Many people think that storage units have one purpose: to shelter one’s excess possessions. Television shows like Storage Wars and Hoarders have reinforced the idea that self-storage is just a place for curios and mementos.
However, there are many common scenarios in which it’s useful to have extra space on hand. Let’s look at some of the financial and emotional reasons you may want to keep a storage unit.
Protect Your Keepsakes
Let’s get the obvious reason out of the way: you might have a lot of stuff! Of course, belongings are never merely “stuff” to the person who maintains them. You may have family heirlooms, keepsakes, and collectibles that you cherish – but don’t necessarily need around the house.
Throughout our lives, we come into possession of items that are meaningful but not necessarily useful. Perhaps you’ve been entrusted with a collection of valuables in someone’s will, or you own seasonal equipment that only gets used sporadically. A storage unit can keep those belongings out of your daily orbit.
Placing your valuables in a storage unit is a great way to keep your living space tidy. It can also help you avoid arguments with your partner.
According to a recent survey, 80% of couples argue about housework. The more belongings you own, the greater the chances you’ll argue about keeping the house clean. Over time, resentment and confrontation can set in, especially if you or your partner have an issue with clutter. Organizing your excess belongings in a storage unit is a great way to keep the peace.
In most cases, it’s convenient to keep a storage unit close to home. However, frequent travelers like to keep their storage units wherever they tend to visit. It’s helpful to have a private depot stationed at frequent destination points, as opposed to carrying heavy loads back and forth.
Whether you take regular business trips or visit friends and family out of town, you can travel light if you already have a wardrobe and storage area waiting for you. Business attire is among the most frequent items placed in self-storage.
Save On Inventory Costs
On that note, many small business owners choose to rent a storage unit to hold their business inventory. Paying a monthly self-storage fee is much cheaper than getting stuck in a lengthy lease for a commercial business. An average storage unit costs $180 per month, depending on size, type, and availability.
Many business owners even work from their storage units. Keep in mind, there are strict rules pertaining to what’s acceptable and unacceptable in this scenario. Using your self-storage as a place to quietly complete a project is fine. However, it’s illegal to hold meetings or operate your business from such a space. Treat it like a mini-warehouse and you won’t have any problems.
Take The Pressure Off Moving Day
While we’re on the topic of traveling, let’s discuss the top reason people use storage units: to gradually move residences. It may seem like an extra step to move your belongings to a temporary storage unit before carrying on to your new residence. However, the peace of mind might be worth the added expense.
Renting a storage unit will allow you to begin packing early. You can transport shipments to the unit at your convenience, ahead of the big day. Likewise, storage units are key when you’re moving temporarily, or experiencing real estate delays. Downsizers often rent a unit to hold less essential items until they find out how many belongings their new space will accommodate.
Hang On To Your Investments
Nearly 40 percent of Americans have rented or plan to rent a storage unit — and virtually all of them use it to store furniture. Large, cumbersome furniture is a big investment and one of the chief reasons people need storage units. Many people who downsize choose to hang on to their furniture, in case they’d like to swap certain items out of their house.
Appliances are another large investment that people keep in self-storage because they lack the space to house it. Seasonal outdoor equipment also tends to wind up in storage units because owners may not have a garage.
Choose Your Facility Carefully
If you’re considering a storage rental, you must care about the possessions you’re planning to fill it with. For that reason, you should look for units that are indoors and climate-controlled. Nothing ruins clothing and paperwork faster than wild temperature fluctuations in an enclosed space.
You’ll want to make sure the space of the unit is appropriate for your load. Make sure the hours of operation don’t conflict with your needs, as many self-storage businesses are not open 24 hours per day. Also, your storage location should have moving dollies and carts available to help you transport your items. Oh, and if it’s a multi-level building, they should have elevators!
Promotions Are Everywhere
Once you’ve selected the ideal facility for your unit, don’t leap at the first price you see! Storage companies frequently offer sales when their occupancy rates dip. For example, U-Haul offers one month of free storage at many of its 2000 storage locations throughout the U.S. This promotion is open to customers who rent a U-Haul truck or trailer.
Meanwhile, Life Storage offers up to one month free and 25% off your monthly rent. The company, which has facilities throughout 37 U.S. states, is offering 5’ x 5’ units for as low as $49 and 10’ x 10’ units for as low as $95.
Another frequent storage unit deal offers $1 for the first month, plus a discount on subsequent months. Public Storage is currently promoting such a deal for rentals purchased online. Using the same randomly-chosen area code, Public Storage is renting 5’ x 5’ units for $40 per month, and 10’ x 10’ units for $108. And the first month is a measly $1.
Prepared For The Unknown
As you can see, self-storage is not strictly for hoarders and collectors. Rather, it’s an asset for people who want to be prepared for the unknown. A storage unit can create flex space for your home, cut costs on your business, and save a lot of hassle on moving day. Such a space can also come in handy when friends and family are in a bind.
Many new storage facilities feature upgraded security and access, as self-storage becomes more popular among Generation X and baby boomers. Be diligent when you research available units and ask about deals on long-term rentals.