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Storage Glossary

Commonly Used Self-Storage Terms

Compiled for you by the experts at

Access Hours. Hours during which tenants are able to access their Storage space.

Administration Fee. Self-storage facilities often charge a onetime administrative fee instead of charging for a security deposit. The administration fee is usually less than a traditional deposit amount. Some facilities collect administrative fees to offset the cost of processing paperwork for new rentals.

Auto Bill Pay. The most popular payment method for storage, auto bill pay automatically deducts your rent so that your account is always current.

Boat Storage. Typically for boats on trailers, stored in RV Storage spaces. See "RV Storage."

Brass Lock. An individual lock that is weather resistant, corrosion resistant, and features anti-pick tumblers.

Business Storage. Businesses often need extra space for seasonal items, pharmaceutical storage, and inventory. Self-storage is a good alternative to expensive leased retail space.

Climate Controlled Storage. Storage facilities that offer Climate Control prevent temperature extremes in these units. Units are heated in the winter and cooled in the summer so that the unit stays at an even temperature. Climate controlled units are ideal for items that are sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity levels, including pharmaceutical supplies, electronics, and items that could melt or become disfigured in hot or cold environments.

Cold Storage (Non-Climate Control). An enclosed storage unit secured by the tenant’s own lock and key that is not protected from humidity and temperature extremes.

Deliveries Accepted. Some storage facilities may be able to accept shipments for you.

Disc Lock / Cylinder Lock. This lock is the most popular choice for storage tenants and offers the most security against theft, breaking or rust.

Document Storage. Specialty handling of boxes of documents, including categorizing, scanning, storing in vaulted rooms, and retrieval and delivery services. You can also do "document self storage" by simply purchasing metal racks for your storage unit and storing document boxes yourself. Whip-out the Sharpies!

Drive-Up Unit. This unit type is often accessible from a main driveway. These units are positioned so tenants can drive right up to the storage unit door for easy loading and unloading of belongings. Drive up storage units are generally larger units (10x15 to 10x30).

Electronic Gate Access. Storage units secured by doors/gates that are accessed by the tenant entering their pin code in a gate access system (the personal code is typically entered into a keypad).

Elevator. Load it, get in, and go up to the floor where your unit is located.

Facility Fee. See Administration Fee definition above.

Gate Access Code. Storage facilities that have a security access system will give tenants individual access codes (commonly referred to as PIN’s) which will open the gate/door that secures the storage property. Individual access codes help to prevent non-authorized individuals from entering the facility.

Gate Hours / Office Hours. When you can access your unit, and when you can pay and "do business" with the beloved Storage Manager.

Hallway / Interior / Indoor Unit. Units located in the interior corridor of a storage building. Vehicles cannot directly access these units. Most hallway/interior units are accessed through exterior service doors or by elevators. In most cases, these units are smaller in size (5x5 to10x15).

Hazardous Materials. Hazardous materials are items that are unsafe to store. Some examples of hazardous items include flammable or explosive materials, chemicals, fireworks, and gasoline.

Heated Storage. Similar to climate-controlled storage units that are heated to prevent freezing temperatures during cold winter months.

Household Storage. Got a house? Declutter it and store your stuff with us.

Humidity Controlled Storage. A storage unit with humidity regulation to minimize moisture in the air.

Insurance. Self-storage facilities are generally not responsible for the contents of your unit so it is always a good idea to insure the goods you are storing. Self-storage insurance is almost always available to you at the time you rent your unit through the self-storage facility or through an independent third party who is referred by the self-storage property. Before you buy insurance, check with your own agent. In many cases, your homeowner’s or renter’s policy will cover you at no extra cost.

Keypad Access. Signifies that a facility has secure buildings and or gates that control access by giving each tenant a unique keypad code. Enter it and then, ahem, enter it.

Loading Bay. This usually describes a large drive-in area that allows you to drive your moving van inside to load or unload comfortably.

Lock. A keyed security device placed on your storage unit door. Only you should have the key to open your storage unit.

Locker. A term used to describe the storage space a person rents. Lockers are also referred to as units, space, store rooms, or storage units. Depending on the storage facility, lockers or storage units come in a variety of sizes from a 5x5 (closet size) to a 10x20 (single car garage) and larger. When trying to figure out what size locker or unit you may need, it is often best to call your local storage operator.

Long Term Storage. Storing for more than 12 months is typically considered to be long term storage.

Mezzanine Lift. Similar to a freight lift, a mezzanine lift assists you in moving your items in between floors so you don't have to carry them up or down stairs.

Mini Storage. A common term used to describe self storage, which is used by individuals or businesses to store household and commercial goods. Mini Storage is also commonly referred to as moving storage, mini warehouse, public storage, storage locker, storage center or self-storage.

Month to Month Lease. When choosing a storage facility, this is something storage customers should be aware of. A month to month lease means the tenant pays monthly for as long as they need storage. This type of storage lease does not lock a tenant into a long term lease agreement. Most month to month leases start and are payable on the first of every month. Most units allow month to month rentals, so you only pay for the storage unit during the time when you need it.

Online Rental. The magic that Storitz provides: Search for a location, configure your unit (choose the size and climate/control, floor/level), then rent it! Choose your move-in date, your move-in promotion and pay for it. Show up on your move-in day with your receipt and confirmation code and simply move your stuff in.

Online Reservation. Hold a unit, no guarantee on pricing and promotions. But gets you started.

Perishable Materials. Materials that will spoil or otherwise perish should not be stored in a self-storage unit. Examples of perishable items include food or live animals.

Pharmaceutical Storage. Pharmaceutical representatives often store supplies in self-storage facilities; however, some products require climate controlled storage.

Rental Lease / Rental Agreement. A legal contract signed by the tenant. A rental lease or rental agreement is required by most-every storage facility in order to rent a storage unit. If you have pre-paid your first month online, you will sign the agreement when you physically arrive at the site before going to your unit.

Roll-Up Door. A wide door that opens from the ground to the ceiling and provides more access to the storage unit.

RV Storage. Storage spaces designed for RVs and vehicles in general. We see sports cars, vintage cars, buses, and all kinds of wheeled things that people don't want to keep in their driveway. Typically rented by the length of space in 5' increments, RV Storage Spaces start at 10' up to 40', but sometimes as long as 55'. Check for indoor or outdoor. And, check if it's an individual garage-style unit (the most expensive option). Look for RV amenities such as a dump station and a wash rack.

Satellite Store. A nearby storage location that is managed from another storage office, typically not more than a few blocks away.

Self-Storage. Abbreviated term for self-service storage, and is commonly referred to as moving storage, mini storage, mini warehouse, public storage, storage locker, storage center or self store. Self-storage facilities lease space to individuals storing household goods and other valuables, to businesses storing archived records, excess inventory or pharmaceutical supplies, and to individuals storing recreational vehicles such as boats, campers, trailers, all terrain vehicles, and snowmobiles.

Steel Lock. An individual lock that is weather resistant, corrosion resistant, and features anti-pick tumblers.

Short Term Storage. Storing for one-to-eleven months is typically considered to be short term storage.

Storage Manager / On-site Manager / Resident Manager. The bartender of self-storage. Seen and heard everything you can imagine. Love and respect the person who keeps your property clean and neat and watches for suspicious activity. This person is also a fount of information regarding accepting shipments, office and gate hours, when to give notice that you're moving out, etc.

Storage REIT. A publicly listed self-storage ownership company. Big companies like Public Storage, Extra Space, CubeSmart, Uncle Bob's (doesn't sound big, does it?), are listed and traded publicly and own hundreds or even thousands of properties.

Storage Tax. Some states or provinces may require a sales tax on storage rentals.

Transfer Fee. A processing charge generated when a tenant moves (transfers) from an existing unit into a new unit at the same facility.

Upper Unit. Multi-level storage facilities offer storage on 1st, 2nd, 3rd floors, and so on. Your storage manager may use the term 'upper unit' to indicate the space is not on the first floor.

Wine Storage. Wine storage units are specifically designed to maintain the appropriate temperature, amount of light and stable environment necessary for keeping wine.

Zen Storage. Clear out your work and living areas by keeping stuff you don't use all the time in storage. Make your storage clean, well-lighted and organized. Use shelves, containers and boxes, mark and sort them, and then come anytime to get your stuff and use it (for skiing, fishing, holiday supplies, etc.) and then put it back when you're done. Let's Get Organized!

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