Removals Storage vs Self Storage

By Antony on September 19th, 2010 | 9 Comments

Removals Storage vs Self Storage

If you are moving house, but need to store your possessions between houses, should you choose the storage offered to you by the removals company, or self storage?

Before the great self storage revolution of the 1980s, there was really only one kind of furniture storage: the storage offered by removals companies. These were the days of the warehouse-like “furniture depositories” in the suburbs of most major towns and cities in the UK.

The idea was that the removal company could store the contents of a house in their own warehouses, if their clients were unable to move into their new address immediately.

Removals storage

This system still exists. Most of the major removals companies have their own secure storage facilities, usually at their headquarters, or at branch sites, where the removals vans are kept.

In the traditional way of doing things, clients had no access to their possessions when kept in this type of storage. It was, after all, considered to be short-term storage, and clients simply held back any possessions they might need in the interim.

Self storage

With self storage, you do have access to your possessions, often on a 24/7 basis. The concept therefore is very different. The clue is in the name: self storage. You have to get the stuff to your storage unit, and remove it — yourself.

The choice

Essentially, if you are moving house and need temporary storage, you have to ask yourself: do I need access to my possessions while in storage?

If the answer is no, you will probably find that the kind of storage offered by the removal company is the best and most convenient option.

If the answer is yes, then you’ll need self storage.

If the answer is no for most of your possessions, but yes for some of them, then you could separate out the stuff you need access to and put just that in self storage.

The third way

But, actually, many removals companies have recognised this need, and offer not only lock-it-away storage of the traditional kind, but self storage with full access provisions — and have purpose-built warehouses for that service.

Nationwide removals companies such as Bishop’s Move, Pickfords and the Britannia Group have self storage facilities across the country. So too do more local companies, such as — for example — Charles Wood & Sons of Oxford, and The Furniture Men of Burnham-on-Crouch.

So, if you want self storage when moving house, these days you may have to look no further than your removal company.

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9 Responses to “Removals Storage vs Self Storage”

  1. removalizer says:

    The other advantage of a removal company is that they give proper advice on how to store furniture.

  2. I like the idea of the self storage, you never know when your going to need something you’ve put in storage so it’s very handy that you get 24/7 access.

  3. Glenn Murray says:

    I agree that good Removal Companies that have been established for many years know far more about Storage than a member of staff who has had no experience of handling house hold goods or ever will at these large Brand Name Self Storage Facilities.
    One of the main complaints I receive is the inability to calculate the area required for the Clients goods. Many of the Clients at my Wallsend facility near Newcastle Upon Tyne have transfered their belongings to my facility and are saving 50-70% on their monthly rental costs and actually have more space. They were told how much space they would require only to find it wasn’t enough once they got there. This meant they had to pay for a larger area or incur more transportation costs returning the goods home, not to mention the cost of getting to the Storage facility in the first place!
    A-Z Moving & Storage use Shipping Containers for Self Storage. After all that’s what they were designed for, storing goods for long periods of time and transporting them across oceans in extreme weather condition salt air, wind and sea. They are weatherproof, tamper proof, arson resistant and very robust.
    There are many advantages apart from the much lower cost of this type of Self Storage. You can back your vehicle right up to your Storage Container, no corridors lifts, stairs or trollys, all time consuming!
    A good site to visit is comparethestorage which has appeared recently, it covers all areas as well as abroad. I hope this helps potential Self Storage or Storage Customers make an informed choice weather they want access or not.

    Kind Regards

    Glenn Murray

    Operations Manager: A-Z Moving & Storage.

  4. I believe that hiring the best removal service would really help you to store your furnitures in your new home. With proper care and attention, the best thing is you are comfortable in sitting on your chair in your new dining without wondering if it has a broken leg or what. kidding aside but its really true.

  5. Another area where Removal companies are fighting back against the self storage companies is with mobile self storage. Mobile Self Storage is as it sounds,self store at your door. A trailer is left for an agreed time for the customer to load. The wooden container is lifted out at the depot and placed in the warehouse. Most removal companies have wooden storage containers anyway so its a natural bolt on to their normal business. Simply store the UK`s largest Mobile self storage company is run by removal companies, mostly Brittania Members. It is often seen as the best of both as handling is reduced, protection is higher (blankets are supplied) and it is the most cost effective self storage method, especially when you consider the insurance is either included or very low and full access is available giving 24 hours notice
    for more info see

  6. Antony says:

    Thanks for your comments on this subject, Alan. Many thanks! We have also done a blog on the Mobile Self Storage business: here is the link: All comments welcome!

  7. Matthew says:

    One of the key advantages of self storage is that the customer does it himself / herself, so they can arrange their unit to suit themselves. Oftentimes they may wish to leave a corridor to make future access easier or stack certain items nearer the front so they are easily accessible. They can then pop in at a moments notice and grab something, or add something else.

  8. Cathyhaden says:

    While choosing between a removal storage and self storage, a person must weigh both the options on the basis of their features. Various aspects like accessibility, security and temperature resistance must be looked at carefully.

  9. Great post!
    I run a small removal company in Bolton and come across customers needing storage all the time.
    I do not store myself but arrange it for a local self storage company that then pay me a small commission. works well for both of us!

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