When researching self-storage as a way to keep your belongings safe, how you organise the room may not immediately enter your thinking. But as experts in the matter, we can tell you with confidence once you’ve got your space it will definitely become a priority, and knowing how you’ll arrange things could even save you money.
First things first, when choosing a storage room most people are only concerned with the price. It’s understandable, but not logical thinking.
Of course price is important, but it should not be the only reason behind your decision to take a particular room. The quality of the storage environment matters enormously, as does the proximity, and therefore convenience, of the storage location. Security issues must be factored in, and you should always think about whether you want to deal with the company in question offering to help store your goods.
Once you’ve got the ideal storage space, the next thing to consider is how to get the best out of the room.
Because many people are only fixated on the price, this tends to mean the smallest storage room available. This doesn’t always mean the best-suited space for your needs, however.
If you are leaving the country or otherwise never intend to visit your items, it won’t matter so much. But if you need to treat the storage space more like a spare room, and even perhaps on your doorstep, you’ll need to think more strategically.
Here are some things consider to best organise your storage room and get the optimum experience from it.
A larger storage room than perhaps your initial estimate will allow you to create a little corridor in the middle of the unit. This will give you greater access to your goods, back and sides, and give you a holistic picture of the room so you can access anything at any time. Forget the pain of digging and shifting heavy stuff out of the way to retrieve an item from the bottom of a pile of identical boxes.
It’s not always the case that larger boxes = more savings. Packing your room with huge boxes can cause several problems further down the line. You may not be able to lift it once you’ve put half your library in it, for one thing. And large boxes often collapse the one underneath due to the extra weight. This is less common with smaller boxes. Finally, because of their size, you may be tempted to pack so many things inside the same box it can be difficult to find your stuff later on when you need it.
We always advise our clients to use small and medium-size boxes and to stick with the same size as much as possible, as it becomes much easier to stack them.
Marking up your boxes with appropriate labels and creating an inventory list can be a lifesaver later on. Nobody enjoys admin, but we promise that doing this upfront will save you hours. Unpacking and repacking a room, again and again, is the bane of anyone who uses self-storage solutions, and you may be surprised at how often you need to pop back and look for things should an emergency crop up.
Batching your stuff together also saves headaches. For example, work stuff in one set of boxes, gardening gear in another, items of clothing separates, and bedroom stuff in another set of boxes. It also helps to draw a plan of your storage room detailing where each batch of items is located. It’s a 10-minute job that can save you several hours (and a bad back) further down the line.
Anyone planning to use storage as a long-term solution should consider adding racking or shelving into the room. It will cost a bit more money, but will also make better use of the space inside the storage room and make your visits to pick things up or drop them off much more efficient. Can you imagine a bookstore where all the bestsellers were clumped together in a box in the corner? It can make such a difference to have your items stacked on shelves. Standalone racking can be extremely cost-effective given the time it saves in accessing the items you want when you want. It can also result in a smaller but much better-organised storage unit.
It pays to think about how you’ll arrange your self-storage solution, and not just how much the smallest possible space costs:
- Take a unit a little larger than initial estimations (that is easy to get to) allows for much easier access.
- The boxes you use will make a massive difference; think smaller and compact over large and ungainly. Less can be much more in this case.
- Mark up and batch your boxes to keep items of a similar nature safe, together, and easier to find when you’re in a hurry.
- Shelving makes much better use of the space inside the room and will make your visits more efficient.
It’s easy to see how a with a little bit of planning and foresight you can take the pain out of the self-storage experience and make the whole thing a better use of your time.
3D Space Storage has been providing self-storage to the local residents and businesses of SW1 since 2001 and has looked after literally thousands of happy customers in that time – we hope you can help you with your storage needs soon.