So, you need to put some things in storage, but you’re worried about the cost. That’s understandable.
It’s smart to stick to a budget and not overspend.
Of course, it is possible to spend more than you should on storage. The good news is that there are some smart steps you can take to drop that cost down so that it’s easy to afford and is friendly to your bank account.
With that being said, we recommend these steps to save money on your next self storage rental:
Shop Around for Storage
Determine if you need climate control
Survey your large, replaceable items
Find your ideal unit size
1. Declutter First
Before you pack any of your belongings in boxes, declutter the stuff you don’t need in your home. The fact is, at least some of it will be stuff you don’t need at all.
This may not be obvious at first glance. Human instinct tends to tell us, “this is my stuff and I need to keep it.”
We want to help you store things you need but don’t need in your house all the time rather than things that will be cluttered wherever you put them.
So, declutter first.
There are a variety of methods you can try, all of which involve going through categories of things and sorting them into things to keep and things to sell, donate, recycle, or trash.
The point of this is twofold. It will ensure that when you retrieve things from your storage unit, you won’t feel depressed seeing all the stuff you don’t need, and it will allow you to rent a smaller unit, thereby saving you money.
2. Pack Well
Packing boxes is a bit of an art. Fortunately, we have a lot of articles on how to clean, pack, and store all sorts of things from books to Christmas decorations.
Here are the basics. Make sure what you’re going to pack is clean and dry. Items with dirt or food particles can attract pests which may infest your unit, while damp items can grow mold.
Both can cause serious damage to your stuff, and what’s the point of storing something if you’re only going to have to replace it later?
Pack efficiently and use packing paper to fill in empty space. Also, wrap fragile items in bubble wrap or packing paper to help protect them. This way, you’ll use just the right amount of boxes, not too few or too many, and you can save space.
3. Shop Around for Storage
Search for a bunch of self storage facilities in your area. Our “Search by City” link can help. Then, compare nearby facilities that interest you. Look for storage companies offering move-in specials or other discounts. Common specials include free truck rental on move-in or a heavily-discounted first month’s rent.
Most facilities offer ongoing discounts to active members of the U.S. Armed Forces. This discount typically amounts to 10% but may vary.
4. Use Storagefront.com
Storagefront gives you the power to find the best self storage properties in your area. Just enter your ZIP code and you’ll see a list of prime self storage locations in your area.
5. Climate Control
Should you get a unit with or without climate control?
It’s true that a climate-controlled unit will rent for about 30% more than a standard unit. However, it will also protect your stuff much better than units without climate control.
If you live somewhere that only rarely gets hot and humid or cold and dry, you may not need it. Otherwise, we do recommend it.
Heat can warp metal, and humidity can soften paper and wood and encourage the growth of mold. The cold can also warp metal and other materials and dry out wooden items including musical instruments and furniture.
You can end up saving money on rent but losing money on property damage.
6. Large, Replaceable Items
Do you have some large furniture you’re considering putting in storage, such as bookcases, mattresses, or tables?
If you plan to store them long-term and not use them, you might end up paying more for space than those things are worth.
Think about how much it would cost to replace them later and consider selling or donating them, then renting a smaller unit.
7. It’s All About Unit Size
The point of all this is to allow you to rent the smallest reasonable unit for your stuff, whether you end up needing a 5x5 or 10x30 unit.
Keep in mind, too, that self storage space costs less per square foot than residential and commercial space, so it’s a good place to keep things you need.
A lot of people use self storage for their off-season items, business inventory, sports equipment they use once or twice a month, to help prepare for a move, to keep their belongings in between college semesters, and so on.
Used right, storage can make living easier and more affordable, and we hope these tips help you in that regard.