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A Family Storage

Self Storage Terminology

This comprehensive terminology guide is designed to demystify the world of self storage, making it accessible and understandable for everyone. Let’s unpack the most commonly used terms in the self storage industry, and help you become an informed tenant. 

Your Guide to Navigating Self-Storage Terms

To effortlessly navigate through our comprehensive self-storage terminology, start by selecting a letter from the alphabet displayed at the top of the page. This will guide you to terms starting with your chosen letter. Then, simply click on the down arrow next to any term you’re interested in. This action will reveal a clear and concise explanation for each term, making it easy for you to understand the ins and outs of self-storage.

Once you have the information you need, and if you wish to return to the beginning of the list, you can conveniently do so by clicking on the red arrow located at the bottom right corner of your screen. This feature ensures a smooth and efficient browsing experience, allowing you to quickly jump back to the top of the page and start exploring other terms.


Self storage facilities commonly charge a one-time charge or fee. This fee is separate from the primary cost of the renting. The administration fee is used to offset the cost of processing paperwork for new rentals.

Air-conditioned usually refers to air cooled by refrigeration, through the use of a condenser, and evaporative cooled refers to air cooled through water evaporation (swamp box)

The process of air cooling through water evaporation. (aka. swamp cooler)


Business storage is a practical solution for locking and storing commercial, manufacture and professional inventory, supplies or documents, on a self-serve basis. It provides businesses with a cost-effective solution for extra space. Business storage can bridges the gap between your companies supply and the demand changes. Companies can get the space they need without expensive commercial spaces. Unlike portable or door-to-door storage, self-storage customers have a gate access code to enter the properties so that they are not forced to make appointments to access their goods.


Climate control may have different meaning for different self storage facilities.Climate control may mean fully air-conditioned or evaporative cooled. Climate control may also mean heated or cooled to a constant temperature and humidity or just cooled by evaporation.

A collection of belongings or "things" in a home which are in an untidy manner.

Content Insurance is personal property coverage which helps pay to replace or repair your personal belongings if they are stolen, or damaged while in a self storage facility. Interested in content insurance? Find more information on our Content Insurance page.


A renting tenant has failed to keep their legal promise in a signed rental agreement within a timely manner. If you feel you may not be able to pay your bill in time, please reach out to your facility as soon as possible. At A Family Storage we understand that life happens, we offers a grace period of (5) days for payments.

To remove or organize items or possessions in a space, such as a room or an area, with the purpose of reducing clutter or excess. Decluttering typically involves getting rid of items that are no longer needed, sorting and organizing belongings, and creating a more orderly and tidy environment. The goal of decluttering is to simplify and streamline a space by eliminating unnecessary or unused items, which can lead to a more organized and aesthetically pleasing living or working area.

A Family uses heavy-duty disc locks in the shape of a disc that are specifically designed to make it impossible for theieves to pick using shims or something similar.

A drive up storage unit is usually accessible from the main driveway or isle. These units are position in a way that allows our tenants to drive up to the storage unit door to easy load or unload your belongings. Drive up storage units are generally larger in size.


All A Family Storage facilities that have a security access system which allows tenants individual access codes (commonly known as PIN #’s) which will open the gate that secures the storage property. Individual access codes help to prevent non-authorized individuals from entering the facility.


Hazardous Materials are considered as items that would be unsafe to store. Examples of hazardous items include but are not limited to: flammable or explosive materials, chemicals, fireworks, and gasoline. if you are unsure if your item is hazardous, check the packaging, most packaging will stated "Hazardous Material" somewhere on the packaging. If you are still unsure, contact an A Family Storage manager.

When your home doesn't have ample closet, garage, basement, or an attic space, self storage provides a convenient solution for storing surplus items such as: seasonal clothing, decorations, additional furniture, bicycles, vehicles, boats, and RV storage. Self-storage proves especially beneficial during moves or when preparing to sell your house, stagging, as it assists in decluttering your living space.


These units are located inside and require tenants to access a service door which leads to a hallway with multiple units. These units do not have drive-up access.

A means of protection from financial loss in the event of certain loss, and or damage. It is a form of risk management.


All A Family Storage facilities that have a security access system, also known as a keypad, which allows tenants to use their individual access codes (commonly known as PIN #’s) to open the gate that secures the storage property. Individual access codes help to prevent non-authorized individuals from entering the facility. Also under "Gate Access Code"


A renting tenant has failed to keep their legal promise in a signed rental agreement within a timely manner and the amount has accured over a length of time and the storage failities uses the storage unit as a way to pay the accured amount.

A Locker Unit is a term used by many storage facilities to describe a specific size of a storage unit. These storage units are similar in size to a 5x5 locker, or small closet.


A tenants is not locked into a long term lease agreement. A tenant pays monthly for as long as they need the storage unit.

Most storage facilities require tenants to give notice of the intent to vacate. A Family Storage requires a 2 weeks (14 days) notice. Need to submit a notice to vacate? Click here.


Typically made of durable cardboard and come in various sizes, packing boxes (aka moving boxes) are designed to safely store and transportation different items, from small and fragile objects to larger and heavier belongings. 

Perishable items should not be stored within storage units. These items include but not limited to food, live animals and anything that could deteriorate, spoil, or become unusable over time.

Refers to the calculation and payment of rent for a partial period. Typically when the tenant does not occupy a storage unit for an entire rental period, such as a month. 


A periodic payment made by a tenant in exchange for the right to occupy a space. It is a contractual agreement in which the tenant agrees to pay to a storage facility.

A legal contact required to be signed by the tenant. Storage units cannot be rented whiteout a signed rental agreement.

Resident managers are managers who live on-site at the storage facility.

Relief managers are managers who relieve resident managers at the storage facility.


Self storage, also known as self-service storage, is a versatile storage solution offered under various names, including moving storage, mini storage, mini warehouse, public storage, storage locker, storage center, and self storage facilities. These facilities provide rental space to individuals seeking to store their personal belongings, recreational vehicles, boats, campers, trailers, rv storage, all-terrain vehicles, cars and trucks. As well as to businesses needing storage for surplus inventory, vehicles, archive documents or pharmaceutical supplies.

To store items or belongings that are not needed until certain periods of the season or times of the year, such as holiday decorations, retail storage or recreational equipment.


When a tenant moves from an existing unit into a new unit at the same facility, a processing fee is charged to offset cost of processing paperwork. Learn more about A Family Storage transfer fees.