At Space Centre Self Storage we see all kinds of customers who often make small but potentially costly self storage mistakes. From private individuals to tradespeople, e-commerce businesses, event management companies and small to medium enterprises, we are here to help. Avoid some of the most common pitfalls by following this guide which is particularly helpful for self storage newbies but it could also benefit seasoned customers.
8 Common Self Storage Mistakes
The UK self storage industry has grown tremendously in recent years as more people are relying on these secure facilities for various reasons. Not only is self storage a great choice when moving house, storing vehicles, equipment or tools but it’s also ideal for personal items or collectables. Whether you are an individual or a business, finding where to put stuff can become tricky. While we can’t turn you into the next Marie Kondo, this guide will highlight 8 self storage mistakes and how you can avoid them.
1. Not Renting A Big Enough Storage Unit
People are always all on the lookout for a good bargain and often, they underestimate the amount of space they need. This can backfire as people will try to cram as much as they can into the storage unit which could result in damaged goods or worse, personal injury. Take a step back, consider how much stuff you have and choose the most appropriate unit for your requirements. Also, discuss it with the storage facility as their expertise will help you find the right storage unit.
2. Not Putting A Proper Plan In Place
Being disorganised is often regarded as one of the most common self storage mistakes. People without a plan simply throw everything into a storage unit but that is not a good idea. It’s best to take your time and use the right packaging materials, as well as create a list of what’s inside your unit.
If you don’t want to create an inventory, make sure the boxes are labelled with a permanent marker. Consider how they’ll be stored and either label all the sides or the one facing the front. In the long run, you’ll be happier since your storage unit is more organised and you know where everything which saves you time and money.
3. Poor Packing Process
Some items require different storage conditions, such as temperature control, box type, or packing method. You can ensure that your belongings remain in excellent condition by keeping things organised and by packing correctly. Here are some important packing tips to help you avoid making silly self storage mistakes:
- Use sealable plastic storage boxes for maximum protection and stacking ability
- For more delicate items, consider a climate-controlled storage unit
- Avoid wrapping items in newspaper as the ink can rub off onto your belongings
- Use bubble wrap or foam sheets to protect your goods during transit and storage
- Clearly mark boxes that contain fragile items
- Packing large and bulky items first, ideally against the back wall
- Dismantle furniture and other items to save space
- Use pallets to store boxes and items off the floor
- Use single items for filling gaps as you go to maximise your storage space
4. Self Storage Mistakes And Insurance
Not getting a good insurance policy is most likely one of the biggest self storage mistakes anyone can make. While it may not be the most exciting part of the process, it is absolutely essential as you never know what might happen. Remember to check your home insurance as some policies could cover you for items in a storage facility.
However, even if it does, there may be some limitations so be sure to read the policy thoroughly. Check that you have enough coverage and that you are satisfied with the provisions. You can also discuss your options with the storage facility as they may offer insurance in-house. At Space Centre, we provide FREE storage insurance up to £3000 without an upfront deposit.
5. Not Maximising The Available Space
This goes hand-in-hand with not packing properly as it’s easy to waste space if you are not careful. When storing bulky items, such as beds, dining tables and other furniture, the space can quickly fill up. Implement a self storage strategy and maximise the space by doing the following:
- Disassemble furniture and other items
- Store beds vertically
- Depending on the type, you can also put mattresses on their side
- Use empty space inside wardrobes, chests of drawers, laundry baskets or even suitcases to store clothing, linen or pillows
- Put boxes underneath and on top of tables or cupboards but make sure to cover the surface to avoid scratches or blemishes
- Maximise vertical storage by installing moveable shelves
6. Incorrectly Stacking Boxes
The golden rule of self storage is to always pack heavy items at the back of the unit and at the bottom of the stack. As far as self storage mistakes go, packing heavy items on top is never a good idea as they can easily crush delicate items stored underneath. The solution is to plan properly and that includes making an inventory, numbering or labelling your boxes and considering their weight. You should also only use good quality storage boxes as it may be tempting to use old cardboard boxes. The problem is, if they’re not strong enough, this move will prove to be a false economy.
7. Not Leaving An Aisle For Easy Access
Since you paid for the unit, we understand that you want to make use of every inch of space but you have to be smart about it. The best solution is to pack your belongings neatly and leave an aisle down the middle. This way you can access everything in the unit with ease as you don’t have to remove everything in the front to get to a box at back. While the walkway doesn’t have to be big, make sure it’s wide enough to remove whatever you need to get out. While this may require extra planning and take longer to pack, it will save you time and effort later on.
8. Self Storage Mistakes And Non-Payment
Many people think that failure to pay their bill will result in the self storage company selling the contents to recover the self storage costs. However, unlike the TV show Storage Wars, this involves a drawn-out process that costs time and money. According to Self Storage Association UK, auctioning abandoned contents of self-storage units is illegal in the UK.
Your rights while using self storage will be outlined in a signed agreement, but they may differ from other facilities. However, most often, missed payments give the facility permission to take your belongings inside their storage unit. If you think you may struggle to pay your storage bill, contact your provider as soon as possible. Most facilities can make arrangements before it reaches this point!
Avoiding Self Storage Mistakes With Space Centre
If you are looking for a reputable and affordable storage facility, contact Space Centre today. We have conveniently located facilities in Bristol, Stroud, Gloucester and Stonehouse with a large selection of units in various sizes. For those new to self storage, we have loads of incredibly helpful articles covering a host of topics. Below are some of the most popular:
- How Much Self Storage Space is Enough?
- How To Find Self Storage Units Near Me?
- Tips For Finding The Best Moving Company
- How Self Storage Can Help With A Clean Out
- Self Storage Costs: 8 Things You Need To Know
- How To Create More Storage Space At Home
- Working From Home – How To Get It Right
- Storing Fragile Items: How To Pack Like A Pro
We are confident that our guide on self storage mistakes can help you make better decisions when looking for a storage unit. If you have any questions about our facilities, prices or storage regulations, feel free to contact us.