What is self storage?
Put simply, self storage is renting some extra space for yourself or your business. When you rent a storage unit, you get a secure space that’s accessible only to you that you can put almost anything you like in.
Storage units can be anything from a locker measuring 10 square feet to a 2,000 square foot unit the size of a tennis court. Whatever size you choose, your unit is highly secure – only you have the key, and our facilities are alarmed and protected by CCTV.
A few of the common reasons people use self storage include:
- Homeowners or renters who need to declutter or find space to keep things like bulky garden furniture, tools or sports equipment out of season
- Students who don’t want to carry all their belongings around out of term time
- Businesses needing space for seasonal stock, extra equipment or documents
- Groups without a permanent home that need storage or rehearsal space
- People with valuable antiques, such as jewellery or antiques, who need a highly secure place to keep them
Choosing a self-storage facility
When choosing a storage facility and unit, it’s important to think about how you’re going to use it. Ask yourself these questions:
- How much space do I need? If you’re unsure how big a
space you need to store your belongings, our knowledgeable and experienced staff will be on hand to help you make the right decision. It’s also
a good idea to measure up the items you want to store to get a rough idea of your requirements, and use our storage calculator to help too.
- Will you need extra space in future? Self-storage is
very flexible, but if you want to keep everything in the same place and you know you’ll be adding to your storage in the near future, it may be
best to rent a bigger unit than you need to save moving things around, however, should you wish to start small, it’s really easy to arrange an
additional unit when you do need more space.
- How often will you need access to your unit? If you’ll
be moving things in and out of your unit regularly, it’s best to pick a facility that you can get to easily from your home or workplace.
- How long do you need the unit for? The longer you agree
to rent a unit for, the cheaper it works out by the day. If you’re not sure, it may be best to start out paying on a weekly basis and then sign
a longer-term contract once you know how long you’ll need it for.
- Is security an issue? The security of your unit is our
top priority here at Space Station. As well as CCTV, perimeter fencing and alarms, your belongings are protected by bespoke metal units that have
been designed to resist break-in attempts. You can rest assured that your goods are safe with us.
Don’t worry too much if you don’t know the answers to all of these right away: life can be unpredictable, after all. One of the biggest benefits of self-storage is that it’s very easy to expand or decrease your storage space at short notice, to make sure you’re only paying for what you need. Plus, our experienced team of staff will be able to provide you with storage advice, and answer any queries you have about your options.
Getting the most out of your unit
Storage units are always handy, but with a bit of forward planning they can be made to work perfectly for your needs. Here are some of our top tips for getting the most out of your unit:
Store lighter boxes at the back, heavier boxes at the front. The heaviest and bulkiest items need to go on the bottom, so they can support the weight of the lighter items at the top.
By arranging your boxes like this you ensure the heaviest things will be easily accessible when the time comes to move everything out. Our removals team can pack your storage unit for you, in the most sensible and practical way, as part of our free removals service.
- Create walkways with your storage. When laying out your boxes, try to make sure as many as possible are accessible. You can do this by creating rows of boxes with walkways in the middle, instead of filling the unit from back to front. If you run out of space, it may be best to just rent a bigger unit rather than cram too much into one space!
- Use racking systems if you need them. We’re always happy
to fit racking systems to your unit to it easier to organise. These are similar the large shelves you see in warehouses, and they’re really handy
if you need to remember where everything is or store heavy boxes without stacking them on top of each other.
If you want to be super-organised, create an inventory of everything in your unit, including where it is, and keep it on a clipboard by the door – you’ll be able to find anything you need in no time.
Put simply, the best way to get more out of your unit is to have a think about how you’ll be using it from day to day, and make life easy for yourself by planning out where everything needs to go in advance. It may sound obvious, but many people simply fill their units up from back to front and end up regretting it later on!
If you ever need any help organising your unit, our staff will be happy to help. We provide free use of trolleys and pallet trucks for your convenience, as well as our free removals service.
Packaging is serious business here at Space Station. While many people see it as an afterthought, we know that proper packaging makes all the difference when it comes to long-term storage. Not taking the right precautions can lead to damaged or broken belongings – and no-one wants that.
Here’s a few of our top packaging tips. Don’t forget we sell all sorts of packaging at our branches: from bubble wrap and boxes to packing peanuts, we’ve got you covered!
- Fill gaps with poly peanuts. Sturdy items like books,
picture frames, DVDs and so on are easy to pack into a box, but they will shift around if there are any gaps which can lead to damage. A few poly
peanuts helps provide a bit of cushioning which keeps everything in place. If you’re packing electrical items, be sure to use the non-static kind.
- Bubble-wrap your breakables. Crockery, mirrors, glassware
and so on require a bit more preparation. First wrap them in a print-free tissue paper, then a couple of layers of bubble wrap – multiple layers
help provide extra protection for vulnerable areas like corners.
- Vacuum-bag clothing and textiles. Not only do vacuum-sealed
bags keep the freshness in they dramatically reduce the space your garments take up, allowing you to fit more into your boxes.
- Take extra care with furnishings. Furniture can be more
delicate than it looks, especially when it’s being moved around. It’s best to wrap exposed wood in bubble wrap and seal with parcel tape, and make
use of dust-proof sheets. Our ultimate guide to furniture storage has more info on keeping your
furniture safe and sound.
- Label everything! When you’re unpacking everything again,
you’ll be grateful for clearly-labelled boxes that tell you exactly where everything is. It’s a good idea to mark boxes with an “H” for heavy,
“L” for light and “F” for fragile, too.
Whether you’re using it for moving home, long-term furniture storage, a stockroom for your business or just a secure locker for your valuables, self-storage can work for you. If you have any questions about how to use your unit or want to make an enquiry, please give us a call on 0800 404 6969 or use our online form. We’ll be happy to help!