As more and more people are becoming aware of the benefits of self-storage, nowadays London has more companies offering storage solutions. With so many options available, it can be tricky to choose a suitable unit.
Not all storage facilities are the same. Therefore, we have listed a few steps to help you find the right self-storage unit for yourself and reduce complication and clutter from your life.
Follow our simple guide, do a bit of research on your own, and we guarantee you will be able to choose the ideal storage solution from the long list of self-storage facilities in no time!
⦁ What will you be storing?
The first thing you need to consider when picking out storage units is what items you will be storing and the unit size you will need.
Do you require storage for business purposes (for stock and documents) or personal storage (for books and seasonal clothes)? Outlining all the items you’ll be storing will help you not only choose a storage unit but also maintain and organize it.
Paperwork, food, and furniture, all have different needs. Look into the guidelines of the company to know if their facilities are suitable for commercial stock, archive documents, or household furniture.
If you think you’ll need additional storage for more items in the future and upgrade the unit, make sure the self-storage facility is flexible and willing to accommodate your requirements.
⦁ What is your budget?
Layout your budget and then inquire about the packages, what they will include, and whether you will have to pay additional fees for deposit and security.
Most facilities provide introductory offers. Make sure to inquire about any ongoing deals and discounts and if you still have budget constraints, find out the company’s payment policies, and whether you must pay in advance or in installments.
Never settle for the first company you come across. It is ideal to get three or four quotes from different places and then compare the prices against their services. This way, you can get the best value for your money.
However, sometimes low-cost facilities might not be the best option if you will have to compromise on other factors such as security or location.
⦁ Where is the facility located?
No matter how good a deal your bag, it will be of no use if you have to drive all across town and deal with additional expenses to get there. Don’t let it be a waste of your time as well as money.
The ideal solution would be to get a self-storage facility that is close to where you live, and bonus points if it’s just within walking distance!
This is especially important if you’ll need your stuff every other day. You really can’t afford to spend 5 hours getting to and from your storage unit in such cases. Similarly, if you’re a student, it would be much more convenient to find a facility near your campus.
This way, you will have to spend less on transportation costs so the storage would be cheaper overall.
However, if you will need the stuff occasionally and you plan on coming back to the storage unit only after a few weeks or months, then it is advisable to branch out a bit and look for cheaper options.
⦁ What timings does it operate?
If you work long hours and get free from the office in the evening, it might be worthwhile to find the opening and closing times of the facility to know whether they suit your needs.
If you’ll be needing your stuff at night, on the weekends, and particularly on Sundays, then it’s essential you pick a company with flexible timings and days. Most units are open 24/7 but you should still confirm with your storage facility.
Also, look into the policies for emergency access. Get to know how flexible the service is and if they allow access during odd hours, and if this would be additionally charged.
⦁ What is the insurance policy?
An important factor to consider when deciding on a self-storage company is the insurance policies it follows. Insurance is essential for the protection of both, you and the storage provider, and it becomes especially important if you are storing valuable belongings.
Ask the company about their insurance policy and the way they operate. Also, ask if your overall package includes it, or will you need to contact third-parties for the contract.
If the company does not have any insurance policies, then that is a huge red flag. You should go look for other storage providers.
⦁ What is the amount of time you’ll be storing for?
Are you looking for temporary storage while you’re moving or a long term solution for your growing business? Determining whether you require short term or long term storage will also help you in picking out a self-storage company.
Most facilities provide exciting offers for long term storage. Generally, the longer you book the unit, the more discounts you can avail of. Some also provide free pick up and return services or charge a nominal fee.
⦁ Is the facility secure?
When putting expensive or valuable items in self-storage, safety should be your top priority. Knowing it is in safe hands will be important for your peace of mind.
Check the security policies of the storage company. Most facilities have CCTV coverage but make sure that it is monitored as well. A reliable company will also have intruder alarm systems and good fencing with security guards.
Some facilities provide their employees with access to units. So, make sure to check if only you have the access to your personal storage unit keys.
⦁ Is the unit climate-controlled?
Many important office documents need to be kept for ten years. You need to make sure you’ll be able to retrieve it in the same condition you left it in. For this, the self-storage facility needs to be insulated and temperature controlled.
Whether you require climate control will depend upon the items you will be storing. Belongings such as furniture, antiques, and electronics need to be kept in specific temperatures otherwise they will get infected by pests or mold.
However, if you need to store a bicycle or a business vehicle, an outdoor open facility will also suffice.
⦁ Check the reviews
After you have shortlisted possible self-storage companies, keep a lookout for reviews of their services. You can check these reviews on the internet from their websites and social media pages.
User reviews and comments can provide great insight into what to expect and what to look out for. If there’s anything you don’t get, you can always contact the company.
You can also talk to any local friends who might have availed of these services and ask about their experiences. Be clear about what your expectations and standards are, and make sure to visit the storage facility at least once beforehand to make an informed decision.
We hope you found our guide on choosing a self-storage company helpful! Follow the above tips to choose the perfect self-storage company in London.