Beginners Guide to Self Storage

Whether you’re moving house, welcoming a new family member (or saying goodbye!), extending your hobby or simply need additional space – a quality self storage unit could be the best option for storing your goods. Whatever your reason for needing self storage, it can sometimes feel overwhelming with so many factors to consider, so here’s a handy guide to help you make the right choices.

Choosing a Quality Self Storage Facility

Find a reputable facility by checking customer reviews and feedback on search engines and social media. Check if they’re members of the Self Storage Association which ensures quality of service and standard terms of contract (usually referred to as a storage licence). Knowledgeable staff present at the self storage facility is a convenient way in helping you with any queries, as you may want to review your unit or take advantage of advance payment discounts. Look for a secure environment with CCTV on all entry and exit points, entry code access and individual unit door alarms. Your unit should be secured by a padlock and only you keep possession of the key.

Ventilation really is the key to quality self storage, which is usually available in a purpose built facility. A good airflow helps to protect your goods from moisture and mould, by avoiding any build-up of humidity. This helps in keeping items such as sofas and mattresses in pristine condition.

Location is paramount if you need regular access to your goods, keep in mind the distance you will be travelling back and forwards to the self storage facility. It’s convenient if you can unload your vehicle undercover in a loading bay, protecting you from the weather. Suitable trolleys and other equipment should be available to help you move your goods in and out of your unit. If there are any additional floors, make sure there’s a goods lift to make things easier. Facilities with multiple loading bays are an added benefit, especially if you’re planning to access your unit during peak times. Access hours can vary at different storage facilities. Make sure the access hours will work for you before sign up. If a facility offers 24 hours access, please keep in mind that this could also be a potential security risk, as staff usually aren’t present at night.

Finding the Correct Unit

Choosing the right size unit by calculating the space you need, is usually one of the hardest things to do. To make the process simpler, make a list of the largest items and the approximate number of boxes you’re looking to store. For example, to store the entire contents of an average three-bedroom house, you would need to look at storage of around 100-150 square feet. A unit space calculator can help to give you an idea of what size unit may need. A larger space is a greater price, but will work out as less per square foot. You also need to consider whether to pack items tightly versus space for access and upsize or downsize in future. Consider the length of time you are intending to store, as some facilities offer discounts for advance payments long term storage.

Decide in advance what date you want to start storing at the facility and if it’s not needed straight away, look at the option of reserving a unit for a few weeks. Most facilities rent units on a first come, first served basis. Viewing units is essential, so you can look at different size options and layouts and visualise your goods fitting into the space. Most customers will know the right space when the see it, as seeing is believing!

If your goods are worth storing, they’re worth being covered by contents insurance. Look at your current contents insurance policy to see what your contents are currently insured for. For a small charge, your self storage provider should be able to offer you contents insurance for your goods or you can use a third party insurance of your own.

Don’t forget about packaging to protect you goods during a move and in storage. Look at using products like bubble wrap and furniture covers. Most self storage facilities will have a box shop that will sell a selection of packaging to buy.

A fine example of quality self storage is Morespace Storage near to St Neots. We provide quality bespoke secure storage, with a price guarantee, on flexible and rolling contracts, and is accessible daily between 7am – 9pm. We’re a friendly family run business, set in the countryside location of Manor Farm, Graveley in Cambridgeshire and are full members of the Self Storage Association. If you’d like to arrange a viewing, please call us on 01480 830130.