New Starts and Making Space: A Self Storage Checklist

By Anna Roberts

Published 9 months ago

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A middle aged couple gardening and spending time together

It's that time of the year again when people are making a fresh start and embarking on new life adventures. Whether you are dusting off your pencil case or clearing out your spare room there is a self storage solution for you. 


University Bound


If you are a young or mature person who is off to university or going on a once-in-a-lifetime gap year, congratulations on your new chapter! 


No matter how exciting there are practicalities to consider. You may have realised that you cannot take all of your home comforts into your new university halls, but you would like them close at hand. If the outdoors is your thing then you may have realised that a kayak or canoe cannot fit in your student accommodation, no matter how hard you try! 


Empty Nest Transformation


Alternatively, you may be a  parent bidding farewell to your young adult as they embark on their first journey into the real world with an empty nest to fill. This can be a tense and emotional time but also one to mark in your unique way. Whilst some parents may be keen to keep their rooms the same for when their children return for reading week and Christmas holidays, others of you out there may now be rejoicing at the thought of a spare room to fill with your passion, interest or side hustle. Music room or home gym anyone? 


Self Storage Checklist


  1. How much self-storage space do you need?


How much do you need? Now is a great time for a serious declutter, dispose of any unwanted items and create an inventory of what you want to keep. The drum set that was once a great idea a few Christmases ago, is only going to gather dust, for example, unless it has a proper place and it is used within your home. You may not have attic space to spare and self storage could be a convenient alternative so that they can be saved for another time.


Preserving Treasures and Memories

We all have a treasured childhood toy or collection and our kids have their own. It might be worth considering putting them into self  storage rather than having them clutter your home or being thrown away. 


Sustainable Clothing Choices

It is the same for clothes. The world of fast fashion is finite and we can all play our part to build a sustainable future for future generations. Do you have to keep all of your clothes or can some be passed on to family or friends? 

It is a great way of freeing yourself from a lifetime of possessions freeing your space up for new things. 



2. We all take up different amounts of space


We all live different lives and take up differing amounts of space. Whilst some people lead very minimal lives, a family of four with a passion for outdoor pursuits is going to take up more room.  That is the beauty of self storage! There is a size for everyone from the tiny but mighty 10 square foot self storage units, and 35 square foot self storage units to the gargantuan 200 square foot self storage unit.  There are so many types and we created a guide to the different types of self storage to help you make the best decision for you going forward. 


3. Where will it be? A Unit or Room?


If you live in a built-up town or city you are more likely to find storage rooms at your convenience. These are self storage rooms that are designed like a hotel for your things of different sizes. For those who live rurally, or on the edge of a town or built-up area, there are external storage units or containers. These are often found on industrial estates. 


They are secure and monitored through the day and night ensuring that your belongings are safe. You drive up to your unit and unload as and when you wish. If you find your unit is not large enough for your items then most self storage operators can normally accommodate a larger unit somewhere else on the site. It is worth being realistic from the start of the process about exactly how many belongings you are hoping to store. 


4. What's in a square foot?


If you are packing the contents of an average-sized room and have enough to fit in a large garden shed then a 35-square-foot self storage unit could be perfect for you. Storage rooms come in a variety of different sizes. Remember the self storage industry thinks of storage in square feet! Us Brits switched from the imperial to the metric system in 1965, but we still cling to imperial measurements today. For those of us who live on the continent and beyond we are more familiar with square metres. The self-storage industry in the UK measures every space in square feet. 


5. Choose the most convenient location


Location is crucial. If you are at a university it makes sense to have self storage in your university town for example so that you can use it as and when is necessary to switch your wardrobe or store equipment and bedding during the summer. You may have a winter sports hobby for example. Hint hint! Those skis cannot stay propped up on the landing of your student digs. 


6. How long are you storing for?

If you are storing the contents of your young person's room to make room for a space that you can utilise for yourself self storage may be a convenient long-term option. If you are a student living term to term, who plans to travel in the summer and live a nomadic lifestyle, then leaving your belongings in a self storage container or room in your university town is a no-brainer. The chances are you live in furnished accommodation, so all of your belongings, bedding, books and computer equipment can be stored securely in self storage. 


Are you an outdoorsy type or do you have a hobby that takes up lots of space?

 

If you are lucky enough to live by a river or the sea but are heading off into the big smoke you may be anticipating many car journeys and drops carrying your equipment. Fear not! A self storage facility close to where you live, and plan to enjoy the outdoors, could be the solution you are looking for. It doesn't have to clutter up your, or others', living space either way so it's a winner!


What type of Self Storage is best? 


One of the first questions to consider is how you are getting there. Are you driving up to your unit and dropping it off or would you prefer a self storage room that you can visit as and when you need? You have two options.


A self storage room acts as a hotel for your things and a self storage unit or container is usually found on an industrial estate and you can drive up and unload at a time that suits you. 


You may be driving to your storage unit and dropping it off as and when, but even after you have dropped off your belongings, you may still want to access your possessions without a car. 


You don't have to have a car to use a self storage unit (although it helps!) It just means moving it from storage container to container may be tricky. A self storage indoor room may be a better option as they have trollies you can use to move your possessions around if you need them. 


Packing Strategically

It saves time and energy to have a packing plan from the start. Lizzie our resident self storage guru at explorage.com has some great tips on how to pack using the airspace in the unit as well as using the floorspace. 


A great tip is to have a box near the entrance for those items you know you are going to pop in and pick up fairly regularly throughout the year such as baking equipment, rollerskates, seasonal items and even outdoor boots and wellies. It saves you the time spent unloading the whole unit to get to the back for a pair of outdoor shoes or baking equipment for example.




Get in Touch


If you are embarking on a self storage journey I hope you have found this self storage checklist useful. Our friendly Welsh team at explorage.com are always on hand to help get in touch with us at support@explorage.com. Say hello on our live chat or give us a call at 08000988864. We love hearing your storage stories! 


If you have any comments on this post, have any ideas for future articles or want to tell us about your experience of moving out of home for the first time or reclaiming that spare room, get in touch at amybriscoe@explorage.com. Happy storing :)






















Two smiling young people taking a selfie of themselves in front of their boxes as they prepare to move out to university.

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