So you are thinking about self storage and if it is right for you? At Storage Manchester, we have put together our ‘ultimate’ guide on what self storage is and how to get it!
Self storage is something that is becoming more and more popular in the UK and across every major city there are more and more storage companies springing up. Each and every storage company has their own unique way of doing things and their own unique offers and promotions. As a customer this can be overwhelming and it can be difficult to understand 1) how storage works and 2) what the best deal is for you. Storage Manchester is one of the longest-serving self storage facilities in the Manchester area with over 10 years of experience. With that experience comes a service that tailors to the individual needs of each and every customer, our bespoke offers and deals help customers store with ease and for less.
We want to pass on this knowledge to each and every person looking for self storage in Manchester so we have decided to put together this definitive guide on how to make the most out of your self storage and how to get started. This guide will break down everything you need to know from identifying if you need storage, getting started, finding the right storage for you, spotting the best deals, arranging your self storage, moving in, making the most of your storage and much, much more.
- Do I need Self Storage?
- How Do I Get Started?
- What Storage Company Is Right For Me?
- What Deals Should I Look Out For?
- How Do I Book and Arrange It?
- What’s The Best Way To Move Into My Storage Unit?
- What Can I Do With My Storage Unit?
- Final Thoughts?
This is perhaps one of the biggest questions for someone looking for self storage and it can be a difficult one to answer for anyone that is unfamiliar with self storage and what the service offers. Self Storage has a lot of benefits to people in a whole host of different situations so for that reason we ask people to consider several key questions when looking for self storage, these include:
What are my current circumstances? Are they about the change?
This is essentially the most important question to ask your self when looking for self storage, for many storage customers their need for storage is based on their current circumstances and in particular if those circumstances are about to change. For those with stability and a large house or living space, self storage may not be for you. If however, you are planning to move house or undertake some serious renovations then you may want to look more closely at the benefits of self storage.
Do I feel like I have enough space in my life?
This is a very abstract question but essentially what we mean by it is how much space do you actually have in your living space at the moment. If you feel like your house isn’t big enough and that you need more space there may be an alternative to upsizing your house. Moving to a bigger house can be a long process and it may not always be financially viable. Using a service such as Storage Manchester can help free up more space in your life.
Do I need to de-clutter my personal space?
We all have that little bit of hoarder tendencies in our life and have certain items and belongings that we just can’t bring ourselves to part with. This ‘clutter’ often has sentimental value or may have a use further in the future. Instead of getting rid of these items and regretting it later many customers take advantage of self storage to keep hold of valuable belongings for a low price without cluttering up their home.
What is my current financial situation like?
People often think of self storage as being an expensive luxury that they simply cannot afford. This doesn’t have to be the case and many customers from all kinds of financial situations can take advantage of self storage. Storage Manchester, for example, have a massive selection of money-saving deals and promotions for those struggling with money such as our 50% off your first 12 weeks of storage and free collection and removal services.
Do I need more freedom in my life away from physical belongings?
This can be a big one for people, many people work hard to accumulate valuable belongings and furniture to make their house feel like a home. An unfortunate side effect of this is people often then feel tied down by their physical belongings. This can stop people from being able to move in with new partners, easily move house, take gap years, or go travelling. Using self storage can give you a cheap and affordable place to store your belongings without having to compromise on the things you want to do in life.
Do I have a business that is growing faster than I can accommodate?
The other points in this section have looked at the personal and home uses of self storage but an increasingly large amount of customers at Storage Manchester have been using self storage for business uses. You might have a business that is rapidly expanding and if you sell a physical product through traditional retail channels or eCommerce then this can be a huge issue. Self Storage at Storage Manchester helps businesses store their inventory for much cheaper than traditional warehouse spaces. This means you can scale your business exponentially faster than if you continued to operate from a home office.
Ok, so you have made the decision that you need self storage, now what? There is such a massive range of competition out there for self storage and for customers this can often be overwhelming – there is almost too much choice. Manchester, in particular, is home to numerous self storage companies and numerous large national and international companies that have multiple sites throughout the city. This can make it very difficult to comprehend getting started and finding the right storage company. We are going to break down some tips on how you can get started with self storage and what you should be aware of going into it:
Length of stay
When you get started with self storage it is important to have a plan in your head of how long you are planning to store for. This can majorly impact the price you are likely to pay for storage. Some storage companies offer discounted rates if you plan to store with them for longer periods of time. For this reason it is worth discussing your needs and length of stay with the storage companies you talk to. For example, if a storage company offer a discounted rate for people storing longer than 6 months and you only need storage for 5 months it may still be worthwhile paying for the 6 months to get the discounted rate. Similarly, if you are moving a lot of things in and need a removal company, some storage companies (including Storage Manchester) will offer a free collection, in certain cases this may be based on length of stay, so it may be worth discussing this with your storage provider.
This one falls into a similar vein as the first one in this section. You should have a good idea of what size space you need before looking for storage. Storage Manchester will always try to put our customers into the smallest possible storage unit so they get the best possible price and value for money. This is not always the case however and some storage companies will put your belongings in a much bigger unit than you need so they can charge you more, having a rough idea of how much space you need will help you get the best price for your storage.
Getting your things to and from your storage unit can be an afterthought for a lot of self storage customers. You find the perfect storage company for you along with all the extras you needed but now you are faced with getting all your belongings to your new storage unit. Being aware of what transport options are available to you can be important, as an example Storage Manchester offer a free collection and removal service as well as a free van rental to help customers get to and from their storage unit with ease.
Find a storage centre in the right location can make a huge difference in your experience with self storage. You want to find a storage unit that is easy to get to and is convenient with regards to where you live. That being said location can also seriously impact the price you pay for storage, many of the large storage companies have prominent city-centre locations and as a result, customers end up paying a premium for the convenient location. Storage Manchester has a fantastic location just a short distance away from Manchester city centre meaning that our customers benefit from the location of the city centre without having to pay an expensive price for the privilege.
Finding a reputable company can be difficult, with the transparency of Google Business Reviews comes a whole range of new questions, in particular, ‘are these reviews genuine?’. Find a company with good reviews that you believe are genuine can be difficult. Do some research and read around what people have to say about a company, Google allows you to filter reviews by low star ratings, this can often be a lot more valuable than reading the negative reviews. As an example, our Storage Manchester Business listing – although only recently created as a range of positive 5-star reviews and no negative reviews. We can write all we want about the fantastic services we offer but we often feel our customers can do a better job of explaining this.
We mentioned at the start of this section that there is a massive range of storage companies in the Manchester area and for this reason price should 100% be at the forefront of your decisions when looking at Self Storage. As we mentioned when looking at location, a lot of the time you will pay a premium for a prominent city-centre location with a flashy building. We would advise against this when getting started with your storage, a company like Storage Manchester can provide all the same benefits of a city centre location for a fraction of the price. We are so confident In our low price that we guarantee to be the cheapest storage centre in Manchester.
Ok, so you have decided that you need self storage, and looked at the most important steps to getting started with self storage, so how about finding the right storage unit for your needs? With a huge range of self storage companies in Manchester, it can be difficult to make that final choice on what storage company to go with. We have put together a guide on some tools to figure out the right storage company for you.
Google allows businesses to set up a Google My Business listing which is more commonly known as a business listing on Google Maps. This service allows customers to leave a review of a business directly onto Google meaning that companies have no influence over editing or altering the reviews on Google.
WhatStorage is the number one comparison website within the Self Storage industry. Although it does offer a premium listing option which will show companies more prominently, it does offer a good overview on price so a quick visit to this website will help you discover who the cheapest storage centre is (spoiler alter, it is Storage Manchester!).
Performing a simple Google search will allow you to identify the prominent storage companies in your area. Google will pick up on your location and show you some of the closest storage companies to your location. We recommend looking through the first 2-3 pages to get a good overview of all the storage companies in your area. Google rewards older websites with higher positions so heading back through the listings might help you discover a storage company that is better suited for your needs.
A company’s website can say a lot about how they are likely to value you as a customer. For example, many storage companies will seek to gather personal data from you before they will even consider giving you a storage quote or price. At Storage Manchester we believe in providing as much information to our customers as possible, that is why our website is filled with loads of useful information, tips, and tricks for storage customers. In addition to this, we also display our prices on our website so our customers know exactly what they will be paying for self storage with us.
Available Information and Transparency:
This final points links into our last point on a company’s website however we feel that transparency and availability of information should be a major factor in choosing the right storage company for you. Storage Manchester has all the information relating to our deals and promotions in plain sight on our website and our customers can read as much or as little information as they like relating to each thing. In addition to this, many storage companies will force you to fill out a form to even get an introductory price, at Storage Manchester our prices page has all the information about our prices you could need.
As well as finding the right storage company for your storage needs it is also important to find the best deals possible for your time in storage. Each and every company has their own unique spin on the deals and promotions they offer to customers but fundamentally they all follow the same pattern. Some of the most common offers you should look out for and try and take advantage of are:
Discount for the length of storage
This is one of the most common deals across all self storage companies, most companies will offer you a discounted rate for a period of time when you agree to store with them. Most commonly this tends to be 50% off for the first 4-8 weeks depending on the company. This can be a great way of halving your storage cost for 1-2 months if you plan to stay for a longer period of time. In our continued commitment to offer the very cheapest storage prices Storage Manchester offer a massive 50% off for the first 12 weeks of storage meaning that customers can store for half price for almost a whole month longer than with our competitors.
As we discussed in our previous sections, getting your belongings to and from your storage unit can be one of the biggest hurdles you are likely to face during your time using self storage. For this reason, many storage companies will offer you deals and services relating to transport. Many of the large companies have partnerships with third-party car and van hire services and will offer you a referral at a discounted rate to help get your things to your new storage unit. At Storage Manchester, we go one step further and have an entire in-house removal team on hand 7-days a week to help you with your removal and storage. In addition to this each and every one of our customers can use one of our free self-drive vans to move in at their own pace.
When using storage you will want to make sure that you keep your belongings safe, secure, and organised. For this reason, many companies will offer their customers packing boxes, many prominent self storage companies will have a box shop in which they will sell you a range of different sized boxes to keep your belongings safe and secure during transport and storage. At Storage Manchester, we believe our customers shouldn’t have to pay to keep their belongings organised and damage-free while in storage, that is why we offer each and every one of our customers free packing boxes.
Insurance is something a lot of people don’t consider but you wouldn’t drive a car without insurance and chances are you wouldn’t keep things in your house without home contents insurance so your time using a self storage unit shouldn’t be any different. With many self storage companies insurance is compulsorily and they won’t let you store without this mandatory upsell which in some cases can almost double the cost of storage. At Storage Manchester, we can often offer our customers completely free insurance or help them find a more comprehensive plan that meets their needs. In addition to this our insurance isn’t compulsory, we are confident that our safe and secure storage facility with over 300CCTV cameras is the ideal place to keep your belongings safe.
So if you have read through this document and established the right company for you and have a strong idea of what deals and offers you want to get for your time using self storage then it’s time to book your storage. To summarise a lot of the points on this list we are going to break down the things to consider when booking your storage and how to book your storage.
At Storage Manchester, we are confident in the phone being the best way to give you the best possible deal for your storage. When getting a storage quote there are a lot of things to consider and we understand that you may have a lot of questions, we find a phone call is the best way of doing this. We give all of our storage quotes over the phone because we feel we can get the most information from you this way to find the right space for you. Many storage companies won’t give you a quote over the phone and will simply prompt you to fill out an online form to get your quote – for this reason, you may find yourself having to make a phone call anyway to add clarity to what you filled out on their booking forms.
This is the most common way to book your storage unit and in the cases of some storage, companies may be the only way to do so. Many storage companies will give you a form to fill out to receive a storage quote, this will often be a set in stone quote that leaves little space for negotiation. At Storage Manchester we do accept initial enquiries by email but then encourage customers to have a phone call with us so we can help place them in the best storage unit for their needs.
You should be able to find the right storage plan to suit your needs, most companies will encourage you to set up a direct debit for your storage and pay it on a monthly or weekly basis. From a customer point of view, this is probably the easiest way to keep on top of your payments and ensure that you don’t default on your storage payments. That being said Storage Manchester offers a range of different payment plans to suit customers of all needs – once again you can call up a member of our team to find a payment plan that works the best for you.
So to recap, you’ve found the perfect storage company for you, you have booked it, and you know what deals and promotions you are getting with your storage package, now we move on to the final stage – move-in day. Moving into your storage unit can be a big job, especially if you are storing the contents of your entire house, so what is the best way to move into your storage unit?
As with everything in life, planning is key to ensuring the storage process goes as smoothly as possible. Making sure you have done all the relevant preparations will ensure that your big move goes as smoothly as possible. This doesn’t have to be anything big and can be as simple as planning out what date and time you will be moving on as well as preparing your packing and transport for the big day.
Moving your belongings into storage –especially if it is an entire houses worth of items is a huge job. It’s time to cash in any favours you might have and enlist your family and friends to help with the move. Getting family and friends with cars (or even a van!) to help move your belongings into storage will massively help take some of the pressure off your move. Simply put, having a few extra pairs of hands around will help enormously with ensuring your move goes as smoothly as possible.
Using a car to transport your belongings into your storage unit may work if you only have a small unit and are only planning to store a few items but anything more you might struggle. If you are looking to store the contents of a medium or even small-sized house then you may find yourself making numerous car trips to your storage unit without even making a dent in what you’ve got to move. Take advantage of storage companies that offer a collection and removal service or can provide a free self-driving van and make your workload infinitely easier.
So we hope this list has helped you find the right storage unit for your needs. Now that you have moved into your storage unit it’s time to look at how you can get the most out of your space, sure you can leave your belongings in there for as long as you like and keep them safe and secure for a low cost…..but there is so much more you can do than just that! Before we leave you let us break down some of our top ‘outside the box’ ideas on how you can make the most out of your self storage unit:
Run a Business
More and more people are catching on to the idea that a storage unit may be the ideal place to run a business from. There are loads of different kinds of businesses that you can run out of a storage unit and if you are already paying for space why not take advantage of it. One of the most common examples are people that run eCommerce stores, these people can use their storage unit to store their stock before they sell it online. With this model at Storage Manchester, you can also take advantage of our free receipt and dispatch service and have your stock handed directly over to couriers by our team free of charge.
Although our storage spaces aren’t heated, over the summer a storage unit can be an ideal place for students to study, the closed-off quietness of a storage unit can really help students focus in a dry, and quiet space away from any and all distractions. Our team at Storage Manchester may even be able to help you out with a desk and chair to study on if you don’t have your own.
We have found an increasingly large number of young professionals using a storage space as a low-cost alternative to a studio space. This is particularly useful for artists that may be looking for a place they can easily set up a canvas with plenty of space or photographers that may want a dark and secluded space to set up a makeshift red/darkroom.
Finally, seasonal storage can drastically increase the utility you get from your storage unit. Many customers incorporate season aspects into their self storage unit and store different things at different times of the year. This can help customers adapt and change their storage needs throughout the year, some examples of this are people storing garden furniture during the winter or storing Christmas decorations during the summer.
To conclude, we hope this guide has been beneficial and that you are leaving us confident in your ability to find the perfect self storage site, company, and deals to meet your needs. Ultimately the possibilities for self storage and endless and the number of storage companies to choose from are almost equally endless but at Storage Manchester, we are firm believers in providing the right information to our customers and letting them decide for themselves. Our website is packed full of guides and tutorials just like this one to help you find the best storage deal and make the most out of your time using self storage. For more guides like this head over to our news section or check out our information page to get a full break down on our deals and promotions.
If this guide has helped you take the first steps towards getting your very own self storage unit then why not give a member of our team a call? Our team at Storage Manchester have over 15 years in the self storage industry and are ideally equipped to help you find the best storage for your needs. Our team are on hand 7 days a week so whenever you need us we are here. To get a storage quote with Storage Manchester it has never been easier, head over to our contact page and give a member of our team a call!
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