Climate Control Is a Must
This cannot be emphasized too much. The weather in Orlando, especially during the summer, is hot and muggy. Most of what people put in self-storage will suffer serious damage due to humidity and heat if stored in ordinary units. This includes photographs, old VHS tapes, fabric, books, and musical instruments. Without climate control, you can expect mold, mildew, warping, and other issues with your belongings.
Furniture, electrical items, and paint can be all right so long as they are properly covered in plastic, but we recommend climate control in Orlando even for them.
Commercial Versus Residential
Self-storage facilities in Orlando are often separated into residential and commercial, meaning that a residential facility will have different rules than a commercial one. Residential units are generally between 5’x5’ at the smallest and 20’x30’ at the largest, whereas commercial units can be larger.
As an example of commercial versus residential, some commercial-zoned facilities may allow band practice, so long as it doesn’t happen every day. Residential facilities require quiet at all times, as they are in residential zones. Commercial properties have some leniency when it comes to noise. This is generally decided on a case-by-case basis.
A Unique Needs Story
One manager revealed that his facility once had a tenant who stored his taxidermy animals in his storage unit. He showed the facility the stuffed animals and animal bones stored. Since the animals were not living, the facility decided that they would accept their storage.
Orlando Demographics and Special Storage Concerns
In terms of ethnicities, Orlando is well-balanced. The population of the city is about 33% white, 33% black, and 33% hispanic. However, each facility has customers predominantly from just one of the three.
The west end of Orlando has a large population of people from various islands, such as Haiti. Small businesses that ship to Haiti use those facilities for business storage. The facilities need to balance between making sure that the customers can get to their storage when they need to, but must make sure that they have no restricted items, like live plants and animals or food.
What do Orlando facilities do when an abandoned unit does not sell at auction? They give it to charity! Several charities in Orlando, such as the Salvation Army and Goodwill, benefit from this practice.
Some also encourage those who have won auctions to leave behind items they don’t want from the lockers rather than throwing them away. Those old chairs that the buyer doesn’t care for can then get picked up by one of the local charities.
Orlando is home to Naval Support Activity Orlando, and therefore self-storage companies offer discounts to members of the military. When you rent, remember to bring in your military ID.
Also, the rules for when a unit becomes delinquent are different for active duty military, especially when deployed. Florida’s lien law protects their units, per the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.