Self-Storage FAQ’s Everything you Need to Know

Self-Storage FAQ’s Everything you Need to Know

Self-storage FAQ’s – Find out everything you need to know from the Smartmove Experts

Our Self-storage FAQ’s will give you all the information you need to know, whether you are looking for furniture storage, general belongings storage, business storage, document storage short or long term.

What is storage?

Storage is when you don’t have space for an item and you want to store it so you can use it at a later date. Generally, storage is when belongings are packed into a container or containers and they are kept in a secure and dry location for long periods and when you don’t need access to it. Some companies will offer collection and delivery as a service if you need it.

What is self-storage?

Self-storage tends to be used you want to store items that you still need to be able to access when you need or want to. It could be when you are moving house and you want to store furniture or boxes if you don’t have the room in your new home or whilst you get settled, you might want to clear some space in your home or garage, when you are renovating or redecoration your home or office and you don’t want your items to be damaged whilst it’s going on. Self-storage is a more cost-effective, flexible solution for short or long term needs compared to container storage in a warehouse type storage unit.

Self-storage can be varied in size and can be short or long term and the cost will depend on all of this. Access should be available at all times with either a key, security code or by pre-arrangement. Some companies will offer collection and delivery as a service if you need it.

What is the difference between storage and self-storage?

Storage is normally for items that you want to store for longer periods of time and you don’t need to have access to it compared to self-storage which is a unit that you can access whenever you need to.

What types of storage are there?

There are 3 main types of storage, storage, self-storage and document storage. Storage is when belongings are loaded into a container or pallet and stored long term in a warehouse type facility where you cannot access it. Self-storage is normally individual units that you can arrange your belongings in and access it when you need to. It can be short or long term and will be a highly secure facility. Document storage is a storage option for documents that you don’t need access to regularly and it gives you an option for freeing up space in your workplace.

Why would I consider storage?

You may consider storage if you are moving abroad and want to store your furniture and belongings whilst you are away or if you have items that you want to keep but don’t need access to storage is a good option. If you are moving to a smaller property and need to store furniture or items for a short period of time, if you are renovating or redecorating and you want to protect your items whilst it is being done, if you have office equipment that isn’t required now but will be in the future, if you are running out of storage space in your home or workplace then self-storage is a good option. If you need to store documents offsite that are not used regularly but you may need to access to easily and quickly then document storage is a good option for you.

What should I look for when I am looking for self-storage?

  • A secure site which can demonstrate it has premium security with cameras and alarm systems that are monitored, access codes, keys access and how these are secured when new storage contracts are put in place
  • Good external and internal security
  • A clean and dry facility so your belongings don’t get damp or wet
  • Fireproof and humidity controlled
  • A site that is relatively easy for you to get to if you need to
  • A site that has 7 days a week access times
  • Good monthly storage prices with the availability to easily extend your storage time if you need to
  • A site that can facilitate the small or large amount of belongings you have and their storage prices depend on storage sizes, not one size fits all
  • A facility that can increase or decrease your storage space as you need it
  • A business that offers storage boxes and crates to buy or rent
  • Collection and delivery service
  • A covered loading bay for rainy days
  • Trollies readily available for you to transport your belongings safely
  • Ample parking which is close and accessible to the storage facilities
  • Good customer reviews with a good reputation
  • Professional service
  • Good customer service

What is domestic storage?

Domestic storage is for personal belongings, sofas, tables, chairs, beds, wardrobes, antiques, instruments, boxes of belongings, motorbikes and garden furniture, the list is endless. Domestic storage will free up space for you at home or store items whilst you decorate or renovate, keeping your home clutter free and your belongings in good condition.

What is commercial storage?

Commercial storage can be for office items such as desks, tables, chairs, computer equipment or larger storage for bigger items such as warehouse equipment, vans, tractors etc. Commercial storage will free up valuable space in your business and more and more people are using it to free up expensive office space by moving furniture and items they don’t use regularly.

What is document storage?

Document storage is for documents that no longer need to be kept on site at a business and are taking up valuable space.

Why would I need document storage?

Document storage is for documents that you don’t need and use regularly within your business, but that you have to legally keep and you may need to access to at some point.

What should I look for when I am considering document storage?

  • A secure site which can demonstrate it has premium security with cameras and alarm systems that are monitored, access codes, keys access and how these are secured when new storage contracts are put in place
  • Good external and internal security
  • A clean and dry facility so your documents don’t get damp or wet
  • Fireproof and humidity controlled
  • A site that is easy for you or your team to get to if you need to
  • A site that has 7 days a week access times
  • A good monthly storage price with the availability to extend your storage time if you need it
  • A site that can facilitate the small or large amount of documents you have and their prices are dependent on their storage size options, not one size fits all
  • A facility that can increase or decrease your storage space as you need it
  • A business that can supply archive document storage boxes which can be taped shut if you need them to be and easily carried which will enable you to find the document you need when you need to, or move the boxes when you need to
  • A collection and delivery service
  • A covered loading bay for rainy days
  • Trollies readily available for you to transport your documents safely
  • Ample parking which is close and accessible to the storage facilities
  • Good customer reviews with a good reputation
  • Professional service
  • Good customer service

How long can I keep my documents in storage?

You can keep your documents in storage for as little or as long time as you need to, it could be weeks, months or years. New data regulations mean that there is now lots of information that companies legally need to keep for years at a time and companies who have lots of historical paperwork that is not saved to an online system.

How long can I keep my belongings in storage?

You can keep your belongings in storage for as long as you need to. Most good self-storage companies will give you a contract for the initial time that you want and will be able to easily extend the time if you need it. Always check this with them before you commit to a storage facility.

Self-storageWhere are there storage facilities?

There are storage facilities all over the UK now and you will see them popping up in places you wouldn’t ever expect in inner and outer city locations.

What businesses offer domestic storage?

There are storage businesses that offer domestic self-storage, commercial storage and document storage in one facility but some only offer one option. There are good removal companies that offer self-storage and these are great as they have the experience of moving belongings, the vehicles as well as being an easier option when you are moving and any items you want to go to storage can be delivered at the same time by your removal company.

What businesses offer commercial storage?

Lots of businesses offer commercial storage only and there are some good removal companies that have their own bespoke commercial storage facilities as well as large vehicles that are often needed to transport commercial items.

What businesses offer document storage?

There are bespoke document storage companies but also companies that offer all 3 storage solutions; commercial, domestic and document. Again good removal companies are great for document storage as they have the experience of facilitating office moves with lots of paperwork and have the processes in place and the vehicles needed to do it.

What are the benefits of long-term self-storage?

Normally the longer you store the cheaper the storage will be. If you are looking for long term storage then always ask about their longer-term contracts, payment options and how this differs from shorter term storage. Some companies will offer you a discount for paying in whole up front and if this is possible for you it will be a saving for you.

How much does domestic storage cost?

As with anything self-storage costs will vary by geographical area and will depend on the size of storage you need. Also, be aware that small storage companies who don’t have a bespoke storage facility will often charge less but this will be due to them not having the 24 hours access and security systems in place.

How do I know how much space I need for my storage?

Good storage companies will be able to help you with this and can advise you on the size storage you need when you have let them know the items you want to store. Bespoke storage companies will have the flexibility to move you to a bigger or smaller storage unit if it turns out you have more or less items than you initially thought.

How do I pay for storage?

Most companies will expect you to sign a contract for the time period you need storage for and will need a weekly or monthly direct debit unless you are paying in full, in one go and this can normally be done with a credit or debit card, bank transfer or cheque.

Do I pay weekly or monthly for storage?

Most companies will offer you either option but most would prefer monthly payments set up on direct debit.

How do I access my storage?

A good storage facility will allow you 7 days a week and sometimes 24-hour access. They will have external gate access that is opened with a code or is manned and every storage unit should be individually alarmed, with self-access available through an individual lock and pin alarm system allowing you to access your belongings when you need to.

Do you have to pay to access your storage?

No, you shouldn’t have to pay every time you want to access your self-storage as you are paying for the storage space. Good storage facilities will allow you to enter your unit as much as you want to as long as you are up to date with your payments.

How quickly can I access my storage?

If you have your belongings stored with a professional and reputable company who has bespoke storage facilities then you should be able to access your belongings 7 days a week and sometimes 24 hours a day.

How do I get my large belongings to storage?

Good and reputable storage companies will offer a collection and delivery service that you can pre-arrange with them.

Do I need insurance for my belongings when they are in storage?

Storage units normally don’t come with insurance for your belongings. It is unlikely that your home insurance policy will cover your belongings in storage so always contact them to ask this and check your policy. If not then ask them how you can insure your belongings and if they have a policy that would do this. There are bespoke insurance policies ‘storage insurance, or self-storage insurance’ to cover personal and business belongings when in storage away from your home or business. Storage insurance can also cover your belongings when they are in transit to and from the storage location so always check if this is the case with your insurance provider. Ask your storage provider if they offer an insurance solution as good professional companies will.

Why should you always have insurance for anything you have stored?

The items you are storing may have a high sentimental or monetary value so you should always know they will be covered in any circumstance. When you are getting quotes for your insurance always tell them about high-value items in case these need to be listed individually on your policy.

It is rare but sometimes unforeseeable weather can cause damage to a storage facility and subsequently your belongings so always check with your insurer if extreme weather impacts are covered.

Good, professional and bespoke storage facilities will have more security than you would have at home, however, they can still be at risk from break-ins. Reputable storage businesses will have multiple entry systems, CCTV, security cameras and alarms so this will deter most thieves but you still need insurance in the unlikely event that this happens. If you have to claim against your insurance for stolen items in a secure unit then you would normally need to provide a police report and evidence to show the facility, and your unit has been broken into.

Do I need to provide any documentation when I want to arrange storage?

You normally need to provide 2 forms of ID with proof of your name and address via a recent utility bill and either a passport, driving licence or birth certificate as well as your proof of insurance for the items you are storing.

Should I seek legal advice before signing a storage agreement?

If you are using a professional and reputable company then they would normally use an industry standard contract which is written to protect you and them in any situation, always read through the contract carefully before you sign and ask questions or seek advice if there is anything you are unsure about.

What items can’t be stored in storage?

Normally storage facilities will not allow:

  • Perishable Goods
  • Living Plants
  • Animals
  • Hazardous Goods
  • Flammable Substances
  • Toxic Materials
  • Pollutants
  • Contaminants
  • Waste
  • Illegal Goods
  • Cash
  • Explosives, firearms and ammunition

If you are looking for professional and reliable Storage in the North East then Smartmove can help. We have our own purpose-built storage solution on our premises which has a secure perimeter. Our storage units are clean, dry, fireproof, and humidity controlled so you know your belongings won’t be damaged from the changing elements. Every unit is individually alarmed, with self-access available through an individual lock and pin code alarm system allowing you to access your belongings whenever you need to. Whether you need long or short term storage we can increase or decrease the space you have as you need it. We have units that range from 16 sq ft to 1000 sq ft so we are able to suit your storage needs, however big or small, now and in the future. Contact us today on 0191 244 9311 and one of our team will be able to answer any questions you may have or arrange a time for you to come and see our secure storage facilities.

Martyn Lenthall

Martyn works for Smartmove Northeast as a marketing specialist. He takes great pride in creating quality content for people looking for a removal company in Newcastle.

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