There are many reasons for people using self storage, but whatever the reason, if you’re going to keep your belongings in tip top condition, organising your self storage unit is essential. Business stock, household storage or paper filing all needs to be packed and stored properly if you are to
- Use the space in your unit effectively
- Keep your items in good repair
Using the space effectively may not seem high on your list of priorities when you decide to use self storage but it should be. Stacking and storing things properly can have an impact on your pocket; when done correctly you can often reduce the size of the unit you need and so reduce your costs!
If you are using your unit for personal or household storage, you may find it difficult to work out what size of unit you’ll need, especially if you’ve never used self storage before. Your storage unit will not need to be the same size as the floor space of your house. If you’re not sure, always ask staff at the centre you’ve decided to use, they should have the expertise to advise you. And make sure you do your research before settling on a centre – there are things you should always check before signing on the dotted line. You’ll need to think about location, quality of the unit and access as well as the cost. And when considering the cost, it’s not just the rental cost you have to think about, there are other costs that could be incurred.
Here at Space Centre Self Storage we’ve been in the self storage business for more than 20 years and for the previous 90 years we were involved in removals, so we have the staff expertise to help you work out exactly how to store your goods and how much space you’ll need.
So, on to keeping your items in good repair while they are in storage. It’s all in the packing and storing.
There are a few reasons for businesses using self storage. For some, business will be expanding and self storage is the ideal way to store additional stock or additional paperwork without the overheads of taking on larger premises. If that’s you, then the chances are you’ll be used to stacking and storing your stock or files to ensure the least damage and accessibility. But if you’re new to this then there are a few things to consider.
- Use shelving or racking to help you organise your unit but leave a big enough walkway around any shelving units to allow you to easily get to everything.
- Uniform sized boxes always make it easier to stack things and make sure that they are sturdy, especially if you’re going to be stacking them on top of each other. If stacking them make sure they’re not too heavy – remember you’ll have to lift them up and down.
- Label boxes on all sides – that way you can see what’s in your boxes regardless of which side of the unit you’re on and it avoids dragging boxes in and out to check their contents.
- Store the most frequently accessed / used items towards the front of your unit.
- Consider using boxes with hanging files inside for paperwork. That way you can simply lift your hanging files from cabinets in the office straight into the boxes and on to storage.
- Use inventories. Whether it’s for stock control or defining what types of files are stored, an inventory of what’s in storage will always be useful to have to hand.
This final note is not to do with the way you store or pack your items but is essential. If storing your business goods away from your main premises always make sure you check your insurance. If you do incur damage while they’re stored you need to make sure you can recover the cost of replacement stock.
Some of the things that are useful for businesses will also apply if you’re storing your household goods. Good, strong boxes are always on the list, as is labelling them and thinking about the weight of them. Inventories are also a good idea.
- Dismantle furniture if it’s possible and make sure that all parts and fitting are kept together.
- Store things inside larger pieces of furniture e.g. chests of drawers. Remember to make a note on your inventory of what has been put where.
- Cover furniture to avoid scratches, especially if you’re going to put other items on top (which is highly likely with sofas).
- Consider carefully how you stand / stack your larger items of furniture. You may think that standing a sofa on end will save space, but it wasn’t designed to be stored that way and the pressure on one end of the frame could cause damage.
- Make sure everything is clean and dry – when it comes to kitchen items and sofas it’s easy to find crumbs and other things in crevices and joints.
- If storing garden items like lawnmowers and strimmers, make sure they are emptied of fuel and cleaned. In addition, store them away from items that could be affected by fuel smells (curtains, sofas etc.)
- If you’re going to need to take things in and out, make sure they’re stored at the front of the unit.
As with the business advice, if you’re storing a large amount of household items always check your insurance cover. Not all household policies cover your goods while in storage. At Space Centre Self Storage we provide £3000 of insurance cover free with your unit, but if you’re having to store the contents of a whole house, this may not be enough and you may need to arrange additional cover.
Space Centre Self Storage has facilities in Bristol, Gloucester and Stroud. If you need to store items in our area and need some help or advice, get in touch with our friendly staff at your nearest centre. They’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have and, if necessary, show you around our units.
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