Self storage offers you the ability to store your possessions in a secure, protected, monitored environment for a fixed fee over a flexible period. If you are moving home, or perhaps moving in to rented accommodation awaiting for a property sale to complete it's chain, it offers a great place to store your household items.
Self storage simply means what it says. You take your possessions to the storage unit, access the unit (generally with a PIN code), store the items yourself, lock your unit up and then visit whenever you need to.
All major self storage companies provide 24 hour a day CCTV, if you are storing with a local business its worth chekcing their CCTV systems before hand as some insurers will not pay out if adequate CCTV is not provided.
Some self storage compainies have a manned reception desk during normal working hours, this provides a level of security and also a helping hand on moving heavy items!
One of the best forms of limiting access to your items is through a widely adapted PIN / Password system. Without this you cannot access the storage facility so dont forget it!
Weve noticed most self storage companies charge extra for locks, try and save yourself some extra cash and bring you own strong big lock.
For pretty much all storage providers you will have to provide insurance documents for your items. This is very important as most facilities do not offer cover for your items.
Ensure your insurance policy covers accidental damage during transit as this is when most damage to items can occur. Check your van hire policy if damage to contents is included.
Contact yor storage company before hand as they may have deals with insurance companies which may mean you get a cheaper policy or discount on your storage.
Be sure that your insurance names and specific valuable or specialist items you are storing as this may make it easier if you have to make a claim.
Van hire can be expensive so make sure you plan your exact needs, to avoid paying for additional days.
Check all rental agreements carefully, take care of any extras that you are signing up for and only pay for what you need.
Be sure that any damage, scrapes and chips are outlined in the documents you have signed. Check the millage is correct and make sure you know what to do in case of an emergency.
Usual documentation required for van hire is an up-to-date driving licence, proof of address such as a utility bill and proof of insurance.
Dont try to cut corners with cheap boxes. Quality boxes will pritect your items from damagae, damp and will be easily stackable.
Use bubble warp to wrap all your precious items this provides much needed protection from accidents, scrathes and scrapes.
Never underestimate the use of labels, maintain a list of what you have stored and the order which they are in. Make sure your lables are clear and visble from sides of your packaging.
Its always tempting to store that sofa vertically, this is a big mistake because as gravity takes hold it will warp the structure and begin to look deformed. If possible deismantle furniture as this makes it much easier to lift and store.
Plan exactly how long you will be needing to store you items for, if you sign a long term contract you will save alot of money than if you continue to renew on an ad hoc monthly / weekly basis.
Not all storage providers allow 24 hours a day 7 days a week access, this means you have to know in advance when you will be accessing your storage. Some provders offer discounts if you accept a storage room on an upper floor, so if you are storing small items this bit of flexibilty may save some money.
Lizie, SafeStore, London (yelp.com)
Never underestimate the power of friendly staff. Seriously, these guys make this place 4 stars with the help they provide you with.
For one this storage unit is so central it's really easy to get too, also it has 24 hour access so even if you need to get in at crazy hours you can. But what I love about this place so much is the yellow and blue...
Okay this is a really silly review but seriously, I can't count the times that this place has helped me there are so many. My experience of storage is limited but if its anything else like this, it better than my cellar!
A Brown, Alligator, DunBar (thefreeindex.co.uk) I stored with Alligator Storage for several months and they were nothing but helpful, polite and kind. My storage room was clean and all my possessions came out in perfect condition. The kept their word on everything they said. Very impressive.
Stellio, Big Yellow, London (yelp.co.uk)
Big Yellow self storage provides an invaluable service in their 24-hour accessible, safe and fire proof storage lots. You can keep anything you like here for just seven days, or as long as you like. Access is provided seven days a week, with special permission needed to access your goods after hours.
As one would expect Big Yellow also sell boxes. In four sizes to be exact: small, medium, large and archive. This option is definitely wortha look if all you need is boxes to help you move house. You could even move the contents of one bedroom here for a week, in order to refurbish etc.
Be sure ot check with your self storage company if they offer a discount on van rental or even if its free! Some national companies offer this as an insentive and can instantly save you £££'s!
Be sure to package up awkward shaped items into strong sturdy boxes, this will allow you to stack 2 maybe 3 boxes atop of one another saving much needed space and money.
Sounds a bit obvious but make sure you label all boxes and bags, this will save alot of time when unpacking. If necessary use a spreadsheet and print labels off when needed.