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Signing a Contract


Why use a Self Storage Facility? (and what to look for)

A Self Storage Facility can be useful for a number of reasons. The majority of people only come across a self store when they are in need of storage due to moving house, a renovation or extension on their house. Although this is usually a temporary measure, this may lead to long term storage as they see the benefits of decluttering their homes, or use the units to store such items such as tools, sports equipment, musical instruments, electronics, media or extra furniture, to make space in the garage or loft for other uses.

Businesses also see the benefit of long term storage to store such items as stock, tools, equipment, furniture, or even archives and documents. For example, a self employed tradesman such as a plasterer, may find a small unit to store all their tools extremely beneficial. As it allows them to keep the tools safe and secure, organised and keep the mess away from home.

Choosing the right Self Storage unit

Choosing the right self-storage facility is also important to ensure that your items stay safe, secure and free from damage. There are many aspects that should be considered before selecting a self storage unit.


If you need frequent access to your Storage unit, it is good idea to choose a facility that is close to where you live, but also the type of access might be important. For instance, there are many Self Storage Facilities that have rooms inside a warehouse which means the arduous task of lugging your goods from your car or the back of a van all the way to your unit, which can be hard work and time consuming. Most facilities do not have proper parking spaces and so transporting the goods from the truck to the unit and back can be difficult. If you have any health concerns or if you are unable to find any help to move them, look for a unit that offers this feature, even though you may have to pay extra for it. It will be worth the effort.

Also, if you are constantly wanting to move things in and out of your unit, these types of self storage facilities are far from ideal. Deliveries on pallets? no chance! the corridors do not allow for forklifts and some self storage units are even up stairs!

What's the Alternatives?

Storage Containers. They are safe, secure, wind and watertight which means they are no different in terms of keeping your items safe and free from damage. In fact an argument could be made that they are even more secure than a self storage building as the structures are usually made of stronger materials, the doors are certainly stronger and harder to penetrate, and the lock boxes, in addition to proper container locks, offer superior protection against bolt cutting.

The biggest pros to Storage Container units, are that you can drive straight up to your storage container and unload, reload, get something out of your unit, or even get a removals van straight up to the doors.


The amount of space you need is another factor that can help you to choose the right unit. Some self storage facilities may offer only 20ft containers to store your items and if you don't have much to store, this may not be ideal. Try to choose a facility that offers differing sizes to give you options down the road. You may find that a 20ft Container is great right now, but you may want to reduce later down the line. Also, be aware that some warehouse self storage facilities are even more expensive per square footage than the equivalent storage container.


Security is an important factor because you want your goods to be safe when you come back to get them. Check to see if the facility has CCTV and alarm systems and locate yourself where the cameras are. Also, check if the facility is fenced all the way around the perimeter, and if they have a security gate that closes out of hours. Is there anyone on site out of hours or even during hours? Some facilities aren't even maned but some have staff on site 24/7. If you are planning to store a lot of valuable items like jewelry, expensive equipment or any other precious items, then you want to feel assured these items are safe.

You should be able to access your goods 24/7 for free. Some storage units have restricted times for access and if you want to access at a time when the facility is closed, you have to pay extra. Look for a storage facility that gives you unrestricted access round the clock.


It may be an obvious statement to make but price is a big factor. Try to compare all these options to find a price that is right for you. Finding a storage facility just slightly further out of a big city or town may save money significantly, but may cost you more in transport costs to get there. Try to think about the local area the facility is located in, does this area have more trouble than others? Is the going price for one town more than another? Taking the time to research these factors will ensure you feel safe and assured that your possessions are kept free from damage.

Final check

Once you have decided which facility you prefer you should be able to see the unit before you sign. Units should be clean, dust free and obviously units should be free from pests, small rodents and other insects. Though most professional units are pest-free, it’s a good idea to check the precautions that have been taken to keep these insects and animals at bay.

Finally, before you sign the contract, check through the agreement to look for any hidden clauses or hidden charges. If you find any, discuss it with the storage facility and get it cleared before you enter into any kind of agreement with them. If the terms are unacceptable to you, never hesitate to look for other facilities.

Visit this Container Size guide for more information on Container sizes.

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