The Dos and Don’ts of Self Storage

The Dos and Don’ts of Self Storage. Are you renting a self-storage unit for the first time? Are you a seasoned user of self-storage? You may be researching self-storage to simplify your life and make more room. If any of these situations apply to you, this advice might help you make the most of your upcoming or present storage arrangement. Our storage specialists go over the main dos and don’ts of self-storage below.

6 Dos of Self Storage

Do Get a Unit Near Your Property

Convenience is crucial in the self-storage business. When visiting a storage place, it should feel like a smooth process. One of the most important things to consider regarding convenience is location, namely, how close it is to your house. You’ll be far less inclined to use your storage unit if you have to make the 45-minute drive across town to get there. If you use it, you’ll discover that it takes up a lot of time and energy due to its awkward location. Keep this from happening. Locate a storage unit near your business or home to guarantee regular use and easy access.

Self Storage Unit Scottsdale

Do Label Your Boxes

Nothing is worse than sifting through the storage unit for hours, destroying your neatly arranged rows of items and carefully packed boxes, hoping to find that tiny item you’ve been looking for in a random box you can’t locate. Do you recognize this? I hope not. Label your boxes to ensure that this situation never arises. Label all four sides, the top and the bottom. If you are adventurous, you can even mark the top. Making your labeling readable and visible is crucial. Providing a few descriptive sentences describing every box’s contents is also crucial. The terms “Kitchen” or “Kid’s Stuff” are insufficient. Do you want to maximize every aspect of your company? Number your boxes and use technology to discover things quickly and effectively. On your computer, thoroughly inventory all the goods in each designated box. When locating something in particular, open a document and use the keyboard shortcuts “control F” or “command F” to search for the object by typing its name. The box number will appear in front of you in seconds.

Do Stack Smartly

Stacking items correctly saves your storage container a lot of space and effort. To begin stacking intelligently, purchase boxes of consistent sizes. This ensures that no space goes to waste and all the stacks sit flush. Next, arrange your stacks with the large, heavy boxes at the bottom and the lighter, smaller boxes at the top. Avoid piling up too high. If every stack of boxes within your current one almost touches the ceiling, it may be time to upgrade to a larger unit.

Do Store the Things You Use the Most at the Front of The Unit

Some experienced storage veterans may find this recommendation obvious, but it may be a revelation to those who have never rented a storage unit in Scottsdale. Place the items you use most often in the front of the box. You want to run fast errands in and out of your storage unit. You must be able to access your stuff to do that. It frequently calls for making at least one trip adjustment each year. Keep all the skiing gear up front so you can reach it easily, for example, if your family is a pack of ski bunnies in the winter. When summer arrives, move your winter gear to the back to create space for your beach gear and other summer needs.

Do Invest in Storage Unit Insurance

If you can afford a storage unit, you may buy insurance to cover your belongings in case of an accident. For a small monthly, yearly, or semi-annual fee, you can secure financial compensation for your belongings in the event of theft, flooding, earthquakes, or fires. Many insurance companies nationwide offer storage unit insurance, and some storage facilities also provide it. See if your facility offers any options that suit your budget.

Do Create Walkways to the Back of The Unit

If you’ve read this far through our guide, you already understand that accessibility matters in every storage unit. You know how to label your boxes and stack your most used items near the front of your unit. But you should do one more thing to maximize accessibility and use as much “front” as you can in your unit. Create a walkway (or walkways) to the back of the storage unit to ensure you can access everything as possible. Walkways may take up space, but they’ll save you headaches and hassle. They’ll improve organization, accessibility, and even airflow. Speaking of airflow, we also suggest stacking items no less than one inch away from the walls for improved circulation and storage of your items.

5 Don’ts of Self Storage

Don’t Keep Flammable Items In Your Storage Unit

Combustible objects should be kept in certain locations when not in use – not where your safe unit is. We’ll say again: avoid combustible stuff in your storage space. A power outage or other emergency may cause temperatures to skyrocket and flammable materials to burn, regardless of whether you use a climate control unit. You are practically playing with fire if your unit doesn’t have climate control. Keep flammables away from your storage unit to protect your possessions and the surrounding property.

Don’t Store Perishable Items in Your Storage Unit: Plants, Food, and Others

A storage unit doesn’t have a refrigerator, and it is not a pantry. As a result, it’s not a recommended place for perishables. Plants, food, or other organic materials will eventually go bad in storage. At best, this will result in a terrible stench and, at worst, dangerous mold. Either of these could irreparably damage other items in the unit. Although adhering to this guideline for all perishables is advisable, some dry items and foods may be an exception. If you plan to store these things, though, make sure first to verify them with your storage facility. If storing them is approved, properly seal them and keep them away from any ledges and sharp objects to prevent breakage.

Don’t Climb on Things to Get Other Things

Climbing in a storage unit can be disastrous for your body and your goods. Get a strong stepladder for the home and keep it close to the door if you have to reach for anything higher than your head. It will help maintain stability in your climbing. These are some easy tips to abide by regarding over-the-head lifting. One, get another individual to assist. Two, always relocate items placed on the top of the box you are trying to open; never try plucking something from the midst of a stack. Third, store heavier items on the floor and lighter items higher up. Avoid stacking anything heavy that you are storing.

Don’t Wrap Your Things in Plastic

Movers may have been observed wrapping furniture in plastic before packing it into a moving van. You could even have considered using the same principle for storing items. Plastic wrap, after all, preserves. It does in the short term, though in the long run, it can cause serious problems for whatever it’s attached to. Movers wrap items in plastic to ensure everything stays together while being carried and driven to your destination. It is only ever kept in plastic for several hours or days. You will have mold problems if you wrap your belongings in plastic for an extended period of time. Condensation causes mold to grow inside the plastic. The story’s lesson is to avoid plastic and mold.

Self Storage Unit in Scottsdale

Don’t Keep Your Most Valuable Things in Your Storage Unit

Even with the best self-storage protocols in place, accidents happen. An excellent insurance policy cannot replace your most expensive assets, many of which are unique or highly sentimental. Still, it can protect you financially in case of a storage unit accident. The best practices you could do is to store your most expensive items inside a bank vault or in your home to avoid any future distress.

Choose McDowell Mountain Community Storage for Your Storage Unit

As our guide comes to an end, there’s one more recommendation. Invest in a trustworthy Scottsdale storage unit provider who will offer you a top-notch unit and first-rate service overall. There’s nowhere better to store if you live in Scottsdale than at McDowell Mountain Community Storage. We are the leading and best self-storage company in Scottsdale. Visit our website to learn more about why, about convenience, features, cost, and general service, we’re the best option for storage in the state. Store with us now!

Things You Need to Know Before Renting a Storage Unit

Are you planning to rent a storage unit? A storage facility can be a lifesaver whether you’re decluttering, moving, or need extra space for your business inventory. Renting a storage unit is a great way to free up your home or office space. However, before you sign a contract, there are essential things you need to know to ensure that you’re making the right decision.

Here Are 11 Things You Need to Know Before Renting a Self-storage Unit

1. Understanding Self-Storage Units

Self-storage units are facilities that provide space for individuals or businesses to store their items, furniture, and materials. They offer a secure and convenient place to store items that do not fit in one’s home or office. Some common items people store in self-storage units include seasonal decorations, documents, furniture, electronics, and sporting equipment.

These units are usually rented monthly and can be accessed at any time, day or night, making them ideal for people with busy schedules. Most self-storage facilities offer security features such as surveillance cameras, individual door alarms, and gated access to ensure the customer’s belongings are safe and secure.

It is important to note that customers retain full ownership and control of their items when renting a self-storage unit. This means the facility has no rights to the items stored. Additionally, it is vital to ensure that the items being stored in the unit are legal. Some items, such as hazardous materials, illegal substances, and stolen items, are prohibited from being stored.

2. Types of Self-Storage Units

Different types of self-storage units are available to meet the different needs of the customers. Below are the most common types:

Indoor self-storage units: These units are located inside a building and are usually climate-controlled, making them ideal for storing delicate items sensitive to temperature changes.

Outdoor self-storage units: These units are located outside and are not climate-controlled, making them ideal for storing items that can withstand temperature changes.

Drive-up self-storage units: These units can be accessed by a vehicle and are ideal for individuals who need to unload heavy items.

Portable self-storage units: These are containers delivered to the customer’s location. The customer can load their items at their convenience. Once the container is loaded, it is transported to the self-storage facility.

3. Choosing the Right Size for Your Needs

Choosing the right size for your self-storage unit is crucial. You must ensure the unit is not too small or too large for your needs. A unit that is too small will not fit all your items, while a unit that is too large will result in you paying for space you do not need.

Self-storage facilities typically provide a wide range of unit sizes, catering to diverse needs. Whether you require a compact space for a few boxes or a more expansive unit capable of accommodating furniture and appliances, options are available to suit your specific requirements. To determine the right size for your needs, you must inventory all your items and estimate the space you need. Additionally, you must consider your future needs if you plan to store more items.

4. Cost Factors in Renting a Self-Storage Unit

Consider several cost factors before settling on one when renting a self-storage unit. Payments and fees are usually based on the storage space you’ll need for your stuff and the time you’ll rent the space. However, storage unit costs can vary depending on your location, the size of the unit, and the demand for storage space in your city. It’s also worth noting that some storage facilities offer truck rentals as an added convenience, but these can come with an extra fee.

If you’re on a tight budget, you may want to look into pricing and specials to try and take advantage of any cost-saving options available. Storage unit sizes can also affect the price, as larger units cost more than smaller ones. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and information on storage unit costs and options, as this can help you make an informed decision and potentially save you money.

5. Climate-Controlled Units: Do You Need One?

If you plan to store anything sensitive to heat, cold, or humidity, a climate-controlled unit may be necessary. Climate control ensures that the temperature and humidity levels in the unit remain consistent and within a specific range, which can help protect your belongings from damage caused by extreme heat, cold, or moisture.

Some items that could benefit from a climate-controlled unit include electronics, artwork, wooden furniture, antiques, and food or chemicals. It’s important to note that climate-controlled units may cost more than non-climate-controlled units, so you’ll need to weigh the potential benefits against the added cost.

6. Security Measures in Self-Storage Facilities

When renting a self-storage unit, security is a top concern. Most storage facilities will have some security measures in place, such as security gates and video monitoring. You’ll also need to provide your lock for the unit to ensure that only you can access your belongings.

Some storage facilities may offer additional security measures, such as on-site security guards, individual unit alarms, and insurance coverage for theft or damage. It’s important to consider whether these added security measures are worth the extra cost and if they provide adequate protection for your belongings.

Things You Need to Know Before Renting a Storage Unit in Scottsdale

7. Access Hours: When Can You Get to Your Items?

One of the most critical considerations when renting a self-storage unit is the facility’s access hours. These refer to when you can enter the storage unit to retrieve or store your belongings. Each storage company has different access hours, so confirming these hours is essential before signing a rental agreement.

Some storage companies may have limited access hours, such as only being open during regular business hours or being closed on weekends. Other companies may offer 24-hour access, allowing you to come and go as you please. Knowing the access hours is essential to avoid inconvenience and ensure your items are easily accessible.

Before deciding, consider how often you’ll need to access your storage unit. If you only need access occasionally, a storage facility with limited access hours may be the right option for you. On the other hand, if you frequently visit your storage unit, a facility with extended access hours or 24/7 access may be a better choice.

8. Insurance and Self-Storage Units

While a storage facility may have insurance coverage, it is essential to have your storage insurance policy. Most self-storage companies require you to have insurance coverage in addition to any insurance they provide. While such insurance covers some damages, it may not cover everything.

It’s essential to consider a separate insurance policy for your storage unit to protect your furniture items and other belongings in case of damage or theft. Insurance policies also provide protection against mold and mildew, which can damage your belongings, especially if you’re storing items long-term.

When selecting a storage insurance policy, consider the coverage limits and deductibles. You must have an insurance policy before moving your belongings into the storage unit.

9. Long-Term vs Short-Term Rentals

When renting a self-storage unit, you need to consider the duration of your rental. Self-storage units are a perfect option for both short-term and long-term storage. Short-term rentals are ideal if you’re between moves, remodeling your home, or temporarily relocating.

However, if you’re storing items long-term, such as seasonal decorations, antique furniture, or items you don’t use often, it’s essential to choose a storage company that offers long-term rentals and rates.

10. Packing and Organizing Your Self-Storage Unit

Packing and organizing your self-storage unit can be overwhelming, but with the right strategy, you can ensure that your belongings are well-organized, clean, and easily accessible. Before signing a contract with a storage company, consider the unit size you’ll need, depending on your storage.

When packing your belongings, it’s essential to use the suitable materials. Think bubble wrap, packing paper, and sturdy boxes. They’re all essential for keeping your stuff safe and sound. Label all boxes and use stackable containers to optimize space. Keep things clean using moisture-resistant materials or light-colored cloths to protect your belongings from dust and mold.

Storage companies typically offer suggestions for organizing and packing to maximize space. Check their websites for tips and reviews from past customers to understand the facility’s cleanliness and organization. Don’t forget to invest in a solid lock to secure your storage unit and keep your belongings safe.

11. Understanding the Rental Agreement

Before renting a self-storage unit, it is crucial to understand the rental agreement. It is a legal contract that outlines the terms and conditions of renting a storage unit from a facility like Extra Space Storage, and it involves important details that you need to familiarize yourself with. The agreement should be read thoroughly to avoid any misunderstanding that may arise in the future.

The renter must follow specific rules and restrictions when renting a self-storage unit. The agreement usually includes details such as the lease length, the unit rental cost, security deposit requirements, payment due dates, and late payment fees.

It’s important to know whether electricity is included in the rental fee or is an additional cost. Some facilities offer maintenance services, while others do not. The agreement should also include any details regarding the availability of storage units and access to the stored items.

It is recommended that you find out if there are any restrictions on the types of possessions you can store in the unit. Some storage facilities prohibit hazardous materials like chemicals and explosives. Additionally, specific types of goods may require climate-controlled storage, which may impact the rental price.

Reading the rental agreement means understanding what you’re signing up for before signing up. Be sure to ask customer service for clarification on anything you don’t understand so that you can make a well-informed decision on which storage facility to choose.

Things You Need to Know Before Renting a Storage Unit in Scottsdale AZ

Tips for Maximizing Space in Your Unit

Renting a storage unit can be an excellent solution for those who need extra space for their belongings. However, to get the most out of your rental, you need to maximize the space in your unit. In this section, we’ll discuss some tips for doing just that.

1. Organize Your Things

The first step to maximizing space in your storage unit is to organize your things. This will optimize the space and make it easier to access your items. Start by categorizing your belongings into groups, such as clothing, furniture, or holiday decorations. Then, pack similar items together in boxes and label them clearly. By doing this, you can reduce clutter and make it easier to navigate your unit.

2. Utilize Vertical Spaces

Another way to maximize your storage space is to use vertical space. The walls of your unit are valuable real estate, so take advantage of them! Consider investing in shelving that extends up to the ceiling. This will provide more room for boxes and other items, making better use of the vertical space.

3. Strategic Planning for Spaces

Strategic planning of spaces is essential to maximize storage units. To do this, consider the size of the items you’re storing and how you’ll access them. Make sure to store larger items, such as furniture, in the back of the unit and smaller items in front. This will create a clear path for accessing your things and allow you to see everything stored in your unit.

4. Leave Aisle Space

Always leave aisle space in your storage unit for easy access to all your items. While filling every available space with storage may be tempting, aisles will help you move things in and out of the unit more efficiently.

Following these tips will help you make the most of the space in your storage unit. Organizing your belongings, utilizing vertical spaces, strategically planning spaces, and leaving aisle space will help keep your unit tidy and functional. With these tips, you will surely have a hassle-free experience with your storage unit rental.


In conclusion, when it comes to safeguarding treasured belongings, selecting an ideal storage facility is paramount. McDowell Mountain Community Storage, a locally owned and operated unit in Scottsdale, offers top-notch facilities that ensure the utmost security and convenience for your items. Our units are on the ground floor, indoors, and have climate control to protect your belongings from environmental damage. Our facility is outfitted with state-of-the-art 4k Digital Security Cameras, providing an extra layer of confidence in our services. So, if you’re searching for a Scottsdale storage unit, look no further. Reach out to us and reserve your space today. Your peace of mind is our top priority!

FAQs about storage units

What should I look for in a self-storage unit?

When searching for a self-storage unit, there are several factors that you should consider. First off, it’s essential to choose a unit that is easily accessible, both for your convenience and for loading and unloading purposes. This means ensuring the facility offers convenient hours, ample parking, and a layout that allows easy navigation.

Security is also a top priority, so ensure the facility has top-notch security measures, such as video surveillance, individual unit alarms, and secure access controls.

Pricing and availability are also critical when selecting a storage unit. Research facilities in your area and compare prices and the availability of units that meet your specific needs.

Location is another essential factor, especially if you plan on frequently accessing your items. Choose a facility close to your home or work to avoid lengthy and tedious commutes.

Lastly, read reviews from previous renters to better understand people’s experiences with the facilities you are considering. This can help you make an informed decision and avoid any potential issues down the road.

What do you need to rent a storage unit?

Obtaining a storage unit is relatively simple, as the requirements vary from facility to facility. Generally, you must provide some form of identification, such as a driver’s license, state ID, passport, or military ID, to prove your identity and establish residency.

In some cases, facilities may require proof of insurance to cover damages or losses to your stored items. You should check with the facility to determine if insurance is required and, if so, what types of coverage are available.

Additional requirements, such as a security deposit or a minimum rental period, may also exist. To ensure you are prepared to rent a unit, contact the facility in advance to obtain complete details on their rental process and requirements.

Can you rent a storage unit for a week?

Yes, most storage facilities offer weekly rental options. However, the rental period and availability may vary from location to location. Be sure to check with the facility to see their available options and discuss any specific needs you may have.

Do you need a climate-controlled storage unit?

A climate-controlled storage unit is necessary for items sensitive to temperature changes, such as electronics, wood furniture, antiques, and delicate fabrics. Climate-controlled units maintain a consistent temperature and humidity, providing safe storage for sensitive items.

Whether or not you need a climate-controlled unit depends on the items you plan to store and how long you will store them. It is always best to err on the side of caution and opt for climate-controlled units if you are unsure.

What can/can’t you store in a storage unit?

Storage units are a convenient option for keeping your possessions safe and secure. However, there are some restrictions on what you can and can’t store in a storage unit. Flammable or combustible items, such as gasoline, propane, or fireworks, are prohibited. Hazardous materials, such as chemicals, fertilizers, or pesticides, are prohibited. Food or items that attract bugs or rodents, such as pet food or soiled linens, are not recommended for storage. Lastly, living things, including plants, animals, and humans, are prohibited from storing in a storage unit.

Do you need insurance for a storage unit?

While not required, obtaining insurance for your stored items is highly recommended. Most storage facilities do not assume liability for customer belongings stored in their units. Insurance offers peace of mind and financial protection against losses or damages to your items.

Some people’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policies may include coverage for stored items. Otherwise, you can purchase storage unit insurance through the facility or from third-party providers.

What Happens If You Can’t Pay for Your Unit?

If job loss, health issues, or other unexpected life events prevent you from paying your self-storage unit rent, you may be subject to specific consequences outlined in your rental agreement. The first step in handling payment issues with your unit is to talk with the storage facility’s management to see if they’re willing to work with you to establish payment plans or help you in other ways.

If no arrangements are made, and a renter fails to pay for a certain period of time, their possessions may be considered abandoned, and the storage facility may take them or sell them at auction. Understanding the difference between a renter’s lease and a “holdover” tenant is also critical in this situation, as what happens can vary between the two.

The facility usually outlines specific terms governing late payment, such as the number of days late before a lockout, late fees, and the like, in the contract. Be sure to familiarize yourself with these terms and ask questions of management if this occurs.

To avoid problems, ensure you understand the facility’s policy on late payment before signing the rental agreement. Most importantly, if you are having trouble paying or anticipate payment problems, always communicate with management to explore options.

Tips for Organizing Your Self-Storage Unit

Need a location to keep your belongings? A nearby climate-controlled storage facility may provide self-storage units for rent. These storage units offer an option for people needing short- or long-term storage before, during, or following a move. 

To avoid losing track of everything you have, just be sure to pack, organize, and plan the storage unit. After all, what good is it if you need help finding what you need in a storage facility? Hint: not at all good. We can assist if you need help setting up a storage unit. You may maximize your unit’s inside capacity and improve your storage experience’s effectiveness using our straightforward organization tips and packing hacks.

That is why this blog post will give you tips for organizing your self-storage unit. So keep on reading.

Common Mistakes People Make When Organizing Their Self-Storage Units?

Organizing a self-storage unit can be a challenging task. Still, it becomes even more complicated when people make common mistakes, leading to disorganization, wasted space, and difficulty accessing their belongings. 

Here are some of the most common mistakes people make when organizing their self-storage units:

  1. Failing to plan: One of the biggest mistakes people make is needing a clear plan before moving their items into the storage unit. Without a plan, you may randomly place items, leading to inefficiency and difficulty finding things later on. Take the time to plan and visualize how you want to organize your unit before you start.
  2. Not labeling boxes: Neglecting to label boxes is a recipe for confusion and frustration. When you need to find something in the future, you’ll have to go through each unlabeled box to locate it. Always label your boxes with a brief description of the contents, making it easier to identify what’s inside without opening them.
  3. Overpacking and underutilizing space: Many people tend to overpack boxes or stack them haphazardly without considering the available space. Overpacking can lead to damaged items, while underutilizing space wastes potential storage capacity. Optimize the space by using appropriate-sized boxes and filling them while also stacking them efficiently.
  4. Neglecting to create aisles: A lack of designated walkways and aisles within the storage unit is a common mistake. You may have to move multiple boxes or items without clear paths to access something you need. Leave ample space between rows of items, creating easily accessible aisles to reach any part of your unit without hassle.
  5. Forgetting about regular maintenance: Dust and dirt can accumulate in a storage unit over time. Neglecting regular maintenance, such as cleaning and organizing, can result in a messy and unmanageable space. Schedule periodic visits to your storage unit to clean, organize, and ensure everything remains in good condition.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure a well-organized and easily accessible self-storage unit that maximizes space and keeps your belongings in good condition.

Tips for Organizing Your Self Storage Unit

8 Tips for Organizing Your Self-Storage Unit

Here are eight storage tips for organizing your self-storage unit.

Label your boxes

Priorities come first. Labeling your storage bins or boxes is one of the most crucial components of storage unit organization. It might be stressful when you’re looking for that one book for a book club but can’t remember which boxes are for “books” and which are for “kitchen”! Label every box to avoid making this simple error. A box number, the room it originated from, and a description of everything within should all be written on the top as well as at least a single side of each box. Please be as specific as possible. 

It can seem like a waste of effort to unpack and repack boxes to mark them if you’ve already packed everything. However, you’d be happy if you took the time immediately rather than wait until later to search through your unit for a particular item. 

Make a master list

Make a master’s list once you’ve labeled every box. Even while it may seem ominous, it will ultimately be beneficial. Note the box number and contents for every box container in your storage unit. You’ll get a reference sheet wherever each item is located this way. If you’re computer literate, you can also build or copy the list into a Word or spreadsheet document and try sorting it out for a better outcome. 

Map it out

Making a map of your storage space is an excellent way to keep it tidy. It’s ideal to have a basic sense of where everything occupies your storage unit rather than a precise architectural layout with dimensions (though it’s possible if you like). It might be a simple sketch that divides your storage unit into areas for each room. Pack the kitchen boxes, bedroom boxes, office boxes, and so on all together. When you need a specific item or box later on, even designating a small portion of your storage space to one particular area might be helpful. 

Stack Everything

Maximizing storage space is crucial, and height is vital in achieving this goal. Surprisingly, most storage units are 10 feet or taller, providing ample vertical room for your belongings, including keepsakes, mementos, photos, albums, scrapbooks, paperwork documents or files, electronic appliances, sports equipment and gear, and hobby supplies. To ensure stability and prevent accidental toppling, we advise placing sturdy, large boxes or goods at the base of your stack while positioning lighter or smaller boxes on top. Additionally, you can optimize space utilization by stacking furniture, such as tables, on top of one another. By employing these strategies, you can maximize your storage space while safeguarding and organizing your cherished items.

Put items that you need to access in the front

Place everything you’ll frequently need to access toward the front of your storage container. As a result, you won’t have to dig around in the rear of your unit anytime you need certain products because they will always be nearby and easy to discover. Winter clothing like coats or boots for seasonal weather, paperwork documents for the office or school, or holiday decorations are a few examples.

You may even use a special remark or a distinct color to draw attention to these totes boxes before you begin packing everything into your self-storage unit so that you remember to place them at the front. 

Make a center aisle

Your self-storage unit could quickly turn into an impossible maze. Make a central aisle instead of struggling to reach the back of the storage unit to save yourself from pain and embarrassment. Your belongings will still have plenty of areas to spread out, and any boxes in the back of your storage unit are still within easy reach. 

Allow your items to breathe

Even if your storage container is climate-controlled, allowing air movement is still crucial. Packing boxes on top of pallets will allow air to circulate beneath them. Additionally, consider leaving a little gap between the walls of your storage room and your belongings to allow for ventilation. 

Get stylish and get shelving

Although you may not feel your storage container needs shelving, it might be useful. Utilizing your storage space’s height strategically is essential, but you should avoid putting fragile items like glassware on top of other items. Making the most of your available space with shelves also ensures that nothing will accidentally fall and shatter. 

Wrapping Up

We sincerely hope these tips and advice have assisted you in organizing your storage unit. Check out McDowell Mountain Community Storage if you’re doing preventative research and are now looking for inexpensive storage nearby. To give you the ideal storage option, we provide a range of storage unit sizes and quality amenities! 

Tips for Organizing Your Self Storage Unit In Scottsdale AZ

Find Your Ideal Storage Unit Now

Discover the perfect storage solution to place items for your needs at McDowell Mountain Community Storage. With a wide range of unit sizes and convenient amenities, we make storage easy and accessible.

Take the first step towards an organized and stress-free life—find your ideal storage unit now! If you have any questions, call us at (602) 899-5484.

How to Choose the Right Storage Unit for Your Needs

Selecting the ideal storage unit for your particular needs and belongings can be very challenging because there are many things to consider. After all, you want to avoid your stuff being stolen or destroyed while it’s in storage, plus you also want to avoid paying a fortune for a big area that is mostly empty.

That is why in this article, we will tackle how to choose the right storage unit for your needs. 

What are the different types of storage units?

Self-storage units come in various types and sizes to accommodate different storage needs. Here are some common types of storage units you might come across:

  • Indoor Storage Units: These units are located inside a building and offer protection from weather elements. They are typically accessed through corridors or hallways, similar to apartment buildings.
  • Outdoor Storage Units: Outdoor storage units are usually standalone structures accessible from the outside. They may resemble small garages or sheds and provide drive-up access, allowing you to park your vehicle near the unit for convenient loading and unloading.
  • Climate-Controlled Units: These units are equipped with heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to maintain a consistent temperature and humidity level. They are ideal for storing items sensitive to extreme temperature changes, such as electronics, artwork, documents, or wooden furniture.
  • Drive-up Units: Drive-up units allow you to drive your vehicle directly to the unit for easy loading and unloading. They are typically located on the ground floor and have roll-up doors, providing quick access to your belongings without the need to navigate through hallways or elevators.
  • Portable Storage Containers: These units are delivered to your location in large containers or pods. You can load your belongings into a container at your own pace, and they can be picked up and transported to a secure storage facility or even kept on your property.
  • Vehicle Storage Units: These units are designed to store vehicles such as cars, motorcycles, boats, or RVs. They often offer additional security features and specialized amenities to protect and accommodate vehicles of different sizes.
  • Warehouse Storage: Some self-storage facilities offer larger storage spaces like warehouse-style units. These units suit businesses or individuals, requiring significant storage space for inventory, equipment, or larger items.

It’s important to note that the availability of these storage unit types may vary depending on the storage facility and location.

How to Choose the Right Storage Unit for Your Needs In Scottsdale AZ

How to Choose the Right Storage Unit for Your Needs?

The following are a few considerations to bear in mind while you look for a storage unit:

When trying to select the ideal self-storage unit, location is one aspect to take into account.

The location of the self-storage facility is crucial when making your decision. Picking a location-wise storage facility offers numerous benefits for self-storage users. For instance, choosing a storage facility close to your house can save you effort and time if you intend to keep things that need frequent access, like workpapers. You may easily acquire your belongings this way without going great distances. 

Additionally, choosing a storage facility within a secure location can have some added benefits. A strategically placed storage facility protects your belongings from theft and other risks.

Size matters most

The right self-storage facility size must be considered while weighing storage options. Avoid renting a space that is too small and crowded for your belongings. Neither is the case with an excessively large one that charges you for space you never use. It’s crucial to inventory the items you plan to store before choosing a unit size. 

Calculating the required square footage is one way to choose the right unit size. You can use online calculators or contact the storage facility to determine the right unit size for your needs. You might need a larger container if you keep furniture or cars. A smaller one will do if you only need to store a few small items. 

You should also take the height of the item into account. Tall containers provide more vertical storage space for stacking boxes or storing tall things. However, you may save money by choosing a smaller unit to utilize something other than the item’s height.

Security is a top priority.

Security is a major consideration when picking a self-storage facility, particularly if you want to store valuable or sentimental items. You may feel at ease knowing your belongings are protected in a secure storage facility. It would be best if you thought about the following: 

  • Access control: A storage facility providing access control features like a keycard or keypad entry is what you should look for. That ensures that only individuals with permission can access the building. 
  • Surveillance: Choose an area with cameras all over the place. As a result, security will improve, and criminal activity will decline. 
  • Insurance: Consider getting insurance to safeguard your possessions from theft or damage. 
  • On-site security: Some institutions have guards or security systems. They may provide more security and assurance. 
  • Location: Choosing a storage facility within a safe and secure area can further increase security. If you are considering a long-distance move that won’t be able to check on your belongings regularly, avoid areas prone to theft or vandalism.

Climate control

Think about whether you need climate control when searching for self-storage space. Temperature-controlled devices:

  • Maintain consistent temperatures and humidity levels.
  • Avoid being damaged by high heat or moisture.

Keeping fragile items like electronics, artwork, or antiques is crucial. 

Apartments with climate control are more expensive than regular apartments. However, they offer more security for your goods, so the added cost is acceptable. You should ensure that your belongings are secure during the move and storage if you hire movers to transfer from Scottsdale to Los Angeles. Therefore, it’s critical to have the appropriate moving assistance. These units can bring peace by shielding your items from extreme temperature swings. 

Select a climate-controlled device with good sealing to keep outside moisture and air out. To keep the facility’s temperature and humidity constant, you should also ensure the HVAC system functions correctly.

Consider access hours

The hours of access should be taken into account when selecting the best self-storage unit. It’s crucial to choose a facility with convenient hours for you. Some places are accessible round-the-clock. That is helpful if you want to retrieve your belongings after business hours. To secure your belongings, ensure the facility has the necessary security measures. Certain facilities have limited access times. You must make an appointment to access your unit in these facilities. If you need to retrieve your stuff frequently, this could be a problem. When selecting a facility, consider the accessibility hours and make sure they accommodate your schedule.

Check reviews and company reputation.

Research the reputation and reviews of different storage facilities in your area. Read online reviews and ask anyone for recommendations, especially from friends, family, or local community groups, to understand the facility’s reliability, customer service, and cleanliness.

Consider the price before selecting a self-storage unit.

Consider both the monthly rental fee and any additional costs when figuring out the price of a self-storage unit. Some organizations levy administrative, insurance, and late payment fees, and they can mount up quickly. Before renting a property, ensure you know any additional costs to avoid surprises. Price can vary depending on size and region. And the reason for this is that apartments in urban locations or places with high demand may cost more. By comparing the prices of different facilities and accounting for any offered discounts, you may choose a unit that fits your budget while providing the required services.

Be calm and select the ideal self-storage facility.

It can be challenging, but with careful consideration and research, one can choose the ideal self-storage facility to meet your needs. You can save time and effort by selecting a conveniently located location. Choosing the suitable storage container for your needs in size and design helps protect and secure your belongings. You can find the best option if you thoroughly investigate all the storage units within your neighborhood.


How to Choose the Right Size of a Storage Unit?

Choosing the right storage unit size is crucial to ensure you have enough space to store your belongings without paying for extra unused space. Here are some steps to help you determine the appropriate size:

Find out what the storage unit’s main purpose is.

Consider your initial reasons for being interested in self-storage to determine your required storage unit size. It is crucial to avoid quickly overrunning your storage unit and moving everything to a bigger location.

Some frequent questions to ask yourself include:

  • Will I store a car?
  • Will I be storing a growing inventory for my business?
  • Do I require temporary storage during my move?
  • Do I intend to keep some things in storage indefinitely?
  • Will I be switching out the stuff inside the unit?

Knowing what you want to keep and how frequently the things in your unit will be rotated or changed. The size of the storage unit that makes it the most logical for you will depend on its function.

However, choose a unit suitable for your original goods if you only intend to keep items during a brief move. The number of items in your storage container will likely stay the same in these circumstances.

Make an initial inventory.

You may already have a broad concept of what you intend to store there. That’s a fantastic place to start, but you could also find it helpful to stroll around your home and make a list. (Sometimes, until you begin taking an inventory, you don’t know how much stuff you want to store.)

Make a note of the following when performing your preliminary inventory: 

  • Include estimating the number of moving boxes or storage bins you’ll need.
  • Determine the number of furniture pieces that will be stored.
  • If you can, take rough measurements for larger items.

Visualize storage unit sizes with painter’s tape.

Here’s a technique to try if you need help to identify space. Mark off a space within your driveway or any open area the size of a typical unit using some painter’s tape or masking tape. After that, insert some empty moving boxes to gauge how quickly the space fills. The smallest storage units are most suited for this approach.

Visualizing the dimensions of storage units

Pay close attention to all the dimensions stated by the facility as you imagine how much storage the unit will offer. Depending on the particular design of the unit and the building it is placed in length and width, it may be reversed.

For instance, a common question from brand-new renters is: What’s the difference between a 5′ x 10′ and a 10′ x 5′ storage unit? 

You might be surprised at how simple the solution is. Two storage units with dimensions 5×10 and 10×5 theoretically provide the same floor space proportion. One, however, is flipped, with one having a shorter and wider length. Remember this when looking at storage unit sizes, and don’t hesitate to ask the facility any more questions if you have any. Before you sign a rental agreement, a storage staff or manager can tour the unit.

Go up a size if you’re unsure.

It’s only sometimes a good idea to save money by selecting a smaller storage unit than you require. (Specifically for considerations of safety.) For instance, you ought to only cram boxes into a storage space that is at most four. Even if you are a particularly tall person, boxes that topple over at that height pose a risk of injury to visitors to your unit or even damage to your belongings. For similar reasons, you should only stack up to two pieces of tall furniture. 

You may choose the larger option if you’ve calculated how much space you’ll need, but see that the unit will be full. Additionally, occasionally upgrading to a larger unit would only cost you a few dollars extra each month if you’re worried about spending more money. Sometimes, a larger unit could cost less if more readily available. If the rental isn’t climate controlled, you can save money by getting a bigger storage space. You always have options, so don’t let the bigger size discourage you before you’ve had a chance to run the figures!

Common Storage Unit Sizes

Important Reminder: Keep in mind that only some locations will have all of these storage unit sizes available when looking at them. The best option in this situation is to choose the next size.

5 x 5

This little area is the smallest storage unit offered in most facilities. How would one use it? If you want a little extra space around the house, the 5’x5′ is ideal. To put the size in context, this unit is about the size of a typical closet. Several boxes, as well as a couple of small pieces of furniture, ought to fit within.

What can fit into a 5 by-5 storage container?

  • Small chairs
  • Clothing
  • several totes or moving boxes
  • Chest of drawers

5 x 10

The second-smallest storage unit, the 5’x10′, is helpful if you need more room for your items. That size is great if you reside in a small city flat. Its size can be compared to that of a walk-in closet. It can fit a king-size bed, an additional dresser, and ten to fifteen medium-sized boxes.

What can fit in a 5 by 10 storage space?

  • 1 or 2 large furniture pieces
  • 10 to 15 moving totes or boxes
  • Yard equipment

5 x 15

The narrow 5’x15′ storage unit, about 30% larger than the 5’x10′, is the next size up. This storage space can accommodate a full-size bedroom’s worth of furniture, which is helpful if you’re leaving a tiny studio apartment. A motorcycle might be rolled inside for the winter as well.

What can fit in a 5 by 15 storage space?

  • Motorcycle
  • 10 to 15 moving totes or boxes.
  • Bedroom furniture

10 x 10

The most popular storage unit size is 10′ x 10′ due to its adaptability. It is a medium-sized area of about 100 square feet, about half the size of an average garage. Easily fit the belongings of a two-bedroom apartment, along with all the boxes and bags they require.

What can fit in a 10 by 10 storage space?

  • Major appliances
  • 10 to 20 moving totes or boxes 
  • The entirety of a compact apartment

10 x 15

Consider the 10’x15′ for a medium-sized unit. Two bedrooms’ belongings, including sizable furniture, appliances, and even a piano, can be kept in this location. It is the device to test out first if you need to store a small car.

What can fit in a 10 by 15 storage space?

  • Major appliances
  • 10 to 20 moving totes or boxes  
  • Certain compact car models
  • Everything in a two-bedroom house

10 x 20

The 10’x20′ storage unit is the second-largest size. Consider the dimensions that constitute a one-car garage to imagine. Most midsize cars or all the appliances, furniture, and boxes from a two or three-bedroom house should fit in this unit.

What can fit in a 10×20 storage space?

  • Items from a 2 to 3-bedroom home
  • Several small and midsize vehicles
  • Specific inventory or supplies for small businesses

How to Choose the Right Storage Unit for Your Needs

Find Your Perfect Unit Today!

Are you looking for the ideal self-storage unit to meet your needs? Look no further! At McDowell Mountain Community Storageour wide range of secure and conveniently located self-storage options ensures you’ll find the ideal space for your belongings. Whether you need a small unit for personal items or a larger unit for business inventory, our dedicated team is ready to assist you. 

If you have questions or want more information, call us at (602) 899-5484.


Here are some frequently asked questions.

Q: Can I visit the storage facility before renting a unit?

Visiting the facility before renting a unit is generally a good idea. That allows you to assess its cleanliness, security measures, and overall condition to ensure it meets your expectations.

Q: Can I change storage units if my needs change?

Many storage facilities allow customers to transfer to a different unit if their needs change. Check with the facility about unit transfer policies and associated fees.

Q: What happens if I need to access my stored items outside regular access hours?

Some storage facilities offer extended or 24-hour access, while others have strict access hours. Determine if the facility’s access hours align with your needs or consider flexible access facilities if you require frequent access outside regular hours.

Q: Are there any restrictions on what I can store in a storage unit?

Storage facilities often have restrictions on storing hazardous materials, perishable items, flammable substances, firearms, and illegal items. Familiarize yourself with these restrictions before renting a unit.

Q: How do I determine the right size of the storage unit?

Assess the items you plan to store and create an inventory. Use online storage calculators or consult the storage facility to determine the appropriate unit size based on your inventory.

Q: Does the storage facility operate on a first-come, first-served basis for unit availability?

Yes, many storage facilities operate on a first-come, first-served basis for unit availability. It means that units are assigned to customers based on their order of inquiry or reservation. It’s recommended to contact the facility as soon as possible to inquire about available units and secure one that meets your needs.