There are a lot of reasons you may live in a small apartment. Perhaps you live alone and need little space, you may enjoy having a cozy home, you may live in a city with expensive rent, or you’re just biding your time in a small apartment while saving up for a bigger home.
In any of these situations, you likely have more belongings than you can comfortably fit in your home. It’s not fun to live somewhere cluttered, but you may need most of that stuff.
Self storage can help by providing you with the extra room you need for your things. Let’s go over the reasons to use storage and how to make the most of it when you live in a small apartment.
You might think you need everything you own, but there’s a good chance that you don’t.
You probably have things that meant a lot to you at one point, that you used frequently, but never use now. You might feel guilty for giving up a certain hobby, or not wearing that dress you used to like that’s still in great condition.
The fact is, life goes on, and we move on. Everyone goes through phases and different interests, and it’s okay to let go of things you no longer need.
We cover decluttering a lot, including using the KonMari Method and alternatives. Basically, you go through your stuff and sort out things you don’t need. Sell what you can, donate what doesn’t sell, recycle what you can’t donate, and throw out the rest. The linked article will help you do this thoughtfully.
This will allow you to make a little money while you free up some space.
Packing for Storage
Once you’ve cleared out those things you just don’t need, it’s time to pack the things you plan to store. Three major categories are:
Things you need infrequently
This category includes items like surfboards and other sports equipment, roll-away beds for use when guests visit, and camping gear.
This group can include items from the previous listing. When we think of off-season items, things that come to mind include off-season clothes and sports gear. Keep your summer wardrobe in storage in winter, and your winter wardrobe there during the summer, and you’ll find you have a lot more room in your closet.
If you run an eCommerce business out of your apartment, and especially if your business is doing well, you may find you need extra space for your inventory. A self storage unit is a cost-effective place to store your overstock.
We encourage you to stick mostly to one storage box size. Airtight plastic bins, or document boxes, work great, as both are sturdy and stack well. When you pick a storage facility, they may even sell the moving supplies you need on site.
Picking a Storage Size
Once you’ve packed everything you plan to store, or you’re close to it, check out our storage unit size guide. This is where you’ll really see the advantage of having decluttered because you’ll save money every month by storing what you need rather than things you’ve accumulated.
We’d also like to point out that self storage space rents for significantly less per square foot than residential space, so you are saving money living in a smaller home.
Consider the Amenities
Of course, you’ll want to pick a self storage facility as well. When you do so, consider things like rental price, the distance from your home, and if the facility has the amenities you need. Important amenities include the following.
This means 24-hour video surveillance, bright, warm indoor and outdoor lighting, an alarm system, and pin-protected entry. If you find a facility with individually alarmed units, consider that a bonus. If the facility has a stone or concrete wall around it rather than a gate, it deserves bonus points, too.
Units with climate control protect your belongings from extremes in temperature and humidity. In these units, facilities keep the temperature 50 and 80 degrees, and the humidity between 30% and 50%, ideal for most of your stuff. This protects wood and furniture from warping, metal from rusting, keeps books and documents free of mold, and so on.
Drive-up units are not climate-controlled, but they have another advantage: They’re easy to access. You can literally drive right up to your unit to load and unload stuff. If you won’t need a storage unit for any more than a couple of months, or you live in an area where the weather rarely gets too hot or too cold, a drive-up unit is a great option.
Do you plan to use your storage unit for business inventory? Then look for a facility that accepts deliveries on your behalf and puts them in your unit for you. This can save you a lot of energy.
Used wisely, self storage can save you money and simplify your life. Enjoy your home, whether large or small, and know that storage is there when you need it.