A Guide to Storage by WhatStorage?
At one point or another, we all need storage solutions for our valuables. Whether it’s to keep our items safe while we move house, or a larger area to hold some of the items that won’t fit into the basement or the garage while we renovate. Self-storage is a versatile, flexible and affordable option for all these and many other circumstances.
Self-Storage refers to renting out a storage space or unit from a storage company in your area.
Storage units come in a wide variety of sizes. Some are made for storing items that need special care and a controlled climate as well.
Most storage units are accessed via a garage-door like entrance.
In the UK, self-storage services are used more commonly than you may think. Over 50% of the self-storage space in Europe is used in the United Kingdom.
Time frame is not an issue either. The average self-storage client uses a self-storage unit for at least 3 years.
The safety measures differ from one facility to another, but all of them have at least built-in or separate locks, sometimes a combination of the two.
Self-storage units are also safeguarded by staff 24/7. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that on-site surveillance cameras are used as well.
There are a few factors that impact the monthly fee: the size of the unit, its location, climate control, and the quality of the services offered.
The best way to start working on an estimate is to pick the size of your storage unit. For more guidance, feel free to take a look at our storage unit guide.
Indoor and Outdoor storage:
Most self-storage facilities offer two types of storage: indoor and outdoor facilities.
Outdoor facilities are more convenient if you are a car owner. You can drive up and access your storage units from the outside. This option is also more affordable, but it doesn’t come with climate control and it’s not recommended for items that need special care.
The alternative is a bit more expensive and can only be accessed from the inside of a building.
This option is more secure and it comes with the added benefit of climate control, among others.
One downside is that your belongings might be stored in a distant area of the warehouse, and you might need an elevator to access it as well. This can make bringing items in and out more difficult.
- Don’t choose a drive-up unit if your belongings can’t handle dust
Drive-up units may be convenient. But if you store belongings that are being affected by dust (e.g., furniture, electronics, books, stamp collections, etc.) you risk damaging them.
Ask the representative of the storage facility what storage units would suit best your needs if you aren’t sure what to choose.
- Make sure you ask what items require climate control
Leather can warp. Also, coins get rusty, and furniture can shrink or expand depending on the humidity levels of the storage unit.
If you aren’t sure if your items require special care, ask the self-storage representative what items can handle a storage unit without climate control and what items can’t.
What is self-storage typically used for?
The storage industry continues to grow each year, as more people realise how easy their lives become when they don’t have worry about what happens to their belongings when they relocate, remodel, or declutter.
Here are just a few uses of storage units.
The minimalist trend is helping people focus on functionally and make their homes more spacious by getting rid of seasonal items or belongings that end up gathering dust in closets, attics, and basements.
Many people use self-storage units in the process since they have items that may be used later. But at the moment, keeping them inside the house would only make everything look crowded.
From budget cuts to moving, many people end up having extra furniture pieces and appliances that don’t fit their new home or apartment.
This seems to be extremely prevalent in bigger cities where micro flats are trending and entire neighbourhoods will be soon consist only of smaller flats.
In situations like these, selling expensive furniture right away can lead to a big hole in your pocket.
On the other hand, storing them safely in a self-storage facility is a better option until you start using them again or you find a seller willing to pay a decent price for it.
The logistics involved in the process of moving from one place to another can be quite complicated, especially if you are dealing with heavy furniture and repairs that need to be done in your new home.
Perhaps, all of your furniture and decorations will make it harder for contractors to get their work done around the house, or maybe you can’t move everything at once.
Whatever the case may be, a self-storage facility is the perfect place to store furniture, electronics, and clothing.
Does your home look like a portal to the 60’s? If so, maybe it’s time to remodel it!
In cases like these, painting the walls and making repairs is usually easier without your old furniture and appliances in the way. A self-storage facility can keep your belongings safe while you remodel your home without slowing down the renovation process.
Storage units can also come in handy for businesses, and they have a large range of uses in this regard.
For example, you can use a storage unit to store your surplus stock, products you sell in online stores, documents, and old furniture while you are in the process of moving to another place.
Small businesses can also benefit from business storage. It allows them to store documents and electronics they rarely use but don’t have space for in their offices.
For businesses, it’s also recommended, especially when storing important documents, to opt for climate controlled units. Sudden changes in temperature and moisture can damage important documents, depending on the area where the storage unit is located.
Many collectors choose self-storage units when their collections get too big to be stored inside their homes without taking too much space.
Self-storage facilities also come with the benefit of being extremely secure. In the case of climate controlled units, they’re perfect for collections that would be otherwise damaged in a home where temperatures and humidity are not constant.
What can I keep in my storage unit?
You’ve probably asked yourself before what items can be stored with minimal preparations.
Keep them in a climate controlled unit, preferably sheltered from light as well. Make sure you wrap your electronics in plastic bags or store them in boxes to protect them from dust as well.
Clothing is best stored in indoor units and kept in plastic bags and boxes for dust and light protection. Due to the way some fabrics respond to humidity and sudden temperature changes, it’s best if they are stored in a climate controlled unit. Leather, fur and, cotton clothing are the most sensitive to humidity and temperature.
Wood expands in humidity and shrinks when it’s stored in dry environments, leading to cracks. Furniture is best stored in a climate-controlled interior unit that prevents humidity damage. It’s also recommended to make sure the furniture is off the ground for better ventilation and air flow.
Books and Comics
A climate controlled interior unit is your best bet when it comes to storing old books and rare comics because it will prevent mold from forming and destroying the paper.
Canned Food and Sealed Beverages
While regularly packed food is not allowed in self-storage units because it attracts rodents and insects, canned food and sealed beverages are.
You can easily store you wine collection or beer in a climate controlled unit, along with non perishable canned foods.
Which items should not be kept in storage?
There are certain items, that should never be kept in a storage facility due to the risk of vermin infestations and fires, among other issues.
Drugs and/ or Stolen Goods
No storage facility will say yes to you trying to store drugs or other illegal chemicals. The same applies to stolen goods. Storing them in a unit only increases your chances of getting caught by the authorities.
This one’s a no-brainer.
Always ask the facility manager before trying to store guns in your unit. Some facilities allow registered firearms, while others have policies against it.
Flammable, Hazardous or Explosives Materials
It’s important to always read labels before trying to store something in your unit. For example, some paints are extremely flammable, along with deodorants. Always ask the storage manager which items are considered a problem.
Need we say more? I’m sure your pets won’t be happy about it either.
Unfortunately, plants aren’t allowed because they attract insects and parasites in the storage facility. Not to mention, plants can’t survive without enough light.
While it’s permitted to use your unit as a workshop or alternative office, it’s illegal to use it as a live-in residence. Occasionally sleeping in your storage unit is forbidden as well.
If you’re looking for other types of storage such as business storage, student storage etc, WhatStorage? can help you find the best available units near you and sort them by price, distance, and amenities.