Storage Units for Self Storage

Have you used storage facilities before?  Need help choosing a storage unit?  How do our storage facilities compare with others?  Do you need more information on storage rental?  Renting storage units can be a very cost effective way to assist with running a business, selling a house or improving the quality of your life by creating more living space.

Our storage units are clean, dry, secure and individually alarmed.  Not all storage facilities are the same.  Come and have a look for yourself.  We have an undercover loading bay; most important if it’s raining.  Other storage facilities offer “easy access units that you can drive up to”…. What happens if it rains?  Your belongings go into storage damp and damage from mould could be the likely result.

At Gateway Storage, our facility is also protected by CCTV cameras, electric fences and we enforce a strict pest control programme.

We try to make renting storage units as easy as possible, with 7 day access 6am to 10pm.  You have your own access key to the storage facility, long or short term rental options with no contracts, just a minimum of one month’s charge.  You also have the opportunity to upsize or downsize should your circumstances change.

What is Self Storage?

Self storage offers both personal and business users a storage solution that they can basically control themselves. As with more traditional storage methods, self storage allows you to rent storage space where you can keep belongings in a specialist facility. In the past, we have had to rely on removal companies for example to store on our behalf and have had to pay high charges, with limited access, no flexibility and long term contracts. With the advent of self storage, you’ve been given a lot more choice.

More and more people today are finding it hard to manage the space they rent, own or lease and are instead turning to self storage as a solution to cluttered personal or business space. Whether you’re looking to store just a few items, archive your business paperwork or put most of your possessions in a safe place for a month or a year or more, self storage could be a cost effective and flexible solution for you.

Recognising that many consumers and businesses need more control over what, where, when and how their goods are stored, the self storage industry has evolved into a cost effective, flexible and secure storage alternative. The storage space you rent is self-contained and fully enclosed and can vary in size according to your specific needs. You may need a small storage locker or a unit large enough to store the entire contents of your 4 bedroom house or business stock.

You can store almost anything in a space that suits the size you need. Unlike traditional storage methods, self storage allows you to access your storage space during extended access hours, 7 days a week . You can upsize or downsize your unit (subject to what the facility has available), as your storage requirements increase or decrease. Your self storage unit will stay where it is and your items won’t be moved around by the storage operator as can be the case with on-site container storage options.

With self storage it is your responsibility to get your things to the self storage site, pack your goods into the space provided and, ultimately move it out at the end of your stay. You can hire a removal company to do this for you, though it is often preferred that you supervise any subcontractors to ensure your goods, or the facility, isn’t damaged during the move-in or move-out process. It also allows you to ensure the storage space is packed in a way that you prefer so you can stack the front of the unit with the items you may need to access more often. Most facilities have packaging supplies to aid in your packing process.

Self storage licence agreements can usually be cancelled with a relatively short notice period. The rent is usually paid monthly in advance, but when you move-out any over-payment is often refunded. In addition, it is unusual for self storage companies to charge you to access your storage space, which can be the case with traditional storage businesses, and they may also request advance notice of when you need to access the space.

Self storage is also a secure solution. In most cases, the storage unit you rent can only be accessed by you. You’ll be the only authorised key holder, though you can often request additional access keys if required. Normally, you’ll be expected to provide your own padlock for your unit door, giving you an extra guarantee of security. In addition, reputable self storage operators will have a range of their own security measures in place including CCTV, monitored alarms, electric fences etc.

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Why do you need self storage?

There are many reasons people choose to use a self storage unit to store their goods rather than keep them at home or at their place of work. For some it is more convenient, some need more space and others just want to remove items from their living space. Below are some additional reasons someone may need to use a self storage unit:

1. Maximise space: A self storage unit is a great way to maximise space in your current home or office. Declutter your rooms by taking boxes, appliances, files, toys, clothes and seasonal or excess stock to a storage facility.
2. Security: Self storage facilities are generally safe, secure and protected 24 hours a day. Most facilities are now equipped with 24 hour video surveillance and electronic gate entry which can make storage facilities more secure than being in your home or office.
3. Safety: With security features in place such as those outlined above, it is likely storing valuable or potentially harmful items in a storage unit is safer than storing them at your home or office.
4. More Space: Sometimes people just need more room. Depending on your age or stage of life, you may choose to downsize your home or move into an apartment. Storing items in a storage unit will free up space in your new home. Rather than take up space in your garage, seasonal items and ‘toys’ such as ski and snowboarding gear, jetskiis, fishing rods, golf clubs etc are a great option for storage.
5. Home Staging: Home staging is an expanding business because home buyers have realised the advantage of marketing a clean, streamlined, uncluttered house. Removing items from your home in order to give potential buys a feeling of clean lines and more space can add value to your property.
6. Student Holidays: Students usually can’t keep their possessions in the Halls of Residence or student flat over the summer holiday break. Storing these items may be the preferred or only option.

Moving Tips:

One of the most stressful situations a person can go through, is often moving house. Packing up your belongings, staging your home and putting the house on the market can be very stressful. The costs involved with a move can also increase quickly. We’ve put together some helpful moving tips below and we hope these will assist in containing your moving costs:

1. Free boxes: Try supermarkets, liquor stores, and department stores for boxes they no longer need.
2. Packaging materials: If packing paper (‘butchers paper’) is not available use towels and tea towels to wrap dishes and glassware. Use newspaper to pack out boxes that aren’t quite full, to avoid them caving in when they’re stacked for storage. Use bubblewrap to protect framed pictures and electronic equipment such as TVs, if the original boxes are no longer available. Use gel moisture sachets in sealed boxes to absorb any moisture from the air. Wrap mattresses in mattress protector bags and add gel sachets prior to sealing the mattress bags.
3. Labelling: Label the outside of the boxes with the room they’re from (eg Bathroom, Kitchen etc) to make it easier when you move into your new home. This will also save time for the removal company (which saves you money) as they’ll know which room to place the boxes without having to continually ask you, and you then having to check the contents.
4. Ask for help: Ask friends, family and neighbours to help you move to save on the cost of a removal company. Shouting them lunch and cool drinks on your day of moving is likely to be a lot cheaper than paying a removal company!
5. Move during non peak periods: The most popular time to move is generally summer. If you could instead move during the quieter period of March – October, removal companies may be more readily available and may even give you a good deal on the price.
6. Plan ahead: Get your house or business items packed and easily accessible where possible for the removal company. The less time they spend moving your goods, the cheaper it will be for you.
7. Measure: Measure the doorways and hallways in order to be sure your stored furniture and appliances will fit into your new property. This will ensure there are no last minute panics on your moving day. Items that can’t fit can instead be retained in your storage unit until you are able to sell or trade them.
8. Finalising Bills: Pay all of your bills prior to moving so you don’t have to worry about it when you are in your new property. Ensure your utilities are cancelled at your old property and you have set yourself up for utility services such as gas, electricity and phone, in your new home. Consider redirecting your mail for a period of time from your old property.
9. Cleaning: Clean your own home on move-out to save the expense of a cleaning company or a deduction from your bond by your landlord. Hire carpet cleaning appliances and ‘do it yourself’, rather than paying a carpet cleaning company.
10. Quotes: Obtain around 3 quotes from removal companies to ensure you are getting the best price.

Packing Tips

Moving can be a big and stressful job – be that moving your entire house or just some items in order to give you more room. Treat it like a project and produce a Plan. Below are some pointers to help you get organised!
1. Make a checklist of what each box contains
2. Label each box so you know what box goes to which room
3. Stay focused – don’t get sidetracked 😉
4. Use boxes which are the same size where possible so they can stack easily
5. Don’t over-full boxes making them too heavy and unable to close
6. Conversely, don’t underfill them either! If there is extra space inside your box, stuff the top with newspaper (watch the ink doesn’t spoil what’s below it), or towels so the box doesn’t cave in when stacked upon
7. Tape the bottom of the box both vertically and horizontally for extra strength and use packing tape (not sellotape!) to do this for extra strength
8. Lie books down in the boxes, don’t stack them upright (like when in shelving), as this can damage the spine when other boxes are stacked on top
9. Pack heavy items in small boxes so they aren’t too heavy to carry
10. Wrap glasses individually
11. Store mirrors and paintings vertically so they’re not crushed
12. Disassemble bed frames and tables
13. Use bubble wrap
14. It sounds obvious, but heaviest items go on the bottom!
15. Store couches on their ends for a great space saver
16. Top and tail lounge and dining chairs if stacking them isn’t possible

Consider the order in which the removal vehicle is packed. Pack first, those items you are going to need access to once in your storage unit; what goes into the removal vehicle first, comes out last, so it’s these items that will be more easily accessible in the front of your storage unit.

Storage Units for Students and School-leavers

One of the challenges that many students face, is what to do with their belongings when the university year is over. Student’s moving out of the Halls of Residence or their university flat and going home for the holidays, probably can’t leave their belongings in their student accommodation while they’re away. With varying unit sizes, storage companies are a great option for students looking to store their belongings on a temporary basis. Conversely, on entering their university accommodation they may find they have items that won’t fit into the space on offer! Storing these overflow items is also something worth considering.

Below are a few tips for students looking for self storage:

1. Storage location: Search the area on Google for the storage companies available. Student’s may be looking for the company offering the cheapest units and often this may be out of the central city location the university is based, so they shouldn’t ignore looking to store items in a location further afield particularly if they won’t need to access their goods regularly.

2. Unit Size: Our Units & Prices list gives a summary of the unit sizes to choose from. As a guide, a 1 bedroom flat can fit into a unit between 6-9 square metres, but with lots of unit size options, a student may find only a locker for incidentals or one of the other smaller options is more appropriate.

3. Amenities: Consider whether 24 hour access, back up unit access, gated access and 24 hour surveillance is needed. None, or some or all of these may be important to a student storer. How good the security is may also be reflected in the price between one storage facility and another.

4. Padlocks: It is normally compulsory to have a padlock on the unit door and if goods are important enough to keep in storage, it’s important to keep them as well protected as possible. Storers are normally required to provide their own padlock so ensure you have one prior to arriving at the storage facility.

5. Discounts: Often storage companies offer discounts for long term storage. It may be worthwhile to make enquiries.

6. Contractual obligations: Check the contract for minimum storage periods. Most storage contracts are month to month so if a student ends up moving and having more space in their student accommodation, they can simply go to the storage facility and retrieve their belongings. Most companies will have a notice period. Customers must ensure they understand what notice is required.