Top 7 Self Storage Myths: Debunked

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In the grand scheme of industrial business world-wide, self-storage is a fairly new industry. It wasn’t until the 1960’s that self-storage really started to boom. Now they can be found everywhere with many different variations including indoor, outdoor, temperature controlled, climate controlled, wine storage and so much more. Because this industry has grown so quickly and evolved so rapidly, it has also paved the path for lots of misconceptions and myths to pop up. So, let’s debunk a few.

  1. Storage units are filthy and full of pests– While units might accumulate dust over lengthy periods of time, they are clean when tenants move in. And most, if not all, self-storage properties have a pest control routine that is strictly followed. It is usually more common for an attic to be filthy and full of pests than a storage unit.
  2. People who have storage units are hoardersStorage units can be used for a myriad of purposes including a death of a family member, moving/relocating, remodeling of a home, downsizing, storing business files, or preserving precious memories.
  3. You are stuck with the unit for 6 months to 1 year– Contracts that are longer than month to month are very rare. If there is a contract that lasts 6 months to a year, you are most likely a business that got a great rate on the unit or are a business that has rented warehouse/work space instead of an actual storage unit. Most storage renters have a month to month “contract” that can be cancelled at any time.
  4. If times are tough, you can live in your unit– No. This is in every way a myth. There are very specific laws in place that prohibit living in a storage unit. If someone does inhabit a storage unit several things could happen, they would be evicted immediately, and could face criminal charges, especially if children are involved. It’s just a big N-O.
  5. Any lock will work– If you are feeling extra lucky, then maybe. But most padlocks are extremely easy to pick or break. The locks sold at the facilities are usually the best in current technology and will certainly give you much more peace of mind than a padlock. Most facilities now require you buy the locks they sell to lessen the risk of anything happening.
  6. Anyone can operate a storage facility– This is silly. Where the concept of self-storage is very simple, there is a lot of maintenance, legal, and operational knowledge one must possess to run a facility. In fact, almost 40% of all storage facilities in the U.S. are operated by third-parties. Sherman Smith, who owns K7 Self-Storage in Kansas City said, “Experience is important for all facility managers. Many people think self-storage outlets are simple to operate, but if you make a management mistake—such as overpricing your units—you’re bound to lose customers.” While storage is a great business to be in, experience is vital to success.
  7. Storage facilities just up and sell your things– Storage Auctions have become very popular ever since TV shows like Storage Wars and Auction Hunters came onto the scene. However, there are a lot of laws and stipulations in each state regarding auctions. These auctions also incur additional costs to the facilities which makes it more of a pain than anything. Most facilities will try to come to a mutual settlement with the owner of the items before going through the auction process.

We hope this made sense of the most common myths among the self-storage industry. We hope this will give you a better perspective and even help you to be more inclined to use storage as a solution to any life change or adventure.  Happy storing!

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