When people are looking for self storage there are a lot of questions that they ask, but more often than not what they don’t ask is, “Am I paying for things I don’t need?”

Here are three self-storage amenities that people often base their buying decision on, but may not necessarily need.

24 Hour Access

Almost every new tenant we have asks about our access hours. Many of them start with, “So this is 24-hour access, right?”

And I never say no, because we can create 24-hour access codes for customers that need them, but I do always ask why.

For our RV and boat customers, it’s because some people worry about being late coming back and some people like to hit the road very early. We are happy to accommodate them.

But for our storage customers the reason is usually simply that they want to be able to bring things to storage after the end of the work day. We totally understand that, but honestly, you probably don’t need 24 hour access. Our standard access hours, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. 7 days a week are more than adequate for most people. After all, do you really need to get into your storage unit at midnight?

If you work a rotating shift or have an emergency, of course we’ll be happy to accommodate you, but most of the time 24-hour access is not an amenity you really need.

Climate Control

Because we have a climate controlled facility, I’ll never tell people that they absolutely don’t need climate control, but I will tell them it might be more convenient and cheaper to get a drive-up storage unit.

With a drive-up unit, you can literally drive up to the door of your storage unit. That really makes loading and unloading easier. No need to mess with carts and dollies.

And, generally speaking, drive-up units are less expensive that climate controlled units.

So who does need climate control?

If you are storing antiques or furniture that will draw moisture in the rapidly changing Pennsylvania weather, you might need climate control. If you are storing a computer or a flat screen TV or other electronics, you might want climate control in the summer. Heat is hard on electronics.

As a rule of thumb, we tell customers if you’d be comfortable storing it in an unheated garage or attic, it’ll be fine without climate control. If you would normally only store it in your house, then spring for the climate controlled storage.

Proximity to Home

One of the biggest determining factors for many people choosing a storage unit is how close the facility is to either their home or their workplace. Their reasoning, usually, is that if the unit is close by they can run over and drop things off on the way to or from work, or when they have a spare minute.

Let me be the first to tell you that it never works that way. I literally live at the storage facility and still have a pile of things that need to go out to my storage unit at any given time. Chances are, you’ll go to your storage unit when that pile gets too big or when you need something out of it.

So, if your primary reason for choosing a site nearby is so that you can go there often, you may be costing yourself money especially if you live in an area with high property values and high rent. Driving a few more miles for a lower price could save you lots of money in the long term.