The landscape across most cities and towns in the United States has changed drastically over the past several decades. One major change has been the boom of the self-storage industry over the last three decades. According to the Self Storage Association, self-storage represented a 22 billion dollar industry in 2009; and accounted for 2.21 billion square feet of storage space. This amount of space equates to 19.2 square feet per United States household. In short, there is a lot of storage space being utilized in our society.
There are many good reasons why people rent storage units such as the need for extra space when moving to a new home, family changes that require an immediate downsize in your home, or acquiring property after the loss of a loved one. In these cases the pro of renting a storage unit is that you can gain immediate access to space for managing life circumstances. In cases where this is a short term solution, renting a storage unit is perfect.
The con for renting a storage unit enters when storing a portion of your belongings off site and out of sight becomes a way of life. This is when you may want to rethink your storage solution. A couple reasons for renting storage space for extended time periods as well as solutions are:
Reason 1: It is because you no longer have space at your home to store items. If this is the case, then it is time to reorganize your home space. Creating better organizing solutions for your home will allow you to store more at your own home without having to pay monthly rent for some of your stuff to reside each month.
Reason 2: It is because you are holding on to furniture or other items that you plan to sell, but never seem to find the time to make the sale. If this is the case, then it is time to consider the fact that your belongings may be depreciating faster than the price you are paying each month for the storage unit. Ultimately costing you more money than the items will gain you in the sale.
Solution 1: One option to rid your home of unwanted or unneeded items is to hold a yard sale, post a classified advertisement, or consign. Taking a Saturday morning to sell some of your stuff in the front yard may be the key to created more space at home. If the local newspaper gets good circulation consider a short advertisement or if the internet is more your style, post an advertisement online. If the idea of a yard sale or online sale does not suit your liking, maybe it is time to think about consignment stores in your area. This can provide a great option for getting some money without a major time commitment; and remedies the storage issue either at home or through the need to rent a storage unit.
Solution 2: The easiest option and one that can be done in a way that benefits or helps others is to donate your unwanted or unneeded items. Some community homeless shelters or women’s shelters welcome donations as does the Restore which resells donated items for the benefit of Habitat for Humanity.
Did you know that renting a storage unit runs $50-$200/month depending upon square footage? Are you paying rent for some of your belongings? If so, tell us about it in the comments.