Business owner getting boxes out of mini storage

The Ins and Outs of Mini Storage

There’s no doubt that the mini storage industry offers an essential service. However, with thousands of storage facilities in the country, finding a viable option is easier said than done. With this in mind, we created a comprehensive guide to help you choose the most suitable facility with mini storage options.

Knowing what to look for saves everyone significant time and effort and helps you prevent avoidable but costly errors. Without further ado, let’s explore mini storage.

What Is Mini Storage?

The term “mini storage” popped up in the 1970s. When the storage industry exploded, companies used the term to market their services. Basically, customers renting storage units have a ‘mini-warehouse’ at their disposal. For an affordable fee, customers can store anything (within the guidelines)  for a specified period.

So how does mini storage differ from self storage? The truth is, there isn’t much of a difference. The term self storage stands for self-service storage; it was used in the 1960s when the storage industry was still in its infancy.

Basically, mini storage and self storage are interchangeable terms. However, it’s important to note that ‘self storage’ can refer to traditional units housed in single-story buildings. What’s more, some self-storage units might lack a common loading area.

On the other hand, mini storage units are housed in multi-story buildings where renters can access their units through a common loading area.

Reasons for Renting a Mini Storage Unit

Mini storage units are in high demand. Not surprisingly, both residential and commercial tenants have plenty of reasons for renting the extra space.

Residential Customers

Residential customers mostly rent mini storage units for the following reasons:

Decluttering

The truth is, personal possessions pile up over time. But most people aren’t open to getting rid of things that have sentimental value. In this case, renting a mini storage unit is the perfect solution. Clearly, a tenant can declutter their home without having to sell or get rid of personal possessions.

Moving

Moving can be a stressful experience, especially if there isn’t enough space to safely store one’s possessions. This is where renting a mini storage unit comes in handy. The best part is that people can rent units based on how much space they need. Mini storage units can accommodate everything from a few crates to entire furniture sets.

House Remodeling

House remodeling can get hectic. With this in mind, safely storing home appliances and other possessions away makes perfect sense. Most homeowners prefer renting mini storage to using their garage space. Why?  Because organizing items in a mini storage unit is so much easier.

Lifestyle Changes

The reality is, lifestyle changes can be unpredictable and chaotic. Be it a marriage, a sudden inheritance, or the birth of a child, having extra storage space on standby can come in handy. By renting a mini storage unit, customers can rest easy, knowing that their possessions are safe. As a result, adjusting to lifestyle changes is much more manageable.

Vehicle Storage

Tenants living in states where it’s illegal to have certain vehicles on the street can use mini storage facilities as a solution. From RVs to boats, tenants can safely store their vehicles when not in use.

Commercial Customers

At the same time, commercial renters can opt for mini storage units for a cost-effective storage option and convenience. Breaking it down further, here’s why business owners prefer renting mini storage units.

Document Storage

It’s no secret that document storage space is a major headache for most small businesses. However, since increasing on-site space might be out of the question, savvy business owners rent mini storage units. It’s a win-win situation, and they get all the inventory space they need for a small fee.

Inventory Storage

Bulk purchasing is a common practice for most businesses.   However, unless a business has sufficient storage space on its premises, storing the excess items can become a problem. In this case, mini storage units are a lifesaver, offering business owners a secure and affordable storage option.

Relocation

Relocating your office is a complex process. Business owners need a secure space that can accommodate all of their office equipment. With mini storage units, business owners can focus on the technicalities of relocation while being assured that their equipment is secure.

Warehouse Storage

More often than not, manufacturers and contractors need extra space for specialized tools and equipment. If they don’t have sufficient on-site space, mini storage units are a great alternative. Businesses only pay for the space they need, and the units can securely accommodate any kind of equipment.

Selection Checklist for a Mini Storage Unit Facility

Many mini storage facilities offer hand trucks and transportation solutions within the facility

Unfortunately, not all mini-storage facilities have high standards. Since most people plan on storing valuable items in their units, rushing through the selection process is not a good idea.

A detailed checklist like the one below would help prospective renters avoid costly mistakes. Here it goes:

Location

The location of a mini storage facility determines how viable it is. Renters who need to access their possessions frequently should go to a nearby mini storage unit. But a word of caution: units close to urban areas cost more than those located in the outskirts.

Size

One of the hallmarks of a great facility is a wide range of storage unit size options. The reality is that customers don’t have similar storage needs. A healthy range of options means renters won’t have to pay for space they don’t need.

Accessibility

Generally, mini storage facilities have different opening hours. Confirming a facility’s operating hours will prevent inconveniences down the road. Quite simply, customers in need of constant access to their possessions should pick a facility that is open 24/7.

Cost

Like with everything else, cost plays a big part when choosing a mini storage unit. Of course, the contract type and storage period affect the cost of renting a mini storage unit. Usually, great facilities offer flexible contracts, allowing customers to settle for convenient terms. But be warned: some facilities have extra fees charged for various reasons, like late payments and breaking the rules.

Security

As stated earlier, most people store valuables in their mini storage units. Clearly, security should be a top priority before selecting a facility. For example, the facility should have a security fence and cameras to deter burglars. What’s more, fire safety and pest control features should also be present.

Climate Control

To be honest, this isn’t a mandatory feature. It depends on what the customer plans on storing in their unit. Climate-controlled units are great for maintaining stable temperatures and humidity all year round. Sensitive items like leather items, fabrics, and photographs must be stored in a climate-controlled unit.

Customer Care

To their dismay, most customers make the mistake of overlooking the quality of customer care service. A professional customer care team that is available 24/7 is essential to ensuring that daily operations run smoothly. Additionally, this availability boosts customer loyalty because customer queries and concerns are readily addressed.

Cleanliness

Without a doubt, cleanliness is a major selling point for mini storage units. Since customers store a wide range of items, sanitary conditions are a must. Potential customers should inquire about cleaning schedules, whether the cleaning staff is professional, and if hygienic features such as sanitizers are in place.

In-House Transportation

Since some storage facilities are housed in multi-storied buildings, effective in-house transportation is necessary. The facility should have elevators and handcarts to facilitate item movement. In addition to this, look for wide aisles that prevent jams, ensuring a rapid and constant flow of traffic.

Why Neighbor?

Quite simply, Neighbor is a revolutionary peer-to-peer storage marketplace. By connecting people who need space to people with storage, the platform offers the following perks:

  • No cumbersome paperwork
  • Secure, automatic monthly payments
  • Free host liability protection
  • More control over the location

Are you searching for extra storage space? Whatever your needs are, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Neighbor. We offer a wide range of storage units at competitive prices.

Looking to learn more about our storage options? Contact us or call us at +1 801-653-0264 for a free quote.

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