Thinking of renting a self storage unit? Here’s what to look for when you get ready to rent a unit:

Security

Chances are you wouldn’t be paying to store your stuff if you didn’t want it to be there and in good condition when you come back for it, so the first thing you should look for in a self storage facility is security.

Start by choosing a storage facility that is in a good neighborhood. If the neighborhood is known for high crime rates, you might want to choose a different storage facility.

Next, look to see what type of physical security the facility offers. At minimum, for your personal safety and the safety of your stuff, you’ll want a storage facility that is well-lit and secure. Surveillance cameras, especially ones that are well advertised, can be a deterrent for many crimes. Facilities which have restricted access, through a fence and monitored gate, also help prevent criminals from getting near you and your storage unit.

Finally, look at the lock on your storage unit. What type of locks are recommended or even required by the facility? The most secure locks minimize the length of the hasp — the loop that goes from the lockup through the door and back — because that is the easiest portion of a lock to cut. Some good options are disc locks and cylinder locks. Disc locks are circular and compact, leaving almost no exposed hasp. Cylinder locks, like the ones used at Spacemall Storage, are barrel-shapped and have no hasp at all. These locks slide inside the door to your storage unit and are very hard for would-be burglars to cut.

Unit Condition

Your storage unit doesn’t have to be brand new to be safe and secure, but the condition of the unit can tell you a lot about the storage facility. Is the unit clean? Is it free from spider webs and animal droppings? Is the floor dry?

Even if you know what size storage unit you need, ask to see the one you will be renting before you sign a contract. If there are existing stains on the floor, check to see what caused them and be certain there are no leaks in the unit.

Accessibility

While it’s hot an humid today, it won’t be long before bad weather starts again. Check to see how easy it would be to get to your unit during a rain or snow storm. One of the advantages of drive up storage units is that you can drive up next to them. When looking at the unit you are renting, be certain to check to see how easily your vehicle, or a moving truck, could access the unit.

When you find these things in a storage facility, you are definitely on the right track. Then just make sure you also consider customer service.