Compact Living in London: Maximising Your Space with the Right Storage

Compact Living in London: Maximising Your Space with the Right Storage
Everyone knows how expensive housing is in London—as a capital city, living costs are expected to be higher here than elsewhere in the country. It isn’t until you start looking to buy or rent for the first time that you appreciate just how little space you can afford, especially since the cost of living has skyrocketed in recent years.

People in London earning less than £90,000 are eligible to be considered for designated ‘affordable housing’ set aside by the Mayor, but there is a massive price gap between that and non-affordable (open market) housing, which prices many moderate earners completely out of the housing market.

Buyers and renters alike are having to search further and further from central London to be able to afford to pay their rent or mortgage and still have enough money for food and bills. This means moving further from friends and family and enduring a long commute or having to find a new job elsewhere. 

Therefore, some people have turned to compact living solutions - tiny houses close enough to work and central amenities to make a reduced amount of living space worthwhile. 

Compact living in London

Developers have come up with a few creative solutions to the need for more affordable housing in London. You could, for instance, buy prefabricated living space roughly the size of a large shed or storage container - these are marketed as being available as part of a larger housing structure (lots of storage container-sized units stacked on top of each other, with some shared social space and stairs to access your own unit) or to be installed within a larger space such as a warehouse.

Shared living spaces within these types of accommodation complexes can provide some much-needed social contact with your neighbours and some even more-needed extra legroom and space to relax.

There are usually some eligibility criteria and terms and conditions attached to these types of development - for instance, you might have to be a first-time buyer already living in London, and if ever you want to sell your tiny home, it would have to be people who also meet those criteria.

Other tiny houses have been carved out of larger properties by landlords, whilst canal boats, cars and horseboxes have been put to good use by people who have transformed them into micro-living spaces themselves.

What do you do with all your stuff in a tiny house?

Compact houses are typically designed with storage in mind. Furniture has dual purposes (e.g., beds may be raised off the floor to provide storage or seating space beneath), and cupboard and wardrobe space are fitted creatively (much as they are in a caravan or mobile home).

Many people who opt for a compact home do end up needing more space, though. Keeping things like Christmas decorations, exercise machines, extra food and drink for special occasions, out-of-season clothing, and collectables is simply not practical in such a small space. There is no cellar or loft, shed or understairs cupboard, or spare room. 

Items that aren’t used every day—even things like the vacuum cleaner and ironing board—can make a small space seem even smaller, and nobody wants to live in a cramped, cluttered home.

Many Londoners who opt for a compact home also choose to rent a self storage unit. The cost of doing so is cheaper for them than renting a larger property. Why pay phenomenal rent or a mortgage for more space for your belongings when you could rent that space for much less in a self-storage unit?

How does self storage work with a compact home?

Your compact home is where you will live, sleep, eat, and relax and keep all your day-to-day belongings. You have to be organised if you need to live in one place and keep a lot of your belongings in another.

Swapping your clothing and bedding out at the start of a new season, for instance, takes a bit of time and planning, and if you want to bring Christmas decorations or sports equipment into your home, you might need to think of what you can take out to make room.

A lot of Londoners still think this is worth it, though, to be able to live in central London, in the heart of all the city has to offer and close to places of work - the dreaded commute isn’t any longer than it absolutely has to be! This reclaiming of some kind of work-life balance more than makes up for the occasional inconvenience of needing to go out to visit your excess belongings.

Depending on the contract you choose, your self-storage unit can be rented for as little or as long as you need. If you’re planning to use your self-storage unit as an extension of your home (in lieu of a shed, for example), discounts are available with Safestore for long-term self-storage rental.

You can visit your Safestore unit as often as you like during our normal opening times to add or remove belongings. All of our stores are open year-round (including bank holidays). Your self-storage unit will be indoors, in a store covered by CCTV and other intruder security measures, fire, and pest controls. You will be the only person who can access your belongings via keycard or padlock entry.

You can kit out your self storage unit in whatever way works best for you. Some Londoners who use our units have added shelving units, wine racks, and desks with drawers to ensure that all their belongings are organised and easily accessible, making it look and feel more like a spare room than a storage unit.

We have stores all over London; you can find your nearest one here.

If you’re looking into compact housing in London and would like some information about the costs and sizes of our units, get in touch, and one of our experienced team members can help.


Get a Self Storage Quote

Find a store by entering a postcode, city or town below.
Find a store & Get a quote

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
 Security code
There are no comments yet
Complete your quote

You’re almost done!

Complete your quote at