If You’re Running Out of Storage Space, Self Storage Could Be the Solution
While the houses on the many new housing estates springing up in the UK may be more attractively and economically designed and more energy efficient, they often lack enough storage space.
Families grow and change and if you can’t or don’t want to move to a larger space and you’re not a ruthlessly unsentimental minimalist most households sooner or later face the problem of too much stuff. It ranges from souvenirs and heirlooms holding fond memories to household records and documents you have to keep. It’s all stuff you either can’t or don’t want to get rid of, but you don’t use a lot of it every day.
It overflows boxes in the guest room, under beds and into the roof space or garage – so what to do?
Renting self storage space can be a useful and affordable solution.
I spoke to a Self Storage company to find out what you need to consider if you choose this option.
They can be summed up as location, how much access you have, cost and minimum rental period, a choice of sizes of space required, security and insurance.
Here’s a guide to the questions to ask when choosing the best self-storage solution for your needs:
Location: most people prefer to store their valuables somewhere close to where they live or work. You may not need to access them often but it helps to be able to get to them quickly and easily when you do.
Access: we all live under time pressures juggling work, family needs and the like. You’d be able to get to your possessions at home whenever you have spare time in the evening, at the weekend, or late at night. 24 hour access with, for example, your own security code for access when there are no staff around is ideal.
Security: is the location well-lit, properly alarmed and somewhere reasonably open so not an easy target for a break-in? Within the storage facility you want to be sure your property is stored in a locker or unit that is lockable so that only you have access to the contents.
How much space you need: a flexible self storage facility should be able to offer you a range of options.
If you only needed space to store family and household paperwork – such as deeds to the house, bank statements, agreements for products and services, perhaps the children’s education records, certificates, trophies and the like, then you probably only need a locker. A one-meter cube will take roughly eight plastic crates or a few suitcases. 200 cubic feet will take a small amount of furniture, say a roomful if you’re redecorating. The contents of the average three-bedroomed house would fit into a larger unit of around 100-150 sq ft.
How long you need it for: if you only need it for a short time usually the minimum period will be 7 days. If on the other hand you’re going travelling or working abroad for a few years and renting out your home unfirnished you could get a special lower, long term rate.
Insurance: you should check whether your household contents insurance can be extended to cover secure storage and also ask the storage company whether they can advise on affordable cover – compare the costs. Using the storage company’s guidance you may find you can get a better deal.
Finally, it’s always a good idea to go and look at the self storage company you’re considering. Everybody’s circumstances are different and talking through your options with helpful and experienced staff, as well as being able to look around the facility, will help you get exactly what you need and the peace of mind of knowing your property’s well cared for.
Copyright (c) 2010 Alison Withers.