Gotta question for us?
How to list your space
View our size guide

Types of Storage

SmS offers an alternative to conventional storage options. Here is a selection of the most common types of SmS and conventional storage.

SmS Storage

Attics, barns, basements, beach huts and garages are but a few of the storage options you will find on SmS.  We encourage anyone with secure, dry accessible space to get involved and help out friendly locals with their storage needs.  SmS is primarily driven by everyday people wanting to help each other out.  Like the idea?  Register with us...

Big Brand Self-Storage Warehouses

Situated on industrial estates and ‘out-of-town’ business parks the self-storage warehouse has become a regular feature whilst driving along UK motorways.  An increasing number of these are purpose built over many floors whilst others are converted from large warehouses or factories that are no longer in use.

Positive: most likely to offer 24h access, temperature controlled units, specialist storage, drive-up storage, managed facility.

Negative: probably the priciest self-storage solution, in-house insurance is compulsory with the two largest providers (Big Yellow and Safestore), probably located out-of-town.

Independent Self-Storage Facilities

Unlike the bigger brands independent self-storage facilities are run by the owners of the business.  That is to say there is no separation between ownership and the management of the business.  By definition this tends to deliver a more personal service and storage users tend to feel more comfortable about negotiating a deal with a business owner.

Positive: cheaper than the bigger brands with a similar level of options and a more personal service, readily accepts third party insurance, can be located in more urban areas.

Negative: Some options such as 24h access may come at an additional cost.

Shipping Container Storage

So what happens to all those shipping containers once the goods they carry from exotic lands have been off-loaded?  Well some are obviously used again but interestingly enough containers are also converted and used as temporary offices and for self-storage purposes.

With a maximum of 160 sq ft of storage space shipping containers fit the self-storage bill as they tend to be secure (they are made of steel) and have a wide access point in the form of double lockable doors.  Shipping container storage is generally found out-of-town in secure industrial parks where the containers are neatly arranged side by side and perhaps stacked over 2 stories.

Positive: on the whole cheaper than self-storage, you can almost always drive up to the container.

Negative: containers are exposed to the elements and are unlikely to be temperature controlled so only items that are not temperature sensitive should be stored, may not offer 24h access.

Furniture Removals Storage

As many people moving home require temporary storage at some point it makes sense that removal companies have their own storage facilities.  These differ from other types of storage in that access to your items may be heavily restricted or not allowed at all - they are basically a holding station between house moves.

Positive: Removals and storage all in one probably resulting in a better deal, no lugging your things in and out of your home, if selected removals insurance will cover any damage.

Negative: Access is normally heavily restricted or not allowed, a fee can be charged for access, locations can be out of the way.

Lock-up Garages

Normally associated with the classic car enthusiast the lock-up garage is quirky member of the storage fraternity but a welcome one no doubt.  The fabled lock-up or external garage has been and always will be part of the british urban landscape.

Units can be privately owned or managed by agencies and can be found in dense urban areas where Self-Storage Warehouses or Shipping Container storage are unable or unwilling to set up shop.  Sizes are normally between 115 and 125 sq ft and large enough to hold the contents of a 3 bedroom house.

Positive: Normally significantly cheaper than Warehouse Self-storage or Container Storage, located in urban areas, always offers drive-up access, 24 hour access likely.

Negative: The doors may not be weather sealed so rain water may seep in, not-managed so you’ll have to know what you are doing.

A nice cup of tea and a biscuit at the end of unloading my things? Now thats social.

As seen in
Collaborative Consumption

You Could Save Logo