Frequently Asked Questions
Should I Keep My Stuff Up Off The Floor?
Yes! Just like in your own garage, you should always put something between the concrete floor and your items. Ideal are 2×2 or 2×4 boards if you don’t have access to pallets. Or use shelving to keep items up and organized. The goal is to keep your items from direct contact with the floor. Reality, like in your non-heated garage is that during humid days, concrete can “breathe” and sweat. Also, consider Mother Nature’s wrath “100 Year events”, that if you had items up off the floor, you gain an additional barrier of security! In 2018 Madison endured one of her wrath events. All our facilities performed without incident but…just sayin, pays to be prepared! From time to time we do have pallets on site on a first come first serve basis, for you to use. This picture also shows use of Bounce Fabric Softener sheets that keep things smelling nice and are a good deterrent to undesired bugs and visitors!
What is the best way to store my items?
Plan and protect! Protect by; use plastic containers and totes keeps dust and mice out and they are great for stacking. You may want to wrap your sofa, chairs and mattresses in plastic. Also, using boards or pallets to keep things up off the floor or a tarp is always a good idea. Consider what items need to be marked “fragile” or “this side up”.
Plan by; mark each plastic tote/box in 2-3 spots. Spread weight around in more than one tote. Visualize in your mind your storage room space to organize what will go in the back that you know you won’t need. Also, if you will be needing periodic access to things, consider leaving a walk aisle. See our Moving Resources section for; Moving Box Label Kit, Moving Inventory and Moving Tips PDF’s.
What about security? (Safety Is Our #1 Goal)
Our just-off-the-Beltline storage facilities are located in the City of Madison (not rural or desolate locations). Our buildings are situated right next to the road (not tucked in way behind somewhere, out of sight). So visibility from the road is excellent. We also have professionally placed security cameras to discourage poor behavior. Being in Madison we have the benefits of city police and fire protection (fire hydrants located right at our driveway). Since opening in 2004, we have never had any break-ins. With Safety Our #1 Goal (vs.being full at all cost approach), we tend to be pretty fussy with who are customers are and don’t deal with “riff-raff” very well. With how we run our facility, we are privileged to have law enforcement officers, fire fighters and other public officials as our customers.
I am out of state. How do I reserve a storage unit without being there?
For customers out of state or overseas, we typically have a telephone conversation to discuss your situation in terms of timing and how you are moving in (truck, moving van, large moving semi, etc.). From that conversation, we make a self-storage unit recommendation, confirm prices and availability per your time schedule. Once you agree to our recommendation, you provide a credit card to reserve. Then you send us a confirming email, agreeing to what was discussed. We will email back confirming the storage room number and facility location. At this point, we take that mini storage unit off the market, as it is now in your name. This is part of our 100% Unit Reservation Guarantee program!
Do I need climate-controlled storage (often confused with temperature-controlled storage)?
Customers typically need a climate-controlled storage room (often called “conditioned space) if storing; antique or fine furniture, oriental rugs, musical instruments, pianos, pool tables, household appliances, electronics, furs, fluids (things that can’t freeze). Also collections of; photos, paintings, fine art, books, stamp, coin, comics, and archival quality documents and professional journals and books should be in climate control storage rooms. Duration of needing a storage room and time of year is a factor as well.
A temperature-controlled storage environment is one that uses heat to keep from freezing and air conditioning to cool from excessive heat but does not manage humidity! With temperature-control, relative humidity (RH) in the winter months is generally in the 20-40 percent range; in the summer months, RH can creep up over 60 percent. Mold can grow in a temperature range above 40°F and below 100°F if the RH% is above 60 for 48-72 straight hours. Our climate-controlled buildings maintain a range from 50-85°F (winter season at 55-60°F and summer season at 80-85°F) with an RH below 60 percent. So while a temperature-controlled facility can protect from heat and freezing, they cannot maintain that important RH level below 60 percent throughout the year!
Our climate controlled storage units are professionally designed for this use (unlike a converted grocery store or warehouse retrofit). Each building has multiple entry points for no long hallways…and we have NO stairs to climb, no broken elevator to deal with!
How do I rent a mini storage unit?
Call us at 608-442-8000 to arrange a personal appointment for facility tour. We walk with you to tour and see unit options (many facilities just send you out by yourself to look around). After seeing a storage room, you will quickly visualize if it fits your needs. Once we determine the best size for you, we will complete your rental agreement and issue your key(s). The process takes about 15 minutes. Once done, you can start moving in! If out of town/state we can set up a lease reservation via phone and a confirming email from you. We also send you a “Welcome Email” email summarizing key points of your lease. If you are too busy to visit us, we can deliver a lease to your home or work (locally) to you!
When can we see your facilities to see if they are right for us?
We do personal showings throughout the week. Please call us at 608-442-8000 to set up your viewing appointment, which takes typically about 15-20 minutes to provide a facility tour, point out our safety tactics and show you unit options to fit your needs.
What about Lighting & Facility Access?
You will have 24/7 access. We have building-mounted lighting outside throughout the self-storage facility aisles and in the hallways of our interior units. Outside, lights operate from dusk until dawn. Our 4019 Marsh Road facility uses LED lighting and we will be using LED lights as we need to replace lights at the other locations too. For interior units, hallway lights are motion-activated to reduce our carbon footprint. Also for security, each of our customer having an interior unit is issued a a 4 digit access code. Each of our interior access buildings has it’s own door security access and only customers with access codes to each respective building can get in.
How is the rent paid, and what are the charges?
As industry standard, you will be charged a one-month security deposit, which is refundable upon your move out. There is also a $25 processing fee (non-refundable) to cover accounting and credit-card processing fees. The vast majority of our customers prefer that we charge their debit or credit card which is set up to automatically run on the 1st of the month (vs. your having to remember to log in!) If paying by check they set up auto pay from their bank so that they do not have to stop by or mail a check each month. We accept all major cards.
Can my big 83′ moving semi get into the facility?
Yes…we get high marks for moving truck accessibility! Our facilities are designed so long-haul moving vans have easy access! Once you have been assigned your mini storage unit number, you then direct your mover to our website, tell them which facility address you are at and provide the storage locker number. They can then print off the site plan (4018 Marsh Rd Site Plan, 3017 Dairy Drive Site Plan, or 4019 Marsh Road Site Plan) and know before they even pick up your possessions what the moving logistics will be. There will be no need for your mover to tell you the move is too difficult and that they need to charge you a surcharge. We also accept PODS, U-Pack and U-Box drop offs.
IMPORTANT: Be sure to show your mover the site plan and your storage unit# as its ease of access may provide a more attractive bid from your mover!
What about insurance?
Check with your Insurance Agent on the Scope of Coverage:
We strongly suggest that you contact your insurance company and advise them that you are utilizing self-storage space to be certain that you have insurance coverage. Our insurance does not cover your goods.
We also strongly suggest you store your items up off the floor, especially for exterior units. Mother nature each year can pose unusual circumstances that all property owners, homes, business, storage can be subject too. Most often, a property insurance policy you have exclusions for damage caused by ground water and wind driven rain. Keeping your items up off the floor with pallets, boards etc greatly provides a physical barrier in case of water intrusion onto the floor. Check with your insurance company…most property insurance coverage have a “water damage” exclusion and ask if you should schedule specific items.
Who will have access to my self storage locker?
We provide FREE a lock and key to use during your stay (return when leaving). Most units use the Amerian-made ” Guardian Cylinder Lock Key System”. For our outside-access Climate Control units we provide either a Primus or Abus Disc locks. You will receive lock and key(s) upon signing your lease and will return them on move out day or by the last day of the month. We also retain a key to each unit for emergency-access situations. You are welcome to use your own additional lock. Our goal is to providing you a quality lock vs. relying on the customer to buy a high-quality lock!
What can’t I store?
NO perishables of any kind! NO FOODS; human, animal, pet treats/rawhide. No bird food/seeds, lawn seeds,fertilizers. Also no scented or wet items as they can create mold. Combustables, flammables, explosives/fireworks, weapons, hazardous wastes, toxic items, alcohol, cleaners, paints, corrosives, and asbestos items are prohibited. No batteries or tires (a set of 4 tires is OK). etc. Snow blowers, lawn mowers and other small engines must have gas & oil tanks emptied and cannot be stored in a climate control unit. Broken down, non-running and unregistered vehicles are strictly prohibited. Any damages to our facilities as a result of storing in appropriate items will be billed at an hourly rate of $75/hour plus materials and any professional remediation costs. If you have questions about any items, please feel free to discuss with us.
Also ask your professional mover what they will not allow on their trucks. Typically their list includes fluid-related items such as; chemicals, flammables, food, any perishables, propane, oil, paints, or any living organisms such as plants and animals.
Are your mini storage units clean?
We offer you a modern self-storage facility that is kept consistently neat and clean. Our facilities are NO SMOKING too. The mini self-storage units have door tracks and bottom door seals to limit dust. Asphalt paving provides a dirt and dust-free driving surface. The concrete floors are cleaned and checked out after each move-out.
Are your self storage units dry?
Site selection was critical when it came to engineering for managed water control. Most storage facilities are built like a flat parking lot because it is easier. All our self-storage facilities are designed to manage water within the site as you can see by the photos. with engineered design per site to pitch water away from the storage space to the center of our drive aisles, then flowing to controlled retention areas.
Also, the designed one-percent slope of our buildings’ roofing systems sheds water quickly. Additionally, the ceilings inside our storage units are insulated to prevent condensation. The interior concrete floor level (water-control design) of each self-storage unit is raised above surrounding blacktop drive to prevent any possible water entry.
I am moving overseas and will be gone a long time. How do we keep in contact?
When we meet to show you a self-storage locker, we will discuss your travel plans in detail. As part of our process, we will ask you to provide your email address as well as a designated emergency contact that resides locally or stateside. We will have on file their phone number, relationship to you and their email. We only contact them if all other means to contact you fail. Many facilities do not accept the responsibility of collecting this level of information. We have become known as the long-term, overseas experts!
How do I notify you of moving out?
We sent you our customary “Welcome Email” (and asked you to save it) to make emailing your move-out notice easy. Using THAT email, reply back, indicating the date you are moving out. Your name and storage unit number will already be in the subject line. We will then respond back to let you know we “are on the same page”. Email is the only accepted method because it is transparent to both the customer and us. You need to email us by the 15th of the month you are moving out … or as soon as you know. Emails after the 15th of the month (many facilities require a 30-day notice) are deemed late and we retain your security deposit. Lastly, move out months are not prorated.
Also on moving day, remember to bring with you a broom to sweep out the unit and an envelope with your mailing address written on it do put your key into, depositing all in our drop box!
On moving-out day, how do I move out and return our key?
On move out day, bring a broom and envelope. Use the broom so you can sweep out your unit. On the envelope you have written your name, storage unit number and your mailing address. Once broom-swept, lock your unit. Place your key(s) in the marked envelope. Before leaving the facility (this saves you a trip to come back to return the key), drop your envelope/key in the appropriate location for your facility. At both 4018 Marsh Rd and 4019 Marsh Rd drop your envelope in the drop box by the green office door at the 4019 Marsh Rd location. We will locate your envelope and key (s), check out your unit. If all is golden, we will mail your security deposit within 7-10 days to the new address you provided on your envelope. Our photo here shows the 3017 Dairy Dr the black drop box at Entry A of the climate-controlled building.
What about auto storage?
We actually have drive in climate-controlled as well as unheated units for vehicles. When calling, tell us the type of vehicle along with it’s length and width. Some smaller cars can fit into a 10’x15’ unit. Most require a 10’x20’. To keep our self-storage units looking new, we require that you put under your oil pan and rear axle something to keep any fluids from dripping onto the floor. Also, the vehicle must be operable, fully insured and titled in your name. Before storing for an extended period of time, change the oil and filter, fill coolant levels, inflate tires to proper pressure, slightly open a window, release the parking brake and lock the doors. Also, disconnect the battery. Lastly, add gas stabilizer to the gas tank. For extended stays, put tire jacks under each tire to prevent tires from getting flat spots during a lengthy stay. You may also elect to use a car cover. We will also ask you to note on your lease Vehicle Insurance & Registration/Lien information for us to have on file.
When doing the actual storage of your vehicle we recommend you have someone with you to spot you as you drive the car in. We also suggest you back in so the battery is towards the front of the unit. Lastly, to keep our floors stain-free, please put something under the oil pan and rear axle such as cardboard or plastic!
What about camper, boat or RV storage (STOP…before contacting, know ALL dimensions…otherwise we are guessing!)?
Size matters! BEFORE calling, know all the dimensions – outside fender-to-fender width, full height and width on the trailer. Remember trailer tongue out front and prop in the rear. Also, provide the highest measurement and the width of the fenders.We suggest that you stop by and look at our units to see if they will meet your needs. To keep our units looking new, we require that you put under your boat motor something to keep any fluids from dripping onto the floor. Lastly, all recreational items need to be registered in your name and be fully insured.
Is there bus service to the facilities?
Madison Metro Bus Service has bus stops very near:
4018 – 4019 Marsh Road
Take route #31 (ID#3491)
3017 Dairy Drive
Take route #39 (ID#7815)
Your Lease Is the Prevailing Document
Through the course of our customer relationship, we provide value-added touches such as our Welcome Email, posting the Do Not Store and Move Out Process decals inside your unit as a reference, along with other possible communications in addition to the information on this web site. We do so to be most transparent and helpful with the goal of providing an excellent customer experience! Those extra communications are intended to follow the spirit of the lease. When in discussions of comparison of communication, your lease is in the end, the prevailing document.