Self Storage 101 – What You Need To Know

If you’ve never done it before, stepping into the world of self storage can seem a little daunting. Are there rules for what I’m allowed to do? How do I know what I need, and how flexible is it? These are all common questions from new storage users. But don’t worry, we’re here to help! Today, we bring you a rundown of the basics of self storage.


What Size Unit Should I Rent?

This is often the part people get a bit confused by, especially when confronted with a long list of unit sizes to choose from. But the thing to remember is that self storage units come in that wide array of sizes so that you can find the right size for you. Most units will offer at least 5 sizes of unit, including 5×5, 5×10,10×10,10×15 and 10×20, with many offering larger and smaller ones too. If you’re not sure which of these would be the right space for you, a good place to start is working out what you’re going to store in your unit, and how much space that requires. If you feel the ‘right’ unit size might be a bit tight, go for the next one up so that you still have room to move. Most self storage facilities will be happy to help you work out the size of unit you need before you commit.


How Much Will It Cost?

The cost of your storage depends on 2 things: the size of your unit and how long you will be staying. If you know you will only need your unit for a set period of time (say, 2 weeks to tide you over during a house move), then you might get a slightly lower price. If you want to use the unit indefinitely, then your storage provider will give you a monthly rental rate based on the size of your unit, usually with a 1 month minimum. To find out how much your unit would cost, click here to get an instant quote.


Should I Insure My Unit?

Yes! You absolutely do. In fact, a lot of self storage facilities will insist that you provide proof of insurance for your unit, and will not rent to you if you can’t. We wrote an entire blog on why you should unsure your unit, which you can read here.


What Should I Look For?

This is a bit of a tricky one, because it depends on your individual circumstances. Some people will want a unit that they can visit at any time of day or night, and so will need to look for a facility that provides 24 hour access, while others won’t need that at all. But there are a few things to bear in mind:


  • Do you need climate control in your unit? Depending on what you’re storing, this might be an essential, or irrelevant.


  • Number of locks you can apply to the unit


  • Video surveillance


  • In-person security


  • Pricing and contract options


  • Sizes of unit offered


  • Lighting options – if you’re going to be visiting once every few months this might not matter, but if you’re going to work in your unit, it’s important.


  • Online reviews of the facility



But again, it’s worth putting together your own shortlist of things that are important to you, so that you know what to look for when viewing facilities.


Do I Really Need Climate Control?

Honestly, it depends. If you’re going to be storing things that are sensitive to temperature fluctuations, like a priceless wine collection or real fur garments, then you probably do. But if you’re using your unit for household goods, paperwork and products that are generally fine in a normal environment, then you probably won’t need climate control. And the reality is, the majority of self storage units in the UK don’t provide climate control as part of their main offering (though they may have a few select options available)



What Can I Store?

This is another common question, but generally its easier to list the things you can’t store. For example, you can’t store:


  • Animals (alive or dead)


  • Humans (alive or dead)


  • Combustible, flammable, toxic or hazardous materials


  • Radioactive materials


  • Stolen/illegal items


  • Firearms and ammunition


  • Perishable food items (including pet food)



Basically, you can usually store anything as long as it’s not illegal, perishable, flammable or alive. But every storage unit is different, and some may have restrictions on other items, so it’s always worth checking.


At Blue Box Storage, we love helping people who are new to the world of self storage get on their feet and learn the ropes. Our experts are always on hand to answer any of your questions, give you a tour of the facilities and help you get set up with your new unit. For more information, just get in touch with us today.

Centres in Watford , Maida Vale , Hemel Hempstead , Farnborough Call us FREE on 0800 9171221