If you’ve never taken advantage of self-storage units before it can seem daunting at first. But don’t worry, the team at Metro Storage has been doing this for over 20 years and we know a thing or two about how to get the best out of any warehouse unit.

It can be easy to make mistakes, especially if you’re exploring self-storage for the first time, so we’ve put together a short guide, 6 things NOT to do:

1. Don’t panic

Legendary football manager Bill Shankly once said “football is a simple game complicated by idiots”, and we feel the same way about self-storage (or just “storage” as we like to call it). If you think things are getting overly cumbersome and complex, you’re probably right.

Stop worrying, take a little time to think, and reassess your options. At Metro Storage, we offer 24-7 storage with insurance included for free, and we even include a padlock for you to use whilst you store with us. We like to keep it simple!

2. Don’t go with the first company you find

Like many things in life, rushing in can make things worse. Anyone willing to pay to store items should be willing to shop around a little to make sure they are getting the best deal. Do your research into the company (we’ve been in storage since 2001), its people, and its reputation, but also look at aspects such as the storage environment and location. You’ll soon realise there are huge differences between some operators, and those which look good at first glance may be cheap for a reason. 

3. Don’t go for the smallest storage unit possible

It’s often tempting to think with your wallet and go for the smallest possible space, but this is usually a mistake. If we’ve learned one thing it’s that first estimates of how much size required are almost always way too conservative. Items get packed in so tight that it makes retrieving certain things almost impossible later on when they are most needed. You’ll save a lot of time and effort by taking a slightly bigger storage unit and creating a little corridor through the middle so you can access your items on all sides (including the far end) of the unit.

4. Don’t go for the cheapest option

You may be thinking ‘Well, you would say that!’ but trust us, in storage you always get what you pay for, and space is a premium. There are several things to consider when putting your things into storage – some of the most important aspects are convenience, the opening hours, the security of the centre, and its reputation. Do you want to spend hours trekking across London each time you want to retrieve an item? Is the unit open 24 hours, and is it monitored overnight?

5. Don’t throw your stuff in unorganised

One of the most important things you can do, possibly the most important, when you’re beginning to arrange your items, is to box them up with a little thought and mark them.

You’ll be thanking us later. First, it means you’ll be able to fit a lot more stuff into your unit if you use boxes.  Second, you’ll be able to find the stuff immediately when you go looking for it. Third, your items will be in much better condition when you want to use them next. Being organised really does work when using storage; we’ve even had customers who have drawn up plans of where they’ve put everything when they moved in so they could find their stuff again quickly and easily. It was a genius idea!

6. Don’t store perishable items

We get asked about this all the time, but it’s a big NO. For you, for the other customers, and for the storage operator. If you check your storage agreement (which of course you should, before signing it!) you will find a big section on this. And for good reason; perishable goods will deteriorate whilst in storage. There is also the very real chance that by doing this it will attract vermin into the store, which is a disaster for everyone, and not only that you’ll be liable for any damage caused.

Finally… DO be happy!

Using storage can give you space and peace of mind, whether you’re moving house, creating a home office, or just want to rearrange your living quarters.

Bear in mind the above guidance when deciding which storage unit to go with it can make a real difference. We also like to give our clients a short checklist of questions they SHOULD think about;

  • Is it convenient so I don’t waste my time trekking for hours to get to my things every time?
  • Do they have extended opening hours so I can go when I need to?
  • Do I feel comfortable leaving my things with these guys?
  • Is the security up to scratch?
  • Is it clean?
  • Is it well lit?
  • Are they a professional and nice company to deal with?

A good service, the right-sized unit, packed well with the proper items will allow you to make the best use of the space and save you time and money. You’ll also have more space and comfort in your life knowing your things are securely stored in a convenient place with great access and on clear and simple terms. Good work!

If you have any questions we’re here to help and always happy to chat about storage! You can call us or contact us, and we’ll try to answer any questions you have. With over 20 years’ experience, we’ve seen and done it all and look forward to helping you out.