This is the second in a three part series on Self Storage. Look for Part 3 tomorrow. See the bottom of this post for a link to Part 1.
In Self Storage Part 1 – When Paying to Store Your Stuff Is a Good Idea I listed some scenarios in which paying to store things can not only be a decent idea, but can also be a frugal one.
I admit it. I have a “thing” about paying for storage. I hate the idea. If I don’t have room for it I should get rid of it.
That frugal, sensible part of me wars with the other part of me: the part that doesn’t like to let things go. It’s hard for me, but I’m getting better. Before you decide to pay to store stuff, ask yourself these questions. If these are true for you, you may want to think twice before agreeing to rent storage space.
1. If you don’t even remember what’s in the boxes. Spend the time to go through them. Sell, toss or donate anything you don’t really need or want. If you still need to rent space you’ll likely be able to rent a smaller one, for less money. Who knows, you may wind up with little or nothing to store after all…
2. If you don’t really want the item(s) you are planning to store. Don’t store something out of a sense of duty or obligation if you don’t want or need them. Just because Aunt Bernice left you her taxidermied pets doesn’t mean you have to keep them. And just because you lost your…fruit…on that couch doesn’t mean it shouldn’t support someone else’s grapes. Memory box items should be smaller than a breadbox, so take a picture and put it in a scrapbook. But not of the pets. Please.
3. If the items to be stored aren’t valuable. Do the math. Spending $150 a month to store $1000 worth of stuff is a bad financial decision. Spending good money to store 1000 Gatorade sports bottles just doesn’t make sense. Donate them to a local school instead.
4. If you have room to store it in your home already. Maximize the storage space you already have. We have very little storage inside our townhouse, but we do have a small garage. Husband has built shelves in the garage to keep things neat, organized and off the floor. He’s built shelves that hang from the ceiling. We store things under our beds, use a toy box as a bench, built extra shelves in our closets. Get creative with your storage solutions.
5. If you can store it somewhere else for free. Okay, I’m know that I’m lucky to have in-laws that rent an airplane hangar. But that’s not the only way to store for free. Can someone else use the item? I have friends trying to sell their empty condo. We made a deal that they can use some extra furniture of ours to make their condo look lived-in, and therefore more attractive to buyers. It’s a win-win. I have less clutter, they have a more salable property. If someone agrees to store stuff for you at no charge make sure you discuss ahead of time how long the arrangement will last, and don’t take advantage. If you agree you’ll get it out of there by July 1st, then get it out of there by July 1st.
6. If you don’t know how long you’ll be storing it. If you don’t have a plan ahead of time you greatly increase your chances of spending an enormous amount on rental fees that doesn’t make financial sense. Have a plan. Really.
If you’ve answered these questions and you still need to rent storage space you can still save time, money and grief by renting smart. Read Part 3 of the series for great tips on how to be a smart self-storer.
Check out the other articles in this series:
Self Storage Part 3 will be published tomorrow. Come back to read it!