Find your ideal storage solution
The storage dilemma
We live in a time where consumer spending has never been higher. In addition to spending our hard-earned money on experiences like holidays us humans also have the propensity buy lots of stuff. Our closets, garages, and basements end up overflowing with all this stuff. Before long we run out of space to store of this stuff and we end up facing a storage problem.
In addition to simply running out of space for all of your possessions there are a plethora of other use cases for requiring extra storage. Whatever the reasons, we can unequivocally say that the best solution to your storage dilemma is to rent a storage unit.
Reasons people rent storage units
This is the most common reason. When people move they often need to put some of their stuff in storage. This may be because their move is not seamless and they end up staying with friends or family in the interim before they can move into their new place. Having access to a self-storage unit nearby in this case can be hugely beneficial. If the person needs to access any of their items whilst they are being stored they can do this hassle-free.
Relocating into a smaller home has been gaining in popularity over the last decade. Many South African’s have concerns around their safety and security in their home. Moving into a smaller house or flat in a secure complex can solve such challenges.
However, this trend presents a problem. How do you fit all those possessions that once filled a much larger home into a new, smaller space? In many instances one solution to get rid of all the stuff you don’t need. This can usually the challenge partially but not in its entirety. Most people still find that even after purging all the items they longer need, they still require extra space after they downsize.
Depending on the scale of your home renovations, it’s quite probable that you will run out of space to store items which were in the rooms being renovated. Packing all this gear up into storage containers and stacking in garage or undercover outdoor should be the first port of call. If you still don’t have any space, then finding a storage unit to house these containers for the duration of your renovation is advisable.
Graduating from university
When most students finally finish their studies and write their last exams many of them will move out of their residence halls or shared houses shortly after. With all the focus being placed studying for their finals, little thought is often given to he imminent move. This often presents a situation where these students will require self-storage for the short to mid-term.
Unfortunately, there are those times in life where we get thrown a curveball and something unexpected comes our way. Whether it’s a death in the family, a natural disaster or even a pandemic, these situations will call for a fast and reliable solution. For many of us self-storage provides exactly that.
How can I find storage near me?
Back in the day, the best way to find a storage facility was to use a phone directory or simply drive around until you found one. Today, the most effective method is to use a website like StorageBuddy.
At StorageBuddy we have full oversight on the entire storage industry in South Africa. You’ll be able to find the ideal storage solution – one which is both close to you and cost effective.
Storage size options
Many people don’t know how to choose the right size storage unit. We’ve created this simple sizing guide which provides key information on the most sizes of storage units.
Small storage unit (3m²)
Ideal for storing sporting goods such as bicycles and surfboards. Also great for storing small items, valuables, boxes and appliances. Very popular with students and people looking for a short-term storage solution.
Medium storage unit (6m²)
Very good for storing the contents of either a studio or 1 bedroom apartment. Ideal for storing appliances, and small furniture pieces during a move. The perfect solution when you need to reclaim that extra bit of living room space.
Half garage (9m²)
This size unit is most commonly used for storing large equipment, appliances, and furniture during a move. Motorbikes, mountain bikes and surfboards are often stored in this unit.
Large unit (11m²)
Perfect for storing the contents of a 1 or 2 bedroom apartment. Can easily accommodate white good like fridges, washing machines and tumble dryers. Ideal for storing all your stuff during a move.
Single garage (18m²)
This unit is used commonly for storing the contents of a small home, while moving or building a new house. White goods, furniture, sports equipments, and large boxes can all fit this unit comfortably
Extra large unit (27m²)
Most commonly used for storing the contents of a 3-5 bedroom home and its garage contents. Also great for businesses looking to store catering equipment, office equipment such as desks, computers and printers. Also suitable for cars, boats and caravans.
Storage unit amenities
Another important decision you’ll need to make is the type of amenities you would like to include when renting your unit. There are a wide array of amenities available but the most common are 24-hour access, drive-up access, climate control, storage units with electricity video surveillance.
24 hour storage access
Many storage facilities allow 24-hour, 7 day-a-week access to their units, meaning you’ll be able to access your stuff whenever you want. Naturally these storage units will come at a higher price than units without 24 hour access. Depending on your requirements it may well be worth choosing a unit with 24 hour access.
It’s important to know the difference between unit access, which are the actual hours you’re allowed to access your stuff and facility access which is the time that the storage facility is open. When selecting this option, make sure you choose the right one for your needs.
Drive-up access storage units are usually housed in single-story buildings and are accessible from the outside. This means you can seamlessly pull your vehicle right up to the unit in order to load and unload your belongings. These units are particularly useful for those folks storing large items like couches, cars, boats and kayaks.
These days most modern facilities house all their units inside a multi-storey building. This means you have to enter the building and often go up an elevator to get to your unit. Though this makes for more cumbersome moving in and out of larger items it does have the benefits of being less likely to have an issue with pests.
Climate controlled storage
Units with climate control keep your belongings cool and dry. They also prevent them from getting too or too cold which could damage some items. Moreover humidity doesn’t become a problem. Humidity poses particular danger to organic materials found in furniture and clothing due to the possibility of mold and mildew. It’s therefore important so take the time to consider a climate controlled unit, particularly in places which can get very hot and humid (Durban) or very cold (Uppington).
Click and collect
This is a relatively new offering in the storage world. It was brought about as a result of customers looking for a greater degree of convenience. Some companies will bring the units right to your front-door. Once you’ve packed all of your items into the units and they’ll come and them. They will then store the units in their warehouse where you will have access to them. When you decide to take your items out of storage they will deliver the units back to your home or business.
Storage units with electricity
Some storage units come with electrical plug points. Many renters of storage space request units with electrical access as they may need to operate a device in their unit such as an electric pump, dehumidifier or even an air conditioning unit.
Not all storage units come with plug point to be sure to request this up front before purchasing a rental on a unit. Having this extra may come at a small price premium or it may be free. It’s always free to use the electricity in the unit.
24 hour video surveillance
This is becoming an increasingly important feature within most facilities. As you can imagine, storage facilities the world over are seen as easy pickings for petty thieves and criminals. 24 hour CCTV serves as an excellent deterrent for such criminals act such as theft, damage to property and even arson.
Factors influencing the price of a storage unit
The primary factor is definitely the size of the unit. It goes with without saying that a smaller unit will be cheaper than larger ones. There are however secondary factors which could make the difference between and small and larg storage unit nominal.
Location of storage facility
Self-storage tends to cost more in conurbations than in outer-lying areas. Prices are further dictated by whether a facility is in a city or on the outskirts of the city. This is also true for suburbs and rural areas.
Location of storage units
The location of the unit itself is also a determining factor. Interior units, units on the first floor, and units near the elevator will typically cost more than units parts of the building that are more less convenient to reach
Supply and demand
The last aspect many people don’t consider is the level of demand as well as the existing occupancy rates at facilities in a given area. If no one is renting storage in your area, then naturally prices will be lower as facilities try their utmost to lure renters. The converse is then also true. If occupancy is high, the cost of the remaining units will likely increase.
There are storage locations all across South Africa. From your one-horse town through to your urban metropolis. However, the major locations comprise of the following 6 cities.
Other types of storage
Besides your traditional self storage for personal belongings, there are also specific types of storage for larger items. These include the following.
Price range from R500 per month for a small unit (3m²) to R3000 per month for an extra large unit (27m²).
If your circumstances permit, then yes. If you’re moving home, downsizing, renovating, or are dealing with an unforeseen circumstance, renting a storage unit is certainly worth it. If however you’re simply to looking to declutter your home, we would rather advise you actually sell or donate those items to charity, instead of just passing on a problem.
Yes, some facilities offer insurance. If you don’t have insurance the facility will offer it to you. You’re not obligated to take out insurance with the facility. Many people choose to shop around for the best deal.
Use our guide above to get a sense of the size of unit that will best suit your requirements. If you think that you are between sizes we always advise people to go up a size. This is because in many cases people end up adding items they originally did not include in their storage considerations.
That’s not a problem at all. You can usually upgrade or downgrade fairly usually as long as the facility has availability in your requested unit size.
Yes. Contracts are usually in place to protect the storage facility from 3rd party liability. Most facilities won’t require a minimum monthly commitment, and the contract simply runs on a rolling monthly bases with a defined notice period.
With a padlock or combination lock. You can bring your own or purchase one from the storage facility
It’s certainly possible to sleep in one. However you’d most likely be breaching the rules of the rental agreement
Indoor units typically have lights in the hallways but not in the unit themselves. Outdoor facilities sometimes have some lighting around the perimeter but usually not inside the unit. It’s best to bring a torch if you plan on visiting your unit at night.
Use good quality boxes ad be sure to choose the right size. Smaller boxes should be used for heavier items, and larger boxes for lighter items. Do not use rubbish bags as they tend to tear rather easily and offer minimal protection to your belongings.
To maximise space, stack your item all the way to the ceiling by placing items in descending order of weight – heavier items at the bottom and lighter items on top. Odd shaped items should be stored last, to avoid any wasted space. If you renting a larger unit, plan ahead by allowing for walkways down the centre of your unit, to make accessing items easier once everything is in the unit.
Alternatively, pack those items you will need the most often near at the front and close to the door of your rented storage unit. Make sure all your boxes are labelled clearly and consider even taking inventory of all of your stuff. Protect all fragile items with bubble wrap or newspaper and be sure to label boxes with these fragile items accordingly.
Furniture such as couches, chairs, tables, and desks. White goods such as washing machines and tumble dryers. Sporting goods such surfboards, bicycles, kayaks and jet skis. Electronics such as TV’s, sound systems, computers and laptops. Food which is non-perishable or canned. There are also specialist storage facilities for cars, boats and caravans.
All hazardous, flammable or explosive materials. This includes gas canisters, fireworks and chemicals. Any other contraband materials are also forbidden. Perishable foods are also not permitted.
When a customer reneges on their payments the storage facility now has the power to go into the unit. The belongings are then confiscated and ownership transfers to the storage facility. Most storage facilities will hold auctions for the belongings, or donate the items to charity.