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How can you work out of a self-storage unit: Do’s and Don’ts

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When it comes to self-storage for business use, one of the most frequently asked questions our clients have is, “can I work out of a storage unit?”. Well, whilst technically, the answer is no, there are some legal ways in which self-storage units can benefit your business to grow for many reasons. 

This article will explore the do’s and don’ts of working out of a storage unit and what kind of businesses you can legally run by using a self-storage unit as an office space. 

Can I use a self-storage unit as an office? 

The majority of small business owners are highly drawn by the idea of working out of a storage unit for the following reasons: Self-storage office space

  • The rent is cheap 
  • The space is ample 
  • It’s highly convenient 

If you want to find out more, make sure to read our blogs on the top 5 reasons to choose short-term business self-storage and how to utilise self-storage for business use.

However, most of the time, converting a self-storage container into an office self-storage space is not permitted. But don’t worry, there are various legal ways to operate a business out of a storage unit with BoxpodSpace. Some of our self-storage locations, such as Mablethorpe and Horncastle, provide extra facilities like electricity supply, light, water, toilets, and more. This allows us to offer our business customers retail and office spaces where they can operate at their full capacity, but it is essential not to mistreat them as actual offices. For example, business customers like plumbers and electricians don’t have to work from an office, however, they can access self-storage offices with us. 

Our self-storage spaces offer many valuable amenities and facilities, and at BoxpodSpace, we aim to support small and start-up businesses by providing: 

  • Flexibility in renting self-storage spaces 
  • Cost-efficiency 
  • Secure access at all times 
  • Wide range of self-storage unit sizes 
  • Friendly and experienced staff 
  • … and more 

Now, let’s have a quick look at the do’s and don’ts as general rules of thumb for business owners for some inspirations on how to make the best out of a self-storage office space. 

DON’TS for small business self-storage offices 

It is essential to ask as many questions as possible before renting self-storage units for business purposes, as there can be many rules, depending on the scale of your business. 

An important thing to remember is that unless you rent an office, retail or commercial space, you cannot work or conduct business inside a self-storage unit! This is simply because self-storage units that are not allowed for occupancy and business purposes are most likely limited to storage only. In case you want to find out more, head over to our self-storage FAQS. However, our recommendation is to always ask for a complete breakdown of what you can and can’t do with your self-storage unit and make sure you always refer to your rental contract before taking any actions or making any decisions. 

To put it simply, the following activities must be communicated with the self-storage managers in case of any business activity being intended in standard storage units: 

  • Operating power tools, equipment, or operating machinery
  • Installing phones, computers, or any other electronic equipment for use inside the self-storage unit 
  • Adding extra wiring or outlets beyond what is already available on the site

If you want to make your business running just a little bit easier from the very beginning, don’t forget to do the thighs mentioned above! We know that working from home is indeed very comfortable for most business owners, but allowing you to separate your personal and professional life is very important for your business success. 

Why? Because in case you need to meet your clients or work partners, you should be able to present a professional front to your business, whether you are a tradesperson or an eBay seller, you must be professional at all times. 

DO’S for small business self-storage offices 

Now let’s get to the positive side: many small business owners use self-storage to enhance their company and improve their productivity! But once again, always make sure to double-check with your local self-storage facility if they can accommodate your business to run its activity legal, to save you a big headache and a lot of paperwork afterwards!

Businesses that could suit working from a self-storage unit are:

  • eBay and Amazon sellers (as long as no prohibited items are being sold) 
  • Etsy sellers
  • Independent online retailers 
  • Clothing and furniture sellers 
  • Fashion designers
  • Card and gift makers
  • Charities 
  • Catalogue sellers
  • Fundraisers 
  • Heating engineers
  • Event and Sport club organisers 
  • Market stallholders 
  • … and more

However, most of the time, 5 main business types seem to be working from self-storage spaces.

Independent publishers

Considering they have so many products on their hands, like magazines, brochures, and books, independent publishers see self-storage units as the perfect place for them to store their inventory and supplies whilst actively working from there. 

The biggest bonus? Publishers can effortlessly arrange to have their products shipped directly to their storage spaces without having to be present to receive the shipments. This is possible only if opting for delivery acceptance services (in case the storage facility has this type of services), where the store office retains a key for domestic carriers to open the space and safely place shipments inside. 


Think about how much goes into managing art galleries or putting on art shows and how much material is involved. 

Self-storage units are the best place for storing paintings and other items whilst planning and working on the next art event. Artists feel much better when they know their precious art is safely stored, as their condition will be much better, especially if kept in climate-controlled self-storage units. Being in control of the temperature and humidity levels allows oil paintings and silk costumes to be preserved at all times. 

Online retailers

In the last few years, more and more Etsy and eBay shops have been opening, the reason why more storage space is needed to manage all the inventory builds safely. 

Despite most small business entrepreneurs starting at home or in their garage, with time, they start growing out of these spaces, and that’s where business self-storage facilities come in handy! Conducting work and safely storing products also improves the time needed between production and shipment, which keeps customers very happy. 

Sales professionals 

Working in the sales industry means working with a lot of marketing material and inventory, which can sometimes get quite stressful. 

Let’s think about business owners that have to travel from one city to another or for hundreds or thousands of miles to meet with their clients. Instead of making carting along with all the needed marketing materials too time-consuming, a great alternative is to store everything in multiple self-storage facilities that are closer to their clients whilst undertaking business activities from there. 

Local contractors 

What about all the small things that business owners accumulate over time, such as lawnmowers, leaf blowers, saws, and so on? Once a contracting business starts to grow, the demand for space will increase accordingly. 

Storing everything in a self-storage unit is an excellent idea for any landscaper or contractor looking to safely store all his business equipment whilst working on their projects. Another plus is that business owners can easily set up the self-storage unit so that their employees can access it too, thus improving their work productivity and efficiency. 

For these businesses, renting a self-storage unit is much more affordable than larger commercial real estate spaces. If you want to find out more details about the costs of self-storage office rental spaces for business purposes, check out our article on self-storage cost vs. savings, or even better, get your FREE quote from us, and our friendly team will get back to you in a speed of light!

If there is one thing that you should take away from this blog, it is that self-storage is much more versatile than people think! There are many ways to use self-storage facilities to improve and grow small businesses and even run your business from home, in case working from self-storage units is not the best solution for you. So what stops you from looking for a self-storage unit as a base for your business this year? Our Mablethorpe and Horncastle self-storage locations could be your ideal self-storage office space for your business! Please contact us today to find out more about our flexible terms and competitive rates, or by simply giving us a call on 0116 279 1570, and our team will get back to you as soon as possible!