Removals vs self-storage

Alex Johnson

033bff3a2a3f4159b18366b170377cc9280218cc 300x200 Removals vs self storageDecember is a popular month for decluttering with many people putting surplus items into storage – according to the industry body the Self Storage Association, in the past year the number of self-storage sites in the UK has grown by around 8 per cent to 750 facilities.

However, Mark Prout, managing director of removals firm Aussie Man & Van says that there is a far cheaper way of storing your belongings, by opting for a removals firm to provide your storage. “With traditional storage, experts pack your container rather than you having to do it yourself. Items are less likely to break and you get far more in when the experts do it, making it even more cost-effective. With self-storage, you are on your own.” Here are Mark’s top ten storage tips:

1. Access – If you don’t need regular 24/7 access to your belongings, storage offered by a removals firm will work out much cheaper than self-storage.

2. Ask yourself if you really need to store these items – Most of us would be better off throwing away clutter rather than sticking it into storage for months or even years on end. If you haven’t used it in the past six to 12 months, ask yourself whether you should give it to charity, sell it on eBay or throw it out.

3. Choose the correct size unit – Self-storage comes in many different sizes and if your unit is bigger than you need, you will be paying for wasted space. Start by making a list of the items you wish to store and then get quotes for the likely space required.

4. Get everything professionally wrapped – This is especially important to protect clothes and curtains from damp. Use good quality boxes and packing materials – you should be able to purchase these from the storage provider. This will make it easier to stack your belongings.

5. Label boxes with contents - This means you don’t have to open them when searching for something and can direct to a room without opening when you move back into your home. Make sure you put ‘fragile’ on boxes if they contain breakable items.

6. Draw up a map of your container – This will ensure you know where everything is located in your container in case you need to find something. It’s particularly useful if you have a lot of items in storage.

7. No flammables – The storage provider will have a list of hazardous goods, such as acids and highly flammable products, which you are not permitted to store.

8. Make an inventory – This will ensure you know what’s in storage and which container it is stored in if you have more than one. A photographic inventory is even better.

9. Ask about security – The building where your container is stored should have 24-hour CCTV and be secured with intruder alarm systems. Self-storage units are usually secured with a padlock. With traditional storage, your container is sealed with a sealing device, which has a unique number. The seal stays in place until you retrieve your goods.

10. Are you insured? – Out of sight shouldn’t mean out of mind as stored items tend not to be covered by household insurance. It is important to value your goods correctly so that you get the right level of cover.

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