We’re answering the most frequently asked questions about renting a storage unit, such as how much they cost, how they can be used, and more.

So you’ve decided to rent a storage unit. The good news is that Life Storage has over 55 million square feet of rentable storage space spanning across 29 states. If we’re not in your area yet, there’s bound to be at least one reliable self storage facility close to home, and we want to help you find one.

If this is your first time renting a storage unit, you probably have several questions. Here are some of our most common inquiries – and if you don’t find the answers you need below, please feel free to reach out to us directly.

If you are a Life Storage customer, please check out the questions our customers frequently ask here!

FAQs About Renting a Storage Unit

How much does a storage unit cost?

Your monthly rate will depend on the size of the storage unit, location, season, and availability. For that reason, there is not a blanket answer to this question.

However, in general, the smaller the square footage, the less you’ll pay, so make sure you don’t rent a storage unit that is bigger than you need.

To get a rough idea of how much you can expect to pay for a storage unit in your city (or soon-to-be city), check out this self-storage cost estimates map.

What size storage unit do I need?

This storage FAQ has a guide all its own. Find out how to pick the best size unit for your needs!

The short answer is that storage units typically come in these standard sizes:

– X-Small: 5 x 5‘ (25 sq ft.)
– Small: 5’ x 10’
(50 sq ft.)
– Medium: 10’ x 10’
(100 sq ft.)
– Large: 10’ x 15’
(150 sq ft.)
– X-Large: 10’ x 20’
(200 sq ft.)
– XXL: 10’ x 30’
(300 sq. ft.)

Life Storage offers tons of sizes and environments. The benefit of having various storage unit sizes available is that you can get the size you need. Make sure you’re not getting ripped off by companies trying to sell you space you won’t use.

What is a climate-controlled storage unit?

There are several types of storage units. A climate-controlled storage unit maintains a consistent temperature that is cooled in the summer and heated in the winter. Some climate-controlled units offer additional features like humidity control, air conditioning, and enhanced heating. This stable environment is ideal for storing items that are temperature sensitive. Follow this guide to decide whether or not your furniture requires climate controlled storage.

How secure are storage units?

For the most part, renters believe storage facilities in the United States are very secure. Life Storage maintains several systems to help keep our customers and their belongings safe. 

“We check the property daily and use the best locks for our storage units,” says Don Favreau, area manager for Arizona and Colorado. “We take pride in the security at all of our locations, so our customers don’t have to worry about this.”

Look for a storage facility that offers the same safety features:
Heavy perimeter fencing
Bright facility lighting
Surveillance monitoring
A personalized access code
Renter-owned locks (only you have the key or code)

Learn about your role as a renter in the safety of your belongings here.

What do I need to rent a storage unit?

To get the rental process started, you’ll need:

– A driver’s license or another form of identification like a state ID card or passport.
– Proof of insurance (read more about this here).
– A lock. Life Storage requires that customers purchase a lock for security reasons. 

Can I rent a storage unit for a week?

Typically, you will need to pay for the entire month if you want to rent a storage unit for one week. Most rental agreements are on a month-to-month basis with no long-term commitment or minimum stay. Always read your contract carefully.

Do I have to sign a long term lease?

The lease term will depend on the company and their current promotions. Life Storage provides short-term monthly storage agreements as well as several discounts and exclusive deals.

Can I go to my storage unit anytime?

If you want to access a storage unit 24/7, you need to rent a storage unit that offers that option specifically. Every storage location has a different policy depending on accessibility and local laws.

For instance, Life Storage facilities are open for access 365 days a year unless there are extenuating circumstances. Most facilities offer access from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., but some locations do allow 24/7 access. For a full list of nearby Life Storage facility locations, check out our online map.

Where can I read online reviews?

Out of over 100,000 responses, 9 out of 10 Life Storage customers would recommend us to friends and family. You can read our customer reviews on each storage facility location page.

To find more self storage reviews, visit the following consumer-focused sites:

Angie’s List 
Consumer Affairs

Do storage units require insurance?

This answer varies depending on the company. Most large self storage companies will require insurance. Sometimes insurance may not be a requirement at smaller facilities, but it is recommended. 

Life Storage requires all customers to provide proof of insurance. We also offer inexpensive coverage through a third-party provider. The payment will be taken out each month with your rental payment.

Learn more about insurance for storage units, technically known as property tenant insurance, here.

What happens if I leave my stuff in storage after my rental expires?

If you stop paying rent, abandon a storage unit, or breach your rental agreement, a storage facility will follow local laws to repossess the unit. In some cases, storage facilities will sell the contents off to an auction house. However, storage facilities will send several notices before this happens.

How long can you go without paying storage?

Payment obligations and non-payment repercussions should be outlined in your storage rental contract. Generally, once payment is 30 days late, your account will go into default. From that point, local lien laws will determine how long it will be before the company repossesses the storage unit. A store manager will complete this process within 30-90 days. 

How can I talk to someone directly about my storage unit?

Dealing with someone who cannot offer direct help when you have an immediate issue is frustrating. When vetting storage providers, be sure to ask how you can reach a local manager when you have site-specific questions.

Current Life Storage customers can speak with store managers during regular business hours. Our telephone system identifies customer phone numbers and automatically reroutes the caller directly to the store. During off-hours, our Customer Care Center is open 24 hours to answer calls and assist customers with the rental process.

Editor’s Note: This post originally published on February 15, 2018, and was revised on May 1, 2020.

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