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Storage 101: Everything You Need to Know About Self Storage

Extra Space Storage knows self storage. We also know that finding storage can be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time. Before you start looking for storage units near you, take a moment to review our guide below. It’ll prepare you with everything you need to know to find the right solution!

What is Self Storage?

Self storage refers to rentable space—such as lockers, garages, or containers—in a building or warehouse that’s used to store personal or commercial items for a short or long-term period. At Extra Space Storage, this rentable space is a “storage unit” that’s rented on a month-by-month basis, meaning you can rent a unit for as little or as long as you need.

What Are Common Reasons for Renting a Storage Unit with Extra Space Storage?

1. Moving: Store Belongings While Between Homes

Storing possessions while moving to a new home, transitioning between leases, living in temporary housing, or relocating across the country is one of the most common reasons for renting self storage.

2. Life Transitions: Reduce Stress During Tough Times

Whether it’s divorce, downsizing for retirement, caring for a family member’s estate, or working through a natural disaster, self storage can ease the burden when sudden life changes arise.

3. Decluttering: Stay Organized & Get More Space

The best way to avoid moving to a larger home or office while also keeping your space clutter-free is to move items that you want to hang on to but don’t necessarily need at the moment to a storage facility.

4. Additional Vehicles: Store Cars, Motorcycles, RVs, Boats, & More

Recreational vehicles, classic cars, motorcycles, hand-me-down cars, commercial vans, and other vehicles can be stored safely at a storage facility, freeing up driveway or garage space at home or the office.

5. Renovating: Avoid Clutter While Working on Your Project

Remodeling a home or office can take several weeks or months and may require you to move furniture and appliances out of the way. Moving these items to a storage unit temporarily is a convenient solution.

6. Business Operations: Accommodate Your Commercial Needs

Small to mid-size businesses and contractors often use storage units for additional office space or warehouse space where they can store inventory, materials, files, equipment, or business vehicles.

7. College: Keep Dorm Items Close to Campus

Freeing up space in a dorm room, heading home over the summer, or studying abroad for a few months are all reasons why college students rent storage close to their university campuses.

8. Military Living: Make Deployments & Transfers Easier

Active military and military families are typically on the move every few years, making their way to different bases. As these changes can be drastic, self storage can be an incredible help when relocating.

What Storage Unit Sizes Are Available at Extra Space?

Our storage facilities offer a wide range of unit sizes that vary by location. At some facilities, you’ll find units as small as a 2×2 locker; at others, you’ll find a warehouse space large enough to store a large RV.

Here are the most common storage unit sizes at Extra Space Storage:

  • 5×5
  • 5×10
  • 5×15
  • 10×10
  • 10×15
  • 10×20
  • 10×25
  • 10×30

To better understand what can fit into each of these unit sizes, check out our storage unit size guide!

What Storage Amenities Are Available At Extra Space?

Extra Space Storage offers a variety of self storage amenities to ensure you find the best storage solution for your needs. Amenities vary from location to location, but the following are the most common.

24/7 Access: Visit Your Storage Unit on Your Schedule

Every self storage customer is different. For some, our regular storage gate hours (from 6am to 10pm) don’t work. That’s why Extra Space Storage proudly offers an alternative for customers with unique schedules. With 24/7 gate access, you can swing by your storage unit whenever it’s convenient for you. Be sure to speak with the facility manager to see if 24/7 access is available at the facility you’re interested in.

Secure Storage: Ensure Your Belongings Are Safe

Extra Space Storage cares about providing a safe environment and peace of mind for our self storage customers. That’s why most of our facilities are equipped with good lighting, video surveillance, and electronic gate access. In some cases, our facilities go a step farther with advanced security measures, such as on-site resident managers, individually-alarmed units, and security access to your floor only.

Climate Control: Protect Your Most Sensitive Items

Climate-controlled storage units are maintained between 55 and 80 degrees year-round to protect temperature-sensitive items from extreme heat and cold. Some facilities may even have humidity-controlled storage or heated storage to provide additional protection from external conditions.

Wine Storage: Keep a Wine Collection Safe Long-Term

At certain locations, Extra Space Storage offers secure wine storage. These units typically come with features like indoor access on the first floor, reduced-height ceilings, rolling stairs, low lighting, and climate control to protect your collection and make it easier to get to.

Drive-Up Access: Store Large, Heavy Items Easily

Drive-up storage units are a great option for using storage while moving or for commercial storage. This feature allows you to pull a personal vehicle or moving truck up to your unit for easy unloading and loading, which makes moving large, heavy items like furniture, appliances, or equipment simpler. Most drive-up access units are outdoor accessible, but some facilities may offer units in an indoor, drive-through building. Certain facilities will even allow vehicles to be stored in drive-up units that are 10×20 and larger.

Vehicle Storage: Select from Indoor, Outdoor & Covered Options

Extra Space Storage provides secure vehicle storage solutions for cars, motorcycles, trailers, campers, boats, RVs, and other vehicles. Storage options vary from facility to facility, but there are three standard types of vehicle storage available: indoor storage, outdoor storage, and covered outdoor storage.

Commercial Storage: Find the Business Solution for Your Needs

We offer unique business storage amenities—such as warehouse spaces, workshop units, and office spaces for rent—to accommodate small businesses, contractors, and other commercial self storage customers. Some of our storage facilities also have additional features for your convenience, such as package delivery acceptance, computers and printers for customer use, or meeting rooms.

What Can & Can’t Be Stored With Extra Space Storage?

You’re free to store almost anything in a storage unit at Extra Space Storage with some exceptions. The exceptions are basically anything dangerous or illegal. Of course, there are some items that fall into a gray area, so be sure to ask the facility manager before renting a unit to see what’s allowed on the property.

Items you CAN store include (but are not limited to):

  • Furniture
  • Appliances
  • Clothes
  • Electronics
  • Books
  • Sporting equipment
  • Seasonal yard tools
  • Business inventory
  • Vehicles

Items you CANNOT store include (but are not limited to):

  • Food
  • Firearms
  • Drugs
  • Anything that’s flammable or combustible (i.e., gas, propane tanks, car batteries)
  • Vehicles not in working order

Things to Consider When Renting a Storage Unit

Our goal at Extra Space Storage is to make renting self storage as easy as possible. Before you rent a storage unit, take a quick look at these factors to consider that will help in your decision.

  • Why are you using self storage? To find the best solution for your needs, it’s good to know what you plan to store and how often you’ll need to access your storage unit. That way, you can select the best facility location, determine which storage unit size you need, and ensure you get the right amenities.
  • What’s your budget? How much you’re looking to pay for self storage plays a major role in your decision. Location, unit size, and amenities will all factor into your monthly rental price. Once you set a budget and settle on a storage unit size, compare units at each storage facility near you.
  • Do you have insurance? Yes, you need to insure the items that are kept in your storage unit. Extra Space Storage can help you find the right insurance options if you don’t currently have insurance through a homeowner’s or renter’s insurance plan. Learn more about storage unit insurance.

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Extra Space Storage Inc., headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, owns and/or operates over 1,600 self-storage properties in 35 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. The Company's properties comprise approximately 750,000 units and over 80 million square feet of rentable storage space, offering customers a wide selection of affordable and conveniently located and secure storage solutions across the country, including personal storage, boat storage, RV storage and business storage. We are committed to being the most convenient, secure and professional storage solution in your neighborhood. And it is this commitment which has allowed Extra Space Storage to become the second largest storage units operator in the U.S. with over 1,600 properties across the country.