What is Self Storage?

More and more people today are finding it hard to manage the space they rent, own or lease and are turning to self-storage as a solution to cluttered personal and business lives. Whether you're looking to store just a few items, archive your business paperwork or put most of your possessions in a safe place for a few weeks, months or years this could be a cost-effective and flexible solution for you.

So, just what is self-storage? Self storage offers both personal and business users a storage solution that they can basically control themselves. As with more traditional storage methods, self-storage allows you to rent storage space where you can keep goods and belongings in specialist facilities. In the past, we have had to rely upon removal companies and large storage organizations to store on our behalf and have had to play by their rules with limited access, no flexibility, long-term contracts and high charges. With the advent of self-storage, we've been given a lot more choice. It's 'Do It Yourself' storage.

Recognizing that many consumers and businesses need more control over what, where, when and how they store the self-storage industry has evolved into a cost-effective, flexible and secure storage alternative. The self-storage space you rent will be self-contained and fully enclosed and can vary in size according to your specific needs - you could be looking at as small a space as a closet through to a unit big enough to store your boat, the entire contents of your house or extensive business archives.

This is an incredibly flexible storage alternative. You can choose to store more or less anything you like in the space size that you choose for as long or as short a time as necessary. Unlike traditional storage methods, self-storage allows you to access your storage space free of charge at any time (subject to facility opening times) which not only means that you can easily access what you have stored but that you can take parts of it out of storage and replace it with other items with no hassle, no waiting and no additional cost. In many cases you can simply drive up to your self-storage unit and park outside. You can even quickly increase or decrease the size of storage space you use according to changing needs. And, unlike traditional storage methods, you'll know that your self-storage unit will stay where it is and your stuff won't be moved around by the storage provider without your permission.

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If you're looking to use self-storage the first difference you'll notice is that it's your responsibility to get your stuff to the self-storage facility, pack your goods into the space provided and, ultimately, move it out (although some companies offer fee-based removal and packing services). This allows you to pack your storage space in the way that best suits you so that you can easily access items without having to unload everything in the unit. Most facilities will sell you packing supplies and may even hire removal vehicles to make the whole process quick and simple.

Self storage agreements can usually be terminated at very short notice. Although you may be asked to pay a deposit and weekly or monthly rental charges up front, you'll generally find when you close your agreement that you'll be refunded in full for time you haven't used. In addition, self-storage companies are not in the habit of charging you to access your storage space - unlike traditional storers who may levy a charge and require advance notice whenever you need access.

Self storage is also a secure solution to storage needs. In most cases, the storage unit you hire can only be accessed by yourself - you'll be the only authorized key holder, although you can generally nominate further key holders if you wish. In most cases, you'll be expected to provide your own lock for your space - giving you an extra guarantee of security. In addition, reputable self-storage operations will have a range of their own security measures in place - these can include CCTV, guards and alarm systems.

As the self-storage industry has evolved so has the range of services on offer. Larger self-storage facilities have started to offer business services such as office space, administrative services, meeting areas and toilet/shower rooms.

You'll find full descriptions of the ins and outs of self-storage in the menu on the top left or the links below. By the time you've finished, we're confident that you'll know everything you need to know about self-storage!