After 35 years’ experience in the Calgary Self Storage Business, I have found that there are several factors to consider when deciding to rent a storage locker:
- There are 4 types of construction – metal, wood and drywall, all of which provide privacy of contents and the fourth one is a wire cage.
- There are two styles of lockers – warehouse and shed style. Generally, the warehouse style has better pest control and is heated
- There are two types of access – one has 24 -hour card access and the other has on site security where you need to sign in. I recommend the sign in type of security and generally these have specific hours of operation. If you need after hours, access then choose the 24- hour card access.
- If you need frequency of access you usually will want a storage facility to be close to where you are. If you are going away for an extended period, it really does not matter where the facility is located.
- Cleanliness is very important and the only way you can determine if the facility meets your standard is to go to the property and inspect the building and lockers. The lockers should be cleaned and sanitized after every move out.
- Security is very important when choosing a storage facility. Make sure it has video surveillance. Some have external, some have internal. Choose one that has both.
- Find a storage facility where the manager will help you determine the optimum size for what you need to store. On line selection can be very convenient but then you have to decide on the size of locker . You do not want to end up with a locker that is too large and pay for unused space.
- If you will be accessing your locker on a regular basis, make sure you leave some room to move around inside so you can find things more easily. It helps if you identify your containers for quick access.
- How you pay for your locker is another consideration. To minimize the risk of paying late fees, I recommend having your rent on a monthly preauthorized payment system. More facilities are resisting payments with cash and cheques are becoming obsolete in today’s commerce. If you do not have a credit card, get a debit card from your bank. It is super convenient and costs nothing and you can use it just about everywhere minimizing the amount of cash you have to carry on your person.
- Expect the storage facility to ask for photo ID and a credit or debit card. You will also need an address and/or email address so that they can contact you if there is a problem. Giving this information establishes your credibility.
- If you want someone else to have access to your locker, you must approve them in writing or by email and they must also provide photo ID. This way only authorized person may have access to your locker. This is another reason to choose a facility that ID’ s everyone who has access.
- See what other services the facility can provide. Do you need warehousing services, mail forwarding, document shredding, packing supplies etc.
Prepared By :
David W. Palmer, CPM, FRI