What is self storage? The complete beginners guide.


Living in Oxfordshire brings a lot of benefits. The beautiful countryside and a city rich with history make Oxford and the surrounding area a lovely place to live. With older cities though you sometimes have to deal with a lack of space which can be frustrating. Enter self-storage, the easy way to store your belongings. So what is self-storage? How does it work? How could it help you make the most of the space you have? Enter our complete beginner’s guide to self-storage. 

In this guide, you will find everything you need to get started with self-storage, including:

  • How self-storage works and why it’s useful  
  • The different types of self-storage and how they work 
  • How you can use self-storage for your belongings 

So let’s get into the wonderful world of self-storage. 

What is self-storage? 

Whether you run a business, have a large family or have inherited a beloved family member’s possessions, many of us have a moment where we have too many belongings for the space we have. Moving into a bigger home or business space might not be an option and that is where self-storage comes in and has a chance to shine. 

Self-storage is a service where you can store your belongings in a space that you rent on a flexible basis. This could be short-term or long-term, but as the sole keyholder to your storage unit, you can access your items whenever you like and add or take things away.

Common possessions that are contained in self-storage are:

  • Furniture and furnishings 
  • Business stock 
  • Personal belongings
  • Tools and equipment 
  • Records 

While there are a lot of things that you can keep in self-storage, there are a few items that cannot be kept in self-storage:

  • Hazardous or toxic materials 
  • Chemicals or waste 
  • Perishable goods 
  • Live animals 
  • Illegal goods 
  • Cash and securities 
  • Explosives and firearms 

Benefits of self-storage 

There are many benefits to using self-storage but here are some of the main ones:

  • Security 

Self-storage is usually held in a very secure environment, more so than in our homes. Cameras, security guards, and set entry times all give you the peace of mind that your belongings are even safer in storage than at your home. 

  • Reduce clutter 

Storing unused items can increase the space you have in your home. Rather than using spare rooms, cupboards, and sheds to keep belongings you don’t really use, put them in self-storage.  You can then utilise this extra space for things that really make a difference in your life. Fancy creating a home office? Studio? Kids play space? Clear the clutter out and you will have the space to create your dream home. 

  • Easy business expansion 

It is easy to free up some office space if you need it by removing unnecessary furniture or cabinets and storing them. This means that your office will be used more efficiently and save you the expense of moving to larger premises. Take a look around your business premises and we know that you will find plenty that while you may need to keep for a certain amount of time, you can keep in a secure self-storage facility. (See also – Our top Tips for Moving Offices)

Different types of self-storage


Container storage is when an empty steel shipping container is kept in a permanent location and is used as a rented storage space. They can vary between 10 – 40 feet in length, making them perfect for even larger items. 

Container self-storage is suitable for both individuals and small to medium-sized businesses to contain everything from furniture to wholesale stock. You can also store cars due to the size and strength of the container. 


The law requires that certain business records be kept for a minimum period of time. These may be kept at your office, but for many companies, space can be at a premium and better used for other purposes. An archive storage facility is where you can store data that is rarely needed or accessed for a period of time. 

If you are a business in Oxford that has a lot of records this could be a perfect way to create more usable space. An off-site document storage facility is also a cost-effective solution to ensure that all your records are held securely and are easily available when required.


Self-operated storage allows you to hire your own clean, dry, private, self-contained storage room and lock it with your own padlock. You can store practically anything, almost regardless of size, as long as it’s not flammable, perishable or illegal. See the list above for common items suitable for self-storage.

How can you use self-storage? 

At Headington Carriers we have self-storage units available in Oxford. From container storage for your weekend car, to archive storage for your business records, we have all of your Oxford self-storage needs sorted. 

We provide the option to self-store goods securely within our containerised storage warehouses. Our staff are trained to pack each container with maximum efficiency and care. We also have secure do-it-yourself storage rooms that are available to both business and domestic customers for as long or as short a period as required (minimum of 4-week period). 

If you are interested in self-storage in Oxford then get in touch today with us at: +44 (0)1993 811 276 or (0)1865 311 000 /