We have all heard the phrase ‘tidy house, tidy mind’ but there are real mental health benefits that come from decluttering. In this blog, we will discuss the various health benefits of decluttering and the best methods for organising your life.

 

Health Benefits of Decluttering

Some of the benefits of decluttering include improving focus and self-esteem. When surrounded by clutter, it is easy for the mind to wonder away from the task at hand. If everything around you is organised, there is no longer an excuse for distraction and procrastination. Your improved ability to focus will make you feel more competent, which in turn leads to higher self-esteem.

Decluttering can also improve your lifestyle more generally. It is easier to be healthy when your living space is organised. Dust and mould can gather around clutter, triggering allergies and asthma.

Equally, if your kitchen is messy, you are more likely to avoid spending time in it by cooking quick, unhealthy meals. A lot of people even experience a reduced quality of sleep when they are surrounded by clutter. By organising your space, you can improve the quality of your lifestyle. Here are some of the most popular methods for decluttering.

 

The KonMari Method

Let’s start with potentially the most famous decluttering method there is: The KonMari Method. Whereas most people tidy their house by going through one room at a time, the KonMari method dictates that you organise by category. First go through your clothes, then your books and papers. The next category to focus on is komono (miscellaneous items) and finally, sentimental items.

The KonMari Method is popular because it encourages mindfulness in the decluttering process. It is easy to fall into the trap of becoming nostalgic when decluttering, causing you to keep items you don’t need.

When following the KonMari method, you should hold each item in your hands and notice how it makes you feel. Does it spark joy? If it does, it is worthwhile keeping in your life; if it doesn’t, chuck it. When you are done, you will be surprised by how many things you have gotten rid of.

 

Swedish Death Cleaning

This method was coined by Margarete Magnusson in her book The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning. The method centers around the idea that, if you died tomorrow, you wouldn’t want to leave your family with lots of useless clutter to sort through. The concept is slightly morbid, but the process is surprisingly effective. By seeing your belongings through your family’s (perhaps more judgemental) eyes, you may be less likely to deem certain belongings as worthy of keeping.

The One Touch Rule

The One Touch Rule was developed by Ann Gomez, a productivity expert and founder of the organization Clear Concept Inc, based in Toronto. The concept is incredibly simple: put away your belongings immediately and don’t touch them again. In practice, this means that everything in your home needs its place- your coats goes on the coat rack, your shoes in the closet and your laptop in your desk drawer.

Imagine you’ve come home from work and, too tired to deal with it right now, you put your coat and laptop bag on a chair and your car keys and phone on the kitchen table. You tell yourself you’ll put everything away later but do you ever do this?

Most people end up leaving everything where they first put it and it either remains there or someone else moves it around the house. When you come to look for the belongings again, you struggle to find them and they add to the general clutter of the house.

This can all be avoided with The One Touch Rule. Simply put everything in the right place when you first come through the door. You won’t have to think about it again and your house will become less cluttered.

Try out these methods for decluttering and see which one works for you! Remember, belongings that are worth keeping but you don’t use often are much better kept in storage to keep your house tidy and organised.

 

 

Store Log Flog is an easy-to-use app that can help you organise your storage space more effectively. As well as logging the exact location of your belongings, you can get them professionally valued using our Flog feature. In this blog, we will be taking you through how to store, log and flog with our app.

Store

So, you’re in a situation where you need storage. Maybe you just inherited some antique furniture and you don’t know what to do with it. Maybe you finished university and your parents don’t have enough spare room for all your stuff while you go travelling. Whatever the reason, Store Log Flog can help.

Your first step is to find a store yard. You can do this through the Store Log Flog app! Simply click on the Buy Storage feature and you will be directed to a list of store yards near you.

When deciding on a store yard, people are often unaware of the importance of Self Storage Association (SSA) membership. All storage yards that are members of the SSA have met the European Standard for self storage that specifies minimum conditions for customer protection. It is therefore important to make sure the yard you choose is a member.

All storage yards listed on the Store Log Flog app are members of the SSA. By searching for a yard within the app, you can save yourself the trouble of looking into the legitimacy of the yard.

Log

Once you have chosen your store yard, the next thing to do is move everything in! This might not be as easy as it seems. In order to make the most out of their money, most people pack lots of things tightly into a small space. No one wants to pay for a large unit that only has a few things in it.

However, this means that you have to be very organised when choosing where to store belongings within the unit. If this isn’t done correctly, precious items can be lost or damaged.

Let’s say you put a bike in storage over the winter and you plan to take it out again in the summer. If, when it starts to get warm again, you arrive at your unit to find an unorganised pile of stuff, will you really go to the effort to find the bike? It could be buried at the bottom or right at the back for all you know. You’re unlikely to remember the exact location almost a year later and trying to find it could take hours.

This is where using Store Log Flog can help. Instead of dumping everything randomly in your unit or making lists of locations that you’ll inevitably forget, use the Log feature to organise everything.

You can create a virtual room that is a replica of your unit, even adding shelves where needed. The room will automatically be divided into sections that are labelled- you might have Shelf 1 in Section A, for example.

Each time you place an item in the unit, you can simply take a photo of it and log its place virtually. Each item has its own card (almost like a Top Trumps card) that includes it’s photo and location in the unit. You can even add extra information, such as the item’s dimensions and a description of it.

Flog

So, your items are logged and located, safely stored in your unit. What next? One option is to use Store Log Flog to make a bit of extra money. Each Loggit card has a Flog button attached to it. If you click on this, the item will get sent directly to Chiswick Auction, where it will be valued by experts. Who knows, you might have something valuable on your hands!

Store Log Flog is the self store app to help you organise your storage experience. The app is currently being offered for free, while more data is collected on user experience. So, download Store Log Flog today and give it a go!

Homelessness in the UK

The latest data from the government Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities reveals that in March 2022 an estimated 1,806 people were sleeping rough on a single night. When compared to the same period from the year before, the number had increased by 19%.

Homelessness is caused by a number of factors that are different for each person. There are structural factors within society that contribute to homelessness for certain groups. These include poverty, inequality, housing supply and unemployment. In many cases, these factors may interlink with personal problems such as poor physical and mental health, alcohol and drug abuse, criminality, forcing people into homelessness.

Self Storage and Homelessness

 

The self storage industry has the potential to help with the problem of homelessness in the UK. Storage units have always operated as a replacement for the home space, where belongings that cannot be kept at home can be stored. In fact, the first recognised self storage business began with the aim of helping immigrants moving to America by temporarily storing their belongings while they found a new home.

The connection between self storage and homelessness appears simple. Renting a storage unit in a big city is much cheaper than renting a room. Modern units also come with a number of features that make them suitable for living in. Units often have temperature control and Wifi. On top of this, store yards tend to have excellent security features, such as guards, gates and CCTV. Staying over in a unit may seem like a safer option than staying on the street.

Despite all this, it is illegal to live in a storage unit, and for good reason. Storage units are not made for living in. Storage units are often closed off spaces with now windows. This means that they have no natural light or ventilation. Living without these things can cause depression, psychological problems and even death. People also need a constant water supply and sanitary facilities and these are not found in storage yards. If a person is considering moving into a storage unit, they are probably desperate. However, this is a very dangerous thing to consider.

How Self Storage Can Help

 

While storage yards cannot provide shelter to the homeless, they can still help. One of the biggest problems of sleeping rough is that you have to carry your belongings with you everywhere.

Personal belongings and valuable items must be packed down and taken to shelters, public bathrooms and even job interviews. This problem can result in the damage of the belongings, as well as the inability to get a job, which in turn keeps the person within a cycle of unemployment resulting in homelessness.

 

Self Storage yards have the potential to help by breaking the cycle. By providing a space to store personal belongings, storage yards can literally carry the load for people who need to focus on things that make their lived more stable. In addition to this, storage yards can provide a safe space for important documents, such as birth certificates and right-to-work documentation. If these items get damaged, they are hard to replace.

Initiatives have already been created to help the homeless in this way. A storage centre specifically set up for providing transitional storage for the homeless was set up in San Diego in 2009. The store yard provides over 350 bins for homeless people, each holding up to 96 gallons. Commercial store yards in the UK need to follow suit to help alleviate the problem of homelessness here.

 

Self Storage can be transformative for homeless people in the UK. Not only does it free people up to attend medical check-ups, housing appointments and job interviews, it also alleviates some of the psychological effects of homelessness. When moving their belongings in and out of storage each day, people can interact with store yard guards, providing vital human connection to combat loneliness. Stress caused by carrying around important belongings every day is also alleviated.

Sources

Support for people sleeping rough in England, March 2022, Gov.UK

Kriston Capps, ‘Can Cities Ease Homelessness With Storage Units?’, Bloomberg UK, 2014

Consider this scenario: you are having a pre-Christmas clear out. In the coming months, your house will be filled with extended family, tinsel and trees. The kids’ presents will only add to the clutter.

You’ve packed up the things that were taking up space- an old television, toys the kids never play with anymore, even a mattress. They need to go. You have two options.

 

Option 1: you leave everything at a landfill site. This is the easiest method for you. Simply show up, dump your unwanted rubbish and drive away- you never need to think of it again.

But here’s what you don’t see. The toxins in the old TV leach into soil and groundwater, creating environmental hazards for the future. The toys your kids once loved so much? They are made out of plastic and they leach toxic chemicals as they break down. The coils in the mattress rust, emitting chemicals into the soil.

 

Option 2: Instead of taking the items you consider ‘rubbish’ to a landfill site, you choose to put them into storage. You find an eco-friendly storage unit that is nearby, so you don’t have to make a long car journey to get there.

When the Christmas chaos is over, you decide to sell the old television. It turns out it’s considered vintage and is a collectors item! You decide that another child could benefit from your kids’ beloved toys, and donate them to a charity shop. In a few years, your son moves out. Guess what he needs for his new house? A mattress.

Each year, UK households collectively produce approximately 31 tonnes of waste. This is the equivalent of three and a half million double decker buses. Choose the sustainable option by putting your belongings in storage rather than landfill. You never know what value something might hold in the future!

Choose a Local Store Yard

So, you’ve made the decision to store your unwanted stuff. Good choice! Now, how can you make this process as sustainable as possible?

The first method is choosing a local store yard. This year’s Self Storage Association annual report estimates that there are approximately 2,050 self storage yards in the UK. Wherever you are based, there is a storage yard near you. By choosing a local yard, you not only save yourself time, you also reduce the carbon emissions you produce while travelling to your unit.

Choose an Eco-Friendly Store Yard

 

Since there are so many options for storage, some store yards are trying to stand out against the competition by implementing sustainability measures. If you take your business to one of these yards, other yards might follow suit and more will become eco-friendly.

Look out for store yards that have energy efficient features. A yard may use renewable energy, for example, from sources such as solar panels or passive building techniques. Energy-efficient LED lighting is also a good thing to look out for.

 

Say No to Consumerism

Putting items you don’t use anymore into storage should encourage you to buy less. You will never need to buy holiday decorations again, as you can store and res-use them each year. The same goes for furniture, kitchenware and other household items. You never realise how expensive these things are until you are moving house and need to buy them all over again.

 

 

Have you ever visited your storage unit and wondered how it all started? For many, self storage is a relatively new concept but it has actually existed in one form or another for years. In this blog, we will take you through a timeline of how self storage has developed throughout history.

The Storage of Food

Storage has been around almost as long as humans have been around. Since the prehistoric era, people have faced the problem of food preservation and have developed clever ways to keep food fresh. In colder climates, people stored food in caves in order to preserve it. In hotter climates, food was dried.

 

In the Middle Ages, ‘still houses’ were created, where fruits, vegetables and herbs were stored and dried. In many historic civilisations, food storage was essential for survival. Food was grown and harvested in the summer and stored until it was eaten in the winter, when harvests were less bountiful.

The Origins of Self Storage

It is widely believed that the concept of storing one’s personal belongings developed in China around 6,000 years ago. Several stories exist about the origins of storage in this region. One describes a warrior named Xiang Lau, who built a stone structure to store the bones of his vanquished enemies.

Another version of the story is that Xiang Lau’s wife grew sick of all his rock collection cluttering up the house and built giant pots to store the collection underground. Unfortunately, there is little evidence of either story, so the true origin of self-storage remains a mystery.

 

Self Storage Arrives in Britain

In the 18th and 19th centuries, self storage became popular amongst British people who were going on long journeys to newly-acquired colonies. There was a big movement of the aristocracy to India and people sought ways to store their belongings in case of their return.

 

At the same time, trade between the colonies was booming and merchants needed to store their valuables while they were away on their travels. The solution? Banks allowed customers to leave their valuable possessions with them.

 

Self Storage in America

The first storage facility popped up in the US in the 1850s, when the Belkin brothers, Martin and John, started Belkins Van and Storage Co. The business began with the idea of helping immigrants store their belongings when they settled in America. The company expanded across southern California and continues to operate today.

 

Modern Self Storage

The type of self storage we have today, where a tenant has exclusive rights to a space, began in Florida in the 1950s. The first storage facility where the tenant had these rights was opened by the Collum family in Fort Lauderdale in 1958. By the 1960s, self storage was becoming more and more common. Russ Williams famously founded the ‘A1 U-Store-It’ business, after discovering the benefits of storing his fishing equipment.

It took 20 years for self storage to catch on in the UK. During the 1980s, expanding businesses started using self storage facilities to secure documents, stock and office equipment.

Since this period, the storage industry has steadily expanded both in the UK and across the globe. Storage is used by movers, small businesses, students and the elderly. With an estimated 1,997 self storage facilities in the UK alone, the industry continues to grow.

While self storage is becoming increasingly popular, there are still those people who don’t understand it. In this blog, we have debunked four common myths about the self storage industry. How many did you believe?

Myth: You can store anything in a unit.

It is true that you can store most things in a storage unit. However, store yards will not allow you to store certain items that are safety hazards. Different yards have different rules but there are some items that are commonly refused. These include food, hazardous materials, animals (alive or dead), weapons and stolen goods.

Interestingly, yards often prohibit the storing of tires, whilst allowing you to store cars with tires attached. Perhaps tire fires are less likely to start when tires are still attached to a vehicle? This has not yet been confirmed.

 

Myth: Storage units are only for people moving home.

It’s true that many people rent units for moving home. However, there are several other reasons a person might rent a unit. These reasons are encompassed in the Four D’s of storage: Death, Divorce, Dislocation and Downsizing.

 

Storage units are being rented for further reasons as a result of Covid-19. As remote and hybrid working became more popular, people began to clear out rooms at home to create home offices. What did they do with the clutter from their home? They put it in storage. At the same time, office equipment was no longer needed in office buildings. This equipment was moved into storage while businesses carried out a process of downsizing. As a result, commercial use of storage units has increased dramatically.

Myth: You can stay over in a storage unit.

It is illegal to live in your storage unit, even if it’s only for a short period of time. Unfortunately, this is a common issue, as it is much cheaper to rent a unit than a room somewhere. This means that storage facility managers are on the lookout for people attempting to stay in their units after hours. Most store yards have security cameras and on-site guards, so it’s unlikely you will get away with staying over.

More importantly, it’s incredibly dangerous to live in a storage unit. Unless the unit is climate controlled, it will get very hot and very cold at different times of the year. Even if it is climate controlled, lack of natural light can lead to a whole host of medical and psychological problems. There is also the possibility of getting locked in, which could lead to death if the worst happens.

 

Myth: Abandoned units get sold off at auction.

Believe it or not, TV shows like Storage Hunters and Storage Wars are not entirely based on truth. These shows are often staged for dramatic effect, making the viewer believe that abandoned storage units are likely to be valuable. In actuality, it is rarely profitable for a store yard to sell your contents. It is also illegal in the UK.

 

However, while it is illegal for units to be sold off at auction, store yards can sell individual items from the unit. If a unit is found to be abandoned, the yard must first try to contact the owner several times. Once this has proven ineffective, the yard will make an inventory list of the items in the unit, adding a valuation of each item. From here, the yard will contact antique dealers and other specialists to try and sell the valuable items. Any items that cannot be sold will likely be disposed of.

The self-storage industry has seen a lot of growth in recent years and the number of people renting units is expected to continue to rise. Self-storage is a competitive market, meaning store yard owners need to focus on marketing in order to stand out against the crowd.

While Baby Boomers and Generation X currently rent the most units, Millennials and Gen Z are catching up. The younger generations should not be forgotten in your marketing plan. To this end, we have compiled some advice on marketing self-storage to different generations.

 

Baby Boomers

Boomers are most likely to use self-storage due to downsizing. Since their children have grown up and moved away, baby boomer parents have realised that they don’t have use for large houses anymore. Cleaning these houses is time consuming and heating them is increasingly expensive. The result? Baby Boomers are downsizing and renting storage units to store sentimental belongings that won’t fit in the new smaller space.

Marketing Self-Storage to Baby Boomers

This generation is very susceptible to traditional marketing and sales tactics. Boomers are happy to spend a bit of extra money, as long as the product or service is proven to be of high value. They do not see Facebook or Instagram ads as promotions of valuable products- they see them as spam. The best way to get through to this generation is to talk to them over the phone.

 

Gen X

Gen X are the generation that is most likely to rent a storage unit. This is due to a number of factors, not least because Gen X are currently at the age where they are experiencing the most big life changes. As their children grow older, it is common for people in this age bracket to move out of cities and into new houses. Equally, as this generation reaches the peak of their careers, they have more expendable income to spend on non-essential items. It’s perhaps not surprising that Gen Xers are renting units to store their record collections or film memorabilia.

Marketing Self-Storage to Gen X

Gen Xers are typically saving for big, important experiences. They want their kids to go to a good university; they want a decent retirement fund- and they wouldn’t mind a nice holiday every now and then. These are all things that self-storage can help with. Push these themes through marketing emails and newspaper ads. Gen Xers are constantly checking their email for work and they still read newspapers.

 

Millennials

This generation are increasingly interested in storing belongings away from home. This is partially a result of urbanisation. As cities across the world are expanding, living spaces are becoming more expensive and people are moving into smaller apartments. For millennials, this often means moving all their belongings from a large family home into a space that can’t fit them. The answer is self-storage.

 

Marketing Self-Storage to Millennials

The best way for storage yards to make themselves attractive to millennials is to focus on their reviews. Millennials are used to making purchases online- they buy clothes, groceries and even apartments! All this online purchasing can only happen when there is confidence in the product. Millennials will only trust a store yard with good reviews, so ask some of your tenants to give testimonials on your social media or website.

Gen Z

While Gen Z are big players in the self-storage market as of yet, they will be very soon. According to the Bank of America, Gen Z income will grow to $33 trillion by 2030. That means this generation will represent 27% of the world’s earnings- not a demographic you want to miss out on! Some are already purchasing houses, while others are moving to university. The need for self-storage among this generation is beginning!

Marketing Self-Storage to Gen Z

Generation Z have similar characteristics to Millennials in that they both prioritise social media when it comes to making purchases. Neither will respond to traditional marketing tactics.

However, the two have some key differences. Firstly, whereas Millennials prefer fully virtual services, Gen Z like a mixture of both virtual and in-person experiences. While Millennials often use valet-storage businesses, the younger generation is more likely to visit a storage yard in person before renting a unit. Secondly, Gen Z is more likely to respond to ads that appear across different social media sites. Store yards to target Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat in order to reach this demographic.

 

 

Sources

https://www.storagecafe.com/blog/self-storage-use-and-main-demand-drivers/

https://www.storagecafe.com/blog/who-is-renting-self-storage-in-the-us-baby-boomers-ahead-in-the-generational-storage-wars/

https://www.insideselfstorage.com/iss-brand/now-self-storage-has-caught-millennials-its-time-start-thinking-about-gen-z

https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/generational-marketing-tactics

https://unwiredlogic.com/en/news/3-impactful-trends-that-can-help-your-self-storage-business/

 

 

James Morrison, Founder and Director of Lumison Lighting describes the different ways he uses Store Log Flog to organise his business. This includes carrying out stock takes, organising his showroom and moving stock into storage.

 

 

Lumison Lighting is an independent lighting design consultancy based in Oakham. The showroom is run by Founder and Director James Morrison, who has more than a decade’s worth of experience working in lighting design and manufacture.

We visited James last week to ask him some questions about how he uses Store Log Flog as an organisational tool to help run his business. James started using the app to organise excess stock, which needed to be moved from the showroom to a storage unit.

However, he quickly realised that Store Log Flog had several other uses. “Most exciting”, he says, is the app’s feature of logging stock, which makes it “really helpful for stock take and inventory control”. Below, James describes how he has used Store Log Flog to organise his business in different ways.

 

Designing Virtual Spaces

 

When James first downloaded Store Log Flog, he didn’t use it for storage, but for organising his showroom and stockroom. “Before things could be moved to storage”, he explained, “I needed to figure out what I had in the store”. That meant creating virtual spaces that represented his showroom and stockroom.

James thought that this might be difficult at first- “the showroom is a weird L shape so I thought it would be hard to replicate online”. However, when it came to designing the online version, James realised it was surprisingly easy. The app allows you to draw out the boundaries of the virtual space, so that it perfectly replicates the physical one. You can even include the placement of the door. “It’s really rather clever”, James concluded. He created a virtual showroom and stockroom. The next thing to do was to log what was in each room.

Stock Take and Inventory Control

James had been using Shopify for stock taking, a system that was becoming increasingly expensive. Store Log Flog allows you to log your stock, as well as its physical location, for £2.49 per month.

James enlisted a member of staff to go around the showroom and stockroom and log everything on the app’s Loggit cards. Each card contains a picture of the product, along with information such as dimensions, location and value. James added “you can even attach your own categories, so you can label things as display products or designs that have already been sold, for example”.

“It’s an easy alternative for someone to do the stock take”, James explained. Once the Loggit cards were created, “all I had to do was look at the app on the store iPad, see the product and put it in the inventory”. When new stock is delivered, James simply updates the relevant Loggit card or adds a new one. In this way, he can easily control his inventory.

 

Organising Stock

 

Once his virtual spaces had been designed and his stock had been logged, it was time for James to move some things into a storage unit. He used the ‘Find a Store Yard Near Me’ feature on the Store Log Flog homepage and found a local storage yard.

James admits “there are lots of things that have just been lying around, cluttering up the showroom and I just wasn’t organised enough to figure out what should be moved into a unit”. Since using Store Log Flog, James has transferred a number of products into his unit, including excess display stock and orders that have been processed but not collected.

 

Once an item has been moved from the storeroom to the unit, it’s Loggit card can be transferred from the virtual storeroom to the virtual unit. In this way, it is easy to keep track of stock and manage its movement. James thinks that this feature is very helpful- “without it, I would completely forget where I’ve put things”. Now, he says, “when I’m in a rush and need something quickly, I can check the app and see its exact location, including the shelf it’s on in the unit”.

Delegating Tasks

One of the benefits of logging an item’s exact location in a room is that anyone can find it. James will often send his son to the storeroom or unit to pick up a specific product- “all I have to do is send the Loggit card over WhatsApp and he can go and find it”. He says it’s as easy as “go to this bay, it’s on that shelf, done”.

Store Log Flog for Organising a Business

Store Log Flog has been designed as a holistic organisational tool for businesses. James has tailored his use of the app to purposes that benefit his business. Not only is he able to keep track of his lighting designs when moving them into storage, he can also use the app to update his inventory list. “It’s not really just for storage”, he says, “it can be used for organising lots of different parts of the business”.

The Storage industry has recently gained a certain level of fame as a result of television shows like Storage Hunters and Storage Wars. The shows feature ordinary people bidding on the contents of abandoned storage units, but there’s a catch- participants are only allowed to glimpse the inside of the unit before they decide whether to purchase its contents or not. The items, once bought, are revealed to be either ordinary or wonderous. Here’s the top six craziest things that have been found in storage units over the years.

Number 6: A Robber

As mentioned above, storage units can be treasure troves for those who discover them. This must have been in Ronald R. Dennis’ mind when he decided to break into and steal from several storage units in Missouri. What Dennis didn’t bet on was a security guard passing by and closing the door of the unit while he was still in the process of the burglary. The same guard later called the police when he heard noises coming from the unit and Dennis was freed.

 

 

Number 5: The First Ever Superman Comic

In 2011, a man made an incredible discovery in a storage unit in San Fernando Valley. He immediately contacted collectibles expert Mark Belelo, who informed him that the item was in fact Action Comics no.1- the first every Superman comic.

Unfortunately for the finder, the comic actually belonged to Nicholas Cage, who had reported it stolen in 2000. The actor had purchased the comic (worth an approximately 1 million USD) back in 1995. He described its resurfacing as an act of ‘divine providence’.

 

Number 4: A Live Hand Grenade

Another story from 2011- a man in Michigan who won the bid for an abandoned storage unit discovered something quite terrifying whilst cleaning the space. Upon opening a hand gun case, he found a grenade with the pin still in it. He immediately took the live grenade to the local fire department.

Michigan State Police Bomb Squad were called in and safely destroyed the grenade. Deputy Chief Dan Willea said the man did the right thing by reporting it. However, he added, ideally the grenade shouldn’t have been removed from the storage unit without a bomb squad.

 

Number 3: A Human Leg

When Shannon Whisnat bought a storage unit in 2007, he discovered that he had bought more than he bargained for. Inside the unit was a meat smoker with an amputated leg. Shockingly, the owner of the leg, John Wood, was still alive. Wood had lost his leg in a plane crash in 2004. He decided to keep the leg in a storage unit because he wanted to be buried with it when he passed away.

 

Number 2: Michael Jackson’s Unreleased Music

One lucky buyer of a storage unit in America found over 250 recordings of Michael Jackson that had never been heard by the public. It turns out the previous tenant had been Michael Jackson’s father and the songs had been recorded when Jackson was in between contracts, meaning they had no legal owner. Some of the songs even featured Tina Turner!

Number 1: A dead body

In 2012, Bobbie Bennett Hancock made a startling confession to her family whilst on her deathbed. The elderly woman revealed than she had stored her mother’s dead body in a storage unit in Florida, USA.

However, the story is more sad than sinister. When Bobbie’s mother passed, she struggled with her grief. Instead of parting with her mother, Bobbie stored her body, still in a casket from the funeral, in a storage container.

Storage insurance, also commonly known as self-storage insurance, is an insurance policy which covers your possessions against theft or damage, when they’re stored away from the home or business premises.

This means you’re keeping your items in a self-store unit, which could range from clothing and furniture to collectables and heirlooms.

Of course, it’s possible that your items may be covered by an existing home and contents policy, which we’ll cover in more detail below. However, in most situations you may need to take out an insurance policy with the self-store owner or look for your own specialist storage insurance.

To give you a better idea of how self-storage insurance works, we’ve put together some of the most common questions we’re asked in this guide, so you can make the right decision.

Why is Self-Store Insurance Important?”

Insurance is crucial if you’re looking to protect the quality and the value of your belongings while they remain in storage.

Once you’ve decided that a self-storage solution is needed, what the costs are and which storage provider is most appropriate for your needs, you’ll then need to sort out various paperwork and it’s usually at this point that the provider will advise as to the importance of insurance – whether that be through the storage company itself, or with a third-party of your choosing.

Won’t My Storage Provider’s Business Insurance Cover Me?”

In most cases, no it won’t.

In some circumstances, the storage provider’s insurance will cover the cost of damaged or lost items, in cases such as negligence on the part of the store owner, but this an unusual occurrence with reputable storage businesses.

This means it’s down to you, to ensure that your items are appropriately covered. Your chosen storage company will only have a rough idea of what you have in storage at any one time, and since you are free to come and collect or add goods to the store as you, please, they can’t possibly know what value they need to place on your items in storage through their business insurance.

Will My Home & Contents Cover Include Stored Items?”

It can sometimes be the case that your home and contents insurance policy will offer some protection for your belongings even if they aren’t stored at home. A good example of this is when someone is moving home, your contents cover will often continue to insure your items even whilst in transit.

However, if the move takes longer than planned, you might be required to place items in temporary storage; even then some policies will still cover this, but there is a time limit. After this, your items will no longer be insured whilst away from your home.

This means that if you’re looking for more of a long-term solution, it’s probably a good bet that your items won’t be covered by your home insurance policy.

Home insurance will typically only cover belongings outside of the named policy premises for a short time, leaving your valuables vulnerable.

That said, if you’ve been able to find a home insurance policy that does cover storage away from the named business premises, then be sure to read through your documents carefully to be sure of how much coverage you’re entitled to when your items leave the home.

Is Self-Store Insurance a Legal Requirement?”

There is no legal obligation to obtain a self-store insurance policy.

However, the UK Self Storage Association advises that all of their members insist to all customers that they insure their items and they therefore have the right to turn away customers should they refuse to do this.

If you’ve taken the time to research storage solutions, and then move all your items to your local self-store yard, then it makes sense that they are worth insuring. While any reputable storage business will do everything to ensure that your items remain safe and secure, this doesn’t account for any unforeseen circumstances, and therefore it’s highly recommended that all of your items are covered by an appropriate insurance policy.

Can I Find My Own Policy?”

As a self-store customer, you’re not obliged to take out any insurance policy that your storage provider might offer. That said, as we mentioned above, they do have the right to ensure that any insurance policy you do select is appropriate in matching or bettering the cover that they have offered.

For instance, if you’re storing a piano, your insurance policy must cover the cost to replace the piano rather than just the cash value of the item at sale. If the insurance policies you’ve found won’t offer to replace the item, then the self-storage company has every right to reject the policy for insufficient cover.

No matter what you’re looking to insure, policy costs will vary considerably between companies and self-storage is no different, so investigating as many quotes as possible is the only way to find the best value vs coverage.

Be sure to consider the following when looking for the right self-store policy:

  • Length of the Policy: If you’re looking to store your items for a short period and your home insurance doesn’t cover this, then it’s a good idea to look for a short-term policy – these usually start from one-month upwards.
  • Value Agreement: If you’re storing especially unique and valuable items, such as heirlooms or antiques, it’s important to ensure that you and your insurance provider agree as to the true value of your items.
  • Value Everything Carefully: Ensure that you’re very careful when summating the value of your goods, if you underinsure this could be a very costly mistake since you’re leaving yourself open to losing not only your items, but cash too.

 

 

Where Can I Find Self-Store Insurance?”

Firstly, we’d recommend accepting the insurance policy offered to you by the self-store provider. Along with being competitive and convenient, these policies will offer you the adequate protection you need to keep your items safe, and it means you aren’t required to research and contact any companies.

However, not every company will offer you this, or it may be the case that you may wish to perform your own due diligence. Below are a few things you might wish to explore when looking for a third-party self-store insurance policy:

  • Call Your Home Insurance Provider: Depending on your insurance company you might be able to extend your home and contents cover to protect items outside of your home. If this is the case, you’d need to contact your provider with details of your valuations and the address of the store location, since these items will need to be added to your policy. Also, be sure to check if there is a maximum period that this insurance can be extended to, this may vary from provider to provider depending on the goods in storage and their value. Sometimes a particularly high value may mean that it is not possible to extend your domestic policy and another policy is a better option.
  • Online Provider: There are many companies out there offering self-storage insurance – these can either be specialist providers or mainstream names. As we’ve already mentioned, it’s important to look very carefully and inspect the finer points of your insurance policy to ensure you’re getting the best possible cover.

How Can I Calculate My Insurance Value?”

In order to work out the insurance cover you require, you must first class the items that you’re storing in the unit. Bear in mind that this will probably change over time, as you add or remove items from storage. This is another plus point of going with your storage providers coverage since you can get this changed as and when you remove or add more items.

When you know exactly what you’ll be storing, you’ll need to work out the exact cost needed to replace all of your items should the worst happen.

Remember, you need to work out not what they’re worth from a current cash point of view, but the cost required to replace them like-for-like where possible.

Will My Self-Storage Company Deal with Any Claims?”

Your new storage provider will utilise the services of an insurance broker to offer the insurance and then deal with any subsequent claims. If you choose to take on the self-store’s insurance policy, you should be given information on how the claims procedure works from the outset.

Is There a Minimum Amount of Insurance Needed?”

Of course, in an ideal world you’d never need to claim, but the idea of insurance is to safeguard your property and your financial security should something happen. As we’ve mentioned, if you underinsure your assets, you won’t be able to reclaim the full replacement amount of your insured items.

There’s also a chance that you may not even receive the full amount of your current policy if you’ve been found to have misvalued your items.

For instance, if some, but not all your items in the unit are damaged and you put in a claim to the insurance company for the cost of replacing those few items, the insurance company can reject that claim and give you only a portion of that money back because you’ve underinsured the items.

Will My Self-Store Insurance Cover Vehicles?”

In most cases, particularly with classic bikes or cars, storage insurance won’t be enough to cover a vehicle kept in self-store. Vehicles aren’t cheap to insure so most insurance policies will only cover a part of the replacement value, which isn’t likely to be enough.

If your vehicle isn’t currently being used, you can avoid having to pay any insurance by giving notice of a Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN). However, if you do decide to put a vehicle into appropriate self-storage, you should continue to insure it, to cover for fire, theft, vandalism, and any other damage.

The Store Log Flog App

Having witnessed first-hand the increasing requirement for self-storage solutions in the UK, self-store entrepreneur Dominic Willson devised the Store Log Flog app to offer a more hands-on service to self-store tenants and storage yard owners alike. The app allows you to associate a value to items in storage to provide an accurate overview and allow you to purchase insurance based on real numbers.

The Store Log Flog app is now available to download for free from Google Play or the Apple Store.

If you’d like a free, no-obligation quote go to the home page and press "Arrange a FREE consultation” or you’d like to learn more about Store Log Flog or self-store insurance, why not contact us today?

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