There are mind-blowing differences between storage facilities around the Charlotte area. Our team of online researchers did not find a facility that we would rank BEST, but we did find many personal preferences to consider in self-storage shopping.
The biggest take-away from this research is that it pays to read the 1-star reviews. There is great advice and earnest warnings from previous customers on the rental pain-points. With that said, Charlotte storage companies have, on the whole, done and excellent job in serving their communities. There were many more good reviews than bad.
Of note, Google Reviews are brutal and often very unfair to small companies that cannot afford reputation management. Competitors and angry customers can destroy a reputation with the click of a button. Please take this into consideration when reviewing this list.
|Company||Google Review Rank||Website|
|Smart Stop Self Storage||4.8||https://smartstopselfstorage.com/|
|Noda Self Storage||4.7||https://www.nodaselfstorage.com/|
|Morning Star Storage||4.6||https://www.morningstarstorage.com/|
|OutBox Self Storage||4.4||https://outboxselfstorage.com/|
|South End Self Storage||4.4||https://www.southendself-storage.com/|
Reviews indicated that the following features were most important:
- Climate Control– This was a feature that was available at every facility.
- Rent Online– Online rental and payment was absolute must-have for 90 percent of the people that left reviews. Some websites were better than others. In particular, we liked Outbox Self Storage and SmartStop Self Storage. Outbox even had a clickable UHaul Reservation button!
- Surveillance – Every site mentioned video surveillance and 24/7 surveillance. There were only a couple that mentioned staff solutions and that seemed to change often. If security is important to you, this is definitely worth a phone call to find out exactly what kind of surveillance is available. Many storage facilities have multiple methods of surveillance. 24-hour surveillance can refer to the individual unit alarms, the electronic gate codes, or the monitored video surveillance. The in-person surveillance would be more on property guards and the monitoring of video surveillance. These features varied widely by location.
- Some offer in-person security guards, while others offer high-tech video surveillance.
- Access – Extended Access Hours, Electric Gates, Keypads and On-staff Assistance was one of the top three features that customers complained about. Being able to park, access your unit, and connect with a real human customer service representative
- if something goes wrong was a huge concern for most. Electric Gates and Keypads solved a lot of those issues.
- Website Database – Storage unit pricing changes more often that the stock market! Having an online, searchable database to find the best unit for the least amount of money is really important. ExtraSpace and Outbox both did an excellent job of finding that information instantly.
- Inside vs Outside Units- The differences depend on your needs for storage. Indoor units are located in multi-level buildings and can be accessed by an elevator and usually have wide hallways. Outdoor units are usually found on a single level and have drive-up access.
- Fencing- If a storage facility has outdoor units, there is fencing surrounding the property. This is where renters would use their gate access to enter. If a storage facility is mainly indoors, you may not see a fence; building security codes are used to gain access.
- Drive Up Access- Most drive-up access is found when renting the outdoor units. All outdoor units are a single level. Indoor units are in multi-level buildings. Storage facilities like Life Storage offer the convenience of loading and unloading directly from your car.
- Electric Gate Access- This allows renters to access their storage unit anytime they desire. During these hours, anyone with your code can access your unit. If you are in need of extra hours, you just need to contact the property manager.
- Lighting- All facilities are fully lit inside and out. The lights are there for safety and for convenience. Contact the facility manager for other specific questions.
- Wide Driveways- At many facilities, such as ExtraSpace Storage, Out Box Storage and many others, are prepared for renters to park RVs, boats, and cars. Many of these require large driveways to maneuver, so yes, if they have storage and parking available, they will also accommodate you with wide driveways.
- Month-to-Month Rentals- Storage facilities are known for their ability to meet short-term needs. Most offered upgradable sizing and month-to-month rental agreements. There were; however, significant price breaks for long-term commitments.
- Military Discounts- Some storage facilities offer military discounts. You must call the desired location to see what discounts are available.
- Tenant Property Protection Plan Available- Protection plans are offered at all storage facilities. They work with your insurance provider to find plans that are affordable and offer excellent coverage. Tip: Check your homeowner’s insurance before you buy. It may be possible that you are already covered for rental.
- Long Term Self-Storage Units- Because self-storage units are on a month-to-month basis, you may extend your rental as long as it is needed. No contracts keep you in charge of the length of your stay.
- Wide Aisles- Your storage unit’s door is as wide as your unit. The aisles are made to fit anything that can be brought indoors. In some cases, the ceilings are also extended to help fit those larger items you would like to store indoors. This special feature can be found at Noda Self Storage. If more room is needed, look into renting an outdoor, drive-up unit.
- Computerized Keypad Access- These are used at most facilities to manage the traffic coming in and out of the facility.
- Distance to Your House- It is also important that you find a storage unit that is close to you house. Sometimes the deciding factor isn’t the price of the unit, but the easy access a closer location might offer. Storage facilities like Cube Smart, Morning Star Storage, and many others allow you to enter your address to help you find the closet facility to your home.
Sometimes you have to take the good with the bad. This can be said about some of the complaints related to storage facilities. No business can go without some negative comments. Clearly not every arrangement is the right fit and there were a few personal preference related complaints.
- Access Hours- Some customers were unhappy with the access hours provided by their storage facility. It’s important that you know in advance if you need access 24 hours a day. Most restrictions were listed primarily for the safety of their customers. If you need special entry during certain hours, speak with the location manager before you buy.
- Reservations- Complaints about reservations were really more about communication. When booking a reservation, make sure that the facility you select corresponds via your favorite method. Maybe you only text? Or perhaps you like to speak with someone in person. If phone communication is necessary, call in advance to be certain that the phone system is always attended. Tip: If you make a reservation online, call before you arrive with your things to be certain that your payment and reservation have been received.
- Lock fees- A few folks complained about “hidden lock fees”. Again, this was a lack of communication prior to lease. Facilities may require you to purchase a lock from them due to the different types of doors. The locks for sale at the facilities will fit your unit door and they have a separate selection for locks with extra protection.
- Admin fees- Read your agreement! Most storage facilities fees are covered in your rental amount, but there may be other costs depending on the time of year or the popularity of the location. Check your local facility to see about rental fees and more.
- Aisle access- There were a handful of complaints about dollies and carts. During popular moving times in the spring or on weekends, this equipment may be hard to find. If you know you are going to need a cart, you might want to bring your own, or arrive at a less popular time.
Storage Facilities to Check out
In looking at a few different storage facilities, we have some suggestions. When it comes to the website and being able to find what you need quickly and efficiently, SmartStop Self-Storage and OutBox Self Storage are in the top. They provide very helpful information that is easily found and accessed. They also have dedicated buttons for U-Haul rental and some of the best prices around.
As you do more research, you may need some helpful tips for storage and packing. Public Storage and Cube Smart have excellent blogs on decorating and packing tips. They also provide a high standard in quality seeing that they are national facilities.
When looking for the right storage facility for you, make sure you have done your research. Our team found that pricing was not significantly different from company to company but amenities varied greatly! T-N-T Moving Systems will be glad to help you move items into your storage unit no matter which one you select. We’re open and ready to help you make the next move!