Helping Your Customers Embrace Self Storage Technology

Self Storage Technology

From smartphones to smart homes, it seems there’s no shortage of the convenience and efficiency that technology brings. You can adjust your AC, enhance your security, or even feed your pets with smart technology. These technical advancements are also being applied in the self storage industry. Here is how you can streamline your operations and help your customers embrace self storage technology!

Embracing self storage technology empowers customers to take control of their storage needs like never before. With just a few clicks, customers can browse available units, choose the size that fits their needs, and book it instantly. This not only saves time but also eliminates the hassle of dealing with paperwork.

There is only a single drawback to moving into the world of technology. It is getting your customers used to the learning curve associated with this trend.

Trusted Self Storage is your go-to for everything from personal storage to warehouse space to vehicle, boat, and RV parking. Our friendly, professional staff is always available to educate you on how technology benefits your self storage experience.

Self storage Technology

Customer Benefits of Self Storage Technology

Self storage technology makes the storage experience more convenient and efficient than ever before. Gone are the days of having to physically visit a storage facility and fill out paperwork.

Furthermore, self storage technology often includes smart access controls, allowing customers to access their units at any time, day or night. This is particularly useful for individuals with busy schedules or those who may need to retrieve items after regular business hours.

With smart access controls, customers can use their mobile devices to enter the facility and access their units. This eliminates the need for physical keys or staff assistance, providing customers with ultimate flexibility and convenience.

Additionally, self storage technology often includes features such as inventory management and digital locks. These tools make it easier to locate specific belongings when needed. Digital locks provide an added layer of security, ensuring that only authorized individuals can access the storage unit.

Overcoming Common Challenges that Customers Face Using Self Storage Technology

While self storage technology offers numerous benefits, it’s important to acknowledge that some customers may face challenges when using these innovative solutions.

Mastering the Learning Curve

One common issue is the learning curve associated with new technology. Online booking systems and smartphone apps can be intimidating for some customers. Older individuals or those with limited technological know-how may find it difficult to navigate through the various features.

System Failures and Glitches

Another challenge customers may face is the potential for technical glitches or system failures. Like any technology, self storage systems are not immune to occasional malfunctions. These can range from confusing online booking errors to frustrating access control issues.

These problems can cause inconvenience for customers, especially if they urgently need to access their stored items. Therefore, self storage facilities must have a robust support system in place to resolve these technical issues promptly.

Security Concerns

Last, some customers may have concerns about the security of their personal information. Online booking systems and digital access controls require customers to provide personal information.l

Details such as contact and payment information will be needed. It is essential to reassure customers that their data will be securely stored and protected from unauthorized access.
Educating customers about the security measures in place can help alleviate any concerns and build trust in technology.

Best Practices for Teaching Customers to Use Self Storage Technology

Instructional Videos and Tutorials

One effective method is to create instructional videos and tutorials that demonstrate the various features and functionalities of the technology. These videos can be hosted on the facility’s website or shared on social media platforms.

By visually guiding customers through the process, they can better understand and retain the information. It is important to keep these videos concise and engaging. Keep the focus on the key steps and benefits of using self storage technology.

Personalized Customer Service

It’s vital to provide personalized assistance to customers who need additional support. Facilities should have a dedicated support team available to answer customer inquiries and resolve any issues that may arise. This can be done by phone, live chat support, or email. It’s important to tailor assistance to customer needs based on their level of technical knowledge.

When providing customer support, staff needs to be knowledgeable about self storage technology and its features. This includes being able to troubleshoot common issues, guide customers through the steps, and address any concerns. Support staff can assist customers more effectively if they have ongoing training and updates.

The Future Impact of Self Storage Technology

The future of self storage technology is bright. Continuous advancements will further enhance the customer experience. One area of growth is the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning into self storage technology. AI can help automate various processes, such as unit recommendations based on customer preferences or predictive analytics to anticipate customer needs.

Furthermore, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies can potentially change the way customers interact with self storage facilities. VR can create immersive experiences, allowing customers to virtually tour the facility. They can visualize different unit sizes, giving them a better idea of their storage needs. AR can overlay digital information onto the physical environment. This provides customers with real-time guidance and instructions.

Final Thoughts

As self storage technology continues to evolve, facilities must not only stay informed but fully educate their customers. By staying ahead of the learning curve, they can remain competitive and empower customers to take control of their storage needs.

Think Outside the Gift Box: Self Storage is the Perfect Father’s Day Present

Perfect Father’s Day Present

Father’s Day is a special occasion to honor and appreciate the fathers in our lives. It is a time to celebrate their love, guidance, and support. However, finding the perfect gift for Dad can be quite a challenge.

Most of us tend to go the traditional route and buy a tie or a new set of tools. Dad will be expecting that type of present, so why not think outside the gift box this year? Self-storage could be the perfect present for your Dad. It may sound unconventional, but it is a practical and unique gift that he will appreciate.

The Father’s Day Gift Dilemma

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you struggle to find the perfect Father’s Day gift? It happens to the best of us.
Every year, we face the same dilemma of what to buy for Dad. Most of the time, we get him something generic, like a tie or a shirt. While these gifts are practical, they do not reflect our Dad’s personality or interests.

This year, why not break away from the usual gift-giving routine? Instead of a traditional gift, why not give your Dad the gift of self-storage? It is a unique gift that will show him how much you care about his passions and want to support them.

Trusted Self Storage has a wide range of types and sizes of storage that would be perfect for Dad. We can help you choose the right size unit for his needs.The perfect fathers day gift

Self Storage is a Unique and Practical Father’s Day Gift

Self Storage provides a solution for Dad’s cluttered garage and lack of space for his hobbies and projects. Giving him a self-storage unit means you’re giving him the gift of organization and the perfect place to keep his belongings secure.

Your Dad may have a collection of vintage cars, sports equipment, or tools that he doesn’t use often. If he doesn’t want to discard or sell these things, a self-storage unit is the solution.

Self Storage Options for Different Types of Dads

Every Dad is unique, and so are their storage needs. Here are a few self-storage options that you can consider for different types of Dads.

1. The Sports Enthusiast Dad

If your Dad is a sports enthusiast, he may have a collection of equipment that takes up a lot of space. A self-storage unit can provide a secure place to store golf clubs, fishing gear, and other sports equipment. He can also use the space to organize his garage and create room for his hobbies.

2. The DIY Dad

If your Dad loves DIY projects, he may have a huge collection of tools and equipment. A self-storage unit can provide a safe and accessible place to store these items. He can work on his ideas without worrying about cluttering his home.

3. The Collector Dad

If your Dad is a collector, he may have a collection of vintage cars, antiques, or memorabilia that he treasures. A climate-controlled self-storage unit can provide protection for his cherished collection and keep it in pristine condition.

4. The Traveling Dad

If your Dad enjoys travel or has a job that takes him away from home for months at a time, he may need a place to store some of his more valuable belongings. He’ll love having a self-storage unit to keep his items safe and protected until he returns.

5. The Business Dad

If your dad owns a home or retail business that lacks space for inventory and supplies, he’ll love having a self storage unit. You’ll be giving him the perfect, secure space to store inventory and extra office equipment and materials.
How to Choose the Right Self Storage Unit for Dad

When choosing a storage unit for Dad, it’s a good idea to consider the following features.

1. Size

The size of the unit will depend on your Dad’s storage needs. If he has a lot of belongings, he may need a large unit. A small unit may be sufficient if he only needs to store a few items.
Don’t waste money on space that Dad can’t use. With flexible, monthly leasing terms it’s easy to change unit sizes.

2. Location

It’s important to choose a facility that is close to your Dad’s home or workplace. This way he can easily access his belongings.

3. Security

Security is crucial when choosing a self-storage unit. You want to choose a well-maintained facility that has video surveillance, gated access, and secure locks.

Create a Fun Self Storage Gift Package

If you want to get creative with your gift-giving, get a set of storage baskets and fill them with storage supplies. Add boxes, labels, and tape, to help your Dad organize his belongings. Add a list of self storage tips and tricks and offer your help with moving and organizational tasks.

Be sure to check with your local storage facility to see if there are any current specials and discounts.


Giving your Dad the gift of self-storage is a unique and practical way to show him how much you care. Be sure to choose the right unit for your Dad’s storage needs. Add personal touches to the gift package to make it even more special. Happy Father’s Day!

Give Mom More Space for Mother’s Day

Space for Mother’s Day

Are you unsure about what your Mom would truly appreciate on Mother’s Day? Depending on her current stage of motherhood, her desires may range from a peaceful night’s sleep and breakfast in bed to a day of shopping sans the kids. While some moms may enjoy jewelry and unique home decor, others prefer flowers and a good book.

On the other hand, you might have a mom who is craving nothing more than a clean and organized home. She’s fed up with stuffing clutter into closets and corners. As a matter of fact, she would be thrilled to use the garage for her car rather than as a storage area for junk.

So, what’s the ideal gift for this type of mom? How about a self storage unit?

At first glance, she may not be excited. However, as soon as she realizes that she can actually park her car in the garage, her imagination will run wild. The countless advantages of more space will be very appealing.

She’s envisioning that messy spare room as the craft area or home office that she’s always wanted. At Trusted Self Storage, we can make Mom’s dreams come true with secure and reasonably priced storage options. We’ll give her the perfect storage solution to fit her needs and your budget.

Space for mother's day


Why Mom Needs A Self Storage Unit for Mother’s Day

Mom Would Love to Keep Her Car in the Garage

Have you ever seen your mom dragging in those heavy bags of groceries from the driveway to the kitchen? No wonder she’s always in a bad mood on grocery shopping days, especially when it’s raining, snowing, or windy outside. Who wouldn’t be grumpy after that?

Here’s a solution that will lighten up her mood. Clean out that cluttered garage and make space for her car. This way, she can park the car inside and walk straight to the kitchen with all those heavy bags. You know what they say, a happy mom equals a happy family. It’s time to get to work and declutter that garage. Keep what’s useful, toss the junk, and take the rest to the self storage unit. Remember to keep frequently used items in the front of the unit, or you might end up with a grumpy mom again.

Space for Mother’s Day: Mom Would Love an Organized Home Office Space

It seems like Mom’s home office has turned into a dumping ground for random items, including broken toys, bags, and boxes. The litter box isn’t helping either. It’s time to declutter the space and find a new home for all of these things, including the cat. The family has been putting off this task for too long, and it’s time to take action.

Start by repairing or discarding the broken toys and going through the boxes to decide what to keep and what needs to go. Move the litter box to the basement, and take useful items to the storage unit. Give the room a thorough cleaning and consider adding some new furniture, lighting, and accessories to make it more sophisticated and stylish.

Once the task is completed, give Mom some space and let her enjoy her new and improved office. She’ll be much happier and more productive in a clean and organized workspace.

Mom Would Love a Backyard Escape

Your once beautiful backyard shed was an attractive structure resembling a smaller version of your main house. Over time, however, it has deteriorated into a dilapidated eyesore. Chipped paint, loose boards, broken windows, and a missing door make it look like the survivor of a disaster. As a result, it has become a haven for broken lawn furniture, tools that haven’t been used in decades, and unwanted guests like raccoons, possums, and mice.

To make the most of your shed space, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Just like you did with your garage and home office, it’s time to clean, sort, and discard any unnecessary items. Take everything that you want to keep but don’t need to access regularly to a convenient self-storage unit.

This rundown building can be transformed into a space where Mom can unwind and enjoy some alone time. It will give her the freedom to express herself and relax without any distractions from the kids, work, or household chores. This quiet retreat will allow her to recharge and return to her daily routine with renewed energy and a happier mindset.


Whether you give your Mom expensive jewelry, a fancy handbag, or a self storage unit, she’ll cherish it with all her heart. That’s because it’s from you – her favorite person in all the world. She sometimes drives you crazy, but she’ll always be your biggest cheerleader and a lifelong friend. So, go ahead and surprise her with a storage unit. She’s been itching for a spot to store your childhood treasures.

It’s Time to Store Your Outdoor Gear and Summer Toys

Self Storage Best Practices

There’s still plenty of time to enjoy the outdoors in the fall before the snow flies and winter takes over. Outdoor gear, toys, and other types of leisure gear can break down over time if they aren’t taken care of properly. If you want your camping gear, sports supplies, and other outdoor equipment to remain in excellent functioning condition the next time you need to use them, learn self storage best practices for your seasonal items.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: self storage units are not places to store anything irreplaceable, but most are safe and reliable. When these valuables aren’t being used, self storage is the best place to keep them safe and secure. Here are some suggestions on the best way to preserve your summer equipment and outdoor toys until next season:

Miscellaneous outdoor gear ready to be stored.

Self Storage Best Practices: Camping Gear

Tents can survive the weather, but they wear out rapidly if not kept properly. Mold may form on a damp cloth, and a compression bag can shorten the life of the tent poles. Follow these steps to clean your tent before putting it away for the winter:

  • Use soap and water to clean the cloth gently. When you’ve finished removing all of the dirt and odors, it’s time to give it a good rinse.
  • Let the tent dry entirely in the air by hanging it up or spreading it out on a flat surface.
  • Pillowcase the dry tent and tent poles together. The tent’s compact carrying bag isn’t great for long-term storage; it’s better suited for transport.

Watersports Equipment

Scuba equipment, surfboards, and water skis all require different care than your average pair of shoes. Water skis and scuba gear may be hosed off to remove marine debris, including salt, sand, and bacteria. The next step is to let them air dry completely.

Surfboards need significantly more maintenance. Surfboards, like any other piece of aquatic gear, should be rinsed thoroughly after use. However, before stowing the board away for the winter, its wax coating should be renewed. And here’s how you do it:

  • For best results, you should heat up the surfboard in direct sunlight for at least half an hour. Because of this, removing the wax from the board will be a much simpler task.
  • All wax, filth, and grime can be removed with a little WD-40.
  • The board has to be totally dry before a new layer of wax is applied.
  • Surfboards should be kept in a permeable bag, much as dive gear and water skis.

Canoes and kayaks, although designed for use in the great outdoors, shouldn’t be kept there while they aren’t in use. Sunlight may deteriorate plastic and composite boats. On top of that, materials and joints might be particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of cold weather. Before putting them in self storage, follow these steps:

  • All hatch covers should be removed and the inside thoroughly cleaned to ensure that no moisture is trapped.
  • To prevent mold and mildew from forming inside a kayak, the float plugs should be removed.
  • Use cockpit coverings or a permeable sheet to cover the interior of the vessel to keep it clean while allowing air circulation.
  • Canoes and plastic kayaks should be stored with their hulls up, but composite kayaks may be stored on their sides or upside down.
  • Avoid storing them on the ground at all costs to avoid creating a pressure point wherever they make contact. Use a rack to hang them and distribute the weight properly to prevent warping.

Inflatable Summer Toys

Some pool toys and floats have weird shapes that make it hard to find a good way to store them. Here are some suggestions for stowing away your pool equipment.

  • Always deflate your inflatables to the lowest possible level before putting them away, since any residual air might act as a moisture trap.
  • Avoid scratches and rips by making sure everything is dry and clear of debris.
  • Spread a small coating of cornstarch or talcum powder over the goods before putting them in plastic to prevent them from clinging to one another.
  • Tightly folding or rolling may cause tension on the fabric and seams, ruining the toy for the next season. Often, you won’t realize the toy is destroyed until you spend an hour attempting to blow it up.
Patio Furniture and Grill

You’ve spent the last few months having barbecues on the weekends for your friends and neighbors, who have enjoyed sitting in your patio chairs while you cooked outside. However, after summer is done, you’ll want to store your barbecue and outdoor furnishings somewhere secure. Before you decide to store anything yourself, consider the following:


  • Disconnect the propane tank from your barbecue and keep it in a secure location on your property. You can’t keep flammables in a storage unit
  • Remove any debris and oil from the grill grates before using. You may want to have the grill nice and hot before you start scraping.
  • After cleaning your grill, put some rust preventer on the burners and grates. Finally, cover it with a custom-made cover to protect it from the elements..

Patio Furniture

  • Cleaning wooden furniture is as easy as giving it a quick spray with the garden hose and maybe some oil soap. Don’t bother putting it away until it’s entirely dried.
  • Rust and grime may be easily removed by wiping down and scrubbing metal furniture. It is possible to stop future rust damage by using sealants.
  • You may remove any dust or grime from your other belongings by shaking them out or by washing them in the washing machine.

Your house may soon become too small to store all of your summer gear, in which case you may want to look into a self-storage facility. It’s the quickest, least expensive, and least disruptive method to add square footage on the spot, for as long or short a time as you need it. If you’re wondering how much room you’ll need for storage, click on this Storage Unit Size Guide.

Protect Your Winter Toys in Self Storage

Protect Your Winter Toys in Self Storage

Winter has been over for a few months. Don’t put off storing those winter toys so that they’re in top shape when you head to the slopes again next year. We have you covered. Whether you’re storing skis, snowboards, or snowmobiles, Trusted Self Storage has a wide variety of sizes and types of secure self storage units to protect your winter toys in self storage and ensure they remain in the best condition.

To avoid potential damage to your expensive equipment, there are factors you need to consider before placing your items in storage. We’ve compiled a few suggestions to help you prepare your winter gear for storage.

Protecting Skis and Snowboards

Remove the Dirt: Spray them down with a garden hose, trying not to force water into the bindings. Avoid degreasers or detergent as they can affect the binding lubricant. If there is a build-up of grease or pollen on the bases, use a soft cloth dipped in a little citrus solvent.

Check the Edges: Sharpen the edges of your skis and snowboards to remove the most obvious burrs and reduce the chance of rust. Warmer weather is a good time to have a base grind done to repair any edge damage incurred during the winter.

Wax the Bases: Hot wax the bases with an all temperature or softer warm-weather wax to protect them from oxidation. The wax should cover the edges to reduce the chances of rust.

Loosen the Binding Springs or Remove the Bindings: Skiers should loosen the DIN settings on both toe pieces and move the heel pieces into the ski position. This decreases tension in the springs to keep them in better condition. Snowboarders can remove their bindings or loosen the screws to reduce stress on inserts and prevent dimpling of the base.

Protect Them in Self Storage: A climate-controlled self storage unit with no sunlight is ideal for both skis and snowboards. To ensure that skis don’t fall over, strap them together at their natural meeting point and pad them.

Don’t Forget Your Boots: Pull the liners out of your boots and make sure everything is completely dry. Your next step is to buckle the boots loosely so that they hold their shape. Check heels and toes for wear and replace if necessary. If your snowboard boot laces are worn, replace them now so that they’re ready for the next season.

Snowboarding and skiing gear.


Protecting Snowmobiles

Clean and Wax the Exterior: Clean the exterior with warm, soapy water and a sponge; be sure not to forget to clean under the hood. Use a high-pressure washer to clean the track, runners and suspension. Once you’ve finished cleaning your vehicle, apply a coat of wax to protect it and make it easier to clean in the future.

Maintain the Fuel System: Before you decide whether to store your vehicle with a full tank of gas or not, be sure you know which type of fuel system you’re dealing with. For older models that use a carburetor system, drain the tank. For fuel-injected systems, store your snowmobile with a full tank of gas to reduce the risk of condensation getting into the fuel system. Add a fuel stabilizer to prevent corrosion.

Drain the Carburetor: To keep the fuel from evaporating and creating a damaging chalky residue, remove the carburetor float bowls and drain excess fuel.

Grease Lube Points and Chassis: Add grease to any point with a grease fitting. Use WD-40 or a similar lightweight oil for suspension rails, exhaust, and nuts, and avoid getting it on the clutch or belts.

Remove the Battery and Belt: As long as you’re storing your snowmobile in a climate-controlled storage unit, you can remove your battery and keep it in the unit away from direct light. You can either use a battery tender or trickle charge the battery. Remove the drive belt so that condensation won’t build between the belt and the clutch. Store the belt unrolled.

Raise It and Cover It: Ideally, you should store your snowmobile on a set of snowmobile dollies to keep it above the floor. To prevent rodents and other pests from making your vehicle a summer home, scatter dryer sheets around and stuff the muffler outlet, carburetor intake, cooling system intake, and outlet holes with steel wool. Finally, use a soft, lightweight, well fitted cover to prevent scratches or moisture build-up.


Now that you’ve read these guidelines, you have no more excuses. Get those winter toys prepared for storage in a safe, climate-controlled facility before summer rolls around. When you’re ready to use them again, they’ll be waiting for you in the same perfect condition as they were when you stored them.

Self Storage As An Option for Business Owners

With commercial office space becoming increasingly more expensive, small business owners are exploring other options. Working from home is becoming a popular alternative, and some business owners are looking at using self storage for business purposes.

In theory, using your self storage unit as an office or a workshop sounds like a great idea. Overhead is low and you can rent the right-sized space for your needs. Nevertheless, in most cases, using your storage unit for these purposes is not permitted.

Setting up your desk, laptop, and other office equipment isn’t generally a legal option. There are, however, some facilities that offer designated retail and office space available, enabling businesses to operate legally. These spaces are generally outfitted with restrooms and conference rooms. In some cases that may include parking for tenants as well as their customers. Here at Trusted Self Storage, a number of our facilities feature office space.

All things considered, traditional storage units, are very useful to business owners. It’s an inexpensive option for storing business supplies, office equipment, and inventory. Even important documents can be carefully packed and placed in your storage unit.

Self storage gives you the ability to scale your business. With flexible month-to-month lease terms, it’s easy to increase your space if your business is growing rapidly. On the other hand, if your business is seasonal or you have a temporary downturn, you can save money by decreasing your space for a short time. This kind of flexibility is extremely beneficial in managing day-to-day operations.

A Sensible Option: Self Storage for Business Owners


Woman opening the doors to her business.

You’re not permitted to conduct business inside a traditional storage unit. These spaces are limited to storage and order fulfillment only. For a complete description of what is permissible in your storage unit, be sure to refer to your lease, and don’t attempt any of the following activities inside your unit until you talk to the manager.

  • Meeting customers and conducting sales out of the unit.
  • Installing telephones, computers, or other office equipment and electronics inside the unit.
  • Adding wiring and electrical outlets beyond what is currently in the unit.
  • Operating power tools or other machinery in the unit.

As mentioned above, storage units can be advantageous to certain business owners. Here are a few examples of businesses that can benefit from using a self storage unit.

Examples of Self Storage for Business Owners

Landscapers or Contractors

Landscapers and contractors use items that are bulky and irregularly shaped. Lawnmowers, leaf blowers, spreaders, circular saws, wood, and drills take up a lot of room in a garage or trailer. Using a self storage unit for these items keeps them organized and out of your way. With 365-day access at most storage facilities, it’s easy to drop off and pick up on a convenient schedule.

Contractors have the added problem of heavy-duty vehicles like backhoes and huge trucks. Instead of appropriating the limited space in their business parking areas to these vehicles, they can store this equipment securely at the same facility where they store their tools and supplies. Moving these vehicles away from their business will upgrade their curb appeal and provide more parking space for customers.

Independent Publishers

Book dealers and independent publishers handle mountains of magazines, pamphlets, brochures, and books. A self-storage unit is a perfect place for an independent publisher or dealer to store inventory and supplies. To maintain books and printed materials in good condition, a climate-controlled storage unit is safer than a damp garage or the trunk of a car. If the publisher rents from a facility with delivery acceptance services, products can be directly shipped to the storage unit without the owner having to be present.

Service Professionals

Multiple storage units spread out across various locations can be an important convenience for service and maintenance professionals. For example, a cleaning service that has customers over a wide area would benefit from having supplies and equipment in convenient locations rather than having to drive to one central facility. Renting storage is more affordable for these businesses than larger commercial buildings.

Restaurants and Catering

These types of businesses deal with an overabundance of supplies and equipment. Spare china and glassware, tables and chairs for special events, linens, and appliances can use a lot of space. These businesses need to devote every square foot to cooking and dining in order to increase profits.

Retail and eCommerce

Whether a business is brick and mortar with limited space or a store that is entirely online, self storage is a perfect solution. Inventory, marketing materials, and supplies should be kept in a climate-controlled unit to prevent damage and deterioration.

Self storage is far more versatile than you would imagine. These are only a few of the businesses that could benefit from using a self storage unit, and there are many more. If you own a business that is taking over space in your home or your office, explore the self storage option today.

Only Belongings Should Live in Self Storage Units – Don’t Allow the Homeless to Live in Yours

Self Storage is for Storage, Not Living

A self storage unit is meant to store the overflow from your home, your seasonal decorations, or that clutter that you’re not yet ready to discard. It’s not meant as a temporary home for the homeless or their animals. The primary obligation of a self storage facility is to its tenants. Letting people live in a unit is dangerous, irresponsible, and also illegal.

People have started fires, been injured, and destroyed the belongings of legitimate tenants. Homelessness is heartbreaking on many levels; but, if people want help, there is plenty available. Unfortunately, their situation is not your problem nor the problem of your paying tenants.

The issue of the homeless trying to find shelter in abandoned buildings as well as self storage units is especially prevalent during the winter months and has been magnified by COVID-19. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2020 Annual Homeless Assessment Report, “580,466 people experienced homelessness in the United States on a single night in 2020, an increase of 12,751 people, or 2.2 percent, from 2019.”

All of these people need a place to sleep, and, not all, but some of them can be menacing. As a self storage operator, there may be a time that you have to deal with people illegally living in your units. Be proactive and take steps to make sure that only your tenants’ personal belongings are “living” in your self storage units.

Woman taking note while packing boxes


Take Steps to Keep Your Self Storage Units From Becoming Homes

Consistently Maintain Security Standards

Keep an up-to-date gate log and check video recordings against your log. Do regular walk-throughs of the property, and inspect storage units on a consistent schedule. People who are planning to live in a unit will be deterred by your watchfulness.

Be Suspicious

Teach your managers to “trust their gut” by watching for unusual activity. People who have been living on the street for the long term can be manipulative. If a manager finds people living in a unit, they should immediately call the police (see below). People living in storage units need to be evicted immediately, or both the tenant and the owner could face criminal charges. If children are involved, the consequences will be even more serious. If one of your tenants reports suspicious activity, take it seriously.

Keep Detailed Records and Approach with Caution

  • Never approach anyone alone. Always call the police. Sadly, many of these people may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol or mentally ill and can become aggressive or violent.
  • Keep consistently detailed records. The police will require security footage, gate log records, keypad activity, manager-on-duty records, payment history, and more. This material will be invaluable if the tenant who is renting the unit takes legal action against the facility.
  • If you’re in an area where this occurs frequently, take extra precautions by increasing security and fostering a good relationship with the police.

Lease Agreements should be Unambiguous

There should be no room for misunderstanding. Your lease agreement should be unquestionably clear on your rules against living in a unit. If your property is in a city with a serious homelessness problem, you should review this information in detail with every new tenant. You can’t be sure of people’s intentions, and when people are desperate they don’t always act in their own best interest or anyone else’s.

Don’t Let Compassion Override Common Sense

We all feel compassion for people who are forced into a situation that leaves them without a place to live. It’s sad and frustrating because the people who truly need help are overshadowed by the people who have criminal intent. This problem has to be dealt with on a systemic basis. The homeless need the right people and resources to help them overcome these problems. Letting the homeless reside in your storage facility is not compassionate. It’s enabling behavior that pushes them a little further on their downhill spiral, and it’s unjust to your paying tenants.

If your facility is in an area with a critical homelessness problem and you want to help, there are countless non-profit organizations that would welcome your time and financial contributions. Here is a shortlist of other ways to help. If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, contact us to discuss our third-party management services.

  • Make cards with the contact information of nearby shelters and offer them to any homeless people that you may find in or around your facility.
  • Collect hygiene supplies and clothing, especially socks, at your facility and donate to a local shelter.
  • Volunteer to help at a local homeless shelter. You may have a skill that they need.
  • Fundraise with social media and legitimate crowdfunding sites. Don’t underestimate the power of a community bake sale.
  • Don’t forget youth homelessness. Unaccompanied youth experience homelessness on a different level than adults, and there are specific services available for their needs.
Back to Top