What is self storage and how does it work?

If you’re renting a storage unit for the first time or you need somewhere to store items that just won’t fit in your house, apartment or business premises anymore, there’s a lot to consider. Understanding what self storage is and how it works is key...

If you’re renting a storage unit for the first time or you need somewhere to store items that just won’t fit in your house, apartment or business premises anymore, there’s a lot to consider.

Understanding what self storage is and how it works is key to making sure it’s the right solution for your needs so we have created this guide to help you learn more about what exactly self storage is and how it works.

What is self storage?

Self storage provides an affordable, secure and convenient space for both individuals and businesses to rent and store personal or business belongings. You usually rent a unit on a month by month basis through a rental agreement with your chosen supplier. They also provide a long term storage option if you need additional storage for any reason.

Self storage units provide you with extra storage space for the belongings that won’t fit in your house, apartment or business premises. It provides a great option for storing your possessions rather than relocating, selling or discarding excess belongings.

You can pack and arrange the storage unit however you like, access your belongings at any time during your storage location’s opening hours and add or remove items whenever you need to.

You might need to rent a storage unit for the following reasons: 

  • Moving 
  • Life transitions such as divorce or downsizing 
  • Decluttering 
  • Apartment living 
  • Home renovations 
  • Business storage 
  • College storage 
  • Military living 

How does self storage work?

Step one: Choose the right storage facility

Most self storage units work in the same way. Usually you sign a contract and rent the storage space for the amount of time you need. It’s important to bear in mind that different facilities may have different services or opening hours which can impact on how you can use the unit.

At East Bank Storage, we have a number of facilities across Milwaukee and Chicago offering services such as: 

  • Video surveillance
  • Month to month leases 
  • Free parking 
  • Climate control 
  • Packing supplies 
  • Mailbox rental 
  • Wine storage 
  • Truck rental 
  • Document/records storage

Checking your facility to make sure they provide the services you need is key to making sure your storage facility suits your needs or the needs of your business.

The location of your facility will also play a key factor. If you need to access your belongings on a regular basis, it’s better to choose something closer to you.

Step two: Choose a unit

Once you know which facility you want to use, you’ll need to find the right sized storage unit for your needs. You can use our storage tool to find out more about storage unit sizes available at East Bank Storage.

The size you require will also depend on what you intend to store. Our units are available in a range of sizes from units which are comparable to a small closet to large spaces which are comparable to a one car garage.

If you’re storing delicate belongings such as electronics or wooden furniture that you want to preserve, you will also need to consider whether you require a climate controlled storage or non-climate controlled space.

Step three: Reserve, pay for and insure your unit

Once you know where you want to rent a unit and the size you’ll need, you will need to reserve your unit.

At East Bank Storage, you can reserve your unit online, just find the location nearest to you and follow the instructions. Someone from the team will then contact you with more details about what you will need to access your unit.

Make sure you ask what you’ll need to secure your unit such as ID, insurance details and payment details.

Step four: Complete your rental agreement

Your rental agreement will include the terms of your lease and it will tell you more about what’s expected of you when renting your unit, when you can access it and what you can store.

It’s important to carefully review all of the terms before you sign the contract. This will either be signed online or in person, depending on your facility.

What does a rental agreement include?

  • A description of your storage unit 
  • Length of your lease agreement 
  • Your tenant responsibilities 
  • Cancellation terms 
  • Non payment terms 

You will also need to make sure you have renters insurance to protect both you, as a tenant and your landlord. Some renter’s and homeowner’s insurance covers storage facilities so you will need to check before signing your agreement. If your existing cover doesn’t provide for storage facilities, you will need to look into it.

Step five: Move in!

Once you have sorted all of the above steps, you can move your belongings into your unit. At East Bank Storage, we can help you move in as quickly and easily as possible. Our locations provide boxes and truck rental to help you move.

Step six: Accessing your storage unit

Self storage facilities are usually surrounded by a security fence which is entered through a password protected gate. You will be provided with a unique code that will allow you into the facility and to access your unit.

You will be able to access your unit as often as you need to during opening hours. You will also be able to move extra belongings in or remove belongings whenever you need to.

At East Bank Storage, our locations provide 24-hour access so you can access your belongings at a time to suit you.

If You’re Considering Self Storage

If you’re considering self storage, but not sure which size and type you’ll need, try our free online storage tool.

Our storage facilities are available in Chicago and Milwaukee, offering units of all sizes and budgets, with extra facilities such as covered loading bays, 24/7 access, onsite faxing and copying facilities and much more.

If you’re unsure which unit or location is right for you, speak to our team today, we’re always happy to help.

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