Although I’m not an advocate of storage units in the main, there’s a time and place for everything!
Storage can be useful if you’re moving home and are in rented accommodation while you move through a house sale chain. It can also be good if you need to “stage” your house for sale and want to get a lot of personal belongings out quickly. Of course, I always advocate decluttering but that can be done from the storage unit to get the house sale underway.
As you may be aware (get on my mailing list if you’re not!) I’m currently location independent. I sold my house at the end of 2017 to have more freedom to travel. I’ve no fixed plan as to where exactly I’ll go or for how long so for now at least, I need to store a few items while I decide.
There are also commercial and charitable needs for taking on storage as well as a few other “legitimate” reasons for storage.
I do not advocate…
I do not advocate (sorry Big Yellow!) storage in the long term when your house is overflowing! That’s declutter time for sure!
If you legitimately need storage
I didn’t want to get rid of absolutely everything I own so I had a browse online at a few storage facilities in Nottingham. I can’t be sure why, but something about the Big Yellow site made me actually give my details over to get the quote on a storage space. I’d phoned a couple of other places but they were a bit round the houses giving me the info I wanted. I knew what I was after so wasn’t too tolerant of the sales patter!
Easy to use website
I liked that the Big Yellow site gave you some concept of the size of each unit by showing how much space things like a laptop, guitar or records would take up. I popped my details in to get the online quote of how much the units I was interested in, cost.
Later that day I got a voicemail from Tom, the Nottingham site manager. He was checking in to see whether I needed any more info or if I wanted to book a unit as I’d stipulated that I’d need the storage from later that week.
I liked the ease of the information available on the website and Tom’s polite manner when he called. The facility is right on the ring road so easy access from where I was living. I also thought it was really accessible for when I come back to Nottingham in the future, no matter where I stay. Since I got the unit I’ve got rid of my car but still found it easy to access from town by tram.
I went to the site to get signed up and Tom was working when I went in. He was really friendly and helpful and got me a unit set up. He also managed to get authorisation for a request that wasn’t entirely inline with the company’s terms and conditions!
I took my own padlock (‘cos I’m organised like that, plus, in a sea of the same padlocks a unique one helps me remember which unit is mine!) but there are some to buy at the site if necessary. There is also a selection of various cardboard and plastic boxes, including ones to store TVs and wardrobe items.
Safe and Secure
I felt really looked after as Tom showed me how to access the unit. You get a unique pass code that allows you access to the doors and lifts. This code also sets and un-sets the alarm for your individual storage unit.
The whole place feels very safe and secure. There is CCTV, individual unit alarms and the whole place is well lit. There are also telephones in the lift that you can call for emergency help from too.
I took the smallest size unit the Nottingham branch offer, which is what they call “telephone box” size. Most of the space is available in terms on height. I had a book case that fit perfectly along one side and then a small chest of drawers. I had some books and DVDs I wanted to keep which I just stored on the bookshelf. Most of the other stuff I wanted to keep was kitchen stuff and clothes. I stored the kitchen appliances and crockery in plastic boxes that stacked well on top of the chest of drawers. There was enough space between the bookshelf and drawers to slide my suitcase. I piled a couple of other clothes storage containers on top of that.
In all, there was quite a bit of space. The trick is definitely to use the height of the unit so boxes that stack are a must.
Big Yellow Facilities
I loved the focus on customer service. I remembered Tom had said they have a parcel receiving service. I hadn’t realised that wasn’t included in the service that I paid for so arranged for a parcel to be delivered to the site. I got a message saying they’d accepted the parcel anyway and I paid the £2.50 for that service for the week. I was really grateful that they’d accepted the delivery and put my needs as a customer first.
There are some other extra bits and pieces you can add to your service, like out of hours access if you need it. Also the first 8 weeks of storage were half price. You need to pay for a minimum of 4 weeks’ storage but you get a refund if you don’t need it all.
My whole experience with Big Yellow Storage has been great. The team is really friendly and ready with a wave whenever I pop down. If you’re in need of storage definitely check them out (although if you know you reeeeeally need to declutter first, then call me in the meantime!).