If you are moving to the Kent area, you may need to store your belongings temporarily while you find a permanent place to live. If this is the case, you’ll want to take into consideration a few things when choosing the storage solution for you.
- Sizes & Types of Storage
- Lease Length and Notice Length
Depending on how much you’ll be accessing your belongings, you should think about storing your possessions at a storage facility that is close enough to be easily accessed when you need something. For instance, if you’re staying in a hotel or friend’s house, you may not have room to bring all your clothes. You’ll want the storage facility to be within a few minutes’ drive so that it’s convenient to grab items when you need them.
Sizes & Types of Storage
When you look for a storage facility, you should also factor in the type of storage that you’ll need. As above, if you plan to access the unit frequently, you will want what’s known as a “drive-up” accessible unit. This allows you to bring your vehicle right to the door of your unit, making it very easy to load and unload items.
Conversely, if you don’t plan on grabbing items often you can think about getting an inside unit. These units are accessed via interior hallway and, depending on the facility, may be on the ground floor or upper floors accessed via elevator. If you have larger items like furniture this may not work well for you. However, most storage operations have moving dollies that you can use for free which makes getting your belongings to your unit somewhat easier. Inside storage units are also located in buildings that are often heated in the winter months to make it comfortable for you. On the other hand, drive-up units are typically unheated, so factor this into your decision regarding which type of unit to go with.
Once you figure out your desired access, you’ll want to consider size. Most facilities offer storage units that range from small 5’ x 5’ units to units as large as 12’ x 30’. If you’re not sure what size you’ll need, the best advice is to contact the store manager and tell them what you are storing. The manager will be able to guide you into choosing the correct size for your needs.
If you need RV or boat storage, these are typically larger units and can be either uncovered, covered, or enclosed. Some of these units even come with power doors and electrical hookups.
Storage facilities vary when it comes to the features they offer. Depending on what’s important to you, some of these may play a big role.
All stores typically have some level of security, but that can range from the bare minimum of locked storage units, to high-tech security with 24-hour digital video surveillance, fingerprint ID access at entry points, and individually alarmed storage units. It would be a good idea to ask the store manager what security measures they have put into place.
In addition to heated storage units, some offer the next step up, which is climate-controlled storage. This means that the temperature is regulated to constant temperature year-round. This might be important if you are storing particularly sensitive items such as electronics.
In addition to the above, facilities might sell boxes and packing supplies, have on-site truck rental, a covered loading/unloading area, and even offer package delivery acceptance where you can have packages sent the storage facility and placed in your unit by management.
For some, this is the most important consideration. Monthly rates for storage units range from as little as $30-$70 for the smallest units, to as high as $600 for an extra-large unit, depending on location (storage facilities in large metro areas will typically have higher rates than more rural locations.) RV and boat storage can range from $140 to as high as $700 depending on the type and size unit you get.
Lease Length & Vacate Notice Length
While most storage facilities now offer month-to-month lease terms, it’s important to check with the place you’re considering. For many, a more pertinent metric is how long the vacate notice is. Vacate notice is the number of days prior to vacating that you must provide notice of your intent to leave. This can range from as few as 5 days to as much as a month. Make sure read the fine print of your lease agreement to ensure that you’re using the prescribed method of notification. Most contracts call for written notification.
Another thing to think about is service. While it’s hard to know the quality of service you’ll expect to receive, a great source of information are online reviews. Look at the store’s Google reviews and read what customers are saying about the service they received. While you’re at it, read other comments regarding then general upkeep of the facility, any security issues, and whether there has been any water or rodent damage. Check out Yelp and Facebook too to see if the same types of reviews are showing up on these platforms.
But nothing takes the place of talking to the store manager to get a sense for how you’ll be treated down the line. Are they friendly? Do they take the time to show you around and answer all of your questions? Or do you get the sense that they are just rushing you through the process? Your gut will tell you a lot about the service you can expect.
There are plenty of things to consider when choosing a Kent storage facility. Following the above advice should help you figure out your best options.