Self Storage Space: Is it Worth the Cost?

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Self Storage Space: Is it Worth the Cost?

Staff Writer · Oct 25, 2010

Determining whether or not self storage space is worth the cost depends on a number of factors. If you’re considering renting a unit for storage, make sure you factor in the following:

How Much You Intend to Store

One disadvantage of being an apartment dweller is that your storage space is likely more limited than those who live in houses or condominiums. This may be way you’re considering renting self storage space, but it’s important to consider exactly what you hope to store in a storage unit. If you have way too much stuff to store in your apartment, your only option may be to rent a storage unit; however, consider the items you hope to store. If you rarely use the items and the items have no sentimental value, it may be better to donate, throw out or sell the items rather than incur the cost of storing away items you have little use for.

Items You Shouldn’t or Can’t Store in a Unit

Storing items in a storage unit makes them more susceptible to theft and damage than storing items in your apartment or a locked bank vault. This means you shouldn’t store irreplaceable or highly valuable items in a unit, such as personal documents and important papers, jewelry, cash, antiques or family heirlooms.

The temperatures are also more extreme in a unit, which means you can’t store food items and other perishable items or highly flammable items such as:

  • gasoline
  • oil
  • chemical cleaners
  • insecticides
  • fireworks
  • fire extinguishers
  • paint

If the items you hope to store in your self storage space consist largely of these types of items, then no, the unit is likely not worth the cost, since you shouldn’t or can’t store these items there anyway. Instead, consider a locked bank vault for the valuables and consider properly disposing of the flammable and dangerous items.

When Self Storage Makes the Most Sense

One time that renting self storage space may make the most sense is when you’re between homes or apartments. You may decide to rent a small apartment only for a few months after you’ve sold a home and you look for a new place to live, in which case much of the furniture from your old place that you hope to use again in the future may not fit comfortably in your apartment. Renting a unit in the short term to store these pieces of furniture and boxes of items you intend to use again is cheaper in the long run than getting rid of everything and eventually buying new furniture and items to replace them.

There is no singular right or wrong answer as to whether or not self storage space is worth the money; you may find that renting a storage unit is worth the investment for you or you may find that the money is better spent elsewhere. What’s important is that you consider all the pros and cons of renting a unit before you make your decision.

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