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Home Storage Versus Self Storage

I've been doing a bit of research on storage options recently. Self storage is big business at the moment, which is great as its telling me that we are keeping more stuff and throwing less away.
Okay, some people would say its junk, but I disagree. Why not up-cycle? Save the baby toys for the next little addition. I think we are now realising that we have to do something to help the planet and stop throwing so much stuff away when really, its not finished with, worn out or even classed as junk yet.
I once stopped a customer who was about to throw a laser printer into a skip. It only needed a new cartridge, which cost me just £15. Plenty cheaper than a new printer costing £90.

I put it down to becoming a throwaway society. hHaving that disposable income to be able to just simply replace things if they no longer fit the decor or because you want the latest model.
In my job, I see a lot of stuff people keep in their lofts. Like baby clothes, accessories, hardly used or unopened toys, xmas gifts, books, collectables, family heirlooms and so on.

Anyway moving on. So what did I discover when comparing self storage with what I do, loft storage.
Mainly I was amazed at the cost difference. I worked out that the average self store operator in the North charges around 35p per sq ft per week. So 100 sq/ft of storage space would be £35 per week or get this!! £1800 per year...

That's where I was quite shocked that people were paying this amount long term. The average renter-of self storage hangs on to a unit for around 3 months, and a good proportion never empty them completely and keep them for longer. Especially when moving home. Some how all the stuff doesn't fit in their new home, but they don't want to get rid of it. Understandable, why would you put it in storage, pay all that money and then decide months later you don't really need it!

So, what is the alternative? Well it's the reason I am in the storage business. Because I saw the trend of storing things & keeping hold of things was growing, I wanted a piece of the action and decided to open Loft Boarding NW in 2010. I wanted to specialise in home storage, and became the largest loft storage installer in the North of England. Utilise your home's natural wasted space by converting your unused, unloved loft into a clean, pleasant, safe, accessible storage area. All you need is good loft access by having a suitable loft door installed, a decent quality ladder you can leave stored in your loft, some energy efficient lighting, and a safe strong platform to walk and store on.

Now, you see where I am going with this one? So what does it cost to board out a loft for storage?
Well, there is no average cost because every loft is different. Some small, some huge. Some need special access ladders and hatches etc.
So lets base this cost on the average newly built house that has a new loft hatch, so just requires a ladder, lighting and some raised boarding, say 100 sq ft.
So what will that cost to install? Everything all in, £546 and that's costing you only £10.50 a week, compared to £35 for the same amount of storage space at a self store unit. And its right above your head; safe, secure and easily accessible when you need something.
Having your own home storage means you don't have to panic if you miss paying your unit rent and find a padlock slapped on your unit, so you cant get in unless you pay up. Most of the time they have made an error by not sending you the bill to remind you on time. A lot of these places employ people on minimum wages, with barely enough skills and training. They are left with the major responsibility - most of the time - of running these places and they have no idea what they are doing. (That's from experience some time ago).
So maybe I am biased, but the facts speak for themselves. It's far cheaper to convert your own loft to use for storage than to pay for self storage. It's more convenient and once you have bought and paid for it, there's not a single penny of rent to pay anyone. Obviously, you can't put a motorbike up there, but that's what a garage is for - unless that's jammed full as well!
Just one more thing, there are even some people out there who actually rent part of their loft to other people, for them to store in. So you could even get your money back in time! That's FREE storage for life. Think on!

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