Ten Considerations when Choosing a Storage Solution
Deciding where to place possessions is important.
At easyStorage, we’d be the first to say that our type of storage isn’t for everyone. If, for example, someone needs constant or daily access to goods, for example a fast moving e-commerce company, we may not be quite right.
However, most people don’t genuinely need that constant kind of access, even when they start out believing that they might, and in which case the easyStorage type model (‘mobile storage’) is ideal.It offers certain benefits, like collection and return of goods, making the need for a hired van unnecessary.
Before you set out to choose, and decide solely on price, think about what matters to you in terms of what you’re storing when choosing a facility. Here are ten vital considerations when deciding where to store:
Storage term (time)
Consider how long you may need to store for. If it’s a long time, see if you can crack a deal accordingly’; and if it’s short term, read any contracts carefully for catches. Many storage facilities have a minimum period, especially if you take up an offer on price.
What is being stored?
Your company accounts paperwork will need only to be kept dry. The chance of a break-in resulting in their theft is usually slight. So conditions matter more than security. If you are storing textiles of any kind, they will need to be kept clean and dry. If you are storing valuables, you should be giving extra weight to the storage unit’s security and insurance.
(See also ‘special needs’, below)
The quantity of things that you are storing also matters. The amount stored will determine the space you need and therefore price, so you will need to estimate how much space you need. (easyStorage makes this easy with an online tool: https://book.easystorage.com/need-help-deciding)
If you need something special, like specific temperature climate control (often required with old artworks and antiques), specialist storage or removal (like, for example, pianos), or want to store mechanical items like cars or bikes, be sure to ask whether the storage supplier can meet your needs. Classic cars, for example, may be better in a specialist unit than in traditional storage. Similarly, if you need to store food items, chemicals or liquids, be sure to check on each storage suppliers ability to take these in.
If your storage items need special conditions, ask your storage supplier how they manage this, and if there are any service levels you can expect if something goes wrong. For example if you are keeping things in a freezer unit, how quickly will they know and fix the storage unit?
(See ALSO: Ten Things Not to Put in a Storage Unit)
Many people feel they need constant access to their storage unit. In reality, they’ll go in three or four times a year - often less - if using the storage long term, and in many cases (like death, divorce or disasters) they never visit after leaving things until it’s time to collect.
As we mentioned above, some people running small e-commerce companies do need access to their units, almost using them as warehouse distribution spots for the packaging and preparation of goods for dispatch. Whilst some of our easyStorage franchises may be able to help with this (it never hurts to ask), it’s not part of the easyStorage model, and those who need constant and regular access should be able to find good traditional storage spaces that will help.
In these cases, when deciding on which storage unit to use, storers should check that access to the units is strictly limited to users, and that there are security systems and insurance cover in place. There can be nothing more devastating for a small business than to see all that hard work written off by thieves.
For those who don’t need that kind of constant access, it pays to be brutally honest with yourself about the access you do genuinely need.If you are organised enough to be able to give notice of needing access, or even of having things returned, you could save yourself a lot of time and money.
(You may find this blog post of interest: The easyStorage Difference)
Transport to Unit/Collecting Goods
When booking a storage unit, consider the cost of getting things to your unit. If you have a van, this is less of a consideration, but the alternatives include:
- Borrowing or hiring a van
- Calling on friends and family for favours
- Repeated trips by car
This is a cost that should be factored in when looking at which storage unit/storage type may work for you. Consider also ‘end of storage’ collection in that price. Some services, including easyStorage, will collect from you – and deliver back.
Distance from home
It’s possibly less of a consideration if you have a service like easyStorage which will both collect and deliver back goods, but for other types of service consider the distance from where you live (or where you create/manage the goods for storage if you’re a business).
- How long will it take to get to the unit?
- Are they open at hours that fit with your working life?
- What is traffic like to get there?
With the rising price of fuel, distance is becoming an increasing factor.
Loading and Unloading
Do you need any help loading and unloading things for storage? Do you know how to lift properly to avoid risk? If you have any kind of sciatica or arthritis, heart problems or long term illnesses, is the packing/unpacking worth the risk?
Back and muscle injuries are painful and can take time to heal. Never be afraid, or too proud, to call in friends and family to help if you need to.
Some storage companies, including easyStorage, offer a professional loading and unloading service.
If you’re a business, you’ll have packing down to a fine art within a few months. But if you are storing personal possessions, which don’t usually come in nice, even shaped boxes, and have an emotional as well as financial value, packing is a little harder.
It’s not uncommon for people to start out with the first few boxes beautifully packed, but as time and energy run out, things start being less organised. Goods just get dumped into boxes. Wrapping and box marking becomes ‘lackadaisical’.
Our hints to combat this include spreading your packing over a time period (maybe with a plan if it’s a big move) and making sure that you have the right equipment ready for packing. Schedule in breaks, and if you’re packing in one straight run, rope in friends and family to help, scheduling breaks with something easy to eat like a takeaway/pizza and refreshments.
Some storage facilities, like easyStorage, will offer you a packing service.
(There are lots of helpful hints on the easyStorageBoxes blog, everything from packing glasses and books to preparing furniture for moving.)
This is something of a repetition, as most things touch on security, but it pays to consider security seriously.
If security is of low or no concern, then it really doesn’t matter where you store things. But people usually store for a reason, and so the best way for you to decide is asking yourself what the consequences are if things are stolen or damaged, and assess security risks and insurance accordingly.
Questions you might ask include:
- Who has regular access? (The more people that can easily access a facility, the higher the risk.)
- When is access given?
- What security measures are in place?
Cost is usually a primary consideration, but as we’ve seen above, there are lots of different types of storage and services offered by different companies. Deciding what your needs really are will help you decide what you need quotes to include and what assurances you need before comparing storage prices.
(For more old-fashioned, traditional storage types, you may need additionally to consider factors like price differences between ground floor and upper floor units.)
Ensure you are provided with a copy of terms and conditions/contracts before accepting any quote, to check that you understand any extras that you might be charged. (And if you accept a special offer, what does it tie you into later?)
easyStorage is confident that its pricing is really competitive for the service it offers, so if our type of service meets your storage needs, we’ll confidently give you a quote. Pricing is transparent:
- No obligation cost calculator: https://book.easystorage.com/
- Or call 0333 241 3137 to discuss your needs.