Self Storage - A Guide To The Basics

Self storage is simply renting the space you don’t have at home to take the overflow of bulky or little-used possessions.
Paying for self storage is cheap and flexible. If you want more or less space, simply let the storage company know and the deal’s done without any hassle.

Who uses self storage and why?

Anyone can use self storage:

  • Homeowners or renters who need to declutter or find space to keep things like bulky garden furniture or sports equipment out of season
  • Students who do not 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

Finding storage space is easy - but deciding which is right for your needs is a little harder.

Some important points to watch for are:

Calculating storage space
Work out roughly how much space you need - and don’t forget the size of the room is determined by the largest item. For example, a kayak might take up less cubic feet than some boxes, but the footprint is a lot larger. Storage units come in various sizes, from a locker large enough for a few boxes, to containers that will take the complete contents of a four bedroom house.

Planning self storage

Storage facilities take most items, but many have safety codes that restrict poisons, explosives and flammable materials. Check insurance covers valuables like jewellery, art or antiques while in storage and keep personal papers handy rather than locked away.

Take boxing lessons

Packing your possessions properly eases transport, stacking and protects from damage. Heavy items should go in smaller boxes while fragile possessions can be kept safe in bubble wrap. Labelling boxes with a list of contents on the top, one end and one side can help you find things when they are stacked.

What to look for in self storage

The points to consider when looking for self storage services in the UK depend on how you want to use your space.

Here are a few pointers:

  • Opening hours - If you work during the week, Saturday and Sunday opening so you can access your belongings is important
  • Location - Travelling to and from your self storage adds to the cost. Choose somewhere close, easily accessible and with plenty of parking.
  • Drive up storage - Parking close to your storage space makes loading easier
  • Air conditioning and damp-free storage - Having a constant temperature to cut out condensation stops documents deteriorating and prevents furniture from warping
  • Security - Look for CCTV, PIN code entry and secure storage with your own lock.
  • Handy space - Good lighting, wide corridors and plenty of trolleys can make accessing your storage room simpler

It's sensible to chat with the staff to check their attitude to service as well.

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