The Self Storage Association is our industry’s trade association and every year they release an annual report which tells us all about what’s happening in the storage world. It may not be bedtime reading for the man on the street, but for those in the industry it provides a wealth of useful information.

One of the things it lets us know is how many people think they have a good awareness of self storage. Apparently in 2020 48 per cent say they do – which means 52% don’t. So, we thought it might be useful to do a Q&A of some of the most common questions we get asked – but you can always get in touch with any additional questions you might have.

Q – What exactly is self storage?

A – Self storage means you hire a room or locker (a variety of sizes are available) to safely store your items, within a larger storage warehouse. You can rent this space to fulfil a short term need, or you can rent it on a more permanent basis.

Q – What type of people use self storage?

A – Genuinely, everyone! So many people from different walks of life. Often, if there’s a personal reason for using storage, it will be linked to a large life event. So, for example, it could be a house move or a separation prompting the need for storage. It could be that building work is being undertaken at home. It could be a house clearance. We get older people storing items with us, who are having a clear out ahead of perhaps considering residential care. It can become a place to store memories or items you can’t bear to part with but have no space for at home. We also have those who might have belongings to store linked to a hobby or interest. On the other side of things, we have a lot of business users too. It might be an office looking for somewhere to safely store documentation, a trade company keeping tools and other items they need or it could be a place to keep surplus stock for a retailer or charity. Pick and pack online retailers often use our space as a warehouse, where they can keep items and package them up ready to be sent to customers. Students often use our facilities too, so they don’t need to pack everything up and send it home over the holidays. There are no right or wrong reasons for using storage – if you need extra space, we’re here.

Q – How would I get my belongings from my vehicle to my unit? What if I can’t get parked?

A – All of McCarthy’s self storage centres – in York, Leeds, Huddersfield, Harrogate and Wakefield – have ample parking, so you don’t need to worry about not finding a space. We then have trolleys and lifts available to help you move your items from vehicle to unit. If you feel you might need assistance with a forklift, let us know.

Q – What is the weirdest thing you’ve found when you’ve opened up a unit?

A – Genuinely, we don’t have access to your unit unless you let us in. You hold the only key. So, we won’t be going in there without you. We do have some rules about what can and can’t be stored with us for safety reasons. Toxic, flammable and hazardous materials are not allowed and neither are fireworks or anything explosive. No animals (or humans!). Nothing perishable which might rot. And nothing illegal obviously.

Q – What if I need access outside of office hours?

A – At McCarthy’s we have round the clock access available, so you will have your own pincode entry to the building, and of course your own key or code to your individual unit. We understand that people sometimes have to come outside of ‘standard’ hours.

Q – I have no idea what size storage unit I’d need – I don’t know where to start!

A – Don’t worry, this is our job, so we can help! If you let us know what you’re looking to store, we’ll be able to guide you to the right size unit. We also have a handy storage size guide online.

Q – What if I decide I need storage at short notice – or I no longer need my storage?

A – We try to be as flexible as possible with our customers. We can usually sort a storage unit pretty quickly, once we know what size you need. You’re not tied into any long term contracts, so let us know when you’re likely to vacate the unit (if you aren’t planning on keeping it long term), but if you need to extend it, we’ll work around it.

Q – Will my items be safe?

A – We take the safety of your items very seriously. We have onsite staff, CCTV and surveillance and the buildings are pincode entry with individual codes so we know who is entering.

Q – I’d like to do stock takes at my storage facility – is there lighting and power?

A – We can sort power for you if required and even heating. There will always be lighting in your unit. There’s also WiFi so you can bring a laptop and be online as needed.

Q – Is it like Storage Wars?

A – You’d be amazed how many times we get asked this. Sorry to disappoint you – but I’m afraid not! There’s no storage unit auctions here!

If you think you might need self storage, get in touch with one of our team to find out more.