3 Mistakes New Self Storage Users Make

Alivia Whitaker | March 19, 2021 @ 12:00 AM

You are ready to use self storage for the first time - but do you know the common pitfalls you should avoid? Keylock Storage lets you in on 3 common mistakes new self storage users make and how to avoid them.

Select The Proper Size of Unit

First and foremost, make sure you select the proper size of unit that you will need. A common mistake new self storage users make is renting out a unit that is too small or too large.   The last thing you would want is to move all your things into your unit only to find out you don't have enough room or you are paying for space you don't need.

The most common storage unit sizes are 5x5, 5x10, 10x10, 10x15, 10x20 and 10x30.  Items stored in the smaller sizes range from common household goods, documents, photos, holiday decorations and other things generally in that size range.

In the middle size range - getting closer to a 10x10 or 10x20 (generally the most popular size), you will have enough room to store the above mentioned items as well as larger items such as furniture.   

The larger range sizes are often used for vehicles and RVs.

Take a moment to do your research before selecting what unit you want.  You are welcome to call the storage facility to ask questions or peruse Keylock Storage's dynamic and visual size guide HERE.

If you are still unsure, a great step for first time storage unit tenants is to visit the facility and look at the units.  The self storage manager will be more than happy to take you out to look at the different sizes and help guide you in your size choice and budget.

Not Properly Storing Things

Another amateur and risky move for first time self storage tenants is not storing things properly.  This can be a grave mistake with possibly unalterable consequences.  You want to be very cognizant of what you are storing, whether you will need climate control to protect your belongings and how you store them.

Keylock Storage has outlined proper ways to store items on their blog:

Storing Your Belongings

The next thing you can do to secure your items is store them properly.  Here are some tips below on how best to secure and protect the things you care about:


You should always, always use a pallet when storing items.  It may be tempting to just skip this step but you could pay big in the long run.   If you select a good storage facility, they usually will have quality units and drainage on the property, but there is always a possibility that water could come into your unit from excessive rain, something seeping in from a neighboring unit or another unforeseen occurrence.  Simply taking the time to buy and use a pallet allows you to keep your belongings off the ground and out of danger.  Keylock Storage offers pallets at all of our locations for your convenience. 

Cover Furniture And Other Belongings

Another really basic, but key step in protecting your belongings when using self storage is to cover important items with plastic protective covers.   These can be purchased almost anywhere including Keylock facilities.   If you wish to preserve a piece of furniture, (especially fabric or wood) you need to cover it with a water tight plastic covering.  This will also protect it from rodents.  You also may want to use a similar type of covering for any kind of vehicle.

Consider Climate Control For Some Items

Finally, when storing your belongings make an informed and thoughtful choice on whether you need a climate controlled unit or not.  Some items simply need climate control in order to be preserved.  The Keylock Blog says, 

“Climate Control storage is a popular choice and often a must have for many self-storage customers.  It provides the ultimate protection for your stored items and prevents damage from heat, cold, mildew and other temperature-induced hazards.  Climate Control units are indoor and are powered by the facility to maintain and optimum temperature year-round

  • Items that are often stored in Climate Control:

    • Medicine
    • Sensitive Documents
    • Wine
    • Special furniture
    • Photos
    • Old records
    • Antiques
    • Art
    • Plastic décor or other items that can be warped by heat and cold
    • Electronics
    • Furs, clothing, and specialty textiles
    • Musical Instruments”

Also - make sure you store your items in plastic bins with locking bins instead of cardboard.  Using cardboard is risky and the cardboard can get wet and molded whereas plastic bins potentially protect from both water and rodents.

Not Shopping Around When Selecting A Storage Facility

And our last new self storage user rookie mistake is not properly shopping around when making your self storage chioce.  Most people choose storage based on how close it is to their home - and that is definitely a factor you want to consider and keep in the forefront.  However, there are other factors to think about.

You'll want to research the area the facility is in and make sure it has a low crime rate.  Although you can get insurance on your items, the last thing you'll want to do is have your belongings stolen.  Also, as far as security is concerned remember that not all storage unit facilities are created equal.  You will want to make sure your facility has a strong outer wall, locking gates and individual locks on units.

You'll also want to consider other amenities that the storage facility offers.   Maybe you can find a really cheap facility but they might not offer the other things that are important to you such as electronic move out, auto-pay, a mobile app or 24 hour access.

If you are storing a recreational vehicle, find out if your storage facility has an RV dump, electricity in the unit and other important amenities for RV's.

It's important to consider all these factors as you don't want to have to move twice after learning your storage unit facility doesn't provide the things you need.

In addition, you can visit Keylock Storage Blog for more interesting articles about organization and lifestyle: keylockstorage.com/blogs