Complete guide to self storage

January 10, 2020

If you’ve never used a self-storage company before then it can be relatively daunting when using one for the first time, however it can often be the best answer to a range of problems, such as what to do with a loved one’s possessions when they pass away, what to do with your furniture if you sell your home but plan to rent for a short time, or what to do with the contents of your home if you plan to emigrate or travel. Whether you have a car-load of valuables you aren’t ready (or able) to part with yet, or a house-full, self-storage can be a perfect solution. We’ve put together a handy guide to make using self storage as simple as possible along with making an informed decision.

What is Self-Storage?

Let’s start with the basics. Self-storage is exactly what it sounds like – you pay to rent a space where you can store the items yourself and access at any time. Think of it as an extension to your home.

In the UK especially, we don’t have the space to store valuables, and sheds and garages can be too wet and cold to store furniture through the winter. If you need somewhere to store some items for a few months, or even a few years, self-storage is the solution you need.

Why Do People Use Self-Storage?

Storage units are an easy way to get a climate-controlled space to store your items in a supervised location. Depending on the area of your chosen storage facility, space is relatively cheap and many offer 24/7 access. Storage spaces can be used to store old family furniture or even stock for a small online business – if it doesn’t live or breathe the chances are you can store it in a storage unit.

At Big Padlock, there are lots of other services that we can provide to make life easier, such as vehicle and caravan storage, for somewhere to keep your motorhome in the months when you won’t be using it.

What Size Unit Will I Need?

As you’ll see when you start your research, there are a huge number of storage units available, and the larger the unit the more you’ll pay. Even if you plan to fill a large storage unit over the long-term, you may find that renting a smaller one to start is more cost effective. Figuring out what size you need can be complicated, so that’s why we created this handy self storage size guide to help. If you still aren’t sure, you can check here to find your nearest storage location and one of our knowledgeable team members will be able to help you, and they can show you around the facility to select the best size for your needs.

What Can I Store?

You can store almost anything; furniture, books, art, electronics, trinkets, valuables, clothes, supplies and papers. The only things you can’t store are what is against the law, such as firearms and ammunition, illegal substances, combustible and hazardous materials, and anything that breathes (or used to), from humans to animals to plants. If you want to store cash or expensive jewellery, a safe deposit box is often a better option.

How to Save Money on Your Self-Storage Unit

Shop around in your area and take advantage of any self storage offers – here at Big Padlock we always run multiple offers to choose from to give you the best deal at the lowest price we can. Also consider the location of your storage unit; those in built-up areas and cities will be much more expensive than those further from the city centre, so if you want to save money look further afield.

A way to save money in the long run is to ensure you pack your valuables correctly to avoid costly damages, and if you are concerned, we offer a wide range of packing products, for you.

Have You Considered Your Transportation?

This is an element of self-storage many people forget to consider until after they’ve chosen their self-storage unit, but it is an important piece of the puzzle. If what you plan to store is small and can be transported in a car in a load or two, then you can skip this step, but if you are clearing out your home or a family member’s, you might find it more suitable to hire a reliable removals company. They will come and do all the heavy lifting so you can think
about a house sale, relocation, or any of the million other things you have on your plate.

Should I Insure My Storage?

The items in your storage unit are still your responsibility, and you need to insure it against loss or damage in case an accident happens. Talk to your home insurance provider to see if their cover stretches to your unit, but if not talk to your storage provider. We offer our own insurance tailored to self-storage to protect you from the things we hope never happen. You can find out more about our bespoke storage insurance policy we offer by visiting our website or talking to one of our friendly agents in store.

How to Secure Your Unit

When it comes to your possessions, security is the highest priority and something we take very seriously. All Big Padlocks facilities are built with state-of-the-art security systems, alarms and 24/7 CCTV in operation. You’ll receive a secure lock for your unit that only you will have a key too, we don’t keep any copies for peace of mind that you’ll be the only one with access.

If you have any further questions or queries, don’t hesitate to give us a call or contact your nearest storage facility to talk to our team there, take a tour, and find a solution that works best for you.