First Time Storage Guide

First time renting a storage unit? We’ll help you get started on the right foot. You’re part of a large and growing crowd across the United States. Today, about 9% of American households use self-storage. It’s the best solution for giving space back to your home or business by relocating excess inventory, seasonal decorations, prized cars, or even whole households of belongings at nearby storage facilities.

We created a short guide to help first-time storage users navigate the self-storage process. Here's what you can expect:

How Storage Facilities Work

First-time storage users often have more questions than they do answers. To help you get started storing with confidence, here’s a quick intro to leasing your first storage unit.

Types of Storage Units

Storage units come in many sizes and offer different amenities depending on your needs. LockTite provides everything from small storage units to whole house, commercial, mini-warehouse and RV storage units.

Climate controlled units offer air conditioning and heating to preserve specific valuables that would not store well through the freezing, thawing, and heating cycles of Texas weather. Not all climate-controlled units are created equally.  While many claim to be climate-controlled; unless they have supplemental humidity protection in place then it is not truly climate-controlled. Climate controlled units at LockTite Storage have specialized equipment in place to keep valuables dry and protected from excessive humidity in the air. Select units at some LockTite Storage facilities are also carpeted to mimic your home's interior.

There are many types of available storage options both with outdoor- and indoor-access units. Outdoor units tend to be great for unloading furniture because you can drive your truck straight up to the door without navigating halls or elevators with dollies and heavy furniture. There are also units designed specifically for certain items, like cars, large vehicles, RVs, motor coaches, boats, and vehicles on trailers.

Pricing and Payments

Renting a storage space is a lot like renting an apartment--but without the long-term commitment.  At LockTite Storage, we have month-to-month leases for maximum flexibility. Units vary in price depending on size and amenities. You can pay in-person or online. We recommend auto-pay to all of our customers so that you have one less bill to remember. If you are on auto-pay, your payment will be automatically deducted on the first of the month as long as you need your unit and can be turned off at any time at your request. We like to refer to auto pay as our “no late fee guarantee” as long as we can process your method of payment we have on file for you the you will not be assessed a late fee. If for some reason your payment is declined our managers will attempt to contact you to obtain an alternate payment method.    

Cleanliness & Service

Here is where many storage facilities differ. Not all storage facilities are maintained with equal care. It’s best to read online reviews to see what satisfied customers are saying regarding the maintenance and cleanliness of their unit.

Take each review into consideration and look at the overall rating as well. Look for comments about pests, moisture, and customer service they have received from the staff. If reviewers tend to say that they would recommend the facility to friends and family, you're on the right track! Of course, you can also visit facilities beforehand in person which we highly recommend -- after all; you would not purchase a home based on the photos alone -- visiting the facility beforehand and requesting to see the property and unit prior will give you an idea of how clean the property and units are.  Property visits will also show you the level of customer service the managers are going to provide you.

Who Needs Storage and Why?

People often find themselves at some point needing a storage unit, and the reasons vary from person to person.  While some may need more elbow room in their current living space. Other factors to consider are moving and relocation.   Additionally, businesses can save a lot of money by using our facilities for excess inventory (as opposed to using up expensive retail space for storage). Some businesses use our facilities to store equipment and merchandise for annual events and conferences while others may need file storage for indeterminate lengths of time due to requirements for maintaining documents.

Families may find it necessary to declutter their homes to speed up the selling process; where others may store an entire household while building their dream home. There are many reasons why people need to occasionally rent a storage unit, but it is not always associated with moving or excess items.  Often musicians may need to store band equipment and musical instruments, and they typically require a temperature controlled environment. RV and boat owners as well as car enthusiasts who may have deed restrictions or HOA requirements often seek self-storage as an alternative to ensure their investments are stored in a place where they are adequately protected from the sweltering hot Texas sun.  

What is Prohibited from Storing

You cannot store the following items:

  • Any living creatures, living organisms, or dead carcasses
  • Anything flammable including (but not limited to) explosives, ammunition, fireworks, oil, gasoline, grease, paint, or chemicals
  • Anything caustic or corrosive
  • Toxic waste and hazardous materials
  • Anything containing asbestos
  • Construction project debris
  • Lawn clippings, mulch, brush, etc.
  • Tires, motor oil, batteries
  • Narcotics, controlled substances, stolen goods or property
  • Any weapons that are prohibited by state law
  • Any additional items which are prohibited for self-storage under state, local and/or federal law

 

How to Choose the Right Storage Unit:  

Take Stock of What You Need to Store

First, take an inventory of all you will need to put in storage. Use a tape measure to find the length, width, and height of the largest items you prepare to store. If you plan to pack small belongings or inventory in boxes or plastic bins, it might help to box the items first. That way, you know the precise number of boxes you’ll bring to the unit and thereby know the dimensions as well. This will also help the manager assist you in determining how much space you will need.

Some recommend overestimating the amount of space you think you'll need.  This suggestion leaves room for measurement error but also provides some elbow room for future storing possibilities. Many families continue to add belongings to their unit for months or years after their initial storage rental because they find it simplifies their life.

If you plan to store a car or an RV, look at our Vehicle Storage page to learn how to correctly measure your vehicle so that you select the correct size storage unit.

Finding the Right Storage Location

Location is important, especially for those who expect to access their belongings regularly. Find a nearby storage facility that is easy to access and who will provide you with what you want and need.  

Learn about local storage options near you by calling storage professionals in your area. It is equally important that you are also read online reviews about local facilities. This will give you an insiders look at the company, the facility and how well the customers are served by management.  At LockTite Storage, customer service is the foundation of our business; our primary focus is ensuring that your storage experience is simply the best. Give us a call to see the LockTite difference for yourself. Our friendly knowledgeable managers are always ready to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have and are ready to serve you!

Making Your Unit Selection

Don't let the diverse size and amenity options overwhelm you. If you need help making the right unit decision, call our friendly local facility manager. Our e managers routinely help people just like you make the best unit choice for their needs. Our friendly managers will take the guesswork out of the process for you and guide you through the entire decision process. Give them a call today or stop by the office anytime during business hours.

How to Transport Your Valuables to Your Unit

We love saving our customers from unnecessary hassles and expenses. We understand that not everyone has their own truck and trailer and that having to rent a moving truck can cost you time and money.   Many storage providers may have a moving truck for you to rent at their facilities, but we encourage you to check on the cost associated with the rental of their trucks before signing on that dotted line. However, LockTite Storage provides FREE use of our moving truck and trailers when moving in or out of your unit. Our trailers have no mileage limits. The only cost for use is that you refuel the truck when finished with it. That’s all, pretty unbeatable deal!

When Storage is No Longer Needed

Most facilities have guidelines or lease requirements that you must comply with when it is time for you to move out.  Prior to renting or vacating your space, we encourage you to check with the facilities requirements for moving out. Some require written notice and others may not, so it is important to know those details up front. At LockTite Storage we request that in the event you no longer need your unit -- that you give us a ten-day notice that you intend to empty out your space.  This allows for us to assist you better when you will leaving and also allows for us to notify anyone with a reservation that a unit should be available at a specific time.

 

Find the Answers to Your Storage Questions

Do you have additional questions?  Check out our FAQ page to learn more about LockTite Storage.

Give your local LockTite Storage location a call and speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable managers about the storage options available at the LockTite facility closest to you!