No one likes to think about the possibility that they made a mistake in hunting for a storage unit, but sadly many people do. Here’s a look at the top five mistakes people make and how to avoid them.

1. Making Initial Price Your Determining Factor

We get a lot of calls from people who say, “Your competition offers the first month free. Do you do that?” and I almost always answer, “No.” For many people that’s the end of the conversation and they are no longer interested in our facility. If I can keep them on the phone long enough, I try to explain why they might not want that so-called free month.

First, many places that offer the first month free “forget” to tell you all the stipulations, restrictions and hidden fees that come with your free unit. Most start by requiring insurance, administration fees and a host of other sneaky fees. They may also require that you sign a contract for several months.

Second, they may be less than up front about the total cost of renting a unit. At Spacemall, we publish the price of our units on our website and in brochures available at our location.

Third, they may raise the cost of rent after you move in. Be sure to ask when they last increased the prices was and their policy for price increases.

2. Not Considering Your Time When Making a Choice

Convenience should be a major factor in choosing your storage unit. If it is far away or takes too long to get to, you may not use it, taking away the benefits of having a storage unit. Or, you may waste hours of your time getting there. Remember that time is money.

3. Forgetting to Ask About Access Hours

When you are renting a storage unit, be sure to ask when you can get access to your stuff. Some businesses, for whatever reason, forget that their customers work too and can’t always make it to their storage unit during regular business hours.

4. Not asking about security.

Don’t bother to ask about break-ins. Most places will avoid the question if they have had any security issues. Ask instead what type of security the facility has. Take a look at the locks and play spot the cameras. For outdoor facilities, look for gated-access and find out how often the manager or another employee is on the property.

5. Leaving money on the table.

Always ask about discounts when renting a storage facility. Some facilities offer discounts for AAA members and others for AARP members. At Spacemall facilities, we always offer a discount for military service members and first responders. Even if you don’t qualify for the discounts, at least find out which ones are available.