This all goes some way to explain the increase in self-storage, but surely we stored stuff before these out-of-town units existed? We did! Until recently storage was part of the removals business, and most removal firms still own their own warehouses. Your possessions are put in containers (usually wooden boxes the size of a garden shed), and fork-lifted on top of each other to sit, quietly, until you need them again. Not all storage is equal though. Opt for ‘deep storage’ and you’ll need to pre-book - and pay - if you want to view your things.
The other way is self-storage. This more flexible option was imported from the US about 20 years ago and transformed storage as we know it. Here the customer – that’s you - does the heavy lifting, arranging their possessions in individual units in purpose-built warehouses, usually close to where they live. Units vary in size (from 25 sq ft) and price (from about £30 a month). You’re also given a key (or code) to the door, so you can be reunited with your stuff whenever you wish.