Probably the most common way for tenants to squeeze as much space as possible out of a storage unit is to pack many boxes or bins and to stack those on top of each other.
If you’ve had a densely packed unit for any length of time, however, you know what problems can arise. Due to the sheer weight, lower boxes can become crushed, and bins cracked. Stacks become lopsided. Perhaps worst of all, even if you label your boxes diligently and know what is in each one, it’s difficult to get to any of them. Those high up are difficult to lift away, and those lower down require you to move many boxes before you can get to them.
Self-storage facility managers understand this problem, which is why many facilities offer shelving as part of their services. Since the details differ so much from one facility to another, I’m unable to give exact product and pricing information, but can share some trends.
In general, those facilities with optional shelving will either rent the shelves on a month-to-month basis, usually at around $6.00 per month, or will charge a one-time installation fee but no monthly rent, at about $35.00 per wall.
Some facilities will also sell you the shelving, but unless you will have your items in a unit for many years, you will most likely save by renting. You also won’t be burdened with shelving you don’t need when you leave the facility. Strong, tall, sturdy shelves suitable for self-storage can cost a minimum of $130.
The advantage to shelving is that your boxes never need to be stacked more than two high and will avoid crushed boxes or tilting stacks. You’ll be able to get to each box much easier, so that if you need a particular item it will be available. Of course, there will still be space in the middle of the room, as most shelves work best when against walls.That space is ideal for furniture and lighter boxes.
When looking for a unit to rent, compare what various facilities have to offer to find one that best suits your needs.