The Do's and Don’ts of storing sensitive items in self storage 

The Do's and Don’ts of storing sensitive items in self storage 
Self storage units are often used to store things like furniture (during a house move or when downsizing), business stock, seasonal belongings, student gear and so on. If you don’t have enough room at home or work for those items, a self storage unit is ideal because it’s convenient, dry, clean and secure.

You could also store valuable items, such as artwork or antique furniture, in your self storage unit. Our self storage units are covered by CCTV, security alarms, pest control and fire safety systems, which you may well not have at home, and the units offer a clean, dry, secure and ambient environment.

It is extremely unlikely that anything untoward will happen to your belongings in a self storage unit: our units are secure, and we have monitored CCTV, smoke detection and intruder alarms in every store. Nevertheless, the risks of fire, flood and theft must be planned for whether you choose to store your valuable or sensitive items at home or in a self storage unit.

If you have valuable or sensitive items you want to keep in a secure, clean, dry self storage unit, there are some important things to note first.

1. Take out adequate cover

Anyone storing with us must have adequate cover for the duration of their stay.  We offer StoreProtect, our industry-specific protection solution, which you are welcome to opt for. However, you are also free to arrange your own insurance, as long as it meets certain criteria*. 

Look at the cost of any excess that may apply, and read the small print to ensure that it covers items stored away from home (i.e. in your self storage unit).

Take photos of your items, and if you have written valuations of them anywhere, keep them separately in case you need to prove to your insurers the value of any items lost.

Large quantities of cash or jewellery should be kept in specialist storage, such as in a safe-deposit box at your bank, as you might find that it is excluded from your insurance policy.

2. Some things are truly priceless

There are some things that insurance could never truly cover. Sentimental value is priceless. Irreplaceable items such as wedding china, family photos, loved ones’ ashes, baby clothes and so on need special consideration when deciding where to store them.

If antiques are worth more to you than their assessed value - if you have a rocking chair that has been in the family for generations and has a lot of sentimental value attached - bear in mind that whatever its insured worth may be, you might not feel fully compensated for its loss.

Of course, the same risks that could theoretically apply to items stored in your self storage unit could also happen at home - fire, flood, theft, and other damage could happen anywhere. Take some time to think about where you could store your valuable items at home that offers the best protection. We would not recommend storing irreplaceable items of sentimental value in your self storage unit. 

3. Take care with packaging

Our units are secure and indoors, and you would be the only keyholder for your unit. In addition, many units have drive-up covered access, which is ideal if you need to load particularly large items into your unit from a van. 

Our units are ambient, meaning they are not climate-controlled, so please be aware that your unit may be subject to fluctuations in temperature. If you’re unsure whether the item you want to store can tolerate fluctuations in temperature as the weather changes, seek expert advice before storing that item in a self storage unit.

Ensure that your items are protected from accidental damage by using appropriate wrapping and padding, for example: 
  • Delicate items such as pottery or glassware should be wrapped with bubble wrap or environmentally friendly alternatives. 
  • Electrical goods should be wrapped in fabric and packaged in sturdy boxes with silica gel packets to cushion and protect them from any moisture.
  • Furniture should be clean and dry and checked for signs of woodworm before storing; fabric dust sheets and cardboard corners should be used to protect these items from scratches.
  • Metals should be clean and dry: they’ll only rust if exposed to moisture. Our storage units are dry, and for extra peace of mind, you could apply oil (such as olive oil) to metal objects to protect them further.
We’ve created a list of handy packaging supply options here. We have packaging, including eco-friendly bubble wrap, boxes and void fill, available to buy in each store, but of course, you are welcome to use packaging from home or sourced from elsewhere if you’re happy that it will protect your belongings. You can also use shelving, bookcases or drawers within your unit to organise and store your items.

Can we help?

If you’d like advice on storing specific items, or to ask any questions about storing sensitive or valuable items with us, our friendly staff are available to chat online, over the phone or in-store. They’re experienced and knowledgeable and will happily help without any obligation or pressure to reserve a unit with us. 

If you choose to rent a unit, they can help you do that or reserve online, and there’s no deposit to pay.


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