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A Few Self Storage Questions We Get All The Time


Being one of the premier self storage companies in California, we are constantly getting questions asked to us by those who are new to the self storage world or those who are looking for the best deal. We have listed a few of these questions and their answers, so that you can be more prepared when getting a self storage unit!

What is climate controlled self storage?

For those who are looking into their options, climate controlled self storage is one to consider. This storage unit has heating and/or cooling air that makes this unit "climate controlled". You do not control the temperature to which it is set, the storage facility does. However, the idea is that with a climate-controlled unit you run less risk of having humidity, temperature fluctuations, and other elements affecting your belongings.

At Smart Self Storage, we offer climate controlled self storage units at multiple facilities, including our brand new Cypress Self Storage in Oakley, California (currently under construction). Typically, our climate controlled units are all together in the same area or floor. Our HVAC equipment keeps the entire floor at a reasonably constant temperature so your belongings are not affected by temperature fluctuations.

What size of self storage unit do I really need?

This is a fairly common question, and the answer is going to vary according to what you need to store. This is why when potential customers ask us this question, we often ask what they are using this storage unit for. For example:
-    A 5 x 5 unit can fit a chest of drawers, boxes from the office, a few chairs, clothing items, and the like.
-    A 10 x 15 unit can fit a two-bedroom apartment easily.

(Want more examples? Our Self Storage Unit Size Guide offers examples of the types of items that can be stored in various unit sizes.) Ultimately, the size that you choose needs to be according to what you have to store. And this is something that our professionals can help you with. Our managers are storage experts and truly love helping customers choose the perfect unit!

Is self storage really worth the price?

We say yes! Consider all the room that you could have in your home or business when you decide to put some items into a storage unit. The amount of space can lead to a clutter free life, and this is something that you can put a price tag on. We believe that a storage unit is just an extension of your home, and the price is well worth it when considering the alternatives. The alternatives being that you build on a room in your home (additions are really expensive), move into a new home to accommodate these items (again, super expensive), or give them away items you truly want to keep. Want to learn more about this topic? Check out our brand new blog post titled Are Storage Units Too Expensive?

Can a car be stored at a self storage facility?

For many people who have collectible cars or who will be out of town for long periods of time, leaving their car on the street or in their driveway is not something that they want to do. The good news is that Smart Self Storage offers multiple facilities with RV, car, and boat storage. In fact, our Harbour Point Self Storage even offers covered RV (and car) parking. Please reach out to our managers to find the perfect storage solution for your car today!

Which is better: Indoor storage or drive-up storage?

These are the basic two types of storage units that you are going to find anywhere. However, they are very different from one another. An indoor storage unit is access inside of the building. Whereas, a drive-up storage unit is accessed via the facilities driveways. Which is better? An inside unit ensures that are you not having to face the elements. However, an outdoor unit is often easier for unloading and putting things into storage (you can pull your car or moving truck right up to your unit). This is something that you will have to decide for yourself! The best way to decide? It really depends on what you're storing, the frequency with which you are accessing your unit, your budget, and the value you place on convenience.

  • Those who access their unit infrequently tend to do just fine with interior units.
  • Those who rent a self storage unit for their business and access their unit regularly (daily) typically prefer exterior drive-up units.
  • Those on a budget also enjoy interior units, as they can sometimes be cheaper than drive-up. (That said, interior climate controlled units are often most expensive.)
  • Those who have very limited spare time and want ease-of-moving tend to really enjoy drive-up units and you can park right outside your unit.

Who has access to the storage unit that you rent?

This is the beauty of self storage. The only people who have access are those that you allow to have access. While you may rent the unit from us, you are responsible for securing this with lock and key. Therefore, the only people that have access to this unit are those who have a key to the lock that you utilize. You can decide who to give access to, so you have complete control over it. At the end of the day, your unit at Smart Self Storage is an extension of your home (just like having another room).

How long do you have to rent a storage unit?

Many people ask if there is a specific time frame for when you must rent a storage unit. And the answer is no. There are those who rent a storage unit to temporarily store their items for a month while finding a new home. There are those who have storage units for years for those extra items that they have lying around their house. There are those who turn their storage unit into the ultimate man cave and enjoy their unit for decades! There is no set time in which you have to rent a storage unit.

Is access to the storage unit only during certain times of the day?

This question differs based on your self storage facility. Typically, Smart Self Storage facilities are open 7 days a week, and offer very generous access hours. Regardless of your work/family schedule we try to offer hours that are flexible and convenient for all. For example, our West Sacramento Self Storage is open 7 days a week from 7:00 am to 8:30 pm. (If it's a holiday or you're unsure about specific hours, please make sure to all our facility first.) In addition to our generous hours of operation, many of our facilities have resident on-site managers who live at the facility. At West Sacramento Self Storage, for example, our managers literally live in an apartment at the facility, making sure that our business runs seamlessly.

Can anything be put into storage units?

There are some things that you cannot put into storage units, and that is for your safety and security, as well as the other units that around yours. For example:
-    No liquids
-    No flammable materials
-    No toxic material
-    No perishable items

This is meant to protect everyone that is storing items in the location. If you are ever in doubt, please reach out to your on-site manager with questions. We love our customers and are always here to help!

Are discounts offered?

There are times throughout the year that Smart Self Storage does offer discounts. This is something that varies from location to location and is subject to change. To make sure you always get the best deal, make sure to ask your local facility if they are offering any special discounts or coupons. And, of course, make sure to check out the specials page for your local facility. For example, here's the specials page for our very own Lakewood Self Storage.

At Smart Self Storage, we truly love our customers. We take incredible pride in helping however we can. If you have any questions about self storage, please do not hesitate to reach out!

Smart Self Storage

P.O. Box 7227 Van Nuys, CA 91409