Advice and suggestions on self storage please

We are wanting to do work on our house and are already tripping over ourselves with young kids. We don't have a garage (loft aperture limiting) and I'm a bit worried about getting storage which could get damp etc. I would be really grateful if you could tell me about any experiences with self storage companies (or any other options?) you have had: size of storage you took, how long for and cost would be really helpful. My only request for a quote in the past led to lots of calls and I want us to be clear on options we have/pitfalls so we can decide what would suit us (e.g is it cheaper to book for longer in case things take longer than anticipated than run over etc) Thanks for any help you can give me.

9 Comments

Sadly I don't think self storage firms take young kids, maybe a nursery but you would probably still have to take them back overnight .

maybe ring around the places closer to you rather than the more nationwide ones.
You need to know what you want. Place close to me charge £30 a week for 60ft container, but I opted for something elsewhere that was a £80 a month, but only about 8ftx10ft in size - as it was big enough & more accessible to me. Some will have the flexible options where you can go larger as you need more space. There was no contract or notice period.
It is possible for shipping containers to be double entry & have a moveable wall.

Personally, if you have the space - I would consider getting a cheap shed off ebay.

Have a look at your local auction houses as they often have storage rental.

I used BigYellow last year.... good unit, paid a month got a month free, told them I could get cheaper down the road, they matched price via free upgrade to next size of room and added 24 access. Paid equivalent of £25 a week for 8 weeks. They bent over backwards for the custom...... note, you must leave on time or you get charged for extra days big style, etc. If you leave early you get refunded for non use days.

First of all, be ruthless. Get rid of anything you haven't used / looked at etc in the last year. Bin broken / not working stuff - no point in paying storage for things it would be cheaper to replace. Try to work out as accurately as possible how much space you need. No point paying for empty space but it's a pain to have to move to a larger unit. You can get a surprising amount in a relatively small space if you plan it properly, but you need to be able to safely access stuff when needed. If you're storing small stuff, boxes/crates that stack well, make the best use of space. If you need to access stuff, labels and lists are essential.

I short-listed 5 companies then got the one I wanted to price match the best quote. They are highly competitive - you should be able to get at least the first month free. You need to add insurance on top of the quoted price. Long term rates are only available where I am after
8 weeks. You can keep the cost down by not having 24 hour access. Supply your own padlocks and packing materials.

Consider the location - I chose a site I pass regularly on my way elsewhere so I combine the trip if I need to drop anything off/get something out.

Choose the location of your unit - if upstairs check if any lifts are passenger lifts - if not chose a unit near the stairs. Check if the units have lights - if not, is the exterior lighting sufficient. Check all the obvious things - clean, dry, well-maintained, vermin free, good onsite access and parking, free trolleys, secure access, CCTV, fire protection.

I use Safestore and I'm happy with them.

Original Poster

This is all really helpful everyone, really appreciate the suggestions-hadn't though of approaching auction houses. Great to get an idea of what you have paid too, thank you. rogparki-yes sometimes it would be nice for some peace and quiet but luckily we can call in the grandparents from time to time! Bojangles, do you know how watertight/susceptible to damp a (good condition!) container would be, we may not be finished until the Autumn and I'm wondering whether it's an option or whether we would be best going with a storage company? Thanks all, really appreciate your time x

Original Poster

Thanks Ceres for all the tips too, just refreshed after posting and your post popped up....great suggestion re.24 hour access as that wouldn't be an issue, and choosing a specific unit, we'll have some heavy things and if it isn't ground floor being near a lift would be v.important! With a storage company, do you commit for a certain period with the option to extend or is it a rolling contract? Do you have to give much of a notice period when you will be leaving? Thanks again, we're going to map out the space we need so we'll have a good idea of what to quote for-ooh, one last question, do storage places usually have trolleys and other lifting equipment on site?

Ceres makes good points..... however its what your planning to do is the key.

I was doing a loft boarding declutter and garage declutter,, however not enough space or time in day to do it. So I boxed all loft stuff up and emptied loft and garage, labelled and inventory'd all boxes. no sorting, just doing and moving..... we boarded the loft over a couple of weekends, then I attended storage place to then sort and move stuff back to home.... binned the pooh and sold the sale-able items....

Personally 24 hours access was good for me, as I couldn't attend the storage place during work hours (I was at work), i.e before 18:00.

BigYellow and SafeStore in my area Bristol, had good facilities and trolleys in abundance.

I knew my end date, i.e what I'd paid for, then once I was empty, they sorted out the invoice, I got a refund for unused days. Insurance etc is in the bill.


I recently looked at this and ended up buying 2 x 20ft containers, will sell for roughly same price as they maintain their value, if you have room go for it
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