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Self storage – what to consider

Whether you’re moving to a smaller property that doesn’t have space for all your furniture, renting for a short time while you find a new home, or doing renovations and clearing rooms temporarily, there are many good reasons for using self storage. From how much space you need to how much it will cost, here's what to consider when choosing a self storage company.

self storage

Work out how much self storage space you’ll need

The last thing you want, is to end up paying for more self storage than you need. Here’s how to estimate how much storage space you’ll need:

  • 1 bedroom flat – Storing the average contents from a one bedroom flat requires approximately 50-75 square feet of space. This would give you space for a dozen medium sized boxes plus a double bed, a settee, chair, table, wardrobe, carpet and TV
  • Two-bed house or flat – To accommodate the average contents from a two-bed house or flat requires approximately 75-100 square feet. This would give you the space for more chairs, beds, wardrobes, carpets, a washing machine, fridge, freezer, garden furniture and around 24 medium-sized boxes
  • Three- four bed house – For a three-four bedroom house you’ll require between 120 – 150 square feet. This will allow extra space for the furniture from the additional bedrooms and the extra downstairs living space
  • Four-five bed house – For a four-five bedroom house, you’ll need approximately 250 square feet

During the moving or renovating process, you might find you need to get rid of items and declutter. Consider giving items to charity, or if they’re valuable sell items using online auction sites.

Equally, if you would just like to dispose of it safely and responsibly, take a look our partner’s household rubbish removal service. LoveJunk provide a marketplace for cheap, green & fast bulky waste collection.

Get quotes for household rubbish removal now

How much does self storage cost?

The price you will pay for self storage depends on a few factors:

  • Location – The closer you are to city centres, the more you will pay for self storage.  Generally, prices for self storage tend to be highest in London and lower as you move further north in the UK.
  • Size of unit – Not surprisingly, the bigger the unit, the more you will pay for storage, so try not to get a storage unit that is bigger than you need. Prices are normally per square foot.
  • Length of stay – The cost of your self storage also depends on how long you are storing your items. Many storage providers offer an introductory discount (e.g 50% off for 8 weeks) to new customers, which can mean a substantial savings if you’re only looking for temporary storage.  If you plan on storing items for longer (e.g a year or more) you may be able to take advantage of long term discounts.
  • Insurance value – Most storage companies will require you to take out insurance in case something happens to your belongings whilst they are in storage.  The cost of the insurance can vary depending on the replacement value of your items.

As a rough guide, according to Self Storage Association UK annual industry report (2021) data, the average rental cost of self storage is approximately £24 per square foot per year.

Packing your furniture 

If you’re using a removal company’s packing service, they’ll provide all the necessary boxes and packing materials to ensure your breakables are safely stored. If you’re doing your own packing, there are several things you’ll need to do, including:

  • Ensure your packing boxes are strong enough
  • Number your boxes and keep a separate list of the contents of each box for easy access
  • Ensure no box is too heavy to be lifted safely
  • Disassemble larger pieces of furniture for easy transportation and storage
  • Ensure all breakables are individually wrapped, using paper or bubble wrap
  • Protect particularly fragile items using bedding and linen
  • Use small boxes for packing books and magazines as collectively these can be very heavy
  • Empty, clean and defrost all white goods and cookers before moving into storage

Moving your furniture into self storage

Decide if you’re going to transfer your contents to storage yourself or use a removals company.

When using a removal company, they’ll usually send a surveyor around to check which sized vehicle you’ll need.

If you intend to do it yourself, make sure you get the correct-sized van. It may be cheaper to rent a smaller van and make several trips if you are storing items near to home. If the journey is a long one, you may be better making one trip, to save time, and save money on fuel.

Find quality removals companies in your area. Compare quotes today

Check if you’ll have access to your contents in storage 

When getting a quote from a self storage company, check that their access availability suits your needs.

Some storage facilities limit the days and hours they’re open. They may allow you access outside of those hours, but often charge you extra. If you think you’ll need to regularly visit your storage facility, choose a company with flexible opening hours

  • Place larger, heavy boxes at the bottom of the storage unit and place other heavy items on top. Keep heavy items stacked reasonably low.
  • If there’s a chance you’ll need to access certain boxes or items regularly, place these at the front of the unit.
  • Finally, cover all your items with a dustsheet or similar to keep them clean.

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