While it’s often tricky finding a storage unit in Auckland that’s the ideal size, available at the ideal time and located in your ideal suburb, the recent pandemic has made things even harder.
Storage requirements have changed in the last year. As travel opportunities outside of New Zealand have been limited, many Aucklanders have chosen to renovate or make significant house moves, while others have focused on enjoying the great outdoors at home by buying boats, jet skis and mobile homes.
These changing habits have meant that storage in Auckland is possibly more difficult to find now than ever before – finding a larger unit at the right time is a rarity, and boat & vehicle storage is also more popular. While this is great news for the storage sector, it’s really challenging if you’re needing reasonably sized storage at short notice.
Tips on finding the best storage in Auckland
I wanted to find out what it takes to secure storage in Auckland, and in this post I share what I discovered when I contacted a number of storage facilities.
You’ll find out:
- What to consider when choosing storage in Auckland
- How to improve your chances of getting storage space in Auckland – direct from the storage facilities
- How to get the best price for your storage unit
- An overview of a selection of storage facilities across Auckland and what they offer.
What to consider when choosing a storage facility
Size isn’t the only thing that matters! There are other important considerations when choosing storage. However, being flexible on at least some of these factors will help ensure you get your items into storage.
The location of your storage unit may or may not be important when choosing storage in Auckland. If you’re planning to regularly visit your unit, then you’ll want it to be close to where you are staying, but if you are planning to pack it, lock it and leave it for a period of time, then the location may not be important.
Whilst moving one of my clients recently they told me that they were not bothered where in Auckland their items were stored as they were travelling on a boat and had no need to access the unit for some time. This made it so much easier for me to find storage as I could pretty much search the whole city if I needed to to find a unit that suited their needs. Being flexible on the location of your storage within Auckland may give you a greater chance of securing a unit and also mean you have more choice in terms of the size of the unit and the price you pay.
Mobile or static storage options
Auckland has a range of options available for the storage of household items from state of the art, multi-level purpose built storage units to warehouse storage, shipping container storage and mobile storage boxes. All offer a range of convenience, access, services, sizes and structures. You’ll need to consider which option best suits your needs. With mobile storage for example, you’ll pay for the convenience of having it delivered to your door for filling and then taken back to the storage facility. This may save on the cost of hiring a furniture removal van, but taking your items to a purpose built storage facility may provide more convenient access and a greater range of services and facilities. The good news is that there are lots of options when it comes to choosing storage in Auckland to suit a variety of requirements.
As with location, access times may be important to you if you like the flexibility of visiting your unit whenever you need to, so you’ll need to factor this into your decision making when choosing a storage facility in Auckland. Not many people need to access their stored items in the dark and early hours though, so if you’re flexible and 24/7 access isn’t a necessity, you’ll have more facilities to choose from and this could be helpful if you are struggling to find suitable storage.
Facilities & services
Depending on the items you want to store, the services offered by the storage company may be important. If you’re storing multiple types of items, like household items, a car, wine and important documentation, it can be easier and more cost effective to find storage that can provide all of those facilities on one site rather than having your items spread out at multiple locations.
Ease of access to your unit and around the facility may also be a consideration for you. Can you easily get your items into and out of your unit without the need for heavy lifting, negotiating stairs, tight spaces, lengthy walks, or getting wet if its raining etc.
Access to extra packing supplies is helpful when you have items in storage and with most facilities in Auckland having a box shop on site, it is really easy to just pick up that extra box, sofa cover or moisture absorber for your unit, when you need it.
Notice periods can range from 1 day to 1 month. Ensure you are clear on the terms and conditions of your storage agreement so that you don’t get a surprise when you’re looking to move out. Again, if you are flexible on this point it may mean you have more options available when it comes to finding a storage unit in Auckland.
Price will of course come into the decision making process, but it’s not always a good idea to let price lead the way. Other things like service and the quality of the storage will also be important. After all, if it’s worth storing, then it likely has value, so make sure you are choosing a facility that will enable you to keep your items clean, dry and safe and if the service and price is great too, then you’re on to a winner.
The service you receive in terms of the ease of doing business and the level of personal service will undoubtedly influence how you feel about storing your goods at a facility. My experience in using and speaking to a number of storage facilities in Auckland is that the industry level of service is very professional and friendly, so it’s really down to how you feel in your individual interactions with staff and online.
Reviews and ratings
I always look at reviews and ratings before choosing any service and I personally try to use service providers with a 4.5 or higher Google rating. But Google isn’t the only rating system; you should check out ratings and reviews on facebook, nocowboys.co.nz etc. It also pays to look at the comments and in particular how the service provider has responded to any negative or constructive feedback.
How to find that elusive storage unit in Auckland
I spoke with around eight storage companies in Auckland and asked for their top tips on getting storage in a difficult market. Here’s a summary of their advice:
The best way to ensure you secure a storage unit in Auckland is to be organised and book as far in advance as is feasible. If the facilities don’t have the exact unit size or date you’re looking for when you first contact them, then you can usually go on a waitlist and hopefully by the time you REALLY need your unit, something will have become available for you.
If you see it, book it
If your ideal unit at your ideal facility becomes available before your really need it, just book it. Pretty much all facilities won’t hold available units until you need them so if you don’t book it immediately, you’re likely to miss out. When I was looking for storage for one of my clients recently, I found a facility with the perfectly sized unit, in the perfect location, the only downside was that it was available 12 days before my client needed it and, of course, the facility couldn’t hold it for me. I spoke with my client and we decided to book it and accept that she’d pay for 12 days while the unit was not being used. For her there was more value in having the unit she really wanted than saving the extra rent and risking losing the unit. Sometimes it just pays to compromise by taking an extra cost on the chin in exchange for peace of mind.
Storage units can become available unexpectedly, with people vacating their units ahead of their expected termination date. One day there may be no vacancies, but the next day it could be very different, so it pays to be persistent with your enquiries. Facilities with a shorter notice period may be worth calling more frequently if you need your storage at short notice.
Contacting early in the week may help
Although there seems no pattern as to when units become available, weekends can be a popular time for people to move out of and into their units. As such, Mondays and Fridays tend to be very busy for storage facilities in Auckland as they process the pre and post weekend events. For this reason, it may be challenging getting hold of staff first thing Monday morning, but once the initial rush has passed, Monday afternoons and Tuesday mornings could be a good time to try your luck at grabbing an unexpectedly vacant unit.
Choose your season
Summertime from November to March is a very busy time for storage facilities as more people move and put their houses on the market in the fairer months. As such, it is usually harder to secure a unit during these months. Winter months from June to September are a better time availability wise, so if you have a great deal of flexibility then it can pay to wait until winter to store your items.
Declutter before storing
Smaller units tend to be the sizes more frequently available at storage facilities in Auckland. For this reason it can pay to declutter and cull BEFORE you store your items. Think seriously about the value of each item and if you really are going to reuse it or need it once you move out of storage. Decluttering before you enter storage could save you time and money as you may require a smaller unit than you initially anticipated.
Think laterally (and vertically)
Possibly the most important point to take on board when looking for storage in Auckland is to be flexible and think outside the box a little. For example, if you can’t get a single unit at your ideal size, can you get two or three smaller units that will provide the same or similar space? I did this for one of my clients. They ended up having more items to store than originally anticipated. I knew the storage company would not have any larger units available at short notice so I added on 2 extra very small units. It meant it took a bit longer for the removal company to load the storage, but at the same time it was great to have this level of flexibility at the last minute.
Something else to consider is whether you can you store some items with friends or family members. These could be items you are happy for them use whilst you are not using them, like a car, bikes, kids toys etc. When I went back to the UK for 3 months a few years back, I stored my car and my bbq at a friends house and also gave her some important documents to keep safe. In return I let her use the items (not the documents of course!) and gave her a generous voucher for the family to spend at Britomart.
Another important point to remember, is that you usually have a lot of vertical space in your unit that you can use. Many units are 2.8 metres high and if you pack your boxes well and take some time to do a great job at putting the items into your unit, you can end up having more space than you imagined by using every square centimetre of that space.
How to get the best price
Pay up front
Many storage facilities in Auckland offer discounts of around 5 – 10% for upfront payments for rentals of 6 months or longer. If you’re staying for a shorter period, you may still be able to negotiate a discount for upfront payment, especially in low season.
Ask for a price match
If you’re lucky enough to have the luxury of a choice of facilities, some storage businesses will offer a price match guarantee, just ask.
Be flexible (sound familiar?)
If you are flexible on dates and unit sizes, you may be able to negotiate a deal. As already mentioned, availability in Winter is greater and as such the facilities may be more open to negotiating rental terms. Also, as smaller units are generally more available, you may be able to negotiate a deal if you are happy to take two or three small units as opposed to one large one, for example. Bear in mind though it will take longer to load and unload multiple units rather than one and if you are paying a removal company by the hour to do this, then it will cost you more.
Look out for deals
Shop around, Auckland storage facilities regularly run promotions. If you’re flexible on location and dates then you may be able to grab yourself a deal. What a win that would be!
Ask for a discount
Lastly, as the old adage goes, if you don’t ask you won’t get. You can always ask to negotiate your terms. And if you’re paying upfront or renting for 6 months or more then I’d say you’ll have a good chance at getting a discount. Independently owned facilities may also have more wiggle room on rates as they are not governed by HQ. Just ask anyway, what’s the worst that can happen?
Snap shot of storage options in Auckland
|Name||Location||Services||Access||Min storage period||Notice period||Price range (per month at March 22)||Points of difference||What we like||Google rating (at March 22)|
|Space Station||Parnell||– Security deposit vaults|
– Wine storage
– Document storage
– Car, boat, trailer storage
– Residential and Commercial storage
– Packing supplies
|Mon – Sat:|
8am – 5.30pm
Sun: 10am – 4pm
|1 month||7 days||1m3 – $57 to 100m3 – $997||– Central city location|
– Variety of storage services from vaults to wine to car
– Independent facility
– Personal and flexible service
|– Daily manual checks of all padlocks, units and fire exits.|
– Central city location
– Owner is a local
|Kennards||Three Kings||– Residential and Commercial storage|
– Enterprise spaces
|24 hours||No fixed period||None||1.5 x 1m – $117 to 2.6 x 6m – to $406||No notice period, move out whenever you like and remaining rent paid will be reimbursed||Flexibility of rental term.||4.8/5|
|Safe Storage Containers||Onehunga||– Household and|
|6am to 8pm every day||1 month||1 day||8.5m3 – $115.00 to|
33m3 – $350.00
|– Drive up to the door access|
– Self contained which means no shared access spaces
|Completely self contained.||4.9/5|
|Mobistore||Te Atatu||Residential||8am to 6pm every day with 48 hours notice.||1 month||No set notice period. Pay per month and if you cancel within the first 7 days of that month you pay a daily rate for the days used in that month, after that you pay for the month.||8.3m3 – $129 to 40m3 – $379 |
Plus between $69 and $150 for 2 hours load time if unit delivered to your home for loading.
Out of Auckland delivery charge additional.
|Convenience with multiple options:|
– 1 or 2 hour self load
– 2 week self load
– Premium service where they do heavy lifting
|Convenience of storage coming to you.||4.9/5|
|Storage King||Kumeu||– Residential|
– Packing supplies
|6am – 7pm||1 month||14 days||1.5m x 1.5m – $155 to 3 x 9m – $695||– 100% of units on ground floor|
– Monthly specials
|Some Storage King facilities do complimentary home/office visits to assess storage needs.||5/5|
|Storage4You||Wairau Park||– Residential|
– MPI clearance facility
|6.00am to 8.00pm every day||1 month||7 days|| 1.3 m3 – $85|
50.4m3 – $650
|– Can price match|
– Independent facility
– Personal and flexible service
– Super Gold card discounts
|Onsite van available to hire to transport goods to and from the facility.||4.8/5|
|National Mini Storage||Albany||– Residential|
|6am to 9pm every day apart from Christmas day||1 month||7 days||1 x 1m – $75|
3 x 8m – $640
|– 30 years experience in NZ|
– Kiwi owned
– 11 facilities in Auckland
|Conveniently located facilities||4.7/5|
|National Storage||Silverdale||– Residential|
|6am – 10pm every day||1 month||7 days||1.5 x 1.5m – $110|
3 x 7m – $533
|Forklift and driver||Well priced box shop.||4.3/5|
|Gateway Storage Unit||Whangaparoa||– Residential|
– Cars and boats
|6am to 10pm every day||1 month||7 days||1m3 – $70 (approx)|
3 x 6.3m – $410 (approx
|– Owner operated|
– Personal level of service
|Under cover loading bay.||4.9/5|
A HUGE thank you to all of the storage companies that provided information for this blog post, in particular Storage Space, Parnell and National Mini Storage, Albany.
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