Is Self Storage the Right Answer for You?

Did you inherit a bunch of furniture and memorabilia as part of a relative’s estate and need a place to store it safely? Maybe you recently downsized and need to “shelve” that overflow stuff until you can find a place for it or sell it. Or perhaps you are moving, renovating or divorcing and need a place to put everything until the dust settles.

There are all kinds of reasons people turn to self storage, and more Americans are doing just that every year. The self-storage industry has been growing an average of 3.8 percent annually since 2013, according to a report from IbisWorld, and is now worth more than $37 billion per year.

If you’re considering becoming the one in 11 people nationwide who pay for self-storage, however, you should first think about why you need the extra space and how long you expect to need it. Once all of that extra stuff is out of sight, it’s easy to ignore — even though warehousing it costs a premium every month.

There are good reasons to invest in a self-storage unit, says DoughRoller. When you’re buying, selling or renovating your home, you can keep your extra stuff safe in storage until it has a new home. If you have an end date in mind, you won’t pay the rental fee month after month just to keep your stuff hidden.

Another good reason to invest in a self-storage space is to protect an investment. If you have an antique car that you only drive in the summertime and no extra garage spots, it’s a good idea to store it in the winter. Another good use of self storage is to warehouse goods you sell or business documents you don’t need on a daily basis.

Too often, however, self storage is the final resting place for the things that people never really needed, but couldn’t bear to part with. If you rent a unit only in an attempt to get the #clutter out of your home, you’ll be wasting good money — $91 per month, on average — to keep that extra stuff out of sight and out of mind.

Like a gym membership, self storage can quickly turn into something you pay for without thinking or taking advantage of its full value. And remember: If you happen to miss a few payments without rehousing your stuff, the storage provider will solve your clutter problem on its own by seizing that stuff and auctioning it off.

Instead of turning to self storage to house your junk, get rid of it. Box up that old bread maker, kick that extra couch to the curb and contact ClothingDonations.org for a pickup. Your donation will not only help the nation’s veterans, but also save you the hassle of moving that stuff to another location and the cost involved with housing it. You’ll be better off without it.

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