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Self Storage Tips For Collectors


Do you have a valuable collection?  Are you a collector of some treasure, rarity, or do you just have a massive DVD collection?  Every collector has an endearing origin story.  It usually starts off with how they got started, why they fell in love with collecting that particular item, what the weather was like that day they got their first piece, etc. etc.  Why not preserve your unique origin story, and priceless collectables, at a Smart Self Storage facility?

If you are looking into renting a second "home" for your collection, storing with self storage is a great place to start.  Just as if you were looking for a new home for yourself, there are a number of things to consider when thinking about renting a unit.  Location, location, location!  If you need a unit that is close to your home, so you can visit and easily retrieve items, Smart Self Storage conveniently has nine different locations throughout California. Some locations have a larger variety of unit features than others, so consider what you are really looking for in a unit.  We will discuss some of the nuances of storage units that you may not have thought were options, or didn't think were important.  We'll discuss why they're important, and which locations have some of these more refined features.

Interior vs. Drive-Up

As the name implies, a drive-up storage unit refers to the type of unit that you can drive a moving van or truck right up to the entry.  The door is exposed to the outside.  Once you're inside the facility, you do not need to enter into another building to reach your unit.  That would be an interior unit, one that is located inside a building, one that you cannot drive right up to.

While both units have their pros and cons, when looking for a space to store collectibles, an interior unit would be more desirable.

One reason to choose an interior unit is the added protection from the outside world.  Even though drive-up units are sealed, when entering and exiting the unit, or keeping the doors open to move your collection inside, that's a lot of time with the inside of the unit wide open to the elements.  Dust will be more likely to seep inside if you use a drive-up unit.

Climate control is another big issue, which will be discussed in a moment, which can only be used for interior units.

Climate Control vs. Non-Climate Controlled

You've seen the advertisements for air conditioned, climate controlled storage units.  And you may have wondered, "Why do I need to pay for air conditioning for my stuff?"  Well, if you've lived through enough California summers, you know why! 

If you are using a storage unit for your collectibles, I urge you to seriously consider renting a climate controlled unit.  Climate controlled units are kept at a steady temperature between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit.  The temperature controlled environment requires an enclosed unit, thus limiting the amount of dust that can filter in, as well as discouraging pests.  Humidity, though not a huge problem in California, will still happen on those hot summer mornings.  A climate controlled environment will limit the amount of humidity in the air to negligible levels.

Here are some common items that are recommended for storage in a climate controlled unit, as they are more susceptible to damage from the environment:

  • Books (including comic books, yearbooks, etc.)
  • Photos
  • Artwork and Art Supplies
  • Musical Instruments
  • Wooden Furniture (to prevent the wood from warping)
  • Paper (any important documents or records)
  • Wine
  • Stamps
  • Coins
  • Leather (clothing and furniture)

We offer climate controlled units in three locations in California: Lakewood, Los Angeles, and Arroyo Parkway.


Another important factor in your unit renting decision is size.  Think about what your collection is: Is it a collection of comic books kept in highly organized boxes, or guitars of different shapes and sizes?  If your items don't take up too much room, you are probably fine with renting a small sized unit, such as a 5' x 5' or 5' x 10' unit.  Bigger items will obviously require more space.  You can check out our size guide to help you figure out the best floor plan for your needs.

Please keep in mind that not all Smart Self Storage locations offer the same floor plans.  It is always a good idea to first give our office a call to see if the size you're interested in is available. 


For our medium and large units, you have the option to assemble shelves or bring in cabinets to keep your collectibles organized.  If you are storing art, why not store it in style, with well thought out displays?  Maybe you want to bring by a chair so you can sit and read, play a quick riff on the old Fender, or enjoy simply being in the presence of your most prized possessions.  You are absolutely more than welcome, in fact encouraged, to do so. 

We hope you consider renting with us to take care of your collectibles.  If you have any questions, comments or concerns, our friendly staff members are more than happy to address them.  If you would like more information about our convenient, modern, beautiful facilities, please call any location to inquire. As a closing tip: When storing any valuables with Smart Self Storage, such as your collectibles, please make sure to get an insurance policy that covers your collection. If you have any questions about insurance, our friendly managers are here to help.

Today's blog post is a guest post by Michelle. Michelle is a self-storage enthusiast and freelance writer who enjoys traveling the world. An expert at getting the most out of the self-storage experience, please check back regularly for more about Michelle's adventure and how self-storage helped her dream of travel come true.   

Smart Self Storage

P.O. Box 7227 Van Nuys, CA 91409