How Does Self Storage Work? What You Need To Know
June 25, 2020

How Does Self-Storage Work

Whether you’re downsizing, renovating, or travelling, self storage units are a handy way to store items that you don’t want to sell. Most storage facilities offer a wide range of units sizes to meet your budget and needs.

But how does self storage work exactly? In this article, we’ll explain the process that you’ll need to go through to store your belongings in a self storage facility.

1. Figure out what you want to store

Self storage units charge by size, so the first thing to figure out is how many square meters you’ll need for your stuff. Your measuring tape is your friend here—whip it out and start measuring everything that you want to store. Since items can also be stacked on top of one another, you’ll also want to consider the most efficient way to do this with your items, tetris-style.

For those who want to temporarily store their entire home’s contents, some storage facilities will make it easier for you by recommending storage units based on number of bedrooms, or may offer a space calculator.

You’ll also need to consider the types of item that you’re planning on storing, as some may be prohibited by the storage company, such as:

  • • Animal or plant products
  • • Perishable foods
  • • Illegal items such as guns, drugs, etc.
  • • Explosive or volatile substances
  • • Toxic items such as medical waste, radioactive material, etc.

2. Choose a storage unit

Shop around for a local self storage company, being sure to take into account their security, accessibility, and cost per square metre. If you’re storing items that are sensitive to heat, you’ll need to find a storage company that offers climate-controlled units.

For extra peace of mind, you might also want to visit the storage facility before deciding whether to use them. This will allow you to better scrutinise their security and overall safety of the facility.

3. Sign your contract

Once you’ve chosen a storage unit company, and decided on the right-sized storage for your items, you’ll need to sign a rental contract with them that will outline the price, size, length of rental, and other important information. Pricing is usually calculated on a weekly, monthly, or annual basis.

You’ll also need to provide photo ID when signing the contract.

4. Move your stuff into the storage unit

Once you’ve signed your contract, you should be given access to your self storage unit, which will be either a key or an access code (or both). Some self storage companies will have set times for moving, which they can confirm for you. They might also offer helpful advice on the best way to pack your unit, as well as lending trolleys to assist with the move. 


Here are some frequently asked questions for self storage:

Can you live in a self storage unit?

Unfortunately not, as it hasn’t passed the safety requirements needed for a home.

Can you sleep in self storage?

You can’t sleep in self storage, as it hasn’t passed the safety requirements needed for a home.

Can you use self storage as a workshop?

There’s no laws against using a self storage unit as a workshop, but you’ll need to check with the storage company to confirm.

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