Renting a Storage Unit

Most of the time when renting a storage, you pause to think about which questions would be right to ask.  Whether you’re renting a storage unit for the very first time or it’s been a while since you’ve needed one, here are some questions to keep in mind to make your experience easier and faster.

You will want to know if the facility at which you are storing your items is secure. For example, are there security cameras on property? Is the facility gated? Does each individual unit have alarms? Does manager live on-site? These types of questions will give an idea of how secure your items will be while you’re on vacation or finding your new location to live.  The answers to these questions should make you feel at ease.

Next, you’ll want to know if there are any discounts or specials that are being offered. Some might offer a discount if you’re a first-time customer.   Do not hesitate to ask because you might just get a good deal!  

For convenience, ask if you are able to make your monthly payments online, by auto-billing or if you might get a discount for paying in advance.   All these options save time if you’re busy or traveling throughout the months your items will be stored.  It is important to know these answers to avoid any late-fees.

Most importantly, take a look at the unit before renting to make sure that the unit is the right size for your items and the facility lives up to what you are being told about it.  Ask for a tour around the facility and to your new unit before you commit to renting it. 

Do not hesitate to ask the questions that you would like to know the answers to.   The only silly question is the question that is unasked.  It is better to know what you are getting in advance than to be surprised that what you expected to be part of the storage experience is not included.

Business Storage Made Simple

There are four main reasons which commonly cause businesses to rent self-storage:

  • Work Supplies

The single most common business use we see for Self-Storage, is to safely store business tools and materials which are accessed on a regular basis.     Landscapers,  contractors of all types, and cleaning companies are some of our most common customers.   But, the list doesn’t end there.   We have had geology equipment, large tree trimming trucks, stucco companies and even real estate staging firms use our facilities as a base of operation.   All these firms have one thing in common:   They need to access their units regularly.   To that end, they appreciate our expanded hours, our easy unit access, and the ability to drive in, grab their gear and a free cup of coffee and be on their way quickly.

  • Inventory

Whether your inventory has outgrown your existing office space, your garage, or even your home office, Self-Storage is a reasonable option to consider.   Often times when expanding into new lines of sales (or if your existing lines just keep growing), there might be a question as to whether or not that product line will continue to demand more space.   Often, you cannot be certain how much space you will need in a month or two.    Other times, a new line is so instantly successful that you need an immediate solution for an inventory problem.   In either case, Self-Storage meets your needs by giving you the space you need, when you need it and, with month-to-month leases, for just as long as you need it.

  • Staff Expansion

Frequently businesses need space for the desk of a new staff member.   Rather than relocating an entire office including computer networks, servers, filing cabinets and desks, into a larger space at a higher rent, it simply makes more sense to move what you are not immediately using offsite.   Obviously, the best solution is to discard what you no longer need such as broken furniture or outdated technology, but if you have business records or other items which you just cannot part with, Self Storage may just be your best solution to free up the extra space you might need to accommodate a new staff member.

  • Home-Office

This has been one of the more common uses of Self-Storage in the last three years.   Covid has many caused people to work from home.  Many offices which asked people to work from home, have moved staff offsite permanently to save on the cost of rent.  Our tenants frequently find that they need to move what is in that guest bedroom into storage to create a suitable home-office workspace.   If your home-office situation is going to be permanent, then it may pay to donate the contents of that spare bedroom instead of paying for long-term storage.   However, if the home-office situation is temporary, Self-Storage might be the perfect solution for you.

No matter which of these categories best describes your business application, Interstate U-Stor is available to meet your storage needs.

Customer Service

Have you ever said, “I just wish I could call and quickly speak to someone about my account”?

Have you ever thought, “Why do I have to through 5 menus just to speak with someone who has no clue who I am?”

When you rent your storage here in Reno, Nevada, why would you want to dial a call center in the Philippines or, almost as bad, Rumsford, Maine. Neither location has a clue how to meet your personal needs from over two thousand miles away. What are they going to tell you when you ask, “Can my Partner access my storage unit at 8:00 tonight even though they are not on the lease?”  More than likely they will answer, “What facility is this for?”

Customer service is really simple. It starts with going online where you will see the phone number for the facility where you rented your storage unit clearly noted on the contact page. You call the number and in, on average, 2.5 rings, you speak with the manager or assistance manager where your personal storage unit is located if you call from 8AM to 6PM. Customer service is when the person who answers the phone likely rented you the storage unit or took your last payment. Customer service is when the person who picks up the phone knows who you are without even looking at your photograph in their computer.

Good customer service is also when anyone who picks up the phone can help you, immediately, with your personal request because they know the facility. They know exactly where your unit is located in that facility. They know what the status of your unit door on the last lock check. Good customer service is when they know your payment status even when you cannot recall your unit number and, moreover, they are able to locate your unit on the camera system without missing a beat.

Simply put, customer service matters. You place your items in storage because you care about them. If you don’t call a facility and speak, right away, with the very person who will be your storage partner, you probably need to find a storage facility where you can.

Renting a Move-in Truck

You might think renting a Move-In truck is difficult or need special abilities to drive one but as long as you have a valid driver’s license and know how to drive you have passed the requirements! Make sure you have everything you need to rent, call ahead of time to confirm with the company that you are renting from. They might need proof of insurance or a deposit so have that all with you before going in. Here are a few steps on making the process easier to rent, load and drive.

  • Size: If you are using the truck to move into a new home or storage unit you can estimate how big you will need the truck, for example, the number of bedrooms your home has or the size of the storage unit that you will be storing your belongings. Keep in mind that there are different truck sizes and you don’t want to rent the wrong one.
  • Destination/time: DON’T FORGET TO CHECK THE WEATHER BEFORE GETTING ON THE ROAD! We want you to get to your destination safe, knowing your route will make your experience smoother, you will save time to get to load, unload, and return the rental. The estimated time you need to use the rental will give you an idea as of what time you need to get on the road and the number of helpers you have will also help out on making the trip safe and easy to get done.
  • On the Road: Driving is the important step of this ride. Make sure there is enough fuel to get to your destination and before driving you have to understand that the move-in truck might not be the same size as your own vehicle, a truck needs much more space than a car when it comes to turning. Keep safe distance away from other cars- trucks are heavier and take longer to come to a complete stop, and always keep an eye on your surroundings because there will be blind spots. Some areas may not let trucks drive through but you’ll usually see a sign before entering a street. Keep an eye out for all signs and how wide your turns will be.
  • Pack and Load: its important that all your items are packed with proper protection, you don’t want to mix things up and end up with broken glass in your box of clothes. Find the right size boxes and when putting heavy and fragile items in boxes make sure to wrap it up with bubble wrap. Also buying mattress bags to cover your mattress, and also moving straps to keep things from moving while driving. Load largest and heaviest items first, with the weight and size this will prevent other items from getting crushed and damaged. This might be a little more work to keep organized and placed properly but this will also make things easier when you are ready to unload because you know where everything is placed.

What to put in storage?

This might sound crazy coming from a storage company, but most people don’t really need to use self-storage as much as they do. You need self-storage when you remodel your house, or are between apartments, or maybe to place your boat away for the winter. Perhaps you need to out away those holiday decorations, skis, sleds, snow tires, or snowmobiles after winter passes. We understand you need us for those reasons, and that is what we are here for.

However, often when faced with more items than you really know what to do with, the best thing you can do is donate them. Placing items you have no plan for into storage often results in paying a storage company more than the value of what you are putting in storage. Realistically, the old bicycle, mattress, sofa, or those unwanted toys is not worth the cost to pay to the storage fees. Get rid of those items and save yourself the money. If you happen to need the bicycle in 4 months’ time, you likely could replace it with a new bicycle with the money you saved by not placing unwanted items into storage to begin with.

This logic applies to that old worn-out chair, the old TV, and the old microwave. Don’t place them in a self-storage unit, Donate them. If you are willing to part with them for 4 months, it is quite likely that not much will change in month 5 that will cause you to need them five months from now anyway.

We often tell costumers who call us to put all the items the want to place into a storage into a room, then, we suggest that they get rid of half of what is in that pile. If costumers do that before they rent the storage unit, they will find themselves money ahead in 6 months’ time.

Yes, we rent storage space for a living. But what we find is that if we are honest with our costumers upfront instead of trying to rent them space they really don’t need, everyone benefits. Customers save money and we as the storage operator have a costumer who knows that we have their best interest at heart.

At Interstate, we succeed when costumers know that we are looking out for them with our gate systems, camera system, alarm systems, relentless maintenance, lock checks and, most of all, in the initial phone call helping them to pick the smallest storage unit they feel they can live with.

VEHICLE STORAGE

Perhaps you have an extra vehicle which you plan to put into storage. In deciding whether or not to spend the money to do it, the single most important decision to make is whether to put the vehicle in;

  • An individual storage unit where it is behind a locked door (often times with trickle charge electricity) and is protected from the elements where only you have the key.
  • A large warehouse where it is protected from the elements and where access is controlled, BUT anyone who has a vehicle at the site can access your vehicle.
  • Covered parking where it is protected to some extent from the elements but the control of access to your vehicle is minimal.
  • An open lot which guarantees both exposure to the elements and, largely, unfettered access to your vehicle.

Probably the single biggest storage issue, aside from wear and tear to your vehicle from the elements, is vandalism. No storage is fool-proof in this era where classic car and RV parts are exceedingly expensive. It doesn’t end with the simplest parts. Catalytic Converters are a “HOT” item. Almost anyone who is considering placing their vehicle in storage knows about this critical aspect of your emissions control system. Catalytic Converters contain platinum, palladium and rhodium and can be unbolted and removed or cut off with a reciprocating saw in about a minute often times damaging other parts of the vehicle in the process. The replacement cost for such a device is often over $1,000 and if you have one removed from your motorhome, expect it to run close to $2,000.
In summary, if you have to put your vehicle in storage, consider security as an important aspect of what you are paying for.

Can You Store Everything?

Following the rules is important when renting a self-storage unit. This is especially true when it comes down to the real question; what will you be storing? Belongings and items that are easy to store when you won’t be needing them for a while; clothing, bikes, furniture, appliances and books. But not everyone stores these kinds of items 100% of the time. Some nonstandard items cause real problems and aren’t legal. Here are some examples of the items that are more than likely to be prohibited in storage units.
OPEN FOOD CONTAINERS AND PERISHABLE FOOD
Facilities have ongoing contracts exterminators to keep pests out. Perishable foods are the main thing that attracts pests. These are foods that can spoil quickly like meat, dairy, fish, poultry and produce. Not storing these items will help prevent bugs, spiders, and rodents from damaging any belongings.
PLANTS AND ANIMALS
Plants are also pests tractors. Plants don’t love to be stored. They don’t get enough air, sun, and hydration. As well as not ever storing pets, which is illegal, you cannot care for them and can wind up in a lot of trouble. Remember that storage units are not meant to store living things or food.
VEHICLES
There is nothing wrong with storing a car, truck, van or motorcycle. Many people store vehicles that are no longer going to be used or if they are traveling and need their automobile to be safe. Just remember there are rules, one of which is having registration, or title, this proves as of what type of vehicle is being stored and a description of the vehicle. Another rule is not being able to be working or fixing the vehicle being in storage.
STOLEN AND ILLEGAL ITEMS
Storing illegal items (illegal drugs, explosives, and counterfeit materials just to name a few) is of course not allowed, stolen items are also not permitted to be stored and you could face serious legal consequences and lose your storage unit.
With that being said the rules and regulations exist for a reason; to keep you and your items as safe as possible.