Self storage / Secure Self Storage / Self Service Storage is an industry offering storage on a short term (Day to Day) to long term basis. Self-storage customers include businesses and individuals.
The self-storage industry originated in the USA. Of the 58,000 plus storage facilities worldwide 46,000 plus are located in the United States. Australia and New Zealand followed on with the UK developing Self Storage from the early to mid 1980’s. There are now more than 1000 facilities in the UK and in Europe the industry has been growing with an excess of 600 so far.
But what is self storage?
Within the facilities you will find many corridors with doors into various sizes of rooms known as units. Normally a self storage operator will have circa 25 plus various sizes of units from small locker rooms to large rooms of double garage size and greater.
A simple description is, it is a hotel for your goods.
Some companies offer self storage in shipping containers within a secure yard. These companies do not offer the same variety of sizes. Put simply, you bring the goods you want to store into the facility, you pick the room size you need and you sign a straightforward storage agreement.
The majority of companies only offer the self-service concept. You store it, you lock it, and you keep the key.
You have free access into the facility any time you want during the opening hours of the facility you are storing in. Most are open seven days a week. Some offer 24-hour access.
Some Self Storage companies offer added value services.
For the Private and Commercial customers some offer: Self Drive Van Hire, Van & Driver Service, Van & Driver with Porters Service, Full Removal Service with or with out full packing.
For Commercial customers: Full Stock Control, Receipt, Pick, Pack and Despatch.
Security is very important in giving you piece of mind.
The main security arises from Monitored Alarm Systems, Digital Recorded CCTV (some times monitored) Security patrols and secure fencing. Some facilities have each unit alarmed as well. You are sometimes given a code to enter the compound and a unique code to open the facility and disarm your unit so you have access. All customers must sign in and out again either by signing the access form in the reception or via being recorded by the access control system.
The majority of Self Storage facilities are fully staffed. The type of things stored.
For the private market: When moving home customers use self storage to de-clutter their homes preparing them for sale. There have been many articles showing that by “stage managing” your home often you are able to sell for more money and quicker.
The next stage that can arise is you now need to store all your furniture while looking for a new home. So you might need storage for a few days to a few months. When you have bought your new home often customers do not want to move all their belongings at once so the customers move all the furniture wanted and store in a smaller room the items they want to keep but do not initially want at their new home.
In effect the unit now becomes a closet store.
Commercial customers have many uses for self storage from storing surplus office furniture, stationery, merchandise, archives, to using self storage as a depot/business premises. Industry experts often refer to the 4Ds of life (death, divorce, downsizing and dislocation) as popular times for using Secure Self Storage.