A Brief History of Self Storage in the United Kingdom

Selecting the right type of self storage unit for you

Today there are more than 830 facilities across the United Kingdom, providing a total of over 30 million square feet of storage space to over 250,000 customers, according to the Self Storage Association. Households are increasingly turning to self storage due to social factors including moving home, marriage, divorce and retirement. Explaining the history of storage is an effective way for understanding the different types of storage available, from which people can choose.

Humble Beginnings – Wooden Crates

Storage has been around for over 40 years, first originating in the USA in the 1960s. The concept arrived in the United Kingdom during the early 1980s. It began with removal companies offering to store their customers goods in large wooden storage crates. These crates would be stacked away in a warehouse and only accessible by appointment, or when they came out of storage. This option is still available today but is only really useful for long term storage where no regular access is required.

Developing Industry – Shipping Containers

The dated image of self storage is one of hundreds of large steel industrial containers side by side in field somewhere. Although times have changed, shipping containers are still offered as storage solutions – albeit cheap and potentially damaging options. The major downside for shipping containers is the complete lack of ventilation. This means only completely inert materials such as tools are the only safe options to store in shipping containers.

Household goods from soft furnishings to electronics suffer from moisture, mould and fungus damage because damp air is very easily trapped inside a shipping container. If the outside air is damp, be it on a cold winter morning or a humid summer afternoon, when a shipping container door is opened – the outside atmosphere is immediately matched inside your container. This atmosphere is held inside the shipping container, so when the outside warms up, the moisture inside condensates and settles into the goods being stored inside. So when your sofa, armchair, painting, carpet, laptop, TV or toy comes out of storage, the damage can be catastrophic. Some shipping container storage companies attempt to sell calcium chloride sticks to remove air moisture, but the results are variable and often unproven.

Third Generation Self Storage – Purpose Built Steel Partitioned Rooms

Today’s modern self storage facilities are specially made steel partitioned rooms of different sizes, from tiny to extra large rooms, such as those available at Morespace Storage near Huntingdon, St Neots, St Ives, Cambridge, Peterborough & Sandy in Cambridgeshire.

The entire facility is surrounded by a perimeter wall and is covered with megapixel CCTV cameras, capable of viewing vehicle registration plates in the dark and facial recognition in the rain. The family owners live onsite in the farmhouse, which overlooks the facility. Customers are provided with a unique PIN code which is used to gain access through the barrier gate and into the building. This PIN code deactivates the customers’ individual storage room door alarm.

All storage rooms are housed inside the secure building and have easily opened doors which are secured with the customers own padlock and key. There’s an undercover loading bay to protect customers unloading vehicles from the rain and wind. All storage rooms are ventilated which means the air keeps flowing inside the facility and prevents moisture damage to items in storage.

You can rent this self storage space for as long as you desire, from just one month or for the long term. All this easily makes the steel partitioned self storage units, the most secure, safe and cost-effective storage solution for British households in 2014.

If you require a specially made self storage unit near Huntingdon, St Neots, St Ives, Cambridge, Peterborough, Bedford or anywhere in Cambridgeshire, then please contact Morespace Storage to arrange a viewing.