How to Keep Your Stuff Safe in Self Storage

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We’ve all heard horror stories about self-storage.  From the businessman’s important paperwork destroyed by water damage, to the collector that had his vintage records destroyed by humidity, to the couple who found their storage unit wide open with pieces of a smashed lock the only possession they had left. 

These kinds of incidents are not inevitable. In fact, with a minimum of effort you can store your property safely.  Self-storage can be a secure experience if the customer simply takes a few precautions.


  1. Make certain that the site you are using has working security cameras that provide a record of all individuals who go near your storage unit.
  2. Some self-storage businesses have employees who work 24 hours a day at the site. This added measure of physical security can is a distinct security advantage.
  3. Ask yourself, “Is the site well lit?” The cameras can’t catch a would-be thief if all they are filming is pitch blackness.
  4. Get your own lock. Make certain it is a hefty lock that would be time consuming for a thief to cut through.
  5. Does the site have entrances and exits that are only accessible by paying customers? A key pad requiring a code or a guard who requires an ID?  If not, you should take your business to another site.
  6. Put your most expensive items towards the back behind boxes of less valuable property. Don’t have the $1,200 flat screen TV be the first thing someone sees when the door is open.

Proper Storage

  1. A bad neighbor at a self-storage site can be just as annoying as a bad neighbor at home. Everything from a freezer that your neighbor didn’t bother to defrost to a leaky water bed can end up in the unit right next to yours and you end up with puddles of water damaging your property. This can be easily guarded against by using the pallets that are available at every quality site.  If keep your items from touching the ground this will protect them against water damage from your neighbor’s storage unit.
  2. Always bubble wrap your breakables, tape them up tight in sturdy boxes and then put plastic wrap or a tarp over the boxes. You guard against damage by gravity and dust that way.
  3. Be aware of the seasons and what kind of temperatures your property will have to endure. Many sites are indoors with air conditioning provided and if you have items that would fair badly in extremes of heat or cold then these sites are your best bet.
  4. Label everything so that if you return to your unit to retrieve one item you don’t have to break open every box and risk damaging items during a frantic search.

Self-storage does not need to be a nightmare experience.  Taking a few precautions and choosing the site that best suits your needs can easily eliminate hardships and keep your property safe.

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