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As a person who doesn’t own a home of her own, as well as working the type of job that requires frequent moves from one place to another, I do tend to change places quite often.
That wouldn’t be a problem if my possessions only fit in one suitcase. But if you are in a situation like mine, where you have heaps of clothes, books, smaller interior pieces, etc., you would quickly see the necessity of using the services of a self-storage unit.
These are a true bliss for anybody in a situation like mine.
Basically, what they do is to give you space (whose size depends on your needs and requirements) where you can store all of your private belongings for an unlimited period of time. You are given access to your stuff, which you can ‘visit’ whenever you want.
However, just like pretty much anything else, there are both pros and cons of renting a self storage unit. I, myself, know that from personal experience. Sure, the pros are more and more important than the cons (which can even be omitted), but in all fairness I feel that I have to share them both with you.
I will start off with the cons, as they are minor and rather insignificant:
#1 – Transporting your stuff from your house to the storage unit is not included in the price, so you will have to provide yourself with a moving vehicle. And if you are about to store furniture, it means that you are going to have to rent a moving van, or rely on a friend that has one. I, personally, was lucky enough to be able to ask my brother for the favor, as he owns a van. However, it is an additional hassle.
#2 – Despite being protected against burglaries, these units are not 100% safe. But then again, what is? Even Swiss banks get robbed. There have been cases of storage thefts due to cases of ‘an inside job’. What I usually do in order to be sure that the place is really safe is to talk face-to-face with the manager. I ask about everything, from the type of alarm and surveillance systems they use, to the type of padlocks. Usually, all storage facilities match my expectations and requirements, but it never hurts to ask.
So much for the cons. I really don’t see many of them, while the pros are quite a few:
#1 – These places are reliable. Leaving aside ‘con number two’ above, self storage units are really the safest place you could possibly leave your things. I have never had any problems, and I have used the services of many such places.
#2 – Some storage facilities offer insurance. So, if you are going to store things that are really dear to you, make sure you take advantage of this option.
#3 – You have unlimited access to your personal belongings. It is like keeping them in your home garage — you can go and check them out as well as take something if you need it whenever you wish.
#4 – Unlike keeping your things in the garage, in a self-storage unit they are completely safe from rain and dampness, which can cause mold and mildew. Severe cold and excruciating heat shouldn’t worry you either.
#5 – You can use one storage unit for an unlimited period of time. If you are not sure how long you will need the unit for, you can rent it for an unlimited period. You just pay month-to-month. This is what I usually do. Plus, some companies will make you a discount if you use the unit for a long time.
Bottom line is that renting a storage unit does have its downsides, but they are too few and this definitely is the best way to store your stuff for an extended period of time while you are away.
Heather Roberts is a writer from London, UK. She has great flair for decoration and interior design. She is searching for new challenges and hence often moves to different places. Heather writes about removals and storage services Ilford.
I like to help people find unique ways to do things that will save time & money — so I write about “outside the box” Household Tips and Life Hacks that most wouldn’t think of. I’m super-organized. And I LOVE to clean! I even enjoy doing laundry (but not ironing). I’m also a lifelong dog owner — so I often share my favorite tips for living with dogs inside your home (like smart home design choices and dog-friendly cleaning & decorating ideas). Career-wise, I’ve been sharing my best ideas with others by blogging full-time since 1998 (the same year that Google started… and before the days of Facebook and YouTube). Prior to that, I worked in Higher Ed over 10 years before switching gears to pursue activities that I’m truly passionate about instead. For example, I’ve worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo — to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. When I’m not cleaning, organizing, decorating, or fixing something… you’ll find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites). To date, I’ve personally written over 200 articles about cleaning, organization, DIY repairs, and household hacks on this site! A few have over 2M shares; many others have over 100K shares.
5 thoughts on “Pros And Cons Of Renting A Self Storage Unit To Protect Your Stuff”
I agree with most of what you said. A dispute I have is regarding the statement “Severe cold and excruciating heat shouldn’t worry you either”. I have not encountered storage units that are temperature regulated. So, depending upon where your unit is and the time of year, heat and cold should be a consideration. Some items do not do well in severe heat or cold. And when you are moving the items one or the other could make them vulnerable to damage. Also regarding long term storage discounts, in my area that only applied if paying a year at a time up front, not on a month to month basis. Personally I swore I would never throw my money away placing items in storage, the theory use it-enjoy it or lose it thinking. Recently moving from a large home to a smaller one with 3 housemates changed my mind. Going through everything at once was overwhelming, as was the decision making process. So I placed some items in storage to enable more time to make choices, find places to sell items of value, finalize my decorating and in general see if I could “live without it”. My plan is to only keep the unit for 1 year. I have troubles justifying a $65 dollar monthly expense. In the long run even though something is beautiful or “I might need it later”, it seems more economical to save my money and if/when I need it repurchase the item. Though a year should give me time to figure out what I rally need. I am working hard on detaching from “stuff”. If the vase that aunt Martha gave me doesn’t fit my lifestyle and I am only holding on to it because she gave it to me, snap a picture or two, put it in a scrapbook and move on. I am learning that people and experiences are treasures, not stuff.
Good points! Thanks for sharing your experiences…
Estimate how much space you will require. Save money by only renting the space you need. Feel free to use the self storage calculator to help you. Many facilities will store larger items including cars, camper and other motorized vehicles.
First Thing to do before renting a self storage units, throw away all the stuff you don’t need. Most people are storing stuff they will never use again. It is just a waste of money!
After reading your post I thought that one of the cons could be solved through a mobile self storage provider.
They generally include packing your stuff into their boxes, driving them to their storage and dropping them back whenever you need it, with the advantage of being able to transport them to a new house/state if needed.
Thanks for the content!