A common area of frustration among self-storage customers is storage unit pricing. We’ve heard stories of other self-storage facilities unexpectedly increasing rates, vagueness around offers, and confusion around administrative fees. Here, we break down what you should know about storage unit pricing before you rent.
Storage unit prices: cheaper isn’t always better
When you first begin your search for self-storage, your natural instinct may be to look for a self-storage facility near you with the lowest price. At first glance, you may believe you are getting a great price. However, before you click that reserve or rent button, know why some storage units may be less expensive.
One of the most common reasons a storage unit price is so low is because it is in a poor location or has an impediment, like a pillar. If there isn’t a facility map or photos of the unit online, it’s best to call the facility and ask before you rent. Also, pay attention to specific amenities and features, such as unit height and access. On the Honore Storage rates page, we include unit height.
Typically, the cheapest units don’t include amenities like shelving, electricity, or temperature control. If you need a feature that you don’t see online, check with the facility first. The last thing you want to do is get to a storage facility to find that the unit is only four feet high and accessible only by stairs.
If it is your first time renting a storage unit, call the facility. Speak to an experienced facility manager or customer support if you can’t find these details online.
Price increases are tough but necessary due to rising facility maintenance costs, property taxes, and many other factors. Generally, under landlord-tenant laws, which vary by state, landlords are required to provide 30-days notice for rental increases if a tenant is renting month to month. Sometimes, facilities will offer an incredible deal and increase their rates within the first three months. Our policy has always been to keep rates the same for at least six months. Most of our tenants receive rent adjustments annually.
Some facilities may be willing to discuss a rate lock
If you’re concerned about price increases, ask the facility what their policy is before you rent a storage unit. Some facilities may be willing to discuss a rate lock. Ask if you can pre-pay for several months to lock in a rate. You also should offer to pay by credit card and sign up for autopay to encourage the facility to work with you.
If you are a customer and are notified of a price increase, make sure that you understand why. If the facility increases prices without demonstrating any value, it may be time to consider a new facility.
Storage unit promotions
As a way of enticing new customers to their facilities, many self-storage companies will run special promotions. Honore Storage does this. Promotions are a great way to save money! However, be sure you are clear on the terms.
Typical promotions you may come across in your search include:
- The first month free: Be sure to ask if it is 30 days from move-in date or move-in month, meaning if you move in on November 15, you will be billed on December 1
- Special pricing or percentage off: For how long? Is it only for specific unit types/sizes?
Also, ask if the promotion comes with any additional incentives like a free lock or moving truck rental.
Other pricing factors to consider
Before renting a self-storage unit, know what the costs are to save yourself money over the long-term. Additional costs to consider include:
- administrative fees
- necessary equipment
- personal time
- protection/safety of your belongings
This is probably one of the most overlooked areas to consider when renting a self-storage unit. For example, the storage facility could be two miles from where you live, but there is no parking. Or the loading area is outdoors or not easily accessible. Ask yourself the following questions before you rent:
- Is the facility ideally located for me?
- How easy/difficult will it be for me to move my belongings in/out of my storage unit?
- Is the facility secure?
- Am I confident that my belongings will be safe here?
While insurance is not required in Illinois, most self-storage facilities include a clause in their lease that states that they are not responsible if anything happens to tenant belongings. Similar to protecting your belongings in your home or apartment, you want to give yourself peace of mind when storing your belongings in self-storage.
To avoid the cost of having to pay for insurance, first see if your homeowner or renter’s insurance covers stored items. If not, you can obtain insurance on your own but come prepared with proof of insurance. If you do not have insurance, most storage facilities can help you sign up with a storage insurance provider. Ask what the insurance cost is before signing the contract.
Every storage unit is required to have a lock. Avoid an additional cost at the time you move in by purchasing in advance. Some facilities will include a free lock as part of their promotion.
Last but not least, the administrative fees. Administrative fees are a way for storage facilities to recoup some of the marketing and labor costs associated with new tenant sign ups. These fees vary by facility but are commonplace in the industry.
If you do not see administrative fees listed online, call the storage facility. Ask for their policy on administrative fees. This will help you calculate the full cost of your storage unit rental.
Renting a storage unit shouldn’t be an added stress to your move or project. If you know the right questions to ask, you’ll be well on your way to a seamless rental experience.
For more answers to frequently asked storage rental questions, visit our FAQs or give us a call.
Moving or storing your belongings in a nearby self-storage facility can be a stressful time. We want to make it as easy as possible for you. That’s why we’ve prepared this handy checklist to ensure you have the right packing supplies on hand to keep your belongings protected and move them with ease. Print or bookmark this list and use it for your next move.
My moving supplies checklist
Make sure you have sturdy, stackable boxes in uniform sizes for stacking. Flimsy or overused boxes tend to get crushed when stacked or fall apart as you are carrying them. Plastic bins tend to crack if overpacked. Avoid plastic bags if possible as these are difficult to label and impossible to stack.
Based on your specific needs you may want to also get a variety of box sizes. This allows you to avoid over packing boxes or making them too heavy.
Label maker and/or markers
Labeling boxes gives you a quick view of everything that stored away, It’s an easy time-saver. Don’t want to invest in a label maker? Purchase inexpensive masking tape and use markers so that you can reuse the box for future moves/storage needs. Labeling boxes makes to process of unpacking your belongings much easier, so make sure you take the time to label properly at the beginning.
When it comes to protecting valuables, such as fragile items, larger electronics, and items that require heavy-duty protection, bubble wrap is a clear choice. Bubble wrap protects your items from impact damage
While bubble wrap is the clear choice for certain valuables, packing paper is a suitable choice for small mirrors, dishes, and picture frames. Packing paper takes up less space and you need less of it to wrap fragile items. You can stack or bundle items after they’ve been wrapped. TIP: Placing a sheet of bubble wrap between heavy fragile items gives your belongings extra cushion. Avoid using newspaper or magazines because the ink may rub off onto your belongings.
Tape and tape dispenser
The need for tape to seal boxes and bundle items goes without saying, but don’t forget the dispenser! When planning your move, avoid stressing out at the last minute by purchasing plenty of packaging tape. Streamline packing by having enough tape dispensers on hand so that everyone doing the packing can easily seal boxes. The last thing you want to do is waste time trying to find where the tape dispenser was left or who has it.
Instead of tape, use stretch wrap to adhere to furniture padding and covers. It’s also good for bundling boxes.
Mattress and furniture covers
Mattress and furniture covers go a long way to keep dirt, dust, and unwanted elements off your fabric. However, make sure to choose the correct cover size. Covers that are too tight will hurt the breathability of the piece. Covers that are too loose can leave room for dirt or dust to gather. Covers that are too long create tripping hazards in your unit.
Use pads to protect stackable surfaces and items that are fragile or easily scratchable, such as glass mirrors, wood furniture, and pianos. Having enough protective layers around these items goes a long way.
If you are moving your items to a self-storage unit, the one must-have item is a storage lock. There is a wide range of locks at a variety of price points. A good rule of thumb is to invest 10 percent of the cost of what you are looking to protect on the lock. Two other items to consider are if the lock will fit your storage unit and if the self-storage unit is indoor.
To ensure your move is as stress-free as possible, proper preparation is a must. This starts with the right packing supplies and laying out your self-storage unit in advance.
Do you need moving supplies for an upcoming move?
Visit one of our nearby self-storage locations in Chicago. Under the Moving Supplies tab, you can find a list of moving supplies available at our facilities. Order by phone or stop by one of our self-storage facilities.
One of the most common self-storage questions we receive from our customers is what size storage unit they need. The last thing you want to do is waste money on a storage unit that’s too big or cram everything into one that’s too small. Like Goldilocks, you want the unit that is, “just right.”
Wondering how much to budget to store college dorm goods for the summer or how much space you’ll need to store anything from a motorcycle to the contents of your home? We’re here to help! This article breaks down common self-storage unit sizes and what typically fits.
What size self-storage unit do you need?
Whether you’re looking to declutter, store your belongings while you move, or park your motorcycle during the offseason, there is a perfect size unit for you.
From small, 5×5 storage units to massive ones, such as a 10×30, there is a storage unit that’s just the right size to fit your needs.
If you’re more of the visual sort, head over to our size guide to see what you can fit in each unit. Otherwise, read on for answers to our storage unit sizing frequently asked questions.
What size self-storage unit is good for college students, extra home goods, and businesses?
5’ x 5’ storage unit (25 square feet)
This size self-storage unit is excellent to store extra items, such as:
- Garden tools
- Seasonal items
- Office supplies and small equipment
- Miscellaneous boxes
- Twin-size bed or contents of college dorm room (without furniture)
- Sports gear
- Camping and outdoor recreation gear
- Off-season clothing
Note: This size unit won’t fit furniture beyond a small dresser.
I’m moving and need to store the contents of my entire one-bedroom apartment or dorm room. What size self-storage unit should I rent?
5’ x 10’ storage unit (50 square feet)
About the size of a mid-size bedroom, a 5’x10’ self-storage unit is perfect for storing an entire bedroom/dorm room, office, or studio apartment.
These size units also are perfect for those looking to remodel a room or office. They provide the space you need to keep your belongings safe during construction or move!
We are moving into a new house and out of our one or two-bedroom apartment? What size will fit all my stuff?
10’ x 10’ storage unit (100 square feet)
This 100 square foot unit should hold all your items! It is ideal for storing an entire living room and two full bedrooms. This size unit holds larger mattresses, an entertainment center, bigger appliances like washers and dryers, dining room furniture, and all the goods from your two-bedroom home or apartment.
What size self-storage unit do I need for three-bedrooms or a full house?
10’ x 15’ storage unit (150 square feet) or 10’ x 20’ storage unit (200 square feet)
If you’re in-between homes or renovating and looking to fit furniture from a larger house that includes a family room, kitchen, and dining room and the entire contents of your bedrooms, consider opting for a larger size self-storage unit.
The 10’x 15’ storage unit can typically store the contents of three bedrooms. This space is also ideal for larger items like televisions, pianos, couches, or tables. The 10’ x 20’ unit can store up to five bedrooms worth of stuff and larger items like washers, dryers and refrigerators.
These types of units are also ideal for businesses or restaurants that are renovating their space.
What size self-storage unit do I need for a large house?
10’ x 30’ storage unit (300 square feet)
Now this is some serious storage! With a whopping 300 square feet of space, this size self-storage unit is ideal for a five-to-seven-bedroom house, easily storing entertainment centers, refrigerators, beds, couches, and more!
What size self-storage unit do I need for a motorcycle?
5’ x 10 ft. unit (50 square feet)
If you’re storing just one motorcycle, helmets, and jackets, a 5’ x 10’ self-storage unit is all you need. If you have more than one motorcycle and extra gear, choose the next size unit up. You can also ask if there are units available with electricity to keep the battery in good condition while in storage.
Once you know what size you need, don’t base your decision to go with a nearby self-storage facility on price alone. Find a reputable option that is nearby for storing and accessing your belongings when you need them. Look for the following amenities:
- Climate/temperature-controlled units
- Drive-up access for easy loading and unloading
- 24/7 video surveillance
- Extended access hours
- Clean and well-lit
Still not sure what size unit you need? Use our space estimator! Simply enter the quantity of what you are wanting to store, and our tool estimates what size storage unit you need.
How many times can you count having said, “We don’t have enough room for all this stuff.” Let’s face it, most of the human race doesn’t have endless funds to buy a bigger place or build an addition on their house.
Nonetheless, we need someplace to put the stuff that we can’t or won’t part ways with. Self-storage may easily come to mind when you are moving or renovating. But what about the everyday things we accumulate or only need periodically? We recently went through an exercise to understand why our customers were renting storage units. Some of the following may surprise you.
Keep the keepsakes somewhere else
We’ve moved several times. Each time we move, we cart around the same five storage bins filled with family photo albums, memories, and keepsakes. Our last move was less than a mile away. As I watched my husband break his back carrying in these same five storage bins, I couldn’t help but laugh. We maybe go through them once a year.
Photo albums hold precious memories, but people (i.e., my husband’s back) should be more precious. Consider using self-storage for items that you want to keep but don’t look at every day. Use nearby self-storage to keep items close and be sure to choose a climate-controlled facility to keep your memories safe.
And the grammy goes to…self storage
If you are a musician, you may have a large instrument, multiple instruments, or gear that you don’t have the space to store. Depending on your living situation, you also may not live somewhere where you are able to practice. One of our renter’s stores his drums in a lower level unit and periodically comes to practice. A secure and convenient self-storage for him, a free musical performance for us!
Self-storage is a home run for sports gear
I once lived in a condo where my neighbor was into every sport imaginable—biking, hockey, kayaking, skiing, golf, you name it. Our units only had a parking pad so he would store all his sports gear in the back hall. Every morning was an exercise in agility trying to work your way out of the back door. If you’re a sports or motorcycle enthusiast and rent an apartment or own a condo in Chicago, be considerate of your neighbors. Rent a storage unit for your sports gear.
Bring the outdoors in
Enhancing your outdoor living space is very popular today. And while Chicago isn’t the worst climate to live in, winters can be pretty brutal. Storing outdoor furniture, grills, heaters, planters, etc. can be a nightmare when you don’t have a lot of space. Of course, you can spend the money to buy really good covers and still run the risk of damaging your stuff.
Another cost-effective option would be to put these items in nearby storage. Many storage facilities have units in various sizes, offer discounts, and have moving trucks on-site to easily transport all your items. Best of all, your outdoor furniture is secure in a climate-controlled storage facility, ready to be easily set up when the weather improves.
‘Tis the season for self-storage
Are you a Grinch or Clark Griswold? According to Fox Business, you are a Griswold. Consumers spent an average of $1,050 on holiday décor in 2019 and the New York Times wrote that one in five Americans were going to extreme lengths to outdo their neighbors for the holiday festivities back in 2017.
This isn’t just one season. Before you can get the holiday lights down, giant bunnies are popping up everywhere. And let’s not forget Halloween and that giant blow-up turkey that makes the house near me look like it belongs in the Macy’s parade.
As I pass by some phenomenal light shows and lawn displays each season in awe, I think to myself, “Where in the hell do they store all this stuff?” This is just the outside. If the Pottery Barn catalog I receive is any indication of how consumers decorate the inside of their home during these seasons, that’s a lot of stuff!
The garage, attic, or basement is often home to seasonal decorations. Outdoor rooftop? Well, nix the attic. Kids? Nix the basement. Instead of cluttering up your home’s precious real estate or sacrificing your parking space, consider keeping these items in a nearby self-storage facility. A storage unit as small as 5×5 could do the trick.
If you have items that you believe could be put in self-storage, contact us. You might be surprised by what you can store.
Self-storage is a flexible solution to meet the needs of just about anyone. But some people may not realize self-storage as an option. Storing what you don’t need could actually save you money and give you that much-needed space. The following are five types of people who can benefit from self-storage and why.
1. Empty nesters
Empty nesters are often more than ready to start decluttering or downsizing once the kids go to college or no longer live at home.
The moment I went off to college, my mother swiftly packed up my keepsakes as if I was never coming back. She couldn’t wait to have more room in our small, Chicago-style Georgian. What she didn’t realize is that when I returned from school for the Summer, she would be packing up my dorm room furnishings and cramming those into our small house as well.
The moment I found a place of my own after college, she was telling me to take all my stuff. Tired of years of holding on to my keepsakes, clothing, furniture, and more, she couldn’t be happier to part ways. Unfortunately, the only place I could afford to live in Chicago was a tiny studio apartment. I wasn’t in a place where I could store all my stuff. Sorry, Mom.
But empty nesters need not despair. Self-storage makes decluttering and downsizing easier. You can keep things for your kids and items you can’t decide whether to keep or toss. And finding a nearby self-storage to your kids’ college campus beats having to cart a dorm room full of belongings back home.
Self-storage units can be as small as 5×5 and as big as 10×20 and larger. Most storage facilities have flexible lease options and sometimes offer special promotions such as the first month’s rent-free.
When a former colleague of mine had to help her father move into an assisted living facility, the burden was on her to sell the house. She was forced to quickly go through an entire house that had been lived in for decades.
Unfortunately, situations like this are stressful for everyone. She didn’t realize at the time that self-storage was an option.
Rather than being forced to make rash decisions about items to keep or discard, caretakers should consider putting items into nearby self-storage. This allows them the time and space to carefully go through items they may want to keep or pass down to family members.
3. New parents
Having a baby is
exciting stressful. As a new parent, you can’t wait to meet your new bundle of joy. But wait, where is the baby going to eventually sleep and play?
That home office. A guest bedroom. Sorry, honey, you just lost your man cave. Making room for baby may involve emptying or decluttering a room. Self-storage is a great place to store all the previous room’s belongings until you get a larger space or have more time to go through items.
I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up the clothes and toys. Did I mention toys? I’ve known some parents to use self-storage to store baby clothes and nursery furniture if they were going to have another baby. I’ve also known parents to store toys in nearby self-storage and periodically swap out their children’s toys. The children didn’t notice any toys missing and actually played more with their toys.
4. Local business owners
There are many types of small businesses in Andersonville, Albany Park, and the surrounding Chicago neighborhoods. While many may consider self-storage to store extra equipment or store furnishings while their shop is undergoing repairs or renovations, there are other reasons to consider nearby self- storage.
Many small business owners rent storage units as an affordable way to store inventory. Rather than leasing more space, local businesses recognize that local self-storage can be an affordable option. Those that utilize storage units for inventory find that they are more organized and better able to track inventory and keep more inventory on hand.
Other businesses use nearby self-storage to store important business documents and some are even required by law to keep documents for a certain number of years. In 1992, Chicago witnessed one of the worst floods in the city’s history. Some businesses had up to 40 feet of water in their lower levels. Keeping important documents in the basement may not be the safest option. Self-storage keeps business files in a safe and secure environment, protected from the elements.
5. Tradespeople and sole proprietors
Tradespeople and those who use small equipment for various jobs, such as lawn care, fencing, and snow removal can also benefit from using self-storage. Many of these service professionals use secure self-storage for the equipment they don’t need right now and save space in their garage. Some common businesses that find value in storage units include:
*Sales and service professionals
*Real estate agents and staging companies