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Finding the right self-storage solution can be overwhelming. Should it be small or large? What’s the difference between an indoor and an outdoor unit? Are monthly fees better than a lock-in contract? The answer to these questions depends on what you’re storing, how long it’s being stored for and how often you want to access it. In this article, we explore the different types of self-storage options and how to choose the right one for your needs.

Large vs small

To find out how much space you need, compile a detailed inventory. Not only will it help you calculate the size of your unit, but it’ll also help you find your items when they’re in storage. If you’re still unsure about your space needs, use the facility’s space calculator. When making your selection, remember to include access space as well. There’s nothing worse than cramming everything inside only to find that there’s no room to lift or open boxes!

For business owners looking for long-term storage, commercial storage and warehousing might be the answer. It’s cheaper than renting a warehouse and you get additional services that make running your business a whole lot easier. This can include mail collection, use of forklifts and pallet jacks, loading and unloading of containers, and access to business facilities.

Indoor vs outdoor

If you’re storing large items like cars/motorbikes, caravans, ride-on mowers or boats, your best option is to choose outdoor self-storage. Outdoor units are often larger and allow you to drive in and drop off your equipment. They can also be more convenient when you’re using removalists. Since removalists charge by the hour, items can be carried far more quickly into an outdoor unit than an indoor one.

As for indoor lockers and units, these are better for boxes, furniture, household appliances or documents. Some facilities even offer indoor climate control, which means that wooden furniture and oil paintings won’t succumb to temperature fluctuations or moisture. The other advantage of indoor units is that you’re always undercover. There’s no rain, hail or sweltering heat to hamper your moving efforts or item retrieval.

Long-term vs short-term

If you need to store furniture for a six-week renovation, a month-by-month contract is recommended. You can increase or decrease the time depending on how long the renovation takes. For caravans and similar items that need to be stored on an ongoing basis, a long-term contract can save you money in the long run.

24-hour access vs business hours

Some people rarely access their belongings, which means that normal operating hours are sufficient for their needs. However, if you run a business and need tools or products at short notice, it’s best to choose a facility that offers 24-hour access. This means you can come and go as you please – and avoid peak hour traffic!

Budget vs expensive

The cost of units/warehouses will depend on a variety of factors. Generally, the more you store, the more you pay, and the closer your facility is to the city, the higher your monthly fees. But there are ways of minimising these costs, such as renting an upper-level unit (which is cheaper) or choosing a facility further away from the city centre. Also, take advantage of special deals or long-term contracts.

If you’re shopping around for self-storage, it may be tempting to go with a low-cost facility. But keep in mind that they may not have the same security, cleaning measures or business services. In fact, some don’t even have on-site staff. This means you’ll have to contact a remote team to resolve any issues. Weigh up these pros and cons if you’re considering a low-budget provider.

Final thoughts

Self-storage can provide a range of solutions for your needs and budget. Once you’ve identified your preferred size, location, length of storage, access requirements and price, you’ll be able to find the storage type for your needs. If you’ve still got questions or want to know more about self-storage options at StoragePlus, don’t hesitate to contact our customer service team.