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SpareFoot's Ultimate Guide to Everything Self-Storage.

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Common storage questions: How do I use self-storage? What size storage unit do I need? What kind of lock should I get for my self-storage unit? Do I need a reservation or can I just walk in and rent a space? Do I need climate-control storage?

Storage Unit Amenities

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What is climate control?

Climate control keeps your belongings safe from extreme temperatures. Most facilities that offer climate control will maintain your unit between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Climate control protects your items from warping, melting and discoloring. Opt for climate control if you’re storing items like leather furniture, antique woods, important documents, photos or electronics—especially if you live in a warm climate.

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Do I need climate-controlled storage?

We recommend climate control if you live in an extreme climate and are storing items sensitive to temperature swings.

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What is drive-up access?

Drive-up access allows you to pull your car or moving truck directly up to the door of the storage unit (keep in mind this is only an option for outdoor units). This type of unit is great if you want to minimize the distance from your vehicle to the unit, or if you really don’t want to carry heavy furniture through the hallways. (Those of you who haven’t been doing bicep curls in preparation for your move will know what I mean!)

Drive-up access is essential for vehicle storage, but motorcycles can fit in any unit sized at 5’ x 10’ or larger.

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What is an “onsite manager”?

An onsite manager is the person who runs the facility’s office. They manage the day-to-day on facility grounds and interact with the tenants. This will be the person you meet with when getting started with your storage unit!

If a facility has a “manager who lives onsite,” this simply means that he or she lives on the premises. Managers who live onsite can provide added security to a facility, since they’ll be on the premises at all times.

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What is a roll-up door?

Just like a car garage door—it rolls up from the ground to the ceiling of the unit.

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What’s the difference between an indoor and outdoor unit?

An indoor unit is inside the facility building, and typically has the option of being climate controlled.

An outdoor unit is outside the facility building—think of them as individual garages lined up next to one another. Outdoor units are ideal if you want to drive your car or moving truck directly up to the storage unit door.

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What’s the difference between a covered and uncovered space?

These are terms used for vehicle storage. An uncovered space will be a parking spot with no cover on the top, while a covered space will have a roof or awning overhead, much like a carport.

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What’s the difference between office hours and access hours?

Office hours are the hours the office is available to take payment, show you units, process paperwork, and answer any questions you have about the moving process.

Access hours are the hours when you’re allowed to access your storage unit. Once you’re a tenant, you can come and go from your storage unit based on your facility’s access hours.

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What’s 24-hour access?

You have the ability to access your storage unit whenever you need to—even when the office is closed.

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Can the facility accept deliveries and mail for me?

This varies by facility – check with the office first before making any arrangements. Facilities on SpareFoot that offer this service will have “Accepts mail/packages for tenants” listed in the “Hours & Amenities” section.

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What amenities does a facility offer?

Here are some of the most common amenities offered – these will vary by facility:

If you’re viewing a facility on SpareFoot, you can find a complete list of amenities offered under the “Hours & Amenities” section.

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Does the facility have a truck I can rent for move-in?

This varies by facility, but many do! Just be sure to confirm with your facility beforehand. Read more about finding moving trucks here.

You can find out whether or not your facility offers a moving truck under the “Hours & Amenities” section of their listing on SpareFoot.

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What’s the difference between climate controlled, air cooled and heated?

Specific definitions and temperature ranges for climate control and air cooled/heated tend to vary by facility. The best thing you can do is clarify with your facility beforehand. In general:

Climate controlled: High-quality temperature management. Keeps temperature consistently regulated between specific thresholds (usually 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit). Read more here.

Air cooled/heated: System for blowing cold and/or hot air into the facility.

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Is pest control available?

Some facilities will offer pest control as an amenity. However, frequency and method will depend on each facility’s specific policies. If you’re interested in pest control, talk to your facility’s manager.

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Do storage units have electricity or electrical outlets?

Although electrical outlets are not common for most storage units, some facilities offer them as an amenity for select units.

Storage units with electrical outlets will have “Electricity” listed under the “Features / Amenities” section of their SpareFoot listing.

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