Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Self Storage Questions

Self-storage is a straightforward and practical option for everyone who needs a secure place to keep their belongings for a while. If you’re considering renting a self-storage space, this article can help you choose the right unit and store your items safely.

How can I find a storage facility near me?

Most towns have a handful of storage facilities from which to choose. Locate them by looking in the Yellow Pages or doing a Google search. If you’re using the internet, don’t forget to look up reviews for different storage facilities. These can help you choose the place that’s right for you. If you’re looking for Ottawa storage, check out the rental options with Storage Ottawa.

Do I need a reservation to rent a self-storage unit?

Some storage facilities require reservations, but most do not. If you’re worried about the facility filling up, it’s a good idea to call ahead of time and reserve a unit. However, most facilities will be able to accommodate you if you show up at the last minute and ask for a unit. You will probably need to present a government-issued ID such as a driver’s license to rent a storage unit.

Should I choose an indoor or outdoor unit?

An indoor unit provides an environment for your stuff that’s very similar to a closet. It provides some protection against seasonal temperature swings. Outdoor storage, on the other hand, is used for storing larger items. If you just want to store a few personal items, go for indoor storage. If you need to store large items like furniture, or if you want to be able to drive right up to your storage unit, choose an outdoor room.

What is climate control, and do I need it?

Climate control keeps the temperature inside your storage unit constant. While these units are typically more expensive, they provide better protection for items that may be sensitive to temperature swings. If you’re storing wood or leather furniture, wine, comic books, musical instruments, or other fragile items, a climate-controlled unit can keep them in good shape until you come back to them.

Can I store large items such as cars or motorcycles?

Some facilities provide storage space for large items like vehicles, heavy equipment, and boats. You will need an outdoor storage unit to store any of these things. If you’re not sure whether a facility can accommodate something you need to store, call ahead of time and ask.

What’s the best way to arrange things in my storage unit?

Use all of your space. Stack boxes to the ceiling, and fill any space like dresser drawers. Put heavy things on the bottom, and stack lighter boxes and items on top. Imperial Self Storage of NYC recommends leaving an aisle down the middle of the unit so you can access things at the back quickly.

What are some general tips to ensure my stuff stays safe?

  • Fill boxes full to prevent them from getting crushed.
  • Ensure everything you pack is clean and dry. Damp items will grow bacteria and mold.
  • Keep fragile items safe by using plenty of packing materials, such as a newspaper. Check out our storage packing tips blog!
  • Label your boxes clearly so you can find things more easily.
  • Draw moisture out of the air by leaving a pan of charcoal somewhere in your unit.

Top Tips for Living in a Small Space


Thirty years ago, small space living was the province of younger people starting off their adult lives. At this juncture into the 21st century, a growing number of individuals, of all backgrounds and of all ages, are turning to living in smaller residential spaces.

Managing life in a small space is not always easy. With that noted, there are some solid tips and strategies you can employ to make the most out of living in a small space.

Flexibility is a Must

An essential tip to enhancing life in a small space is flexibility. At the heart of flexibility as a strategy to make the most of a small residence is making different areas suitable for multiple purposes. For example, you can create a living and dining space in one common area. As an aside, when designing a flexible room in a small apartment, close attention must be paid to adding versatile furnishings that can serve multiple purposes.

Unblock Sightlines

One powerful step that you can take to make the most of a small residential space is to unblock sightlines whenever reasonably possible. You can unblocking sightlines by using elements like sheer curtains or clear glass. For example, try outfitting a tiny bathroom with a glass shower. Also, take full advantage of windows and mirrors throughout a small residence.

Strategic Storage

An important tactic to making the most of a small residential space is strategic storage. Strategic storage occurs on at least a couple of levels. First, eliminating clutter in a small home is a must. You just cannot leave things lying around. Even leaving a few small items out can make a small home feel messy and cluttered.

Second, the storage units utilized in your home must be appropriately designed to fit snugly into a confined psace. Also, storage units must be as flexible as possible, to address evolving storage needs in a small residence. If you don’t have enough extra space in your home, you may want to consider renting a storage unit.

Clean and Declutter Regularly

A larger residential space permits a person more flexibility when it comes to the timing of cleaning and addressing clutter. Although many individuals prefer to clean regularly, even in a larger space, there is more room for a bit of slacking in a bigger home.

However, a person residing in a smaller residence must stay on top of cleaning and eliminate clutter. The failure to do so can leave a small house feeling not only untidy but cramped and unpleasant, in a very short period.

Bright Trumps Dark

Although you may be like many people and favor rich, dark colors when decorating your home, more brilliant color selections are likely a far better choice if you live in a small space. Light colors make even a small space seem larger and more inviting overall. The key here is bright colors, and not basic white, when it comes to enhancing the look and feel of a small space. Check out these recommended colors for small space.

6 Tips to Consider When Packing a Self Storage Unit

Storage units are ideal for storing personal things and come in handy when you’re moving. When items are stored and arranged nicely in the space, the possibility of some stuff falling off and getting damaged is very minimal. Below are six tips that you might want to consider if you are thinking of putting your items in a storage unit.

1. Prepare in advance

Make a list of all your big and bulky stuff, valuable items, fragile items and those that you might need to use more often. There are several home inventory apps that make creating an inventory easy. Note that you should store valuable items at the back of the container. Keep things that you need to access frequently at the front. Also, plan to leave a passageway to enable you to move around and have access to everything stored in there.

Be sure to cover every piece of furniture in a moving blanket or sheet to protect it from dust and damage.
Be sure to cover every piece of furniture in a moving blanket or sheet to protect it from dust and damage.

2. Put a label on every box

Well, this tip sounds pretty obvious, but it’s important that you take it with the seriousness it deserves. Labeling saves you a lot of time, and it helps you organize your things quickly. Before you put anything into a box, you are advised to formulate a list of the items and do this for every box. Label the box on all sides including the top. Labeling makes it easy to locate items you might need and also makes identification easier. If you have any fragile items or breakables, make sure to label the box as such. Check out this helpful blog from Martha Stewart on creating moving labels.

3. Pack and stack your boxes right

Professionals say that you must try as much as possible to store everything in boxes or bags to avoid them getting dusty. Filling a box with weighty items might make it bend or break and will no longer serve its purpose as it should. If you only fill the box halfway and other boxes are stack on top of it, it might collapse making others on top of it to fall off.

When packing items in boxes, fill halfway with heavy items then fill up with lighter ones. The bottom boxes should be sturdy enough to support boxes placed on top of them. You should use at least two different box sizes to make stacking easier. Uline has a great selection of moving boxes from which to choose.

4. Protect your breakables

At all times, ensure that all breakables are packed in a wrapping paper, moving blankets, or bubble wrap. Proper wrapping protects them in the case of an accident.

5. Disassemble furniture

Take apart furniture, like beds and tables, as much as possible. Breaking furniture into component pieces creates more room, saving you space that you can use to store more stuff. Disassembly also prevents larger items from getting broken.

Make sure all appliances, including washers, freezers, and refrigerators, are completely dry before placing in storage.
Make sure all appliances, including washers, freezers, and refrigerators, are completely dry before placing in storage.

6. Store electrical items with care

When you are storing any of your electrical appliances, ensure that they are completely dry. Thoroughly drain your washing machine and defrost your refrigerator and freezer. Store freezers and refrigerators with the doors slightly ajar.

Following the above tips when packing and organizing a storage space will not only ensure the safety of your items but also keep money in your pocket. Still have questions? Check out our self storage FAQs.