How Do Self-Storage Units Work?

You’ve decided you need some extra space, and that self-storage is the right route for you. Fantastic! But the question now is, what comes next? If you’ve never rented a storage unit before, the whole process might seem a little daunting to you. But we promise it’s not as complicated as it seems. In fact, it’s incredibly simple, and today we’re going to take you through every step.



The first thing you need to do when renting a self-storage unit is choose your unit. This will largely be determined by what size you need, but your storage company will ask you a few other things as well, to work out what space will be right for you. For example, they’ll ask you what kind of things you’ll be storing, how long you’re staying for, how often you need to access the items. This helps them figure out where in the building to place you, so that the chosen unit meets all of your needs. For example, if you’re storing household items and only need to access them once or twice a year, then a unit on the top floor might be the best option for you. But if you’re storing musical gear and need access to it once a week, then a unit on the ground floor would suit you best.

You’ll also be offered the chance to look at a couple of different types of unit, so that you can really get the feel of the sizes and locations available to you. This is great for people who struggle with visualising space, as it’s easier to understand when it’s right in front of you. Once you’ve chosen your unit, it’s time to sort out your rental agreements.



Your rental agreement is a simple document that explains what unit you’re renting and the terms you’re renting it on. It also explains what you can and can’t store, and all the terms and conditions. A representative will go through all of this with you before you’re asked to sign it.

Then comes the money part. You will have been given quotes for different unit sizes, and you’ll go forward with your chosen unit. There will likely be a setup fee to pay to get your documentation and the unit in order, and depending on the facility you might also need to buy a specialist lock for your unit (though most will allow you to use your own). Both of those costs will need to be paid upfront, along with your first period of rent.

Most self-storage units are priced on a weekly basis, but you’ll only pay once month. If you’re renting long term, or for business use, there may be different terms, and each self-storage company is slightly different in the way they work, so you’ll need to talk to the facility before you sign up. Again, a representative should talk you through all of this before you get started.



Once you’ve done the paperwork and paid your fees, the unit is yours! You may have specified a move in date, or if the unit was already vacant and you wanted it ASAP, you could move in the very same day. You’ll be shown to your unit the first time by a representative from the facility, and they’ll show you how to secure it and answer any questions. From there, you can move your items in at your leisure. In the normal run of things, you won’t hear from the facility unless something goes wrong or you miss your payment, so you will generally be left to use your unit as you wish. You can come and go during opening hours as many times as you like – the space is yours to use as you wish to.


Leaving the Unit

There may come a time when you decide it’s time to move on, and that you need to leave the unit. If that happens, then the process is simple. Get in touch with the facility and tell them that you intend to move out. They may ask you why – and this is so that if the issue is cost, they can try to work out an alternative for you. Otherwise, they will ask you when you would like to vacate the unit by. This will be the date you have to have all of your possessions out of the unit, and have it ready to return in the same state as you received it in.

The facility will then price up your final rental payment, which might be less than normal if you’re leaving the middle of the month, or you could even get a partial refund if you’ve paid in advance but aren’t using the unit for the whole period. Once you’ve moved your belongings out, you’ll need to go to the facility on your contract end date for a ‘check out’ – just to make sure nothing is left in the unit and everything is squared away. If it is, then that’s it – you’re done, and free to leave.


It really is that simple. At Blue Box Self Storage, our team are on hand to talk you through every stage of the process, and answer any questions you may have along the way. If you would like to know more about the self-storage process, just get in touch with the team today.

Centres in Watford , Maida Vale (Permanently Closed) , Hemel Hempstead , Farnborough Call us FREE on 0800 9171221