, and how big is the elevator you’ll be using to move your items up? Will the unit be open when you need it to be, or just during certain hours? Will you be given a code to enter the building? You need to know the answers to these questions before you sign anything.

5. Security:

While it’s important that you have easy access to your items, it’s equally important that others do not. Before you settle on a storage unit, conduct a thorough review all of its security features, including its video surveillance capabilities and the brightness of the lighting in both the unit and parking lot.

6. Climate control:

Climate control units can cost more, but they can also do a better job of protecting your items. Climate control give items a constant temperature that helps resist pests and humidity. Depending on what your items are, however, a traditional storage unit may suffice.

Happy storing and thanks for reading!

Need help moving some stuff to a storage unit? Bellhops are handpicked, hardworking movers who make moving affordable for everyone. Book Bellhops online in minutes and save half the cost compared to hiring a traditional moving company.

We hope you found this article helpful. Is there anything you’d like us to write about? Email our editor at


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