H 57° L 52°
Partly Cloudy | 7MPH

Seven Tips For Storing Your Belongings Wisely

July 16, 2013

For 35 years, the self-storage industry has been the fastest growing segment of commercial real estate. That’s according to the Self Storage Association, which also stated there are more than 48,500 storage unit facilities in the United States. Nearly 1 in 10 American households, or 8.96%, rented a storage unit in 2012, up by nearly double around two decades earlier. As more and more Americans decide to store their belongings in a storage unit, Better Business Bureau urges consumer to do their research first to prevent problems down the road.

In 2012 BBB received more than 1,400 complaints nationwide against self-storage companies. Many complaints alleged unexpected rent increases. Other consumers alleged their goods were damaged, and they received no compensation.

Before signing on the dotted line, BBB recommends consumers consider these 7 factors when selecting a storage unit:

1. Cost. Obtain a written estimate. Costs to consider may include a deposit, monthly rental fee, storage preparation and fees for extra options such as electricity, pest control and insurance. Ask about the fees, how they are to be paid and by what date.
2. Size. Ask what storage units and sizes are available based on your needs. Ask if there is a maximum weight limit for unit contents and if you are able to pack your belongings in the entire unit from floor to ceiling.
3. Climate. Keep in mind the general climate and whether your belongings might be subject to mold and/or water damage. If so, you may want to consider an environmentally-controlled unit.
4. Insurance. Make sure your items are insured from theft, fire or other damage. The storage facility may provide basic insurance or you can choose to purchase insurance from an alternate source.
5. Safety. Ask if the facility has surveillance cameras on the property and if a system is in place to restrict access.
6. Access. Ask if there are hour restrictions that determine when you can access your unit. If so, make sure it works with your move schedule. Also, get as much contact information as you can to reach someone at the facility in case of an emergency, both during and after business hours.
7. Contract. Get everything in writing, including; the size and location of the unit, whether the unit is climate controlled, term regulations, insurance coverage and the payment schedule. Make sure the facility has provided you with several different ways to get in touch with you, either by home phone or cell phone in case there is ever a problem with your unit or your payment.

To find a list of local accredited storage unit facilities, visit

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Suburban News Roundup

E-mail Newsletter

Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.

Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter
Get the Newsletter!

Login or Register to manage all your newsletter preferences.

Community Watch

» Wauwatosa East soccer team ties second-ranked Cedarburg 10:33 AM

» Wauwatosa West football team blanks Vikings, earns playoff spot 10:28 AM

» Wauwatosa East boys cross country team finished second at the Purgold Invite 10:08 AM

» Wauwatosa East boys volleyball team beats Cedarburg 09:58 AM

» Wauwatosa East, West girls cross-country teams finish third, fourth at Purgold Invitational 08:13 AM

» Wauwatosa West girls tennis finishes second in Woodland Tennis Tournament 08:08 AM

» Public invited to Wauwatosa Village streetscape workshop 10/6

» Large crowd in Wauwatosa gymnasium discusses coyote attacks, seeks answers 10/6

» Bedbugs found in Wauwatosa juvenile court center Updated:  10/6

» Nordstrom Mayfair announces gala, late-night party fundraising events 10/6

» Aurora plans $35 million upgrade to psychiatric hospital in Tosa Updated:  10/2

» Updated week seven rankings of area prep football teams and players Updated:  10/2

» Mayfair mall, Susan G. Komen host series of breast cancer events 10/2

» Wauwatosa schools celebrate Walk to School Day on Oct. 7 10/2

» Initial Reaction Podcast: Is Aaron Rodgers really the best QB in football? 10/1

» Wauwatosa West football whips Pius XI in wild scoring affair 9/29

» Tosa West boys split two matches 9/29

» East kickers tie, lose, win during busy week 9/29

» Tosa East girls take third at Bay Invitational 9/29

» East's Potter finishes second at Nikolai Invite 9/29

» Wauwatosa Sports Shorts Oct. 1 9/29

» Tosa fourth in GMC golf standings 9/29

» 3 things you can do to protect your family, pets from coyote attacks Updated:  9/29

» City of Wauwatosa discussing 2016 executive budget 9/28

» Tosa fire dept. offers CPR class Oct. 17 9/28

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss



Hidden Tosa


"Hidden Tosa" is a semi-regular feature where reporters Rory Linnane or Rachel Minske explore the closed down and closed off parts of Wauwatosa.


Local Business Directory