Opting to use self-storage to your advantage can prove to be exceptionally convenient, capable of eliminating a number of worries and ultimately, simplifying the moving process. Whether you’re downscaling your property and are limited in terms of space for belongings, or alternatively, simply require temporary storage during renovations, there are a plethora of reputable companies able to fulfil all of your requirements. While the array of storage specialist in your local area is beneficial in terms of a wide choice, it does make it somewhat tricky to make a decision on which business is best for you. With this in mind, it is imperative to carry out meticulous research to determine which self storage company you will put your trust in to take care of your valuables.
10 Tips For Finding A Self Storage Company
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when putting items in storage is failing to plan. Although many are more swayed towards a company based on low fees and easy accessibility, they may lack essential features such as security and size, which will prove a problem in the long run. Before going ahead with any storage arrangements, it is vital to consider several contributing factors.
Having provided storage in Notting Hill and around the capital for many years, we have picked up a number of handy tips that will aid your quest in tracking down the best provider for you.
1. Decide A Budget
For many, cheap storage will be the most attractive option. Particularly when moving home, money may be somewhat limited due to the enormous deposit investment, so homeowners will aim to keep all other expenses as low as possible. However, to ensure that you get the most out of your storage, you will need to set aside a more substantial budget; it is not something that is recommended to skimp on.
While low prices may seem like the more affordable route initially, it does mean that the storage is likely to lack vital components. Additional security such as CCTV cameras, along with temperature controlled units will all come alongside a higher price tag. Together, these features will help to keep your belongings in pristine condition, eliminating any worries you may have in regards to damage, damp and deterioration over time.
It is also essential to keep in mind that many companies provide new customers with an introductory offer that means the first few months will be particularly low in price. Once the discount expires, the monthly fee is likely to skyrocket above your initial rate, becoming considerably more expensive.
2. Figure Out Size Requirements
While it may seem obvious, always ensure that you know exactly how much storage you need to securely, yet comfortably store your items. Spending time to figure out your precise size requirements means that you will not fall short on storage space or end up wasting money on storage that will not be of use. Ultimately, figuring out your ideal storage unit size will help you to spend money more effectively.
Deciding on your ideal unit dimensions may, at first, seem somewhat daunting as it can be tricky to predict whether you’ll need additional storage in the future and if so, how much. Begin by creating yourself an inventory of all items you definitely need to store, along with their sizes. Aim to convert all measurements to cubic feet as for most storage companies; this will be their preferred unit of measurement. Using cubic feet will make it considerably easier to pair your requirement with what different providers can offer you.
3. Shortlist Locations
Always check the location of your shortlisted storage units before going ahead with your decision; this will prove to be one of the most influential factors towards determining your chosen company. If you know that you will need regular access to your stored belongings, then opting for a unit more than an hour away is relatively futile. Although it may be cheaper to store items in a more rural area away from the city, the price of getting to and from will quickly begin to add up, not to mention the extra hours you will need to take out of your day.
On the other hand, if you will not need regular access, then a unit in a quieter location would be ideal. Due to the lack of city centre overheads that they will need to pay out for, rurally located storage units are likely to provide a more significant discount. It just means that when you do eventually need to visit, you’ll need to allocate additional time for travelling.
4. Consider Accessibility
Similarly to the consideration mentioned above, it is also imperative to decide at what time you plan to visit your storage unit. Check as to whether the opening hours of the company suit your schedule. For instance, if you work regular working hours during weekdays, then it will only be evenings and weekends that you will be available. Therefore, you would benefit from a self-storage facility that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a day. The additional opening hours may make the price just that little higher, but the accessibility will most definitely be worth it.
5. Research Facilities
Every belonging, regardless of the size or price, has some form of value to the owner, which means that storage security is imperative. As mentioned in tip one, a vast majority of companies that charge a little extra will provide security measures within the monthly fee. Not only will they reassure customers that surveillance cameras will be in operation all day, every day around the facility, but also inside each unit. Ideally, you want to opt for a unit that is equipped with latches, so that you can use your own lock as opposed to those who work on-site also having access. LocksOnline.co.uk have a vast collection of traditional and digital locks that can be used for your storage unit.
For those storing particularly expensive items, the more security, the better. With this in mind, aim to opt for a company that has computerised access controls on the main gate, along with perimeter fencing. You may also want to consider units that have fire protection.
6. Visit Storage Options
Just like when making any other commitment, there is no real way to get a feel of a company until you visit their premises and meet the team you will be dealing with. Regardless of how highly the company boast their facilities, customer service and security, you cannot be entirely sure until you see their units first-hand. Due to this, it is most definitely worth booking a visit to each of your shortlisted storage options and spending time thoroughly getting to know their business. It will help you give a little extra peace of mind that you are happy to put your belongings in their trust.
During your visit, meticulously inspect the condition of storage units. Look out for visible signs of wear and tear that may impact your stored items such as dampness. Don’t forget to check the lighting of the overall premises as, particularly if you will be visiting in the evening, you want to ensure that every area is well-lit.
7. Make Insurance Arrangements
When looking for a self-storage company, many are surprised at the number of providers who will not allow customers to hire a unit if their items are not fully covered under an insurance policy. Every item in storage will need to be covered in the event of damage, vandalism, fire or natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes. If you are yet to make insurance arrangements before signing a contract with a storage facility, then they may try to sell you their own independent cover. Although this may seem convenient, it is likely that their own policies will be considerably more expensive and will not include the extensive cover you had hoped.
8. Check Reviews
Customers reviews are fantastic at giving you an accurate insight into what you can expect from a company. Once you have visited your shortlisted storage facilities and determined those you have a keen interest in, you can then begin researching their past feedback. While their site may seem to fulfil all of your requirements, if their reviews are negative in terms of unreliability, rudeness or inability to stick to their promises, they are unlikely to be the best company for you.
The internet continues to be the best resource for honest feedback as individuals are free to share their opinion across a number of channels. TrustPilot is one of the most reputable review submission sites for all industries, along with Removal Reviews specifically for those in the moving sector.
Here at Davis & Mac, we pride ourselves on the positive feedback from happy clients. Having specialised in a number of services for many years from storage in Kensington to removals in Chelsea, we can reiterate the importance of reviews. Those who are careless with feedback and do not do everything in their power to guarantee a high level of customer service are most definitely not worth the time nor money.
9. Familiarise Policies
Do not sign any contract or agree to terms and conditions before ensuring that you are familiarised with the companies full storage policies. Some storage facilities only provide units for a contracted period of time, meaning that anything longer will incur an additional charge, often considerably more than the initial fee. Others, on the other hand, operate via a monthly rental contract. Monthly contracts mean that you will need to renew your unit rental each month and will pay in instalments. It is unlikely that these contract-types will allow you to pay one large deposit to cover several months or even years at a time.
Included in the facility policies will also be a list of restrictions when storing items in their units. If you are planning to store an item that is a little less common, then you may want to double check that it is prohibited on-site before going ahead with your decision.
10. High Level of Customer Service
Everyone wants to feel as if their valuable belongings are in safe hands and a key factor towards this is a high level of customer service. The staff working for your chosen storage company must make you feel as if they are just a phone call away in the event of a problem. They should also be happy to advise you on aspects such as insurance, removals, and effectively protecting items. If you do not receive support, guidance and feel comfortable contacting your storage company, do not go ahead with signing any contract.
Determine The Right Storage Company For You!
While it may be a little tedious and time-consuming, spending time researching various storage companies before going ahead with your decision will most definitely work towards your advantage. Renting a storage unit can prove to be a costly investment; however, it is imperative that the company is not only reliable but also able to store your belongings securely!