Commonly Asked Questions About Storage Options

When you are shopping around for storage units and storage solutions, it is not uncommon to have many questions about your options. Here at Midway Moving & Storage, our Chicago movers and storage experts answer some of the most frequently asked storage questions.

What is self-storage?

Self-storage is the type of storage solution and units most people are familiar with, where you have your own storage vault (unit). You are responsible for all aspects of the storage process, including packing, moving, and transporting your items to and from your storage unit.

TIP: Hire residential movers near you to do the lifting, loading, and unloading of your items into and out of your storage unit.

Dimly lit storage unit

The storage facility may require you to purchase your own lock for your unit. The unit could either be indoors or outdoors. Units typically come in a wide range of sizes to accommodate your storage needs.

Access to your property could be during set hours or available 24/7, depending on the facility. You should inquire what hours you will have access to your items, as these can vary from the normal “office” hours of the storage facility.

What is mobile storage?

Mobile storage is a newer storage option offered in many areas, including here in Chicago by our residential moving company. With this option, a portable storage unit is delivered to your home. You can load or unload items or have our movers do the work for you instead.

Compact storage unit

Once your unit is loaded, it is shipped off to one of our secure storage facilities. With mobile storage solutions, no one has “onsite” access to the portable storage units. Rather, when you need access to your storage unit, you call and schedule a time for the unit to be delivered to your home.

What is full-service storage?

Full-service storage is the newest type of storage solution. It developed out of a combination of mobile storage and residential mover services. You pack and box up any of the items you want to place into storage—and that’s it. You could also request professional packing services from our moving company, and we will do the packing, too!

Once you are ready to have the items placed in storage, you schedule a pick-up time. Our movers arrive, load your items into one of our moving trucks, and transport them to one of our secure storage facilities.

Man checking a box

During the loading process, your boxes are typically bar-coded for easy tracking. This allows us to know exactly how many boxes you are placing into storage. In addition, if you need to retrieve certain items later, you can just let us know which boxes you require, without having to take everything out of storage.

With full-service storage solutions, your items can be stored in one of several different secure storage facilities, including climate controlled warehouses and private vaults. This solution is great for people on the go who do not have time to transport their items to and from storage or do not want to worry about scheduling a separate trip to pick up or drop more items off.

How much storage space do I need?

Storage space is based on the square footage available in the storage unit, locker, vault, or container. Some of the more common sizes include:

  • 5 x 5 – This is the smallest storage unit you will find. It offers 25 square feet of storage space and is great for storing seasonal items like holiday decorations. It offers about the same amount of space as two standard-sized closets.
  • 5 x 10 – This unit is slightly bigger and can accommodate up to four standard-sized closets or the equivalent of one to two rooms in your home.
  • 10 x 10 – This storage unit is about the size of a standard-sized bedroom. Since you will be stacking items into the space, it can accommodate roughly the contents of two to three rooms.
  • 10 x 15 – If you have several large furniture pieces you want to place into storage, you will want a bigger size of storage unit like this one.
  • 10 x 20 – This has enough space to store most of the items you would find in a three-bedroom home.

Aside from these sizes, there are other storage space options. For instance, our mobile storage container is an 8 x 8 unit to give you plenty of storage space. We also offer unlimited storage space in one of our climate-controlled storage warehouses.

TIP: Request a free consultation from our Chicago movers for assistance in determining the best and right size storage solution.

Corridor of a storage facility

What does climate controlled mean?

When you are searching for storage solutions, you will see some units say they are climate controlled, or the facility offers a climate controlled environment. What this means is the temperature inside the storage area is regulated and maintained year-round at preset temperatures.

This type of storage environment is well-suited for items that cannot handle extreme temperature changes, such as furniture and electronics. For instance, in the summertime, the indoor temperature may be kept around 72 degrees and, in the wintertime, kept around 67 degrees.

Keep in mind, each storage facility determines its own climate-controlled temperatures, and the temperatures used here are just to give you an idea. Just remember to ask what temperatures the facility uses to find out the variances between summertime and wintertime climate-controlled temperatures.

How much does storage cost?

The cost for storage solutions varies, based on several factors, including:

  • Size of the storage unit/space
  • Whether the storage unit/space is climate controlled or not
  • The type of storage solution (i.e., self-service, full-service, or mobile)

In addition, the location of the facility can sometimes be reflective in the price. For instance, a storage facility in downtown Chicago may cost a little more compared to one in the suburbs.

Forklift lifting a box

When comparing costs between your different storage options, weigh the costs against the following:

  • How convenient is it to get my items in and out of storage?
  • What type of security does the facility offer?
  • What amenities are available?
  • How much lead-time is needed for mobile and full-service pickups and drop-offs?
  • Is the company able to accommodate special requests/needs?
  • Can storage solutions be combined as part of my residential moving services?

Sometimes paying a little more for storage solutions near your home is well worth it, compared to a storage unit that you have to drive an hour or longer to get to.

Rows of storage units

Do I need storage insurance?

If you already have a homeowner’s insurance policy or renter’s policy, check with your insurance agent to see if offsite storage is covered. Some policies will cover items stored offsite, up to a certain dollar amount.

Once you find out how much your existing insurance covers, you can decide if you want to take out separate storage insurance. However, if your current insurance does not cover property stored offsite or it does not provide sufficient coverage amounts, then it is highly recommended to get a storage insurance policy as a precaution.

While we do our very best to ensure the safety and security of your property, we cannot account for natural disasters and other events well beyond our control.

Do I have to sign a lease/rental agreement?

Movers with van

In most cases, you will be required to sign a lease/rental agreement. However, most agreements are on a month-to-month basis. This means if you decide you want to terminate your rental agreement, you provide written notice—typically at least 30 days in advance. Just remember to review your lease/rental agreement and ask any questions that you want to be clarified.

Can I switch storage solutions as my needs change?

If you use our storage solutions, you are always free to change from one type of storage to another. However, we do ask you to provide us with advanced notice of your desire to change. Also, keep in mind, changing storage solutions could alter your monthly rental rates.

For further information about our storage solutions and options, or to request a free storage quote from our Chicago movers, please feel free to contact Midway Moving & Storage at (866) 693-4148 today!


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