First Time Renter’s Guide for Self Storage

Finding extra storage space isn’t always easy. If you’re running out of room in your business or household, or just trying to juggle boxes and furniture during a big move, self storage units can help you find a secure place for your items. With self-storage, you can find a stress-free solution for storing anything from precious family photos to extra inventory.

If you’ve never rented a self storage unit, you may not be aware of all of your options. Here at Five Star Storage, we offer many different features and amenities at our self storage locations, so you can find the storage option that makes the most sense for you. Keep going through our first time renter’s guide for more information on what to expect while you start with self storage!

Special Feature Self Storage Units

At many of our storage facilities, you’ll have the choice between several types of storage units. Many storage facilities offer climate-controlled storage, drive-up access storage, or even vehicle storage. Understanding these options can help you decide if they’re the right fit for you. 

You’ll find pricing options for the different types of storage when you look at the available units at a given storage location online. Once you find the units and compare rates, you can rent or reserve an available unit.

Climate-Controlled Storage

If you’re storing temperature-sensitive items, climate-controlled storage is a great alternative to basic storage units. With climate-controlled storage, you’ll be able to store your belongings in a heated and air-conditioned storage unit. 

We typically recommend that items like photographs, wooden furniture, musical instruments, art, documents, and electronics be placed into climate-controlled storage to help buffer these items from climate-based stresses. At Five Star Storage, our facilities are located in Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota, so we’re often recommending climate-controlled storage for stashing items over the freezing northern winters. 

And climate-controlled storage isn’t just great for temperature-sensitive items—these units are comfortable places to load and unload your belongings and sort your storage unit regardless of the temperature outside. 

Drive-Up Access Storage

Many of our self storage facilities offer drive-up access storage. With drive-up storage units, you’ll be able to pull right up next to your storage space and load or unload your items from your vehicle right into your unit. These units are great for moving heavier items, and for grabbing things quickly on the go. Depending on what you’re storing, these storage units can be extremely helpful. 

Indoor and Outdoor Vehicle Storage

A number of Five Star Storage locations offer vehicle parking options. Vehicle storage at a secure storage facility can be a great alternative to street parking or parking a large vehicle in a tight garage or driveway; it may also help you avoid HOA fines for parking a recreational vehicle on the street. Before selecting a parking space, make sure to measure the full length of your vehicle to make sure it will fit into your chosen parking space. 

At some storage locations, you may have a choice between indoor and outdoor vehicle storage. Indoor options will offer greater protection from the elements, like rain and hail, while outdoor parking options are often a little less costly. If you’re stuck deciding between the two types of vehicle storage, you may want to consider the time of year, and any seasonal conditions that might have a negative impact on your vehicle. 

Storage Unit Sizes

Storage units can start from small 5×5 units around the size of a closet, while larger units are often around 10×20 or 10×30, which are spaces around the size of a garage and suitable for storing multiple large items. If you need even more space, we have extra-large storage units larger than 10×30 at multiple facilities, and you can always rent multiple storage units. Not sure what storage unit size you’ll need? Our storage size guide can help you get a better sense of the size of our commonly-offered storage spaces.

Storage Facility Specifics and Amenities

Because all storage facilities are a little bit different, you’ll want to review the full list of features and amenities at the storage location(s) you’re considering. Check for security systems such as video surveillance, and gated access at your local self storage facility. Some storage locations even have extra features like moving and packing supplies available for purchase or a covered loading and unloading area for your convenience!

Starting a Self Storage Facility Rental

Getting started with self storage is simple with Five Star Storage! We can walk you through the rental process online—just visit our locations page to find a storage place near you. Then, you’ll not only be able to view available units and reserve a unit online, but you can complete your entire rental process and even sign your rental agreement online! 

When you rent online, you’ll be able to move into your storage unit or parking space as soon as the same day. With our reservation option, you can set aside a unit for your desired move-in date with no obligation. 

The Fine Print: Insurance and Documents

Insurance is required for a storage unit rental. We can help you get an affordable policy from StorSmart Tenant Insurance if you’re in need—just contact your local Five Star storage office. If you’re storing a car, RV, boat, motorcycle, or other vehicle at our facility, you will also need to provide proof of valid insurance and title. You will need to provide a current government-issued ID, proof of address, and your phone number. Additionally, we strongly recommend securing your unit with a proper disc lock. 
If you run into additional questions about our storage units, you’re welcome to reach out to the team at your local storage facility. You can also consult our Frequently Asked Questions page or our storage blog for more on getting and using self storage.