Self-storage vs container storage: Is self-storage worth the extra money?
These days, more and more people are choosing to put their things into storage when they are moving, downsizing, between moves – or simply in need of some extra space.
Making use of storage solutions can have a number of benefits, not least of which is helping to reduce the stress of moving day. But with various options out there, it can be difficult to know which type of storage is the best for you. Here are some of the pros and cons of self-storage and container storage.
Self-storage offers managed storage for your possessions, either in a modern, purpose-built facility or a converted building, in an accessible location. A self-storage facility generally consists of a large number of individual units, sometimes housed on different floors linked by a series of lifts.
Normally, as the only key holder you will have sole access to your goods, which can offer a greater sense of privacy. However, you will also be responsible for all aspects of the storage process, from packing, loading and transporting your possessions, to installing and insuring them, down to purchasing an appropriate padlock.
One of the key advantages of self-storage is that your goods are more readily accessible and facilities are often open 7 days a week. Facilities are staffed and managed, and some may offer extras such as temperature-controlled units and the ability to access your things 24/7.
In addition, there can be more flexibility when it comes to the space that’s available to rent, with a variety of different sizes of unit on offer.
Self-storage is the most expensive option. One of the flip sides of self-storage is that companies have to cover all those extra costs, from initially fitting out the building, to paying for the additional staffing. Their physically accessible set-up also means that self-storage facilities often only use 60-65% of the available warehouse space.
Taking into account the initial cost of construction or conversion, together with the higher ongoing running costs, and the need for additional space to allow access, and you can often end up paying twice or even three times as much to store your goods!
Another thing to watch out for is that self-storage companies often offer a discount for an introductory period, after which the price can rise significantly.
Containerized storage generally offers storage for your possessions in individual containers, which are housed together within a warehouse or secure compound.
One of the main advantages of container storage is that, unlike with self-storage, there are none of the additional overheads to factor in. Warehouses can also be used to fuller capacity, with some utilising around 90% of the available space for actual storage. This all helps to make the cost of container storage much lower on average than the typical self-storage option.
Cutting out the middleman
Another major advantage of using container storage is that you can potentially use the same company for removing and storing your goods, eradicating the need to deal with a third party and making the whole process of moving and storing your things much smoother, simpler and more convenient.
By utilising the storage facilities of your removals company, you can effectively cut out the middleman. Your removals company can offer help with preparing and transporting your goods for storage, and there will be no need to worry about coordinating multiple companies when it comes to moving day.
Part of the package
An established removals company, such as a Master Remover, will be able to offer you secure storage to suit your needs, at a good price. By using their own warehouse facilities they can keep costs to a minimum, and they should be able to offer a competitive rate as part of your removal package – a rate which remains the same for the duration of the storage period.
And if you do find that you need to access your things, it’s worth talking to your removals company as they may be able to arrange access to your belongings if given a little notice.
Arranging storage through your removals company also means that you’ll be dealing with trained professionals who are used to handling, transporting and storing your prized possessions, helping to take the stress and hard work off your hands, and reducing the risk of any damage (either to yourself, or your possessions!)
An experienced, BAR-approved removals company should also be able to provide packing materials (including strong, quality boxes and tape). Again there are potential cost savings here, as buying your packing materials from your removals company is often much cheaper than purchasing them from a self-storage packing shop.
Of course, there will also be plenty of strong, quality removal men on hand offering a full packing service, should you require assistance – helping you to move your belongs from your home and into storage, and later on to their final destination, safely, securely and with a minimum of fuss.
Being realistic about your access needs
When choosing a storage option, it’s helpful to ask yourself how often, and for what purpose, you really think you would need to access your things.
The more limited access offered by container storage means it that it’s not always as easy to gain access to your goods, 24 hours a day. This may be a drawback if you should regularly feel the need to pay a visit to your possessions at two o’clock in the morning!
However, for most people, once they have put their things into storage and closed the door, they won’t actually require constant access to them until the time comes to move them on, so in reality this wouldn’t normally be much of an issue.
On balance, for most people the significantly higher costs involved in self-storage tend to outweigh the benefits of full accessibility. Making use of the storage facilities provided by your removal company offers a simple, no-fuss, cost-effective option for taking care of your worldly goods, in between moves.