Self Storage and Hobbies: A Guide

Find out about different hobbies which can be enhanced with the use of self storage, and how to utilise self storage to keep your hobby equipment in great condition.

Ski equipment in storage

A Guide to Self Storage and Hobbies

Everybody has a hobby. Whether it is collecting stamps, making craft cards, cooking, walking, or enjoying winter sports. There is a hobby for everyone. Self storage can go hand in hand with enjoying hobbies for lots of different reasons. It provides space, it enables a person to have a dedicated space for their hobby, and in some instances it enables a person to grow their hobby into a business or more substantial collection.

In this guide, we will take a closer look self storage, what it is and how to find a great unit. We will also look at a wide range of hobbies and how they go hand in hand with self storage. By the end of the guide, we challenge you not to want to grab yourself a unit at speed!

What Is Self Storage?

Cheap self storage is a unit that is either an allocated space inside a building, or an outdoor shipping container. The space inside the unit is for rent and the unit is lockable usually only by the renter. Space can be as small as a gym locker and as big as a football field. So there is a size to suit the needs of anybody.

Contracts are incredibly flexible. Some allow unit renters to rent their space for as little as a week. Although usually the contracts are on a rolling basis for long term flexibility. You can also usually easily switch between different sized spaces depending on your needs.

There are of course restrictions on what you can have in a self storage unit. Although the list of banned items doesn’t tend to be extensive. Most self storage facilities will not allow you to store:

● Any item that does not legally belong to you
● Animals that are alive or dead
● People – your unit is not a residence
● Lone tyres (there is an issue in self storage with lone tyres being abandoned which can cost a lot to remove)
● Toxic/ flammable materials
● Radioactive materials
● Anything illegal
● Guns/ ammunition
● Anything perishable including organic matter like animal feed
● Plants

It is a good idea to check what your storage facility will store and won’t store. So you don’t end up breaking any rules.

Finding A Great Self Storage Facility

Not all storage facilities are made equal and it is really important to do your research before you trust a facility to protect your belongings. Your primary concern should be security. Because those are the systems used to protect your precious things. Every facility is different. But you’ll want them to have CCTV, a 24/7 reception, lighting, a gate system, several locked entry points and reinforced units. The more security the better. You’ll also want to look out for these plus points:

● Excellent customer service – helpful, experienced staff are incredibly useful, especially if you’re in and out of the facility often
● Good value rates – the cheapest rates don’t mean the best unit, you want excellent value for money for the best deal
● A well maintained facility – no cobwebs or crumbling walls, you want a facility that is clean and well maintained
● Climate control – this enables you to control the temperature in your unit which is really handy for protecting goods against extremely cold or extremely hot conditions
● Easy to get to – if you want to access your unit regularly you might want to check it is within an acceptable drive from your home or workplace before committing to paying for the space

You will find there is a huge difference between family run units and larger companies. You might call a family run company and get to know the staff on a first name basis. With larger companies you may go through to a call centre and speak to somebody different each time.

Which type of service you prefer is unique to you. But do consider the differences before committing to a unit. In all cases you should visit the facility a couple of times. Visit at least three different facilities so you’re well informed about your choices.

Self Storage and Hobbies

Self storage can help with lots and lots of different kinds of hobbies. Here is a run down of some of the most popular hobbies and how self storage can help you to truly make the most of them:

Collecting Wine

Storing wine incorrectly can ruin the wine, and destroy your investment. If you don’t have a wine cellar for wine storage, self storage is an excellent alternative. Temperature, humidity and light are so important with wine storage as is the lack of movement of the wine. With a self storage unit you can adjust the lighting, temperature and storage setup to your needs.

Climate controlled units enable you to keep the wine at a constant recommended temperature. It is thought to be between 10 and 18 degrees celsius. The flexibility surrounding different types of units means you can also move your wine to larger units when you want to expand your collection.

Winter Sports

If you ski or snowboard then you’ll likely have your own equipment. In fact, you may well have been building up your equipment over many years as it can be quite expensive. But not as expensive as renting dated equipment whilst you’re on a trip.

It saves you money and you get to have the equipment you love to use. The only downside is the fact that you have to store it out of ski season. One or two ski trips a year for most people means that the other weeks of the year need to hold a lot of large clutter. Filling the spare room or garage with it isn’t ideal if you want to make the most of the space in your home. Especially if you have a whole family of winter sports enthusiasts.

Utilising cheap self storage for winter gear equipment means you can keep it clean, dry and safe and at a temperature that keeps the items in the best possible condition. It will cost you a bit of extra money. But it will be kept in conditions better than most people could provide at home. Particularly in relation to security.

Vintage Cars

Vintage cars are treasured by their owners and often require special care. Special storage and increased security as the value can be more than the value of a house. When a vintage car is parked and left unused it is vulnerable to being stolen. Also to degrading through the conditions it is in and the lack of use.

As an owner you might need storage for your vehicle when you plan to have it off the road for a number of weeks so it is secure and protected from conditions that may cause it to deteriorate. Some services may even be specialist where the facility owner allows unit holders to do work on their cars. They may even offer services for car maintenance like cleaning, waxing and repair if you are holding your car at a high grade specialist car storage facility.

Photography

Photography has always been a hobby and profession for many. But it has exploded in popularity since the rise in social media and photo-sharing. Even old methods of photography like using film are being recultured. And at the opposite end of the scale, digital cameras are getting smaller as mirrorless technology advances.

If you have a photography hobby then it is likely you have noticed that your kit has grown over the years. There is always a new lens to buy, a new tripod, endless vintage equipment to buy for only a few pounds. And of course, many many prints and physical photographs you will want to keep.

You may even print your photography onto canvases or as large posters. This means they take up even more room. As well as the equipment taking up space, it is also expensive and is worth protecting. At the very least a self storage unit is able to protect your items better than you can at home. Unless of course, you have CCTV, a 24/7 reception, various locked entry points, a gating system and extensive lighting at home!

As well as keeping your photography items secure, you can keep everything in a cool to moderate temperature with minimal humidity, with darkness and protection against additional moisture. Self storage for photography is ideal if you are a hobbyist. But especially if you plan to run your photography hobby as a business.

You get all the benefits of self storage in relation to protecting your items. As well as the fact you don’t have to sign up for hefty contracts like you do with offices or inner-city rental spaces. Contracts with self storage are also flexible so you don’t have the pressure of paying for the unit for a whole year. This is useful if your business is new and vulnerable.

Antiques Collecting

Antiques collecting is an incredible hobby. Especially if you manage to make some money from it. The biggest downside though is that of all hobbies, it takes up so much space. You only have to have a few chairs and ornaments. Plus boxes of smaller accessories and you already have a full spare room.

Even worse is the fact that you likely need to hold on to antiques for a while before you see an increase in price. So that spare room is staying full for a while! That is of course, unless you opt for self storage to store your antiques. As long as you pack the items well and protect them from any bumps or knocks, your items will remain in a cheap self storage unit safe, secure and protected until you’re ready to sell them on.

You can also feel assured that there won’t be any extreme temperatures or threat from environmental damage, which is likely more security than you’re guaranteed storing the items at home.

Crafts

Crafts as a hobby can be a small as a little art box with paper, paints and pots. It can also be as big as printing equipment, extensive accessory boxes and entire rolls of materials. If your crafts hobby is more on the ‘you could have a crafts shop out of your spare room’ side of things then it could be time to consider self storage for your crafts hobby.

You’ll have no competition from the kids or your partner (or pets!) for space as you can pick the unit size you want. And then do with it exactly what you want. You also won’t have to worry about anybody moving things around or taking expensive accessories for their own ‘art’ projects.

Some units will also allow you to work in the unit if you want a seperate space to be creative. If you plan on making money from your crafts, then the unit will also double as a storage space for your creations before they go on to happy customers. Lastly, you get protection from theft should you own expensive printing equipment or lots of expensive material. If you have to keep your equipment in your garage then it is likely that theft is a worry for you.

What’s Next?

If you are interested in using a self storage space for your hobby, then you’ll want to firstly figure out how much space you will need. Do you want to simply store everything in boxes? Or, would you like room to walk between items or even setup a workspace? Once you know the dimensions you need you can then get some quotes from different facilities. You should also visit to assess things like security, maintenance and the general feel of the place.

Cheap self storage is flexible, convenient and incredibly helpful when it comes to maintaining a hobby that you love. Take your time finding the perfect unit for your needs and you’re sure to find a hobby space to call your own for many years to come.

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