If you are a collector, the likelihood is that at some point your collection will grow to a point where you can no longer accommodate it at home.
When that happens, many collectors consider moving over to storage outside the home in a self-storage facility. The monetary value of your collection could be very little or into thousands of pounds depending on what you collect but, regardless of the monetary value, a treasured collection should always be carefully stored in a secure storage facility.
If you have a collection which has grown over a long period time, the likelihood is that you don’t always have a very clear idea of the true extent of it. This is probably more likely to be an issue if you are struggling to accommodate your collection at home and have it put away in less accessible areas to free up space. Moving to a storage facility gives you the opportunity to undertake a much-needed stock take of your items.
Storage or display?
Part of the joy of a collection is displaying and being able to appreciate those items which you have acquired, possibly over many years of collecting. The larger the collection however, the less realistic this is. One approach is to divide up your collectibles into those which are suitable for keeping out for display, where you can appreciate them, and those which would be better packed away and stored for protection. If this approach is appropriate for you, as part of taking stock, classify your items into categories – you may even take the opportunity to dispose of items you no longer want as part of your collection (and use the proceeds to buy some that you do!)
Pack and label with care
When moving items into storage, we always recommend that people take care to pack and label their belongings really well. This is even more important when storing items in the longer term. It is worth considering investing in good quality packing materials when storing items of value (even if that value is sentimental rather than monetary). Sturdy boxes and plastic crates may be enough for some collections. You may also need other packing supplies like bubble wrap and old blankets and towels for protection. Securing a list of the contents of each box to the outside is also a good idea – having an accurate list of what’s inside your boxes means you will always know where to look should you need to find specific items for any reason. Further reading:
Storing your vinyl collection
Tips for storing antique furniture
How to properly prepare clothes for storage
Choosing the right kind of storage
Many types of collectibles are likely to be sensitive to light, excessive heat, excessive cold or moisture in the environment. For this reason, it is probably a better idea to utilise climate-controlled storage which is internal, rather than outside container storage which will be much more susceptible to fluctuations in temperature and environmental moisture. For more information on the different types of storage available and their suitability for your requirements – see our section on Storage Types
Things to consider...
- Many storage companies offer favourable terms for a short while as an introductory offer – make sure that you know the true cost of a longer period of storage from the beginning and that it will remain financially viable in the long term, even after any offers have finished.
- When choosing storage, think about how temperature and other environmental factors could affect your stored items. Ask about climate and temperature control systems, sprinklers, extraction etc. before you commit your treasured belongings to a specific storage site.
- Do carry out a thorough inventory of what you are storing – this helps to properly establish the replacement value for insurance. Pay special attention to single item limits for valuable items and make sure your storage insurance policy offers cover at the appropriate level. Remember – you need to take out storage insurance for the full replacement cost.
- Always compare the cost of storage insurance. Most providers of storage, especially the big 5, will offer to sell you insurance as part of their storage package – we always advise caution here though as this is often set at an inadequate level, as well as being more expensive. This is especially important if you are storing a large or valuable collection. See our storage insurance cost comparison to see how our policy compares with storage providers.