If you rent a storage space to store your stuff, you are not alone. One in ten U.S. households now rent a self storage unit.*
We rent storage units for lots of reasons. Two of the most common reasons we rent storage spaces are that we’re moving and need a place to keep things during the transition; and/or we need more space at home or in our workplaces. These are both good reasons at the time but they can backfire. By putting “stuff” in storage, we create an “out of sight, out of mind” situation and our stuff can sit there, sometimes for years.
Renting a storage unit is rarely cheap. At $75 a month (an average cost for a 5×10 storage unit) adds up to $900 a year, $4500 for five years, and a whopping $18000 in 20 years. In addition to the money, we also have to figure in the cost of our travel time to and from the facility, the time we spend loading, unloading, and looking for things, and the wear and tear on our stuff, especially if the unit is not climate controlled and we experience mold problems or have a rodent infestation. And of course, if we don’t/can’t pay our bill, all that stuff we so carefully packed away becomes the property of the storage company.
There are no easy solutions to our need for extra storage space and sometimes it is the best thing to do. If you are facing or have just faced this decision and have decided to rent a space, give yourself a deadline for moving out of the space AND, most importantly, schedule some time to do the work (and/or call us to help you ) to empty it. You can sell valuables that you no longer need or want, and you can donate items to people in need or to your favorite charitable cause. What you are guaranteed to get when you are finished is emotional relief and renewed energy, not to mention a less stressed bank account.
Cleaning out a storage space is like any other decluttering work: it’s a process with no instant solutions or magic bullets, and things can and usually do get worse (more messy) before they get better. But in the end, when you’ve rehomed and/or recycled all the stuff you were paying to store, you’ll be able to reallocate the money you’re saving.
Like a lot of the ideas generated by our no-longer viable more-more-more mentality, renting storage space is an idea whose time has passed. If your home/office is getting over crowded and you are thinking about renting a storage space, remember this: a few hours spent decluttering is guaranteed to free up some space so maybe you won’t need it. Or, if you already have a storage space and are ready to get rid of it, we are rooting for you. In either case, if you need help, check out our “spring is a great time to clean” decluttering special: 4 hours for the price of three: two people, $300. We’d love to help.
*”Self Storage Demand Study – 2007″ (published by the SSA) one in ten U.S. households now rent a self storage unit.