London is great city for theater, dining, and museums. As one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, London is always exciting and interesting. The hustle and bustle of the city is electric. However, as one of the world’s most popular cities to live in, there is only finite living space.
London flats are notoriously tiny. While there are certainly exceptions, the average one bedroom London flat is around 500 square feet. With space at a minimum, many Londoners seek alternative solutions to finding more room for their belongings.
Self storage can be an effective solution. It may seem like an unnecessary expense, but self storage units are growing more popular, more affordable and more flexible than ever.
Types of London Self-Storage
Self storage in London can include any space where you keep personal items secure for a period of time. These spaces can take the form of lockers, units within a warehouse, outdoor garages and containers. While some spaces have restrictions on what can be stored, generally you can keep anything that fits the size and shape of the storage unit you rent.
Warehouse storage facilities are indoor warehouses with multiple (sometimes hundreds) of individual units. These facilities are often new buildings but can sometimes be old office or industrial buildings that have been converted to self storage units. They are often several stories high and with units in varying sizes.
Warehouse storage units are usually well monitored with security guards and surveillance cameras. Because they are indoor units, the climate is controlled.
These types of units are the most expensive for self storage.
Lock up Garages
Another popular type of self storage facility are lock up garages. These facilities are built for the sole purpose of storage. Each unit is the same size (approximately 124 square feet) and secured by a garage door with a lock.
Lock up garages give you the ability to drive right up to your unit to conveniently unload or load your vehicle. Some of these units may offer CCTV surveillance but are generally not routinely monitored. While your personal effects will be protected from precipitation and wind, they are not temperature controlled. They are cheaper than warehouse storage units.
Container storage are large metal shipping containers. These storage units offer some flexibility in size as they can be subdivided. The entire container is usually about 160 square feet. These units are stored outside, usually in a fenced area.
Container storage is convenient if you plan to move as they can be easily loaded onto a truck or boat, but not a great option for long term storage solutions because they are stored outside. These types of storage spaces can get damp, excessively cold or excessively hot.
Public self storage
Public units might be lockers found in train stations, airports and gyms. These types of units are good for short term use like weekend and day trips. These units are usually designed to hold smaller personal items, like back packs and wallets and small pieces of luggage.
Which type of storage unit in London is right for you?
There are a few things to consider when choosing the right storage for your needs.
- Cost: what are you willing to spend?
The cost of units can vary widely depending of the size and type of unit. The more basic options are cheapest. Most facilities have their pricing listed on their website.
- Surveillance: how valuable are the goods you’re storing?
Do you need a guard monitoring who is coming in and out of the storage facility? Or, would you be ok if there were only CCTV cameras? Would you consider storing in a facility with no surveillance?
- Temperature control: are the items you are storing sensitive to fluctuations in heat and moisture?
- Access hours: will you need to have access to your belongings 24/7?
- Length of contract: how long will you need storage?
- Most storage facilities rent units by the week or month. Some facilities offer cheaper rates for longer commitments. Some larger, well known facilities occasionally offer deals or incentives to continue using their services. Always ask before agreeing on payment.
- Insurance: does the facility offer insurance? If not, do you need to consider taking out an insurance policy on the items you plan to store. This can be particularly useful if you plan to use a lock up garage or container — both of which may leave your belongings more vulnerable then a more secure, climate controlled warehouse.
A storage unit is a great option for any Londoner who wishes they had a few more closets or rooms but aren’t quite ready to pitch their belongings in the bin. They can be valuable spaces for storing furniture for when you move to a larger space, for papers you need to keep but don’t need cluttering up your desk, or for all those family heirlooms your Mum insists on passing to you. In London, there is a storage solution to meet your unique needs.