Moving house can be stressful but using self-storage can help you tackle this process by breaking it down into bitesize stages.
In this blog, we at Macro Removals in Bristol will explain everything you need to know about self-storage from what is it, why you might need it, how to choose a suitable storage facility, how much space you need, packing, items you can’t store and arranging the room itself.
What is Self-Storage?
There are different types of self-storage ranging from small lockers and large padlocked rooms in a warehouse to shipping containers in a compound. They are designed to be safe areas for members of the public and businesses to store and access their belongings at convenient times.
Why You Need It?
There are many reasons why you might need self-storage and here are a few:
Over the years we all accumulate many things without realising it and sometimes we need to declutter but we can’t bring ourselves to part with our cherished belongings just yet. A storage facility will provide a stop-gap until you ultimately decide what to do with it all.
Are you putting your house on the market and need to temporarily store items to give your place an open space feel? Storing the non-essentials will be a good idea.
You may find yourself moving out of your house before securing a new property and this is known as ‘between houses’. It’s not uncommon and storing your belongings is a great way to keep them safe.
Working Abroad or Traveling
Maybe you’ve been offered a temporary position overseas or you’re between jobs and you can finally do that dream trip of traveling to South America for a few months or longer? In this case, you’ll need somewhere safe to keep your belongings and self-storage is that solution.
So, it’s time to renovate your house but the builders can’t do their job with the sofas, wardrobes, dining table and beds in the way. Putting these items into storage will allow them to complete their work without obstacles.
How to Choose a Storage Company?
There are many factors to consider when choosing the right storage facility for you such as access, security, protection from the weather and cost.
Warehouse vs Container Storage
They both have pros and cons. When compared to a shipping container, a warehouse facility provides added security from possible theft and protection from the weather because the storage rooms are contained within a secured building.
However, the cost of a warehouse storage unit is usually higher than a container and access is much more difficult, especially if the room is on the third floor at the back of the warehouse.
A container allows for a vehicle to park directly outside for very quick and easy access. Keep this in mind when booking a removal company because they charge more for the delivery and collection of your belongings from a warehouse.
Climate Controlled Units
Storing delicate items such as paintings and antiques that are susceptible to the climate requires a special type of storage. There are specialist companies who offer this type of service and your belongings will be stored in a room with a dedicated climate control system.
Don’t assume your preferred storage facility provides 27/7 access and you should always ask about this service. This is especially important if you’re storing essential business tools and equipment or you need regular access to personal items.
The costs vary from company to company and the best question you can ask yourself is ‘How long will I need to store my items?’. If you’re storing for a short period of time, there are some large national companies who offer a discount for the initial 4-8 weeks but these prices increase significantly after that period.
For long-term storage, consider smaller local companies who tend to offer better rates even without an introductory offer. In cities such as Bristol, there are many farms in the surrounding countryside that have converted their barns or land into a storage facility and with low business running costs, they can offer good rates.
What Size Storage Unit Do You Need?
We are asked this question many times each week by our clients and it’s very hard to gauge without working in the removals or storage industry. But here’s a basic rule of thumb:
– 1 Bed Flat = 50-75sq ft (1 x Luton Van)
– 2 Bed Flat or House = 75-150 sq ft (1-2 x Luton Vans)
– 3 Bed House = 150-225 sq ft (2-3 x Luton Vans)
– 4 Bed House = 225-300 sq ft (3-4 x Luton Vans)
How to Pack for Storage?
One rule doesn’t fit all that you want to store and we’ll breakdown into a list of typical household items.
Dismantle the large items if furniture such as the bed, wardrobes and anything else that can’t be moved in one piece. Not only will this make the move easier, you’ll also be able to reduce the space required to store these items.
If you’re storing in a warehouse, keep your clothes in the draws to save space. If you’re using container storage, buy some vacuum bags and keep your clothes in them to protect against possible dampness and moisture.
Packing the Boxes
It might sound obvious but you should utilise every centimetre of space in each box when packing cutlery, plates, CDs, books and all other smaller items. Reducing the number of boxes means you can store more in the facility and don’t forget to label each box!
Amplifiers, TVs, computers etc.. should be bubble wrapped and boxed wherever possible. If you have the original boxes, even better.
Mattresses & Sofas
Use eco-pallet wrapping and cover every inch of these items. Storage facilities aren’t the cleanest of areas and protection against dust and dirt should be of the utmost importance.
Make a List
List everything you’re storing. Without it and as time passes by, you’ll forget what has been stored.
What Not to Store?
Every storage company will have a different policy but a general rule is you can’t store gas canisters (or other explosives), animals, guns, drugs and legal substances and batteries.
How to Arrange the Storage Unit?
Think about what items you need access to and keep them by the door at the front of the unit. If the unit is large enough, make a corridor through the centre and keep everything to the sides.
We hope this blog has explained everything you need to know about storage facilities and if you need a home or office removal, packing service or just general advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.