Organization Our Storage Facility Self Storage Storage Tips

Things You Can (and Can’t) Put Into Storage

You just rented a self storage unit. Now you wonder to yourself what you’re permitted to store in there; something that can be easily overlooked by anyone. You are probably thinking, “It’s my stuff, it’s my storage unit…I can put whatever I want in there.” However, there are things you are not allowed to keep in a self storage unit or on our property. These simple rules are in place for your safety, the safety of other tenants and the safety of the entire facility, while also preventing damage to the items in every storage unit.

Here we list things you are not allowed to keep in your self storage unit, and also explain the reasons why they are not allowed. Some items may be things you figured were no big deal. And trust me, most of them will seem very obvious as you read through the list. You may even get a good chuckle on a few of them as you read. We also give you some tips on how best to store the items you are allowed to keep on-site, helping you prevent damage to your stuff.Self Storage Cans and Can'ts Feature

Items that are NOT PERMITTED in your self storage unit:

  • Perishables
    This is one that is often overlooked or may not seem like a big deal. However, perishables such as food items and even pet food should not be kept in a storage unit. Just think what will happen when insects and rodents get a whiff of that food. Not only will they enter the unit for the food, they could easily damage your other items in the unit by chewing and even nesting inside them. There is also the possibility for infestation throughout the entire facility, which causes damage and poses potential health risks for everyone. You are also just asking for mold and bacteria to grow, especially if you have a drive-up unit that is susceptible to heat and moisture from outside.
  • Pet DogLive/Dead Animals
    While this may seem quite obvious to most people, you may not store living animals, or dead ones, in your storage unit. Using a self storage unit to house a pet is very cruel; confining them to darkness, keeping them alone and without the proper necessities. Not to mention, it is illegal. If you are going away and cannot take your pet with you, ask a family member or friend, arrange for a sitter or take them to a kennel. Dead animals are also not permitted (kind of a no-brainer here), as they will attract unwanted insects, vermin, mould and disease. Be sure to dispose of dead animals properly and legally.
  • Stolen Property
    If you don’t legally own it, you cannot keep it in your self storage unit. I know it seems like a silly thing to have to list here, but it is one of the rules for storage. If you have anything in your storage unit that has been reported stolen, you could get into serious trouble with the law.
  • Hazardous Material
    This one is probably the most common thing in question. What we designate as a hazardous material is anything that can create serious damage if spilt or opened. Some examples are corrosive materials, chemicals, odorous/noxious gases, anything toxic or flammable, gasoline, compressed gas, filled propane tanks, kerosene, lamp and motor oils, fertilizers, paints, cleaners and asbestos or anything containing asbestos. These materials have the potential to catch fire, explode or cause health risks, and you may be held liable. You can keep the items for which these are used in your storage unit; provided these materials have been drained or emptied before being placed in storage. For example, you can keep your extra lawnmower in your storage unit, but the gas and oil tank must be empty or drained first.
  • Drugs
    Drugs and drug-related paraphernalia are strictly prohibited in your self storage unit and also on the property in general, and they are illegal.
  • Explosives/Ammunition/Firearms
    This includes fireworks, ammunition, munitions/firearms, bombs and fireworks – just as a few examples. Can you imagine what would happen if the fireworks you kept in your unit – or the tenant’s unit next to yours – would suddenly go off? Again, you could be held liable for damages resulting from an accident such as this. If you are going away and don’t feel safe either taking these items with you or leaving them at your house, you can ask a friend to store them for you or contact your local gun shop or shooting range. They are equipped to store items like firearms and ammunition, and many offer storage options for these situations.
  • People
    Person with Luggage
    This one is pretty self-explanatory, but we still need to list it. You cannot live in your storage unit, at any time. You cannot work from your unit either. Storage units are designed to house your belongings only and are not meant to be used as an apartment or office space. As silly as it seems to have to mention this, dead bodies are not permitted in the unit either. Not only that, it is illegal in all of these scenarios. If we discover that someone is using their storage unit to sleep in or work from (or to store bodies – let’s hope that is NEVER the case) the police will be called to handle the situation.


Keeping scented items or wet items in your storage unit are also a bad idea. Although these items are not considered “banned” from our facility, it is a good rule of thumb to follow some guidelines to keep your belongings safe and free from damage. Scented items can easily attract pests, just like food will. Wet items, such as damp dish towels or clothes that have not dried completely, will aide in the growth of mildew, mould and bacteria and can quickly cause odours and damage to your property. Be sure to double-check everything and ensure it is dry before packing it into boxes and placing it in your self storage unit.

If you suspect any of these items are being stored in units at our facility or you witness something suspicious, please notify the property manager promptly. We want to make sure you are safe and secure at all times when on-site. Our property manager can handle these issues accordingly, while you remain anonymous.


Now that you have a running knowledge of some things that cannot be kept in your storage unit, let’s go over some items that are allowed with some helpful tips for storing them correctly:

  • Electronics
    You can easily store your computers, video games, stereo systems and the sort in your unit. Make sure all batteries are removed, as they are corrosive and could damage your items over time when not in use.
  • DresserFurniture
    Have a couch you can’t use or a bed that just won’t fit until you get your new place? These are the most commonly kept items in storage units. While you can keep furniture in any of our units, consider covering upholstered items and bedding with plastic covers for added protection. We also recommend DampRid to soak up any moisture and prevent it from creeping into your furniture.
  • Clothing
    Another popular item for self storage is clothing. Make sure to box it up neatly. You can even throw in a couple of cedar chips or moth balls to keep any potential insects away if you plan to keep it in storage for an extended period of time. Make sure everything is dry to prevent mildew or mould from growing.
  • Toys
    Children's Toys
    We all know people with kids whose houses are over-run with these colourful items. When you need extra space in the house for a party or the kids just don’t seem to play with those toys anymore but you hesitate to throw them away, moving them to storage is the perfect option. Save them for a yard sale or for hand-me-downs for future children and grandkids. Make sure all batteries are removed to prevent damage.
  • Household Appliances
    We all know the saying, “Everything but the kitchen sink.” Well, you can store that kitchen sink here, along with your refrigerator, oven, microwave, blender and so on. Most appliances are fine when stored in any unit type. However, you may want to check the smaller motorized ones in case they are temperature sensitive. It is best to ensure all appliances are completely cleaned out and leave the door cracked on refrigerators and ovens to prevent mould and bacteria growing on the inside.
  • Business Needs
    Do you have years of papers and files that you are not allowed to get rid of for legal reasons and just don’t have space for in your office? A storage unit is a perfect place to keep those files that are getting in the way. If you have mainly paper documents, a temperature-control unit is a way to go to keep them from harbouring mildew or mould. You can also keep extra office furniture in a storage unit.


Remember, these are just general guidelines for what you can and cannot keep in your self storage unit. Our property manager is trained and can help you decide which type of storage unit is best for your needs and also help you determine if what you are storing is permitted at our facility. If you have any questions or concerns, please free to contact us here or call the property manager at our facility.

Moving Tips

6 Weeks Before a Move – What to do?

Moving can be one of the most stressful times for any family. Stop and Store Harrisburg have produced a series of articles with moving and storage tips to help keep the process as smooth and problem free as possible.

Six Weeks Before Your Move

Moving Date

Confirm your moving date then notify your landlord if you are renting.


Check your home or renters insurance so you are covered from move-in day. Get written estimates from movers and check limits on their insurance.

Moving Day

If using friends instead of movers confirm with them and plan some drinks/snacks.


Reserve some storage space if needed.


Arrange final readings on utilities.


Start getting rid of some possessions instead of moving everything.

Two Weeks Before Your Move

Packing materials

Buy boxes and packing tape.

Start Packing

Start packing non-essentials and out of season clothing.

Medical Records

Ask doctor and dentist for records or file transfer.

Mail Redirect

Start mail forwarding 2-3 days before move day.

Child and Pet Care

If you have kids or pets arrange friends to take care of them on the moving day.

Contact Details

Email or text your new address to close contacts.

Stop and Store Harrisburg provides clean dry and secure storage in the heart of Harrisburg PA. We will be publishing more helpful tips on the coming weeks to assist with your move.

Our Storage Facility

What Can the Answering Service Do for Me after Regular Business Hours?

We understand that sometimes you have a question or concern and decide to give us a call for the answer or get some advice. When we are in the office and able to take your call, we are always more than happy to answer your questions. However, there are times when you call after regular business hours or when we are out on the property and away from the phone. During those times, we have After Hours storage experts who will answer and can assist you every day. We truly appreciate all of our tenants and customers, and we provide this service so you have access to information seven days a week – even when we are not open for business.

Stop and Store Harrisburg: After Regular Business Hours

Need to pay your bill, but the office is closed?
Not to worry! You can simply call the office number and select one of the service options when prompted to be connected with a storage expert. He or she may ask you for some information to access your account and review your balance. At that time, the counselor can process your payment over the phone immediately for your self storage unit. You can even pay ahead of time through our counselors. The counselor can email you a receipt just as the property manager does.

You can also Pay Online for even more convenience.

You can also read our blog “How Can I Make a Payment when the Office Is Closed?” for additional options.

Arrive at the property and don’t have your code?
No problem! Our storage experts can view your account in detail and verify your self storage unit number and access code on the spot. You will need to answer a few questions for security purposes and to verify your tenant status. The storage expert can then give you the code over the phone or send you a text message which contains your code. Pretty cool, huh?

Need some help with sizes and pricing on units?Answering Service After Hours
We’ve got you covered. When you call in to the office, choose option 1 when prompted to hear current availability and pricing for all self storage unit types and sizes at the property. Storage experts can also review current specials that are offered on the self storage units for which you are interested. If you are unsure which unit size is right for you and your needs, the storage experts are specially trained and can assist you. He or she can explain the many features of the property and everything that is offered with the rental.

You can even read one of our previous blogs, “Take the Guesswork Out of Selecting the Right Self Storage Unit” for some more detailed information.

If you are ready to reserve your self storage unit, the counselor can take care of that for you at no charge! The only thing you need to do is stop by the office during normal business hours to sign the lease and complete the rental process.

Have a random problem and the office is closed?
The storage experts are able to access your account and review many items with you over the phone. They can answer questions and provide you with information. If they are unable to assist you and determine that you should talk with the property manager, they will contact the property manager directly or leave a message. On the next business day during regular business hours, the property manager can then contact you for further information and make sure you get the answers you need.

Holiday time and need some help?
Everyone deserves to celebrate the holidays with family and friends. Our facility will post the holiday office hours on the door or window before the scheduled closure or adjustment to the hours. Our After Hours storage expert Center also observes all major holidays and there are times when the counselors will not be available to assist you. During those times, you will be prompted to leave a message for the property manager. When the property manager returns to the office on the next business day, he can then contact you and answer your questions.


We, at Harrisburg Self Storage, are always here for you – our customers and tenants. Whether you need to review your account, make a payment, reserve a unit or have some questions; our property manager and After Hours storage experts can help!

We appreciate your comments and feedback. You can contact us at any time or leave a comment below.

Organization Our Storage Facility Self Storage Storage Tips

Inside Storage Unit vs. Drive-Up Storage Unit

You finally accepted that you really need to clean out the garage, the attic, the basement, the closets…ok, just admit it; the whole house needed some organization! And, since you realized that your life could use a clean sweep, it’s time to go through your home like the Tazmanian Devil and whip it into shape. Because this is going to be a pretty big project (maybe even a huge project if you haven’t cleaned out in years), you have decided to rent a self storage unit. That way you have somewhere to put all that extra stuff you find during your “House Cleaning Extravaganza”. I know, I know, not the most exciting thing to plan for, but obviously a necessity in your cluttered life.

Inside Storage Units v Outside Storage Units

Messy GarageYou have done your research and have chosen the self storage facility you want; one with an on-site, helpful and knowledgeable property manager, security features like fencing and cameras, packing supplies so you can get your butt in gear (like yesterday) without running around searching for boxes, and one that is relatively close to your home or office. But then you ask yourself, “Do I need (or want) a drive-up unit or an inside unit?” We may not be able to help you clean out your house, but we can help you decide which unit type you need!

Inside Self Storage Unit

First, let’s look at some benefits of choosing an inside storage unit. With an inside storage unit, you are inside of a building when you access your belongings. That means it can be raining like crazy outside but you will be nice and dry as you rummage through your boxes to find what you need. You can take your time when you move and sort your items in a comfortable environment that is well lit and out of the elements, even if when it’s 9pm and pitch black outside. If you have items that are sensitive to weather, an inside storage unit provides better protection than a drive-up unit. In most cases, inside units do not back up to an outside wall, keeping large temperature swings at bay. A lot of facilities also offer inside storage units with a temperature control option. Depending on what you need to keep in storage, you may want to consider this option.

There are a few drawbacks to using an inside unit. You have to go inside a door and through a hallway to reach your unit. So, you can’t just drive up and jump right in. Essentially, you are entering the building through a door the same size as the front door at your home. If you have awkward shaped items, moving them through a standard door, through hallways and around corners can be tricky. Moving heavy and bulky items to and from your storage unit will require you to carry them or load them onto a cart to get through the door and hallways. To make it easier, we provide carts free for you to use when moving items in and out which helps. Trust me, if you are trying to move a piece of solid wood furniture (even if you have two people), using a cart makes a much easier job of it. All our units at Harrisburg Self Storage are inside units.Couple asking Inside or Drive-Up Storage Unit

Drive-Up Self Storage Unit

Then we have the drive-up self storage unit. These units are very popular because they are so easy to access. You can literally drive right up to the door and load and unload items with ease. No worrying about going inside doors or hallways to reach your stuff. If you need to store a lot of large or heavy items, a drive-up unit would be much easier for you than an inside unit. Also, if you need regular and frequent access to your stuff, a drive-up unit makes it possible to get in and out very quickly. That can be invaluable if you are one of the many people who never have enough time in the day (me included!). These units are also especially useful if you don’t have a garage at your home but need storage capabilities for items you would typically store in one; lawnmower, gardening tools, holiday decorations and so forth.

Again, a few drawbacks exist for drive-up units as well. You are outside when accessing your unit, so you are exposed to the weather and elements. If it’s raining, break out the umbrella, and if it’s sunny and a hundred degrees prepare to get sweaty! Most drive-up units are not available with a temperature control option. So if your items are susceptible to extreme heat, bitter cold or excessive humidity, a drive-up unit may not be the best option. The buildings are typically made of metal, meaning the inside of the unit can get very hot in the midst of summer, potentially melting items. Likewise, it can get pretty cold in the winter. Valuable wooden furniture exposed to those temperature swings all year can expand and contract many times causing cracking and warping. Not something you want to happen to your antique bedroom set. If you should decide you would like a drive-up unit, our partner facility, Sierra’s Glen Self Storage has all drive-up units.

If you want to learn more, you can read about the variety of types and sizes of self storage units available in one of our previous blogs, “Take the Guesswork out of Selecting the Right Self Storage Unit.” Of course, if you are still unsure on which unit type you need, you can talk to our friendly property manager. He is very knowledgeable and can help you decide which option is best to suit your storage needs. You can also contact us at any time with questions and post comments below.

Our Storage Facility Self Storage

How Can I Make My Payment When The Office Is Closed?

Our facility has convenient phone hours in order to serve you, our customer. However, our office is not open around the clock and you now need to make an appointment to see the manager. That means that you are not always able to come in to the office to make your payments. But that’s no problem – we have many ways you can take care of paying your monthly rent for your self storage unit.

Payment Information

  • Pay in the office. You can stop by any time our rental office is open and make your payment directly to the property manager. If you prefer to pay in person and you stop by the facility when the office is closed, you can simply stop back during normal business hours. The office hours are always posted on the office door so you can easily find them. They are also listed on our website.
  • Drop payment in the drop box. We know that you cannot always make it to the office when we are open. If you stop by after hours, you can simply drop your check or money order in the payment drop box. Be sure to have your unit number printed legibly on the check or money order, or place it inside an envelope that has the tenant name and unit number written on the outside. Please remember, never put cash in the drop box – only drop off checks or money orders. The property manager will email you a receipt the next business day.
  • Phone PaymentCall the office to make a payment. That’s right. You can simply give us a call to make a payment. If you call during normal business hours, the property manager will gladly take your payment information over the phone. If you call after hours up until midnight, our call center can take a payment for you. Likewise, when the property manager is on site but isn’t able to answer your call because he is helping a customer on site or over the phone, the call center will answer and can take your payment. The property manager and our call center can email you a receipt for your records when you make phone payments.
  • Mail your payment. You can also drop a check or money order in the mail to us. Again, just be sure your name and unit number are written clearly so we can be sure to credit the correct account. Make sure you mail your payment with plenty of time to arrive by the first of the month so you won’t receive any late fees.
  • Online PaymentPay online. You can visit our website and make a payment 24/7. All you need to do is create a free online account and have a credit or debit card for payment. This gives you the ability to manage your account online, set up automatic payments and make one-time payments…all at your fingertips! Many tenants that work multiple jobs, work alternate shifts or are attending school while also working, find this option the most convenient.


First of the MonthA few things you should keep in mind regarding payments; rent is due on the first of the month, anyone can make a payment on your account, never put cash in the drop box and be sure to include the tenant’s name and unit number on checks and money orders. You can always pay early or pay several months in advance if you would like. Late fees begin to accrue on the sixth of the month, so be sure to pay on time. If you are someone who just isn’t good with dates or tends to let things slip your mind, setting up an online account with automatic payments would make the most sense for you.

Occasionally our office may be closed during normal business hours. Inclement weather is normally the culprit on these instances. However, there may be an unforeseen circumstance that prevents the property manager from being on site. There are also company events that occur a few times a year that will keep the property manager off site. In these instances, we make our best effort to post a note on the office door alerting you to the closure and noting when the office will reopen. Regardless of an event such as this, your payment is still due on the first.

If you have any questions about making payments, you can read one of our previous blogs, “Here’s the 411 on Making Payments…” which explains all the methods of payment you can use, call the property manager or contact us for more information. As always, we appreciate your business and thank you for storing with Harrisburg Self Storage!

Our Storage Facility Self Storage Storage Tips

Which Lock is the Best Lock to Use to Secure My Storage Unit?

The first step you take when choosing self storage is selecting the correct facility. You want your belongings to be safe and secure at all times. You look for security cameras, check to see if the property is well lit, confirm there is a fence surrounding the self storage units with an access gate  and that there is a property manager on site regularly. One step many people overlook is choosing the best lock for your storage unit. Knowing the facility is secure is very important, but having the right lock is your last bit of protection against theft; so it should not be taken lightly.


You may think you can just bring in that lock from home that you used on your shed to save some money. However, that would be a big mistake. You need to keep in mind that if something bad were to happen and an unwelcome visitor wants to gain access to your unit, that lock is what will keep them out – or let them in if you choose poorly.

The Best Lock to Use For Self Storage

There are many different types and styles of locks that you can purchase. We want to help you choose wisely. Let’s go over some of the most common locks on the market, and give you some pros and cons of each so you can make the best decision.

First we have the Keyless Lock.

The name means just that, no key exists. Instead of using a key to open and close the lock, you will either punch in a series of numbers or dial a combination. These locks were originally developed for cars with remote entry systems, but have been modified for residential applications like the front door at your house, the lock for your gym locker or a bicycle chain lock.

Keyless LockThe advantages of this lock are minimal – no key required and you can give others access at your discretion. Ok, so there is no key to lose, but so what?

The disadvantages are much greater; an intruder can guess the code or hack into the lock; you can forget the code; and many are powered through electricity and incorporated into a security system, which may not function when the power goes out. Also, a keyless lock such as a standard combination lock is not recommended for outdoor use. It can be easily cut open with bolt cutters or a hack saw and done so very quickly.

Next we have the Padlock.
Padlocks are also called cylinder locks, because pins inside the cylinder are manipulated to a specific position so the key that is cut to fit it can open the lock. You typically see these on outdoor sheds, lockers and for small items like your luggage and the gas meter at your home. Some of the advantages of this lock type can actually be viewed as negatives when you consider how they would be used at a self storage facility. They can be re-keyed very easily if you lose the key, without having to remove the lock. That may be great to get into your gym locker to retrieve your favorite shoes, but that also means someone with a little knowledge can get into the lock without your permission.

PadlockAgain, the disadvantages outweigh the positives. These locks can be easily picked by burglars because it is surprisingly easy to get your hands on lock pick tools or “create” your own. Bump keys exist (provided it is the same manufacturer of the lock) and can provide quick access to open a padlock; just do a quick search online and you will be shocked at how fast a teenager can gain access from this method. I don’t know about you, but that does not scream “safety” to me at all!

Then we have the Disc Lock.
This lock type is considered the industry standard. There are many advantages of choosing a disc lock. To start, they were actually developed specifically for self storage facilities and are recommended across the industry as the go-to lock to use. These locks cannot be removed using bolt cutters because the hasp (which is the “U” shaped part of a padlock) is designed in such a way that it cannot be reached. Hitting one of these locks with a hammer will not break the lock, like it can on keyless locks and padlocks. Picking this lock type is also not an easy feat when compared to other lock types. To remove a disc lock without having the key requires a bit of time and tools. You actually need to grind it off. Someone who is not authorized to be on the property will quickly move on to an easier target (like a padlock or keyless lock) because grinding off a disc lock takes a lot of time and makes a lot of noise. These locks are also stainless steel, meaning no rust will form when being outside in the elements year-round. Another benefit to this style is that many insurance companies offer a zero deductible or lower premium if you secure your storage unit with a disc lock.

There aren’t many disadvantages of choosing a disc lock. So it will cost a little more than a standard padlock. But I think you would agree it is well worth the price to keep your belongings safe.

Besides the type of lock you choose, you also need to consider the size of the lock. They are measured across the width of the lock. The most common sizes of locks used for self storage are 1 3/4, 2 and 2 3/4. Anything larger than a 2 3/4 will not fit on the door latch. One thing to keep in mind is the smaller the lock is, the easier it will be for someone to remove it. So, you want to choose the largest lock you can for the latch, which will just add another layer of protection against unwanted visitors.

And lastly, if you have a storage unit with outdoor access, make sure you choose a lock designed for the outdoors. The direct sunlight, rain, snow and extreme temperatures from outside can affect the durability of the lock. Stainless steel is the recommended material for an outdoor lock because of its durability. If you have an indoor access storage unit, you can choose either an outdoor or indoor use lock, as it will not be exposed to the elements.

With this information in mind, it’s no surprise that we will always recommend a disc lock when using self storage. We want your stuff to be safe and secure just like you do. The lock you choose is the best defense against someone entering your storage unit without your permission. We offer disc locks for sale in our rental office, so you can easily get the best lock without having to shop around.

It may seem like a simple step; just buy a lock and you are good to go. However, all locks are not created equal and you want to be sure to purchase the correct size and style. If you have any questions about locks and how to choose the best one, you can contact our property manager or fill out our contact form.


How to Get Away Safely if You’re a Domestic Abuse Survivor

Domestic abuse is a serious epidemic in America, but to put that in numbers, consider this startling fact: There were more women murdered by a partner or ex during the period of 2001 and 2012 (11,766) than there were American troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq — 6,488. While women are more likely to be affected (85 percent of cases), 15 percent of men also experience physical, emotional, or financial abuse, or a combination thereof.

Get Away From Domestic Abuse

Sadly, a lack of funds or resources to obtain money is among the number one reason why the abused stay in a relationship, but there are resources available to assist with everything from medical care to helping someone enter the workforce again so they can stand on their own two feet and acquire financial freedom. With that in mind, if you’re a victim of domestic abuse, here are some tips for getting away safely and moving homes so you can move on with your life.

Create an Exit Strategy

There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for getting away as there are logistics, kids, pets, and scheduling issues to consider. However, a general exit strategy involves memorizing a list of emergency contacts (including a local shelter and domestic violence hotline) so your abuser doesn’t find the evidence, practicing escaping quickly and safely — along with your children and animals if applicable. While you want to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice, don’t keep your getaway bag (emergency cash, clothing, important documents) at your home. Rather, have a friend or family member hold onto it for you — but do hide a spare car key and make sure your vehicle has a full tank of gas and the doors are unlocked. Renting a secret storage locker to keep your valuable in is also a good idea.

As an added level of safety leading up to your escape and beyond, consider getting a second phone so your abuser can’t track your location; a prepaid phone card is another option if you want to avoid a paper trail with a phone bill that may arrive at the house. If you’re looking into resources to help plan your getaway, immediately delete your browsing history or use a computer at work, the library, or a trusted friend’s house. Regularly change all passwords.

Plan Your Move

When you’re ready to look for a home, start by calculating your home affordability by looking at your annual income, down payment, monthly spending, loan type, and current average APR — there are cost calculators that can crunch these numbers for you. Once you decide on a home and are ready to start the moving process (avoid a secluded area and consider a condo with a doorman), look into one of the many resources in your state to help you relocate so you don’t have to have to have contact with your abuser. Alternatively, you may want to deal with those personal belongings down the line — or not at all — and get a completely fresh start.

Hire a Pro

You’ve been through a lot, so the last thing you need to deal with is packing and physical moving DIY style. Not only can pros save you time (days versus weeks), but they can also save you money since they know how to pack without wasting excess materials that could rack up costs. As an added bonus, all of your items will be insured should they become damaged or broken. A domestic violence advocate can work with you and the mover to get everything transported for you.

If you were lucky enough to obtain a restraining order against your ex, then you have slightly more peace of mind. Regardless, keep yourself safe after leaving your abusive relationship by getting a P.O. box in lieu of a real address, staying off of social media, getting a new computer and cell phone, and avoiding isolated areas at all times. Consider running errands and carpooling with a colleague so you’re minimizing alone time.


If you’re a victim of domestic abuse, there are options available to help. Remember to plan an exit strategy, plan your move, and hire professional movers so you can begin a new, safer life.

Our Storage Facility Self Storage

The Basics of Renting a Self Storage Unit

Most people have at least heard of self storage, even if they have no idea what it really is. We wanted to take some time and explain the basics of renting a self storage unit, in an effort to help you understand a little more about the industry and learn a little more about self storage. First of all, be sure to stop by the facility where you are interested in renting your self storage unit and talk to the property manager. Rule of thumb, a facility with a property manager on site will provide you with better service, more security and a great resource to go to when you have questions or concerns. If there is no manager on site, it’s best to find a facility that offers this benefit. At Stop and Store Harrisburg, we have an on-site a property manager who is ready to become your new BFF. Here are a couple of the basics you will need to know and take care of when you are ready to rent your self storage unit:

The Basics of Renting Storage Units

  • Determine which size storage unit you will need. Our friendly property manager can help you figure this out with just a few questions and by showing you some actual storage units on site. We even offer an online unit size calculator to get you started.
  • Bring at least one form of Photo I.D. with you. When you are ready to sign the lease and rent your storage unit, you will need to show photo identification such as a driver’s license, passport or other state or government issued photo identification.
  • Show proof of rental insurance or purchase insurance on site. Our lease requires that you carry rental insurance for your self storage unit. If your property is worth storing, it is worth insuring. Not to mention that it gives you peace of mind that your belongings are safe while in storage at our facility and you are covered if anything happens. You can present proof of your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance when you sign the lease, or you can purchase insurance through a third-party provider which we offer on site. If you have questions, simply ask our property manager and he will gladly help!
  • Credit CardsBe sure to have some form of payment. You will need to pay for your first month’s rent upon signing the lease. We accept cash, check or money order, and major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover). We can even help you set up future payments using our online payment system where you can have monthly payments applied automatically on a certain date or manually make payments when you log in.

Now that we have covered some of the basics, we wanted to give you answers to some of the questions we receive frequently:

  • How long is my lease? All of our leases are month-to-month, which means no long-term contracts. You decide how long you need to keep your storage unit. You may think you need it for six months and it ends up that you only need it for four months. Or the contrary, you may think you need it for six months, but as time goes by you realize you need it for a year or longer. That’s no problem at Harrisburg Self Storage! Another benefit we offer on our leases is that we prorate them after the 1st of the month when you move in. So, if you sign the lease on the 15th, you’re not paying for the first 14 days of the month.
  • First of the MonthWhen is the rent due? Rent is due on the first (1st) of each month. If rent is not paid by the fifth (5th) of the month, a late fee is assessed and continues to accrue when not paid. But don’t worry – we make it easy to pay your rent on time. Read our blog “Here’s the 411 on Making Payments…” to learn more about making payments.
  • Can my spouse or another alternate contact pay my account balance? Yes. Anyone can make a payment on your account. If someone else does make a payment on your account, no account information will be given to them because we value your privacy. Account information is only given to the person who signed the lease, no exceptions.
  • When can I access my unit? We offer unit access from 6am-10pm seven days a week, which includes holidays. We also offer 24-hour access if requested and approved. We understand that some people work different shifts and need access outside the normal hours. To enter the facility at any time, even during normal business hours, you will need your individual access code that is given to you when you sign the lease. This helps us know who is on the property at all times, offering you added security when you access your unit. No one can enter the facility unless they are a current tenant.
  • Call CenterCan I contact you after hours? You sure can! We have a call service that will answer the phones outside normal business hours. They can take a message for the property manager, take rental payments over the phone and answer many of your questions on the spot. If a return call is necessary, the property manager will contact you as soon as he or she is back in the office.


These are just a few of the most common questions we are asked. If you want to learn more about self storage and the common questions people ask us on a regular basis, you can read over our large list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Simply fill out our contact form or call 717-238-2411 if you would like more information or wish to talk directly to a property manager. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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Take the Guesswork Out of Selecting the Right Self Storage Unit

Maybe you live in an apartment or condo that really doesn’t have ample closet space or room to use for storage. You could live in a house where the basement floods a lot and you would rather not keep your valuables down there in the dampness where they can be ruined or damaged. You could be sending your oldest child off to college, and plan to change his room into that man-cave you always wanted and you got to move his stuff somewhere. You could even own or manage a business and your office doesn’t have any storage areas for your important archived documents. These are all great reasons to choose self storage.

Pick The Right Storage Unit Every Time

Deciding to use self storage is the first step, but where do you go from there? You need to look at what you plan to store in the unit, and figure out which unit size and type you want to use. Here we provide a breakdown of the most common unit sizes and types, along with an idea of when you would choose each of them.

First, we will start with unit types. Not all facilities offer every unit type listed below, and this is not meant to cover every possible type that exists. However, these are the most common self storage unit types.

  • Drive Up Self Storage UnitDRIVE UP.
    A drive up self storage unit means just that, you can drive your vehicle right up to the door to access it. Normally these units have roll-up doors, similar to a garage door, with cement floors and metal walls. Often times the ceilings are high as well, allowing you to store bulky items like an armoire. Our partner facility in Dover, PA Stop and Store Dover, has many drive up self storage units to choose from.
  • Interior Self Storage UnitsINTERIOR.
    An interior self storage unit is one that you need to enter by a main door from the outside and have access from an inside hallway. These units can have roll-up doors like the drive-up units, and sometimes have a regular metal or wooden door like you would find in your home. These units can only be accessed from inside a hallway, there is no way to access them from outside. All of our self storage units at Stop and Store Harrisburg are interior units.
  • Interior Temperature Control Self Storage UnitsTEMPERATURE or CLIMATE CONTROL.
    Self storage units that offer a set temperature, regardless of the weather outside, are called temperature control or climate control. Similar to your home, they are heated and/or cooled to a set temperature based on the season. Temperatures will range but units are generally kept at 55° F during the fall and winter months. This prevents sensitive items from freezing. During the warmer seasons, the temperature is set in the high 70s with the goal to limit the humidity as much as possible. These units are perfect for storing sensitive and valuable items such as photographs, antique furniture, electronics – anything that cannot be exposed to extreme temperature shifts.
  • Parking SpacesPARKING.
    Normally, parking spaces are outdoors, often on stone areas. Paved spaces are also common at newer facilities and ones located in cities and industrial areas. They are designed to park cars, trucks, RVs, boats and trailers when not in use, and also provide plenty of room to gain access and maneuver larger vehicles such as boats and RVs. Sometimes there can be a metal roof structure to provide some protection from the sun, rain and snow. There are even indoor parking spaces available at some facilities giving you the choice to essentially “garage” your vehicle rather than parking it outside.


Now, we move on to unit sizes. Again, not all facilities offer the same unit sizes. These are the most common ones and are considered the standards within the industry. The measurements are in feet.

  • 5 x 5.
    These are usually the smallest units you can find, and are even referred to as lockers. The 5×5 unit is perfect for storing totes or boxes of out of season clothes, holiday decorations or a few smaller pieces of furniture like end tables and lamps.  These are available as drive-up and interior units and often temperature control as well.
  • 5 x 10 and 5 x 15.
    These storage units are favorites among the Motorcycle crowd. They are the perfect size to store your bike out of the elements with enough room left for tools or a few boxes. They are also great for storing furniture from a small one bedroom or studio apartment. The 5×10 and 5×15 are common as both drive-up and interior units as well as temperature control.
  • 10 x 10 and 10 x 15.
    These are usually the most popular units because they are not too small and not too large. These units can handle the contents of a large one or two bedroom apartment, or a small house with minimal appliances. If you are downsizing but want to keep your extra furniture until you decide what to do with it, these would be a great size for you. These units can be drive-up or interior and may offer temperature control.
  • 10 x 20.
    If you are moving and your new home isn’t ready, this is most likely the size you’ll need to store your belongings until you can move in. It can handle a three or four bedroom apartment or home including some major appliances. This is also a great size unit for that classic car you want to park inside for the winter. Normally this size unit has drive-up access and occasionally offers temperature control.
  • 10 x 25 and 10 x 30.
    These units are typically the largest ones at a self storage facility. This is some serious storage space and can handle the contents of a four bedroom home, including major appliances and garage items like tools and a lawnmower. The 10×30 can even handle a small truck or boat if you want to keep them out of the elements. These larger units are usually drive-up units that are not available as temperature control.

Most modern self storage facilities list the sizes and types they offer on their website and even show the current rental rates. The last thing you want to do is guess, and then realize while you are moving everything into your unit that you didn’t choose one that is large enough!

Your best bet is to talk to the property manager at the facility you are planning to rent your self storage unit. At Stop and Store Harrisburg, our property manager is very helpful and knowledgeable, and can assist you in determining which unit type and size will best suit your storage needs. Stop by today!

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Can I Transfer to a Larger or Smaller Unit?

So you rented one of our smaller units, thinking at the time that it was large enough for all you planned to store. Then, as time goes by you fill it up and realize you could really use a larger unit and kick yourself for not making that choice up front. Our property managers help you decide what size will work best for you when you visit our office, but sometimes the end result can vary after time goes by from what the tenant and the manager discussed when signing a lease.

Then you ask yourself, “Can I transfer my stuff to a larger self storage unit?” The answer in most cases is yes. You can also transfer to a smaller unit if you over-estimated how much space you needed and now you can tell you will never use it all.

How to Transfer Units

Example Scenario 1:

It all starts out when you visit our rental office and decide on which unit size will work for you. Together with the property manager you decide on, let’s say, a

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5×10 unit. Then a few months go by and you realize that even though you had hoped the 5×10 was going to be enough space, it just isn’t working any more. No matter how hard you try, you just can’t fit any more of your belongings in the unit. At this point you need to decide if you should rent an additional 5×10 unit, or move your stuff to a larger 10×10 unit.

In most cases, renting a larger unit will be less expensive than renting an additional smaller unit. Check with the property manager to make sure the size you want is available. Remember though, you will need to move all of your belongings from the 5×10 to the 10×10. Our property manager will gladly try to find a larger unit as close to your existing unit as possible. However, if the only 10×10 available is on the other side of the property and there is a 5×10 two units down, you may want to decide on the additional unit rather than the transfer. Then you can simply transfer your rental agreement to the larger 10×10 unit or add the additional 5×10 unit to your rental agreement.

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Example Scenario 2:

You have rented a 10×20 temperature controlled self storage unit because you are listing your home for sale. You need a large unit because you want to move all of your non-essential belongings and furniture out of your home in order to stage it for the realtor. After a several months go by, you sell your home, and that is fantastic news! Plus, you have already found the home of your dreams and plan to move in very soon. You plan to move all of your furniture from your 10×20 storage unit into your new home.

After moving day, and you have everything from your storage unit in your new home that you want, you notice there are still quite a few items you would rather keep in storage. However, there is no way you need that large 10×20 anymore. You decide that you can make due with a 5×10 unit and still have room to add some things down the road if you want. You even realize that you no longer need the temperature control unit since what you are storing will be fine in a standard unit. At this point, a transfer to a smaller unit without temperature control makes perfect sense.

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Here are a couple of pointers to follow when considering adding a storage unit or transferring to a different unit size:

  • Talk to the property manager on site. Our managers are thoroughly trained and can help you decide which unit size is best for your needs.
  • Make a list of what you know you will be storing, and what you anticipate you may store in the future. Also note some size estimates for large items you will be placing in the unit, as that will help to better estimate the space you will need.
  • Be aware of items that are sensitive to temperature that you plan to store. If you plan to keep boxes of photographs, family heirloom furniture or valuable clothing in your unit – you may want to consider a temperature control unit.
  • Think about how you want to access your unit. If you plan to move large items frequently or want quick access at all times, a drive-up unit may be the best option. If you don’t plan to access the unit frequently or would rather be inside the building when accessing your items, an interior unit may make the most sense.

Making the decision to add or transfer units requires some forethought. If you chose the wrong unit size from the beginning, be sure you don’t make that mistake again. And, if circumstances have changed for you – like moving into a new home – you want to ensure you choose the correct unit size for your future needs.

We are always there to help! Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek advice from the property manager to ensure you make the right decision.