Why is it called self-storage? Why is self-storage so expensive? Is paying for storage worth it?

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Are you currently thinking about paying for a self-storage service, but can’t quite decide if it’s the right move or not? Perhaps you are wondering why it costs so much and need to understand whether you will be getting good value for your money? Whatever the case, in this article we’ll tell you everything you need to know. Let’s get started…

What does self-storage mean?

Self-storage refers to a service that allows individuals and businesses to rent storage units or spaces to safely store their belongings. 

These storage facilities provide a secure and convenient solution for storing items when we don’t have enough space at home, in our offices, or other properties. 

Self-storage facilities offer a range of unit sizes and often provide 24/7 access to the rented spaces, allowing you to come and go as you please.


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Why is it called self-storage?

“Self-storage” refers to the fact that individuals have full control and access to their storage units.

Unlike traditional storage options where items are stored and managed by others, self-storage empowers customers to handle their own personal belongings independently – as and when they choose. 

The customer is responsible for packing, organising, and accessing their stored items as needed – hence the term: “self-storage”. 

Why is self-storage so expensive?

Does self-storage seem a little expensive to you? If so, the following section will help clarify / justify the cost. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Real Estate Costs: Storage facilities require significant land and infrastructure investments. The cost of acquiring, maintaining, and developing storage facilities contributes to the overall pricing involved.
  • Security and Maintenance: Self-storage facilities prioritise security measures such as surveillance cameras, gated access, and individual unit locks. These security features require ongoing maintenance and investment, which will invariably influence the cost of the service provided.
  • Operational Expenses: Self-storage facilities incur a number of operational expenses, including staff wages, utilities, insurance, and property taxes (to name a few). These costs are factored into the rental prices at the end.
  • Demand and Occupancy Rates: In areas with high demand and limited supply of self-storage units, prices tend to be significantly higher. Occupancy rates can also affect pricing, as fully occupied facilities may have fewer available units, thus driving up the cost for those who want to get on board.
  • Amenities and Services: Some self-storage facilities offer additional amenities such as climate control, drive-through access, and 24/7 security monitoring. These additional features, as you can imagine, often come at a higher price tag. 

Ultimately, you have to consider the alternatives to self-storage, such as moving to a larger property / having an extension built, keeping your home or workspace cluttered, or simply having to get rid of any items you have no space to keep. 

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Is paying for storage worth it? What are the benefits?

While the cost of self-storage may seem rather expensive, the value it provides makes it well worth considering. Here are some of the benefits of paying for self-storage:

  • Extra Space: Self-storage provides an additional space to store items that are not currently needed, but hold value or sentimental significance. It can help you free up living space or work areas, thus reducing clutter and improving organisation.
  • Security and Protection: Self-storage facilities offer secure environments with features like surveillance systems, sturdy locks, and controlled access. This ensures the safety and protection of stored items – which may be preferable than keeping them in a garage or shed at home, for example.
  • Flexibility: Self-storage allows individuals and businesses to rent units for short or long periods, thus providing greater flexibility to accommodate changing needs. It is a convenient solution during house moves, renovations, downsizing, or for other temporary storage requirements (e.g., your home has been infested with termites and is undergoing extensive repairs).
  • Accessibility: Most self-storage facilities offer convenient access hours, allowing customers to retrieve or add items according to their schedules. Simply put, you can often come and go as you please, whether that be over the weekend, or at 3am on a Monday morning. 
  • Business Storage Solutions: Self-storage can benefit businesses as well, by providing a cost-effective way to store inventory, equipment, and important documents. Doing so can help optimise office space and manage seasonal fluctuations in storage needs.

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How can I find the best self-storage service in my area? What qualities/features should I look for?

If you are on the lookout for the best self-storage service in your area, consider the following qualities and features before making any final decisions:

  • Location: Look for storage facilities that are conveniently located near your home or business to minimise travel time and expenses. Is it really worth going to the other side of town for a marginally cheaper self-storage unit if you need to waste even more fuel on the way?
  • Security: Ensure the facility in question has robust security measures, such as 24/7 surveillance cameras, on-site security staff, gated access, well-lit areas, and individual unit locks.
  • Cleanliness: A well-maintained and clean facility is crucial for preserving the condition of your belongings. You can double-check for cleanliness standards during a site visit or through online reviews from previous and existing clients.
  • Climate Control: If you need to store sensitive items such as electronics, artwork, or furniture, be sure to look for facilities with climate-controlled units to protect against temperature and humidity fluctuations.
  • Unit Sizes and Accessibility: Make sure you choose a facility that offers a range of unit sizes to suit your storage needs. While you may need a large unit now, you may wish to downsize (or vice-versa) in the future and having the flexibility to do so is important. Additionally, check for convenient access hours and options like drive-up access or loading docks.
  • Customer Reviews and Ratings: Don’t forget to take the time to read online reviews and ratings from previous customers to gauge their experiences and overall satisfaction with the facility’s services. This is an important step! 
  • Insurance Options: It’s also worth inquiring about insurance options or whether the facility requires you to have your own insurance coverage for stored items. It’s better to be safe than sorry!


The Takeaway

Let’s have a quick summary of what we’ve learned about self-storage in this article: 

  • Self-storage gets its name from the fact that individuals are able to have full control over / access to their belongings in storage. 
  • Self-storage services may seem rather expensive, but there are many important factors that influence the overall cost, including real estate costs, security measures, and supply & demand (to name a few). 
  • There are many advantages to investing in self-storage and the price is definitely justified – especially if you have valuable and sentimentally significant items that you want to keep, but don’t have the space for at home. 
  • When looking for a self-storage service in your area, do your due-diligence! This means reading reviews and testimonials and comparing quotes with other prospects.


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