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Thirty years ago, virtually nobody in the UK had used what we now refer to as a self storage facility. Over time, as self storage has become (dare we say) "main-stream," householders and businesses have come to understand what the process of using self storage entails. Most cities now have several companies providing storage space, and even the smallest of towns probably have a brightly coloured building somewhere within its boundary.

With the sizes of brand new housing decreasing rapidly, homeowners and renters are finding their storage centre to be an essential part of modern living. "Decluttering" has become a powerful buzzword for those with large properties with plenty of storage space, but for others, creating space within a tiny home can have a significant effect on their quality of life.

In 2018 The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) warned that more than half of new homes in the UK are being built to a size too small for families to live in, describing them as “tiny, rabbit-hutch sized new-builds”. Julia Park, head of housing research at architecture practice Levitt Bernstein and the chair of the RIBA Housing Group Developers has said in her book that developers like to squeeze extra rooms into properties and that this is usually at the expense of storage space.

Household storage space is highly underrated, and I speak from experience. Many years ago, I was living in a house that had a flat roof rather than a pitched roof with a loft. Because it didn't have an loft, the water tank took up most of the space in what would have been a massive storage cupboard. I ended up renting a local lock-up garage to store boxes inside. That was long before modern self storage was available and had I known then, what I know now, I would have looked for another solution! Unfortunately, the garage leaked and most of the stuff I was storing went mouldy (one of the significant dangers in using a garage for storage). My point is that storage space is becoming a luxury within properties many properties at the bottom end of the ladder. Storage space for many householders will become a major challenge in the future.

Using a storage centre doesn’t mean having to store all of your belongings like when moving house. Storage units come in a variety of sizes, with many options available at the smaller end of the scale. 16, 25, 35, 40, 50 square foot units are available at most storage centres (depending on availability). As a rough scale; a 25 square foot storage unit would be 5 x 5 foot across the floor and 8 feet high. This size of space would enable you to store 25-30 medium-sized cardboard boxes. As you can imagine, this would create a considerable amount of space back in your home. For someone without a loft or large amounts of storage, this would make a massive difference to the living space within their home.

KC

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  • Has self storage become an essential part of modern living?