Self Storage - A Beginner's Guide

By Anna Roberts

Published 10 months ago

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A Beginner's Guide - Where to start if you have never used it before

Woman feeling confused

Realising that you need self-storage in your life is a big decision for most of us, and if you have never self-stored before, it can be a bewildering prospect to even begin to know where to start.  


My name is Lizzie, and I work in Operations for Explorage.com, but most importantly I rent self storage, and have done so for over a year now.  I have gone through the stress of being desperate for somewhere safe to store my belongings during an emotional and anxious time in my life, to renting not one, but two self storage containers, then migrating from two units into one. I now work for Explorage.com, a company whose main goal is to make life easier for both the customer and the storage facility operator. How I wish the company had been around when I was searching for storage!

Finding the Right Type of Self Storage

To make things easier, especially for those reading this with a need to store in a hurry and/or during a stressful time in life, I will list what I believe are the main areas to understand.


  • What are you storing? Is it business equipment, furniture, all your belongings, or larger items, such as a caravan, boat or car? This will decide on the type of self storage you need to be looking for.
  • How often will you need to visit your storage? Is it just a temporary, quick fix for urgent storage? Is it a planned event, such as emigrating or moving house? Is what you will be storing, something that you will absolutely not need access to for quite some time?
  • How close do you need your storage to be? Understanding the answers to the last question will guide you in answering this one. If you need regular access to your items, the closer the better is important. No one fancies a one-hour round-trip just to go and collect one or two items. Plus, this will add to those all important fuel costs.  
  • How long do you reckon you will need storage for? For most people it is a few months minimum, some store long-term, and for others, just a couple of weeks is all that is needed. Having some idea of the storage duration will help you to decide who to store with.
  • Will you require access 24/7? This will be an important one for many. Businesses who use self-storage may need access in the evenings and first thing in the morning. Some storage facilities have 24/7 access, while others have general opening hours with the ability to schedule an out-of-hours-visit. Then there are others who keep to strict opening times.
  • What security measures does the storage facility have in place? The peace of mind knowing that your belongings will be safe once stored away is important. Storage operators are keen on advertising their security measures, as it is bad for their business to run a site that is easily vandalised or broken into.  
  • Insurance Did you know that most home contents insurance does not cover belongings stored away from the home? Most storage operators offer insurance, and if they don't, there are insurers out there that specialise in self storage insurance. Before searching around on the internet, it may be a good idea to contact who you have your home contents or home insurance with, and ask if they can provide insurance cover for your items in storage. Either way, you will need an inventory of the items you are storing and a value of the items.  


CCTV camera

What next?

This is the part that caused me so much added stress and time. I had to search for hours online; comparing site facilities, opening hours, locations, and more. This is a tiresome business at the best of times but if you're going through a stressful time to begin with, it's another unwanted weight to carry on your shoulders. 


This is where (thankfully!) Explorage.com will help to make your search for self storage so much easier than my experience was.


  1. Go to our website, Explorage.com either on a PC, phone or tablet.
  2. Using the Search facility, enter the location where you need to store your items.  
  3. On the results page will be a map and a list of storage operators in the area.
  4. You can also define your search if you click the Filter Your Results button on the results page.
  5. Storage facility listings on these results pages are easy to understand. They show a snapshot of who the storage operators are, how far away from your search location they are, their customer reviews, special points, facilities on offer, and a price range.
  6. For more information on a particular facility, click the View Facility button. This takes you to a page with all you need to know about the facility, with opening hours, images, a map, security features, sizes and prices.
  7. Once you have decided where to store your items, take a look at our other helpful and interesting articles on self storage. We cover topics like how to be a good packer and stacker Savvy Packing For Self Storage, how to understand the sizes of storage spaces offered Choosing The Right Storage: Exploring 10' x 10' Units , and understanding the various types of self storage available to you Self Storage Fundamentals: What Is Self Storage?


Everything you need to know is at your fingertips. And should you have a question about self storage that isn't covered on the website, just give our team a ring, or have a live chat with us. We are a happy bunch, who know a lot about self storage and are always happy to help.



What are you waiting for? Get clicking!



Woman searching on mobile and tablet



Lizzie Hudson@explorage.com

07539 395784 / 0800 0988864





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