Self storage for downsizers

Moving house is often cited as one of the most stressful things you can do.  Even more stressful than moving house though has to be moving to a smaller house!

Whatever your reason for downsizing and whether it is a temporary or permanent arrangement – it is likely to be the case that you have excess items which require storage in the long or short term. It may be that you can call on friends and family members to store your stuff for a while – Whilst this will undoubtedly save cash, it is likely that this would be most suitable as a short term solution and something of an unknown in terms of how long goodwill of this type may last. It may also not be ideal if you are wanting to store things which have a particular value, whether monetary or sentimental – In these cases, a self storage facility may be a better solution.

One of the biggest problems with moving to a smaller house is deciding what you need to keep and what to say goodbye to. However, depending on why you are having to downsize, you may not be ready to give up on some items. Self storage is certainly one way around this problem.  Utilising self storage to take care of your belongings can provide you with the time and space you need to sort through your items and decide on a longer term plan.

How to choose a facility

The self storage industry in the UK is booming which means there is more choice than ever before in terms of storage availability.  One of the main considerations when looking at the suitability of facilities is likely to be location and the proximity of storage to where you are.  This will be closely followed by the suitability of the storage (if you are storing antique or fine furniture for instance, internal, climate controlled storage is likely to be your best bet).  Access to the facility and security are also important things to consider.  Have a look at our blog post ‘how safe is your stuff in storage’ for some more advice on assessing the security of a storage location.

Things to remember...

  • Be realistic about what you have to store and how much space you need for it.  Whilst the cost of storage is cheaper per square foot than housing, the costs over the long term can stack up so don’t store more than you need to.  See the guide to storage space on our blog for more information.
  • If you are planning to store your items in the longer term, especially over winter, make sure you protect them against possible dampness, mould and mildew -  See our blog guide to preparing your storage unit for winter for more information on protecting your stuff, especially against uninsurable risks.
  • Make sure you understand the value of the items you are storing.  For insurance purposes, you will need to be able to insure for the full replacement value of the items in storage.  It may be helpful to make an inventory to ensure you get this right.
  • Do compare the cost of storage insurance.  Many self storage facilities will offer to sell you insurance as part of the package - be cautious however as this is often set at an inadequate level.  See our blog ‘I lost £180,000 in a self storage fire’ for more on the perils of under insurance.