Service Review: Public Storage

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As I’ve mentioned before, this summer is a little hectic for me in terms of shuffling myself and my stuff around as I move twice. Part of this chaos has included me putting the majority of my possessions in storage for three months. This is not an ideal situation, but it’s temporary so I cope with it, and of course sought the cheapest option possible.

I decided to go with Public Storage, after seeing many television ads and banners touting first month’s rent for just a dollar. I figured that pay $1 for the first month and then only paying full rent for two more months was the cheapest option in my area.

Their website is immensely convenient. I was able to search for all of the locations in my area (in Chicago, there’s a lot to choose from) and see the prices for each location. By browsing a couple locations, I quickly saw I could save about $10-20 a month at a location a little further away from my apartment, and then save $10 more at the location just a block north of that (I have no clue why they have two locations a block apart).

Using the website size guide and storage tips I selected the size unit I needed and reserved it online. The next day I got a call from the manager inviting me to come down and inspect the unit and fill out the paperwork. Easy as pie.

Unfortunately though, $1 is not all you will pay in your first month, and I did not find this out until I went in. The rent is $1, but there is also an administration fee and by law you have to have some sort of insurance. If you move in on any day besides the first of the month, they will pro-rate the rest of that month, and then your $1 rent will begin on the first of the next month. So since I moved in on April 30th, I was prorated for that day, and got May for $1. The administration fee was $22. I picked the cheapest insurance, $2000 coverage for $8mo. In total I paid $36.66. Not bad considering my normal monthly rent is $85.

Overall my experience has been great so far. I’ve had no problems with the facilities and the managers are very helpful. There are three options to pay rent each month: take it to the office, sign up for auto-bill pay, or pay online. I pay online each month, which takes about 1 minute of my time.

I highly recommended checking out Public Storage and of course comparing it to other options in your area to make sure they’re the cheapest option. From my experience their service is great, the facility is clean and well maintained, and customer service is very helpful.

Once I move out at the end of July I’ll post an update on how moving out goes, though I expect the transition out to be as smooth as moving in was. Update: part two of my review, covering my experience moving out and closing the account, is available here.

See Also:
Savings on Packing Supplies
Finding Free Moving Boxes


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