Storage and Self Storage – your tailored solution
There are times in your life when you have to store some of all of your belongings somewhere safe and secure. Perhaps you are moving home with some time between moving out, and getting to your new place. Perhaps you are taking off on a gap year, or for an overseas secondment or work placement. Maybe you’ve simply run out of storage space in your home. Businesses too need to archive and store files, paperwork and equipment and students often need to store their personal possessions during the holidays or year abroad. Self storage can be a great solution, though many of us worry it will be too expensive.
The good news is that, by shopping around and comparing rates for storage, it can work out to be far more affordable than you might have thought, whether for personal, household or business goods.
Self storage is quite simply a DIY, walk or drive in, secure space that you rent and have the keys to – giving you access whenever you need it. Some look like warehouses divided into small units while others offer shipping containers in a parking lot. Storage is available for all sizes and needs, from just a box to full house contents. It’s like having your own extra garage or even warehouse. Whichever type of unit provided, you can be certain it will be secure, dry and private. Of course there are many factors contributing to the growth of self storage for both individuals and companies. People move home more and marriage, divorce, relocation, increased travel and retirement mean people need such solutions.
This can be ever so handy when you are moving home and need to store furniture on a temporary basis; if you’re decorating or renovating your house and need to keep your possessions safe and clean; when the worst happens and you need to clear a house after a relative’s bereavement; when relocating abroad and needing to store your belongings during the move or until you return; when travelling for an extended period; when you’ve simply run out of room, or if you find your sports pastime or hobby has taken over your house.
Many businesses use self storage to optimise their space at their premises, for example archiving files, keeping seasonal or over stock safe for next time, storing supplies and equipment used rarely, for example at tradeshows or for seasonal promotions and for securely keeping excess office furniture.
Self storage is a relatively recent industry. Even in the USA, companies only sprang up in the mid 1960s. In the UK, it is far more recent – not arriving until the early Eighties. But it’s a fast growing industry due to demand and there are over 50,000 facilities in the States and business in the UK grows at around 10% every year. So there are now more choices for you than ever before, and prices become more competitive. This is all to your – the consumer’s - advantage.
Nowadays, you should be able to find a self storage unit near to you, with over 350 companies operating and delivering over 800 facilities in which you can rent in the UK. Simply search through the internet for ‘self storage [my town here]‘ and you will find at least one firm locally. Several are national chains, with upwards of fifty different units in different cities and towns. For peace of mind, it’s worth checking that they are members of national body or association, and such a body may be a good place to start looking. In the UK, the SSA or Self Storage Association has stringent membership criteria and standards. They have a directory of members at ssauk.com including the big national chains and smaller, local private companies.
You may have several more questions. For example, whether these self storage facilities only offer long-term storage or a minimum rental period. The good news is, you can store your goods for just a few days or for over a year. Next, what kind of access you have to your belongings. More than half of all the facilities now offer 24 hour, 7 days a week access – after all, you have the padlock and key to your secure, dry area. The rest offer access within normal business hours. You can usually get access to your belongings at very short or no notice.
A major concern is whether your valued possessions will be safe. All the reputable companies not only offer padlocked, anonymous storage containers but also 24 hour CCTV cameras and security guards. When you drive up, you will usually see large fencing and gates. All the accredited professional self storage firms have security standards to conform to. But you DO still need to take out insurance, as you would for your contents if they will still in your home. Yes, it’s just in case – but provides the extra peace of mind. Remember: only you have a key, not even the storage company. Rest assured: almost a quarter of a million people in the UK have already used self storage facilities the length and breadth of the country.
To keep both legal and safe, there are of course industry guidelines as to what you can store. It’s pretty obvious what you CANNOT store: firearms, explosives, drugs or other flammable or illegal goods. Food and perishables also aren’t a great idea!
Many people think that self storage is only for very big items or your entire house contents, but this is far from true. You could rent just a locker, or several 40-foot containers. The average size of rental now is about eight square feet, but a small container can be as cheap as £5.00. In London, you might be paying £40.00 per square foot per year. Elsewhere, costs can be much lower. So shop around for a good quote, work out how much space you are going to need and get the best possible deal on your self storage.
Telephone: 020 8746 4339
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday, 07:00-00:00
Postal code: HA9 0TF
Country: United Kingdom
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