Looking for a storage unit after moving to a new city? Here’s what you need to do first

Are you renting a storage unit for the first time? It is okay to get overwhelmed because you are not alone. Many people hesitate and have qualms when they do something new, and renting a storage unit for the first time is no exception. They may be apprehensive about the safety of their belongings, how they will pack their stuff for storage and who will take everything to the facility. But the situation is quite different in reality, and you will know why as you read through this article.

Storage units are convenient options to keep your stuff after moving to a new city. This popularity among the public is one factor causing the boom of this industry in the USA. Statistics reveal an approximately $40 billion industry with 49,000+ renting facilities. Moreover, 10% of US households currently rent a storage unit. So, there must be something about these facilities that make them a go-to option for many families.

But, knowing what to expect from renting a storage unit can ease the process. You can tick all the important boxes ensuring that you have made the right choice for keeping your stuff.

Finding a storage facility in a new city

When you relocate to a new place, it usually takes a few days to locate the grocery, nearest gas station, best places to eat, pharmacy, etc. But there is another easier way, and that is to find it online. For instance, type in the location and “Storage Unit” together if you search for a storage facility. For someone who moved to Kingsport, Tennessee, a prospective search can be “Kingsport TN storage units” or “storage units near me.” Once you have a list of storage facilities in your new city, you must know everything about them. So, here is a hands-on guide to what you must do before selecting a facility.

Decide the type of facility you want to rent

Storage facilities can be of two types: full service and self-storage. Each type has its own benefits attracting customers from different backgrounds. A common characteristic of these facilities is that they are not limited to domestic use only. Countless businesses also rent storage units in a facility to keep their important documents, extra furniture, or inventory safe.

Full-service storage facility

A full-service facility offers you complete service, from picking up your stuff from the house to putting it in the facility. A full-service facility is hassle-free as you are not required to transport your stuff. Doing it by yourself can be time-consuming and hectic, especially when you have recently moved from another city. In some cases, full-service facilities have an app for their customers to pick up and drop in your stuff when required. The storage facility may also document all your belongings in full service, listing all the items and taking photos for future reference. This way, you can be sure of the safety as everything becomes a part of the official record.

Self-storage facility

On the other hand, a self-storage facility is quite different from a full-service facility. Both the facilities share the characteristics of being safe and convenient, but the latter is more affordable. The company does not provide valet services in self-storage, and transporting your belongings to the facility is your job. Moreover, you can take out the stuff whenever you want and pick it up. The company also does not document your belongings or keep track of what is kept inside. You can choose self-storage for every item, small and large, even boats. The lesser cost of the self-storage unit and lesser scrutiny by the facility management make it more appealing to customers.

Do you need a climate-controlled unit?

Next, you need to decide whether you need a standard unit or a climate-controlled unit. Depending on the items you want to keep in the unit, you must determine what type makes the most sense. Some things, such as leather furniture, electronics, collectibles, canned food items, wine, paper products, etc., are more prone to spoilage with temperature fluctuations. And a climate-controlled unit makes a better choice where humidity and temperature stay at an optimal level, perfect to keep your belongings undamaged.

Look for the safety measures in place

There can be many underlying reasons for choosing a storage facility. Having a smaller house, decluttering your space, making room for your growing kids, or renovating your home in the new city can be some reasons. But an underlying factor in each of these conditions is ensuring the security of your belongings. A storage facility must be the most secure place for your stuff with state-of-the-art alarm and CCTV systems. Therefore, enquiring about the safety aspects of the facility must be on your to-do list.

Most facilities have strict security systems to safeguard their customers’ belongings. No unauthorized people are allowed to access the storage units. Every customer has unique entry codes that they punch in to enter. Facilities also have in-person surveillance systems and weather-proof locks.

Size of the storage unit

An important aspect to look into is the size of the storage unit. You must be careful not to rent a bigger than required unit, as it will cost you more rent. Fortunately, most storage facilities have multiple-size storage units for rent. There are often five sizes, including 5’x5’, 5’x10’, 10’x10’, 10’x15’, and 10’x20’. The facility calculates the rent according to the number of boxes requested.

What you cannot store in a storage unit

To amplify your experience of renting a storage unit, you must find what is not fit for storage. Though the list is very small, it still holds significance. In most facilities, perishable items such as vegetables, fruits, and chemicals are not allowed. Canned food can indeed survive for a long time, and it is okay to keep it in a storage unit; keeping pet food in storage is not a good decision.

But the policy can still vary among facilities. You must check with your facility manager to ensure the prohibited items inside a facility.


Renting a storage facility after moving to a new city is very wise. It can declutter your house and makes settling in easier. Once you have the unrequired stuff out of the way, managing the rest of your belongings is stress-free. However, it is better to be aware of the abovementioned aspects to make a wiser decision.