Finding a reliable storage unit is a lot like finding a good landlord. Hopefully, when you sign up and start storing your belongings in a safe unit, you won’t have more business to do with the storage company. Which makes it even better. You’ll pay your rent, go to storage when you need to get something or put something in, and that’s it. But the quest itself is tiresome, we get it. There are also some warning signs you should remember when trying to find the right storage company in Ontario. We are here to make sure your decision on your storage will be a good one.

In order to find the right storage company, first, you need to decide on the type of unit you need

You may already have an idea of the size of storage unit you want to rent. But keep in mind that you don’t want to just find the right storage company. You want a unit where you can fit yourself inside with a little room to work. That is if you ever want to be able to get your items out. You shouldn’t pack your storage space wall to wall, floor to ceiling. Experienced moving companies in Ontario offer storage of all sizes and flexible time schedules.  This is important because people usually go for smaller units to save money, and then have to empty half of it to get to a box that’s in the back.

Special requests

Also, you might need a climate-controlled unit, as opposed to the usual garage-style one. If you collect valuables, you’ll need a unit with good security and monitoring, and don’t forget insurance. Always check if moving insurance, renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policy covers items in a storage unit. If it doesn’t, consider buying it from the storage facility.

A girl with a backpack in front of large black storage containers
Don’t decide right away on a storage unit that’s closest to your home. Ask the hard questions.

Our most important tip: Do your research

First and foremost, don’t choose right away the storage facility that’s closest to your home. Here are some things to consider before calling companies.

  • Location is not that important.

Cast your net wide so that you have a good number of options that you can further investigate. We tell you, we would rather drive or walk an extra 10 minutes to store our precious belongings in a nicer unit, with all the perks our valuable items need. Plus, if you live in a heavily populated area, you can make better deals by choosing a storage company a little farther from town.

  • Look at the reviews.

Look up the storage facility on Yelp for example. Even then, you should take reviews with some caution, but if you see a recurring theme, you may want to look further. You should do this the same way you would compare moving companies. The reviews can also give you some insight into what you may want to keep an eye out for if you go visit the storage facility. 

  • Compare the gate and office hours.

Storage companies can only post their gate hours, to put up appearances of the location being open later than it really is. Remember there’s a difference. The gate hours allow you to access your storage unit, but the office hours are almost always shorter. If you have a problem or need to speak to someone, you’ll only be able to address your issues during office hours. Similarly, make sure the gate and access hours are convenient for you. 

Account check, some money, a pen
Is storage a luxury? It doesn’t need to be, and you don’t have to save on quality. The trick here is to do the walking. Really research all the options.

To find the right storage company you’ll have to visit your top choices and ask questions

Now that you have narrowed down your search and know exactly what you’re looking for, it’s time to take a trip to the storage locations you’re considering. Once you walk through the door, don’t succumb to the pressure to sign the deal right away. The property management will try to tell you that units are limited. Most companies should let you at least hold a unit overnight so you can think it over. Make the most of your visit by looking around and asking questions instead.

Ask the property management if you can see the unit you would actually get.

If they are not able to do that, at least see a unit on the same floor or in the same area. Some untrustworthy storage companies show a clean, 3rd-floor unit but actually rent you a dirty on in the basement. Be assertive if you the situation calls for it so you can get to see a unit similar to the one you’ll actually sign for.

Look for rental specials or discounts until you find them.

Most storage companies offer the first month free or for $1, this not only saves money during a move, but it also makes the transition between old and new storage unit easy. This is especially convenient if you’ve already paid for the last month in the old unit. If the first company doesn’t offer a special, move on, the next one you visit probably will.

Payments problems, delays and what happens in case you are late?

Note that storage units aren’t like apartments. On the first day of the month, your rent on your storage is automatically late. Grace periods vary by the company or even by the state. In extreme cases, being late means your unit’s contents can be auctioned off just after a few days. Ask what your storage unit’s policy is before you get in trouble having to do a wire transfer didn’t send a check on time.

 

Check for 584.36 dollars
Storage facilities can have strict policies about payment issues and due dates.

Once you’ve seen the unit you would actually get and you get a good understanding of the company’s policies, ask the manager if you can put the unit on hold. In order to find the right storage company, it’s important you don’t fall for high-pressure tactics. Even if they are not able to hold the unit, save their business card if you liked what you saw.

 To find the right storage company it’s wise to visit several storage facilities before committing

Do this same process at multiple locations before deciding. Ask if you can take the contracts home to review. Only after you have visited several places, read all of the documents, and took the time to consider personal convenience, can you sign a contract. We advise you to opt for a month-to-month agreement that lets you out at any time.

 

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