By Patrick Galvan,

Winters can be brutal, especially for people who live in the northern United States. It’s not uncommon for residents in these areas to experience subzero temperatures, bitter winds, icy roads, and heavy snowfall, all of which have the potential to make driving and walking outside uncomfortable and even dangerous.

It’s important to keep cold weather in mind when renting a storage unit—especially if you live in a region that experiences heavy snowfall—because the location of your self storage facility can be the difference between driving or walking through bad conditions for an hour and grabbing what you need quickly.

What makes a good self storage location?

When it comes to self storage, location is everything. It affects the price you pay for your storage unit, as well as how easy it is to access the items you’re storing. For some people, good storage facility locations are near their favorite boating or camping destinations; for others, it’s near a highway or interstate.

But for anyone who plans to store and access items during the winter, the best storage location is one that’s within close driving or walking distance from home or work.

Take it from Thelma Lambert, manager for Drive-In Self Storage in East Syracuse, N.Y. “We sometimes have what are known as ‘six-month winters’ here in New York. They usually start in October, but I’ve seen snow as early as June 1st.” Lambert says the storage renters she sees typically prefer storage that’s close to where they live or work because it means they spend less time on the road during harsh weather.

As a matter of fact, Drive-In Self Storage is located in a suburb between residential and commercial areas, so Lambert says its location benefits both residential and commercial storage tenants. Clients don’t have to drive far or long, and residential speed limits encourage them to drive slower, reducing accidents.

Why should commercial storage renters worry about location?

For businesses storing equipment, supplies, inventory, or files, it’s imperative to have a good storage facility location. After all, very few company schedules change for the weather.

“Work schedules in the wintertime aren’t any different than in the summertime,” Lambert says. “We have a number of route guys who work for bakeries that have to make deliveries on a weekly or even daily basis. They pick [items] up from their [storage units] in the morning to deliver it to the grocery stores.”

Lambert adds that these commercial storage clients already spend a good portion of their day on the road, so the less time they spend driving, the better.

Even commercial tenants who walk more often than they drive will find nearby locations valuable. “If a pharmaceutical rep is storing their samples and overflow, they can access their unit to restock for the day’s meetings” says Melissa Stiles, Marketing Manager for Economy Self Storage in Honey Brook, Penn.

For those who walk to work and their storage facilities, it’s much easier if the facility is a few minutes down the road as opposed to a thirty-minute walk across town (In a blizzard, those thirty minutes would double).

In the long run, choosing a self storage facility for its location will benefit you during winter. The last thing you need is to make another long trip when the roads are slick with ice and snow.

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Patrick Galvan’s blog posts cover a variety of topics such as storing equipment, highlighting cities people are interested in moving to, and general tips that help with storage. When he has time, he enjoys creating stop-motion animation and writing film criticism.