Things to Look for When Selecting a Self Storage Facility

Indoor / Outdoor Storage

April 12th, 2023

If you are searching for a self storage facility, there are a number of things that are important to consider beyond just the price. Assuming the monthly rental cost is relatively the same from one storage facility to another in a particular area, following are some additional factors to think about when choosing where to store your treasures.

Rental Terms

Most self storage companies offer month-to-month rent, however, you should check the terms to be sure. Some may have a minimum period of time you need to rent. Also, some storage facilities require you to give them at least a 30 day notice before you can end your lease. That becomes tricky if you only planned to rent for a month. You would have to give the rental office your 30-day notice prior to moving in. Sometimes you are not entirely sure what date you plan to move out. This forces you to plan way ahead. Instead, you may want to select a company where you can end a lease just a few days prior to moving out and not have to pay for the entire next month.


Prior to there being as many mini-storage locations as there are today, the older storage locations were more of a destination and were more tucked away. Newer facilities tend to be built at more convenient locations to compete with all the other locations. It is really nice if you can quickly get to your storage unit. Also, if you are trying to drive a trailer or moving van to a storage facility, it is helpful to find one that is easy to get into. You may want to select a place that is right off a highway with easy in and out access. Once you are moved into a storage unit, it will save a lot of time if you can quickly get over to your storage space.


The majority of storage facilities have limited hours, especially in the evenings. That is partly due to safety and security reasons, but, if the storage location is well-lit, fenced and has surveillance, that should not be such a concern. If you are storing an RV or boat in the outdoor storage area, you may be heading out on a Friday evening and possibly returning late on a Sunday evening. That makes it difficult to access your outdoor storage space if you are locked out during later hours.

Clean and Maintained

I’m not sure if you have visited many self storage businesses, but, many are not very well maintained. There are weeds growing everywhere around the building, the building is in tough shape, or your storage unit door may be difficult to open and close. Selecting a newer and nicely maintained facility is far more enjoyable to visit than many older and worn locations.

Regularly Snow Plowed in the Winter

In Minnesota, driving around parking lots and walking from your car to a building can be challenging and uncomfortable. Rather than just choose the cheapest storage units, contact the storage facility owner/manager to ask how often the place is plowed. Also, you may want to find out how much snowfall do they accept (i.e. 1 inch of snowfall, 2 inches, or more) before the facility is plowed. If you are moving your valuables in and out of the storage unit during the Winter, you don’t want to have to wade through a bunch of snow getting in and out of your space. If you are storing an RV or mobile ice house, you want to make sure you can easily drive the vehicle in and out of the facility and not get stuck in snow banks. At Storehouse Self Storage, we plow when there is as much as one inch of snow so we can keep the snow from piling up and freezing.

Easy Access to your Outdoor Storage Space

If you are planning to park an RV, fifth-wheel or boat trailer, you will want to know how much space you have to back in and out or possibly pull through the parking space. Many outdoor storage places have very tight parking making it very difficult to come and go. Ask the storage company how much turning radius and free space there is around the outdoor parking spaces. We feel it is important to have angled spaces that you can pull all the way through so you don’t have to back up. That makes it a lot easier and less risky to park each time.


One very important safety feature to consider is whether or not the entire storage area in fenced in. You would be surprised how much vandalism occurs if people can easily access vehicles or even locked storage units if there is no fence keeping them out. Much of the vandalism that occurs does so just because it’s easy and it’s easy for the vandal to get away. Fences are a big deterrent because it takes a lot of effort to get inside the fenced area and, more importantly, it is difficult to quickly escape from a fenced area if the vandal is noticed.

Security cameras

In addition to having a fence completely surrounding the storage complex, it is also important to choose a storage place that has security cameras. You know the owner cares about monitoring the facility and keeping you and your valuables safe.

Well Lit

Since it is dark by later afternoon for much of the year in Minnesota, it is really important to select a storage facility that is very well lit after dark, both at the entrance of the storage place and also around all the buildings. You want to be able to see well coming and going. Also, having a very well lit storage area is generally safer as well.

Gate Access

It’s not as critical, but it certainly nice if you can drive up to a gate, enter a code on a keypad and have the gate automatically open and shut. In the Winter, it is a lot harder to get out of your car, open a lock box, pull out the key and unlock a padlock on the gate. Then you need to repeat that process in reverse to exit the facility. Consider selecting a self storage place where you can select your own unique code and enter that at the keypad to open the gate conveniently and automatically. It makes it so much more pleasant visiting your valuables.

Ease of Renting Online

Finally, one thing we pride ourselves on is how easy it is to rent a unit. At Storehouse Self Storage, you can simply visit the website, select a unit size available, fill in your contact and payment information, sign the lease online and you’re done. Now, you can move into your unit whenever you’re ready. You just drive to Storehouse, enter your code (you selected online), and you’re in! You do not need to meet with anyone or sign hard copies of any paperwork. Just be sure to bring your own padlock if you rented an indoor storage unit. It’s that simple. We have high standards at Storehouse Self Storage and work hard to make sure the facility is clean and maintained year-round. We make sure the gate is functioning properly and run to the facility, day or night, if there is ever an issue with the gate due to sleet or snow. We want to give you a top-notch experience. You are storing precious items and we want to make sure you can rely on us to keep them safe and accessible. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.

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