How Does Self Storage work? A Beginner's Guide to Storage in 2024

Welcome to the wonderful world of self storage—a multitude of space-saving solutions for both personal and business needs. Whether you're decluttering, moving, or need more space for business inventory, understanding how self storage works is your first step toward a clutter-free environment. This helpful guide will walk you through the essentials of utilising self-storage effectively.



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How Does Self Storage work? A Beginner's Guide to Storage in 2024

Welcome to the wonderful world of self storage—a multitude of space-saving solutions for both personal and business needs. Whether you're decluttering, moving, or need more space for business inventory, understanding how self storage works is your first step toward a clutter-free environment. This helpful guide will walk you through the essentials of utilising self-storage effectively.

Storage facility

Dive into our ultimate guide to self storage (perfect for beginners)

According to the Self Storage Association (SSA), the UK is one of the largest markets for self storage in Europe. There are roughly 2,231 self storage stores in the UK, offering a staggering 55.5 million square feet of self storage space.

So, with so many storage companies vying for your hard-earned cash, being as well-infomred as possible is essential. That way, you'll be able to pick the most cost-effective storage options. Let's dive in!

Table of contents

  1. What is self storage?
  2. What can self storage be used for?
  3. What items can't you store in a self storage unit?
  4. What are the benefits of using self storage?
  5. How to pick the right self storage units
  6. Getting to grips with your self storage contract
  7. Should you arrange insurance cover?
  8. Tips for a successful self storage experience

What is self storage?

In a nutshell, self storage is a simple solution for storing personal and business items in a secure, off-site location. With a variety of unit sizes, from small lockers to large rooms, self storage facilities provide a flexible option for expanding your storage space without the need for larger premises.

What can self storage be used for?

Self storage space can support a wide range of individual and business needs. Today there are a huge variety of options to choose from, offering a secure and convenient way to manage belongings, inventory, and more.

Below are some of the ways self storage is commonly used:

Decluttering and personal storage

Clean, empty room

Many people turn to self storage to declutter their living environments. it provides a convenient way to store seasonal decorations, sports equipment, and other items that aren't needed year-round. This helps maintain a clutter-free home while ensuring personal items are safely stored in a secure storage facility until needed again.

Transitional phases

During life transitions, such as moving to a new home or renovating, self storage units provide a temporary home for furniture, appliances, and personal belongings. This ensures items during your house move. belongings are kept safe and out of the way, making the transition smoother.

Student storage

For students—especially those studying far from home of more space for summer—self storage offers an affordable and flexible solution. A storage room can house textbooks, furniture, and personal items during school breaks, providing peace of mind to students and their families.

Business storage

Business storage helps companies smartly manage extra inventory, office space, and important documents by using self storage. This solution is great for making more room in the office and keeping everything you might need later easy to get to when you need it.

Warehousing for small businesses

Woman with trolley and boxes storage facility

Small businesses can us storage solutions as an affordable alternative to warehousing. This option is great for keeping stock, equipment, or marketing materials without the need for long-term contracts or the expense of commercial warehouse space.

What items can't you store in a self storage unit?

Certain items are prohibited in self storage units to ensure safety and compliance with regulations. Here's a list of things you typically can't store:

  • Flammable, explosive, or hazardous materials
  • Perishable food items
  • Live plants
  • Live animals
  • Stolen or illegal goods
  • Scented or wet items that might attract pests
  • Firearms and ammunition (varies by facility)
  • Cash and securities
  • Perishable goods
  • Drugs or drug paraphernalia
  • Radioactive materials
  • Toxic waste
  • Unregistered or uninsured vehicles

What are the benefits of using self storage?

Girl on phone carrying boxes

Exploring the advantages of self storage reveals a suite of benefits tailored to meet the diverse needs of individuals and businesses alike. These facilities not only provide a secure place to temporarily store your belongings but also come with a variety of features designed to enhance the storage experience.

Here’s a deeper look into what makes self storage a top choice for managing space and safeguarding possessions:

Flexibility and convenience

The variety of unit sizes and flexible rental agreements from month-to-month to long-term mean self storage adapts to any situation. HOLD's units are accessible 24/7, fitting effortlessly into your schedule.


Advanced surveillance, secure access, and sometimes on-site personnel provide a robust security network. This ensures that personal and business items are safeguarded around the clock.

Extra services

Facilities enhance the storage experience by offering pallet trucks, packing materials, and insurance arrangement assistance. These services aim to simplify the storage process, making it efficient and user-friendly.


piggy bank with coins

Renting self storage units can be more economical than moving to a larger home or office. By selecting only the space you need, you control your costs, avoiding the expenses associated with larger properties or warehousing.

Climate control

Many self storage service providers offer climate-controlled units, protecting sensitive items from extreme temperatures, humidity, and other environmental conditions. This is ideal for storing art, electronics, and other delicate personal possessions in, ensuring they remain in pristine condition.

How to pick the right self storage units

When considering self storage as a solution to your space needs, following a clear process ensures you make the most of the services available. Whether you're looking to store personal belongings, business documents, or even extra stock or inventory, understanding your requirements and the steps involved is key. Here's how to navigate the process effectively:

Determine your needs

Start by evaluating the amount of space you need and what items you plan to store. HOLD's unit size calculator can help you pinpoint how much space you need, Remember, it's not just about floor space—think about the height of the unit too.

Storage unit sizes

Also, identify if you need special features like climate control. Remember, a well-chosen unit ensures your items are stored efficiently and remain in good condition for the duration they're kept.

Find a storage facility in a good location

With your storage needs in mind, search for a facility that aligns with your criteria, including proximity, security features, pricing, and customer feedback. A conveniently located facility with robust security measures, competitive pricing, and positive reviews can enhance your self storage experience significantly.

Pack your items

Woman labelling box

Investing time in packing and labelling your items methodically pays off, especially when you need quick and easy access to your belongings. Using sturdy boxes, protective wrapping, and clear labels can prevent damage and make managing your storage space easier.

Efficient packing not only conserves space but also helps in maintaining the condition of your stored items.

We have multiple guides on packing so feel free to explore.

Transport your items

Decide on the logistics of moving your belongings to the storage unit. If you choose to do it yourself, consider the benefits of facilities with drive-up access that simplifies the process.

Alternatively, hiring professional movers can provide convenience, especially for heavy or bulky items. The right approach can save time and ensure the safe transportation of your possessions.

For more help, check out our round-up of the best removal companies in London.

Getting to grips with your self storage contract

contract with pen

Understanding self storage contracts is straightforward when you know what to look for. These agreements detail the terms of your rental, including the length of use, payment schedules, and any policies about late payments or how to end your rental agreement.

It's important to carefully read your contract to grasp your responsibilities and the protections it offers you as a renter. This clarity ensures you can use the storage unit within the agreed parameters and avoid any surprises.

Should you arrange insurance cover?

The average self storage facility will usually offers different insurance plans. However, it's up to you to assess whether these options adequately cover your personal possessions. Additionally, check your existing homeowner's or renter's insurance policy, as it might already provide coverage for items stored off-premises.

HOLD allows for negligtoence up to a maximum of £100 and you'll need to arrange insurance cover the rest.

Tips for a successful self storage experience

That wraps up our beginner's guide to self storage! Here's a run-down of a few key tips:

  • Avoid storing perishable or hazardous items, as these are typically prohibited.
  • Research storage facilities for price and location.
  • Maximise your storage space by stacking items strategically and using shelving units if permitted.
  • Consider insurance options for added peace of mind, especially for valuable personal or business items.

HOLD—A next-gen storage facility that puts your needs first

HOLD self storage team

Hold is a storage company with a twist. Consider us not just as a provider, but your go-to ally for everything self storage. Based in the heart of Kings Cross, we offer easy drive-up access and a range of flexible storage solutions. Prioritising security, our locations are equipped with the latest surveillance and access control technologies.

And if you need help, don't worry. Our expert team is here to guide you in selecting the perfect unit and share essential packing tips. HOLD Self Storage delivers exceptional value, combining competitive pricing with top-notch service. Ready to simplify storage? Reach out to HOLD Self Storage for a free quote and discover how we can assist.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is storage per month UK?

In the UK, the cost of self storage can vary widely depending on location, size of the unit, the self storage facility, and additional features like climate control. On average, prices can range from £20 to over £200 per month. Urban areas, especially London, tend to be at the higher end of this range due to higher demand and property costs.

Can I run a business from a self storage unit?

Yes (and no). You can run your business from a self storage unit by using it to store stock, tools, pack orders, however it is not somewhere that you can have a registered address or office to work from.

Is self-storage still a good investment?

Many experts agree that self-storage is a strong investment opportunity due to its resilience during economic fluctuations and consistent demand. However, like all investments, potential returns depend on factors such as location, management efficiency, and market saturation.

What are the different types of commercial storage units?

Numerous kinds of commercial storage options are available, including self-storage units tailored for businesses, solutions for pallet storage, and office spaces equipped with storage areas. These cater to a diverse array of business requirements.

Make sure to select the variety that most closely aligns with your unique needs.

How secure is my HOLD storage unit?

Only you will have access to your unit. Upon registration, you'll receive a unique PIN code granting you access to the site. Additionally, you'll secure your unit with your own padlock. If you need others to access your unit, they can do so with your permission and using your code.

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