You might think that self-storage is pretty much the same whatever company you choose and the only differentiator is price. After all every self-storage container, unit or room is fairly standard and they all offer the same amount and type of space. Surely that is all that a facility needs to provide – standard storage space at a good price. To a certain extent this is true but if you have ever had to store your belongings before you will know that there are extras that can make the whole process quicker, easier, more pleasant and, of course, more secure.

There are the basic items you would expect at any facility such as packing boxes, bubble wrap, tape etc. and maybe a padlock if you don’t have your own but what else could make a difference?

Some companies offer to collect you belongings (sometimes for free depending on how long you are renting a unit for), many transporting the storage container to your home if you prefer to load it up yourself, whether that is just to save money or because you simply believe you will take more care with your own stuff.

Depending on what you are storing you can also rent a climate-controlled unit that will protect delicate furniture and fabrics for long-term storage. There’s nothing worse than a damp smelling rug or sofa that has been stored in a standard shipping container located outdoors for a long time – and this isn’t necessarily because damp has entered the container but simply because of the moisture in the air within the container.

If you are considering a facility with several floors of storage rooms then do ensure there are trolleys available, that there is an adequate lift and that your storage room is not too far from a lift.

On the security side the best self-storage in London and other major cities offer 24-hour patrolled sites and keycard entry to prevent theft.

Other extras that some companies offer do not strictly affect there self-storage service but they are just nice to have; for instance, free tea & coffee and a snack machine – carrying boxes is hungry, thirsty work! And even free Wi-Fi in some places if you get withdrawal symptoms from your mobile device or need to check in with work.