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.