Considerations When Thinking About Self Storage
– Discussed by Ashington’s Removals & Storage Services
Self-storage is now readily available all over the UK and it is a great and affordable way to get some extra space in either your home or business. The number of accessible and affordable self-storage premises have increased dramatically over the years and there are now lots of different options available. Read our Considerations When Thinking About Self Storage and it will help you decide if it’s for you.
The different options can be confusing and you may not be aware of the things you should ask. Getting it wrong can not only be a costly mistake but it will take a huge amount of time and effort to move your belongings once they are stored.
So why are more and more people using self-storage facilities in the UK?
House prices have increased a huge amount in the last 20 years with the average house price increasing by over 200% since 1999.
This has made mortgages harder to get with massive deposits being needed to secure a property, whether you are a first-time buyer or already own a property. This has made it unreachable for some people to buy a home, or for others, they’ve had to buy a smaller home as well as being realistic about what they can get for their money and how they can work it.
There are also existing homeowners who can’t afford to upgrade to a bigger house or extend as they’ve grown out of it so more and more people are choosing self-storage as a way of making their home or business lives work.
Self-storage is now being used by millions of people across the UK as it is an affordable solution to the problem of lack of space in your home or business.
If you are considering using a self-storage facility then you should take your time to weigh everything up and find the right facility for you. There are thousands out there and everyone is different so thinking about the right things and asking the right questions is crucial to you making the right decision.
What Self Storage Do You Need?
Finding the right storage for you and your needs is crucial as if you get it wrong it will make it both costly and inconvenient for you.
Important things to consider are; what do you want to store, how often will you need access to it to pick up or drop off?
Good and professional bespoke built self-storage facilities will be able to help you understand the size of storage unit you will need and be able to explain the costs, benefits and disadvantages of each. If you don’t get it right to start with you could end up having to move all of your belongings from one unit to another or to another facility completely.
Start by clearing out your home or business room by room, getting rid of anything you no longer want to keep. When you’ve done this you can start to see what you want to keep in storage and how much storage space you will need.
You may be renting a smaller property for a short period of time whilst you search for a bigger one, you may have outgrown your existing property but there ate things you don’t want to get rid of (family items, furniture, summer or winter clothes, toys or children’s stuff that you no longer need now but you want to keep for a sibling when they get to that age, the list is endless). Go through each room and decide what can be stored and what you want to keep in your home and how feasible it is to store it.
When you’ve done this you can make a list of all the items that you want to store and this will help you understand the size of the unit you will need. Ashington’s Removals & Storage team will help you understand this and we have the scale to be able to increase or decrease the size of your unit at short notice if need be.
Storage units are mainly measured in square feet and the larger they are the more you will pay. Good, professional providers in the UK, like Ashington Removals & Storage will have different size units available for you to choose from meaning you won’t be paying for space that you don’t actually need. Always try and rent a unit with slightly more storage than you originally think you need as most people always add to their belongings and you will want to be able to move around your unit and find the things you want when you need to. This will make your storage space work for you and it won’t work if you have to empty everything out to find what you need.
How Long Will You Need Your Storage Unit?
Most self-storage unit facilities offer a monthly rental option and the price will depend on how long you want to store with them, longer contracts will cost less a month compared to shorter contracts. Some storage facilities require a minimum rental time so always ask this when you are considering different facilities.
If you are using your storage as a way of increasing the space in your home or business then decide if it is a long term solution and take out a longer rental agreement if you can as it will be cheaper for you in the long run.
Decide If You Need Self Service Or Full Service
Storage units are either self-service or full-service based on how much access you have to your items.
You can access self-service storage units whenever you want, and you’ll likely have your own key and lock or in access code. Self-service offers more flexibility with your storage meaning you can drop in without notice when you need to. If you need to make regular visits to collect or drop off then this is often the better option for you.
In a full-service facility, access is controlled, meaning you are likely to have to give notice when you want to access your belongings. Some full-service options will pick up and deliver your items, making them ideal if you do not have a car. Always check the criteria for this service and ask whether it’s an additional charge or included in your rental. If you are going away for a long period of time and you won’t be dropping off and picking up regularly then this option may be better for you.
Self Storage Unit Features
When you are deciding on a storage facility for your belongings you should look at the condition of the premises and the units. Are they clean and in good condition, Do they feel a reasonable temperature and are they humidity-controlled?
A well-maintained facility is a good sign that the business is professional and cares about your belongings and the service they provide you.
Always visit the storage facility and look inside the units available to you before you sign a contract. Square type units are easier and more cost-effective to store items in, they should be clean and free of any mould, leaks or holes. Also, ask the facility about their pest control as animals can make homes in storage units and will quickly damage your belongings.
You can read our How To Pack A Storage Unit here.
Humidity and climate-controlled storage mean your items won’t get damp and go mouldy over time so when you collect them you know there aren’t any nasty surprises.
Storage Facility Location
If you are going to be storing items that you want regular access to then the location of your facility is key to it being a successful option for you. Having to travel a distance to your unit will be time consuming and inconvenient so finding a local one that suits your needs will be better.
Inner-city storage units will always be more expensive than facilities further out but if you know how often you will be visiting then outer locations might be the better option for you.
If you are storing belongings whilst you wait to move home or business then a facility further out or nearer your new home may be a good option for you, If it’s being used for some extra space around your home, then you will probably want somewhere closer to where you live.
The location of your storage unit is key to the success of it so when deciding which one you choose it’s also worth remembering that if cost is a factor, shopping around outside your immediate area could be a benefit as long as you are aware of the disadvantages and prepared for the distance. Self-storage will always be cheaper than moving home or business as well as being less than an increased mortgage or loan.
If you are moving home Ashington Removals & Storage will take any items you want to store to their bespoke facility making moving day easy and efficient for you, without the need for you to arrange collection and delivery of any belongings
There are some storage facilities that offer 24/7 access and some will offer extended or normal opening hours enabling you to access your belongings when you need to.
You should find a storage facility whose opening hours work for you. If you work all day then you will need access in the evenings or over a weekend. Storing at a facility when the hours don’t work for you will be a huge mistake and will be the deciding factor if it works for you or not.
As an example, if you’re storing equipment between gigs or jobs and you need access to your unit on the way and on the way back then the opening hours will be crucial. You don’t want to add to your day or timings as this will quickly become a bind if you can’t access your belongings when you want and need to so always think carefully about it.
If you’re storing items in a unit then they will either have financial or sentimental value, or both so you should always ensure the facility has everything in place to protect them when it comes to humidity/climate control, fire protection and alarms. Professional facilities will have all of these aspects in place and again this will be the decider if your storage space works for you or not. Collecting something that has gone mouldy can be heartbreaking so always check this out with them.
Storage Facility Security
Before you choose your self-storage facility another important factor is the security they have in place for the premises and each unit.
- Ashington’s Self Storage Facility is a safe distance from any road access
- We have a perimeter secured by high-security fences and a barrier gate system
- We have CCTV security cameras around the perimeter, premises and inside
- We have professional and bespoke intruder alarms fitted
- Each unit has its own lock and key and, or pin number to access
- We have sound fire safety systems in place
To keep your items safe and secure, you should choose a company that has the best security measures in place. The basics should include 24-hour CCTV cameras, unique lockable unit access and security fencing.
Insurance Cover For Possessions
Always consider how much it will cost for your insurance for your belongings when they are in storage. Your facility will have its own insurance but it is likely not to cover your belongings. Shop around to find the best quote and cover and factor this into your monthly costs before you agree to a storage unit. Many storage facilities will offer an insurance package with the unit at a small additional cost and this makes taking out your unit easy and affordable.
Modern, professional facilities will have many security systems in place however, you can never be sure that something will never happen, Costs for insurance will be minimal but will give you peace of mind that you and your belongings are protected.
How Much Does A Storage Unit Cost?
Storage space will vary in price by location in the UK, inner or outer city, the level of services and the facilities they have.
The average property size in the UK is a lot smaller than most European countries as well as them not having as much storage space. Moving to a bigger home will cost you a huge amount to move as well as increase your monthly outgoings not only on a mortgage payment but your bills as well. For this reason alone, self-storage is now being used by millions of homeowners in the UK to store their belongings in a clean and climate-controlled, secure environment meaning they don’t need the extra space in their homes.
When you are considering storage, compare your monthly storage costs with the cost of moving and increased monthly outgoings and this will help you see how it can benefit you financially if you can organise and have access to your belongings when you need them.
Always compare prices against the services they offer, facilities and security. In many cases you shouldn’t always go for the cheapest option as it may be too far away, it may not offer you the access hours you need or the units may mean your belongings are not protected whilst being stored there.
Always be wary of companies who offer you cheap prices as this could be a sign that they don’t have the facilities and security features you need.
Take all of the above factors into consideration when making your decision and this will mean your storage will work for you in the short and long term, making your home feel more spacious and saving you money in the long run.
Always be aware of the 5 mistakes that people make when not researching their self-storage needs and options:
- Not renting the right size unit
- Not checking the security features of the storage facilities
- Not checking the units are humidity controlled
- Not thinking if the location of the unit will suit them
- Not thinking if the opening hours of the storage facility suits their needs
- Choosing on price alone
- Not insuring their belongings