Monday, 6 August 2012

Caught Short, Where To Put Everything.

We seem to have caught up with ourselves all of a sudden like. There we were last week with a mountain to climb, and here we are on Monday with a wall to paint, a room to clear and some woodwork to paint. There is no more than a week and a weekends worth of real graft to do.
We are so caught up with ourselves that we need to think seriously about storage so we can de-clutter the house ready for sale. Now to be fair I have spent some time looking into storage as I knew the time would come when we needed to do make or break moves. So while I haven’t really posted anything about storage and my forays into the murky world of stacked containers in farmers fields, stacked containers in bits of disused yards and finally stacked containers in buildings with lights and AC and CCTV and bells and whistles ... and someone to sing your life’s work and accruals a lullaby while it slumbers away awaiting your return ... I have boned up on Self Storage; read on.
Frankly the whole self storage market is full of the word I’m not allowed to use in posts on the blog. The self storage industry seems to pander to the fact that people buy lots and lots of shit they don’t really need and then need to store said shit on and indefinite basis, as opposed to running an ad on Ebay, or Gumtree or if they were feeling generous Freecycle ...  or going to car boot sale. This general tendency for storing stuff means that the market for storage is very competitive and growing exponentially ... I’m not a Rogue Traders or Watchdog watcher but my gut tells me that in time the storage industry will feature, and at some point later there will be demands for compulsory insurance and regulation ... I have had to speak to some proper Bellends this last few weeks, so much so that I’ve had to limit the amount of time on the phone to storage companies lest I lose my temper.
Things to note:
1.       Most self storage companies don’t post prices online, and even if they do, then they only offer them as guideline prices, and will discount whatever to win your business, or try to bamboozle you into thinking the other companies you’ve spoken to are all the word I’m not allowed to use in the blog. And clearly the enquiry form is designed so that the estate agent like tosser you are eventually going to speak to, can get a rough idea of how much you may or may not be able to pay, and then start the bidding with a stupid over price quote followed by the words “but we may be able to sort you out some discounts” ... I want to morph down the phone line at that point, have my head pop out the other end, Scotch kiss the twat at the other and in the face, tell them to grow the fuck up stop playing games and play the white man (other coloured men of good character are available).

2.       On from point 1: If you fill in an online enquiry form you will be phoned back half a dozen times by half a dozen different reps telling you they just saw your enquiry and they can offer you a price that will beat any other price you have already had .. even if the person you spoke to works for the same firm as the twat you spoke to yesterday.

3.       The bigger more established companies are prohibitively expensive. The smaller companies can be fly by night.

4.       Container storage is or can be cheaper than the big warehouse storage units, but you really need to go and see what you’re buying into, because some containers are better than others ... as are the bases the containers sit on; mud or un-made surfaces and roads clearly being least favourable. And I speak in general terms regards the care the character trying to get your cash is actually going to give your big tin box. And on the subject of tin boxes if it’s not ply lined, your sofa probably isn’t going to be happy.

5.      Some self storage is VAT free, some is not. I did start reading a blurb on a couple of websites, but ran into the inevitable “fill in an enquiry form or calls us for details line”, and then I want to cry and hurt things.

6.      Some of the independents actually offer much better deals than the large firms ... I found an independent who is offering 160ft sqr of space in a container for less money than Access Self Storage offer for 50ft sqr in a warehouse in Basildon (not that Access are alone in this). Big Yellow storage despite cosseting your kit in virtual inanimate object luxury charge you through the nose for the privilege to the point that their weekly price was only £20 short of the monthly cost we are looking at paying with our independent.
All things being equal after speaking to the self storage crowd; selling everything you own and buying new when you get back seems easier. Also certain valuables and heirlooms could as easily find their way into family members lofts. However It’s the big stuff that needs the container, so I’ll be off this weekend coming to do a final view of the container we are looking to book and then we’ll go to and Staples, pick up some boxes and start moving stuff. Important note all the big storage firms have “everything you need” for packing up your life, and of course they are very keen as part of their spiel to sell you packaging stuff hand over fist, it’s all part of the bamboozle.
I’m not really here to bang on about social ills and society and all that guff, but wouldn’t it be nice not to have some turd in suit, sitting in a office somewhere trying to rip you off for every penny they can every time you try to get a service or product. When did we become so unethical, immoral and greedy, and when will we unlearn the lessons, and stop being so shit? We’ll be in recession forever for sure if we don’t pull our socks up, and start learning to play fair and charge a reasonable rate for a reasonable service.

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