In this age of high rental prices and lack of ample space, it is very unlikely that someone never hears of a self-storage unit. But, if you are someone who has never used a self storage facility yourself, chances are, that you have a lot of questions about how the whole thing works.
This is exactly why we have compiled a list of the answers to some of the questions that you might have about self-storing, in this beginners guide to self storage units.
Read ahead to find out everything you need to know about self-storage units.
- What exactly is a Storage Unit?
Self-storage facilities deal in the rental of storage space. You get to store your personal possessions and business inventory for weeks, months, or even years. The sizes of self storage units vary, which means that you can choose the one that fits your needs, and only pay for the space that you occupy.
Very simply put, it is a place for your belongings to rest at, when you lack space for them in your own house. Renting a storage unit is kind of like renting a house, but for your belongings.
Most storage providers give you full access to the unit, which means that the space becomes exclusively yours. Because you own the keys to the personal storage unit, you can visit it to store or withdraw anything that you like.
When you can visit the unit, depends on the company you opt for. Most companies provide 24 hour access, but some give access for only a few hours in the day.
- What You Can and Cannot Store in a Storage Unit
You can store many different things in a self-storage unit. This facility is truly a blessing in disguise because it solves mostly all storage problems.
If you are leaving your old house, getting a storage unit to temporarily store your stuff like clothes, blankets, etc. can be a great option until you move to the new house. It can also be extremely helpful when you remodel your house.
Remodeling and renovation can damage your precious belongings. You can get a unit for furniture storage to keep it safe from dents or paint stains.
Furniture storage units can also come in handy when you are decluttering your house of the out of season things (which you know might be useful after sometime). You can use a storage unit not only for personal storage but also business storage.
As an international student, you can make use of the facility for when you are on a summer break and don’t want to take your stuff back to your homeland only to bring it back after the break.
There are nonetheless some things that you cannot store in a storage unit. These include perishable goods, inflammable or hazardous materials, illegal things like weapons, drugs or stuff that you don’t own yourself, any wet things and all living beings (obviously).
- How Much Does it Cost?
In the UK, the rental cost of a self-storage unit is £23.11 per square foot per year on an average, (according the Self-Storage Association’s annual industry report).
But this is only an estimate, because the costs for personal storage are different for different areas. Not to forget that all companies provide different amenities with the unit, so that changes the prices too. Also, as the total area of the unit increases, the per sq. ft. price decreases.
If you are lucky, you might come across a promotional offer or a discount deal. Moreover, some personal storage companies give discounts on a longer stay.
- How to Choose a Storage Unit for Yourself?
Firstly, look up keywords like personal storage, units for storage, or furniture storage on Google. Browse through the options that you see and note down the prices along with the amenities each company is providing with the unit in your desired area.
The best unit for you is the one that fits your needs, and that depends on your personal preferences and the things that you want to store in the unit.
For instance, if you are storing expensive business inventory, a padlock system along with 24-hour surveillance would be a must for you. If you want to store weather sensitive things like your artwork, you might require a climate controlled personal storage unit.
The size of the unit also depends on the possessions that you want to store. For a closet size storage, an area of 25 sq ft might work.
But for furniture storage, you’ll require an area more than 50 square feet. So you see, knowing what size and amenities you want helps you decide which unit would work the best for your personal storage needs.
- Alternatives to Self Storage
Before you form the opinion that self-storage is the only solution for business, student, and personal storage problems, let us tell you that there are better and cheaper storage units available, which might cater to your specific needs better.
How so? Not only does a personal storage unit cost less than self-storage, but companies like STORED also provide their customers with more ease.
This includes a two-man team and van service that packs, loads, and transports your belongings to its destined unit, all without any burden on you. So, you save up on the transport costs, and also on the physical labor of packing and loading the storage boxes.
Whenever you feel like taking your items out of the unit, you simply let them know over the phone and your belongings are returned to your doorstep.
- How to Pack your Items and Store Them in the Unit.
The above mentioned option would work better if you are short on time and are mostly busy, or if you just don’t feel like making several trips to and from the unit. Another added benefit would be that you won’t have to worry about how to pack your stuff and store it in the unit.
But if you don’t do for the easier option and go for self-storage, then you should know some basic tips of packing and storing.
Don’t cram too much inside a box or even inside a unit. Make sure all your things are clean and dry, and are covered with either bubble-wrap or some blanket-type material to protect them from damage. Tape the boxes well and label each box.
While storing, keep the things that you’ll want back soon, closer to the entrance. Things bigger in length, go at the back. Make sure you leave walking space for yourself too.
You might be a beginner but you don’t have to stay one.
Go and store, now that you know most things about self-storage.