Does size really matter?
Without a shadow of doubt, the most common question we get asked is
“what size storage unit do I need?”
The question is generally followed soon after by a long list of furniture items and I get the sinking feeling I’ve fallen into an episode of ‘The Generation Game’ (showing my age here I know!)… Dinner Service… Fondue Set… Cuddly Toy!
However it’s a reasonable question to ask. Let’s be honest, to most people ’50 square feet’ means very little in relation to their household belongings.
A quick browse around the internet demonstrates that storage companies across the UK have come up with a whole manner of clever tricks in an attempt to answer this all important question, from graphics and animations to sliding scales and tables. Several even have a ‘calculator’ whereby you select the furniture in your home room by room and it magically tells you how much space you need! I began to wonder if we should consider adding something like this to our own site….
But do you know what? The more ‘research’ I did the more confused I became. Based on the contents of my own home I need anything between 90 and 150 square feet… this represents a price difference of £80 per month!!!
One company suggested 25sqft would store 20 large boxes… another said the same size would store 40 large boxes… So I’m still left wondering ‘What size do I need?’
The answer of course, is that the size of the storage unit depends on many different factors and therefore cannot be pre-determined by an automatic calculator… these tools provide a very rough estimate only. (and most companies do acknowledge this on their sites!)
So what should you be thinking about before choosing a storage unit?
Well of course the contents you intend to store are still the starting point but one sofa, for example, could be twice the size of another – only you, and perhaps your friends and family, know the actual size of your belongings so you need to try to visualise your belongings against a familiar reference point.
For instance, would everything you wish to store fill a single garage? Perhaps only half a garage would be sufficient, or is it just a few boxes that would fit in a closet?
This gives our staff an indication of approximately what size would be suitable… and we have 30 different sizes so it’s good to narrow it down a bit!
Make it Real!
The next step, where possible, is to visit the facility and view the units available. Bring a list of your biggest items, maybe even measure a few of them beforehand, and once you’re standing inside the unit it’s generally easier to imagine what would fit where. Take a friend or spouse with you for a second opinion and of course our staff are on hand too to give advice based on years of experience.
Consider your Budget.
As well as considering what you want to store you need to think realistically about what you can afford. In an ideal world you might happily fill a garage with the total contents of your home but if you can’t keep up the monthly payments your goods are at risk. It may be that you need to make some compromises and again, from past experience, this is easier to think about if you can see the space in question.
How will you use the space?
This last point is possibly the most important and actually several points in one as there are a number of variable factors when considering how you will use the space. For instance:
- If you are hiring a removal company they can generally pack a lot more into a smaller space than you or I could, so what you spend on a ‘man with van’ can potentially be saved on a smaller unit.
- Will you need to access the unit on a regular basis? If so you’ll need some space for getting in and out. You don’t want to find yourself emptying the entire unit just to reach something at the back!
- How long will goods be in storage for? If you’re going travelling for a year it’s worth leaving some ventilation around your items, as even the driest units can be susceptible to occasional condensation. Pallets on the floor are great for keeping the air circulating.
- Alternatively, if you’re looking for short-term rental while moving house or doing some renovations, you can get away with packing everything in tight as it’s probably just going in and then back out again a few weeks later.
So you see, size does matter after all – in the storage world at least! – and it’s worth having a little think about before you choose a unit. Never fear though, if you find a unit isn’t meeting your needs or your budget we can find you something more suitable.
We hope we’ve provided a helpful guide to choosing the right size unit but if in doubt pick up the phone or pop in and see us. Our friendly staff are happy to discuss your personal circumstances and find a unit that meets your needs.
…or start the ball rolling by sending us a ‘quick quote’ request today!