How to Find Affordable Storage on a Budget
This information is current as of June 21, 2022.
Like many Americans, you may be forced into moving or sharing space due to the high cost of owning or renting a home. Downsizing and parting with things like clothing, photo albums, collectibles, furniture, and other large items you want but don’t have room for can be challenging. That’s when a storage unit comes in handy. However, renting a storage unit isn’t cheap.
In this article, we’ll explore the following:
- Alternatives to renting a storage unit
- How to find affordable storage on a budget
- Essential things to consider when renting a storage unit
Alternatives to Renting a Storage
Before looking into a storage unit and making a possible long-term financial commitment, do an inventory of everything you want to store. Maybe some of it can be disbursed to family members, sold, donated, or tossed. Remember what Marie Kondo says about joy. “Something can spark joy because of what it allows you to do – say a laptop that earns you a living, a screwdriver that helps you fix things, and so on.”
Between websites like eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and apps like Poshmark and OfferUp, there are plenty of ways to sell or donate items you no longer need. Why not put the money you earn toward your storage unit if you still have items to store. The less you have, the better.
Obviously, the smaller the unit, the less expensive it will be. That’s why it’s always best to try to sell, donate, or trash a decent amount of the things instead of storing them. For large items you’re not ready to part with, ask friends or post on your social media accounts to see if anyone can store large items like bikes or furniture.
How to Find Affordable Storage on a Budget
Like real estate, storage unit pricing can vary by neighborhood. Though inconvenient, consider renting a storage space that’s in a more affordable area. Your storage unit’s location can affect the monthly rate.
Other factors, such as the onsite location of your unit, can affect the price. Much like renting a hotel room near the pool or overlooking the ocean, the cost of your desired unit can increase. For example, if you rent a storage unit far from the elevator or the entrance, the price may be less than a unit in a prime easy-to-access spot.
It’s essential to search for offers and deals. Some storage units offer the first month free or for a nominal cost such as $1.
Essential Things to Consider When Renting a Storage Unit
Before renting a storage space, think about your needs and be sure to ask yourself questions like:
Do you have a trusted friend or family member you can share a unit with?
Sharing your storage unit is the ideal way to reduce the monthly cost – think of it as a roommate. Be sure to only share with someone you trust. This person will have access to the unit when you aren’t there. You also want to ensure they can afford the added monthly expense, so you’re not stuck paying the total amount.
Do you need insurance?
Most storage facilities will require that you purchase storage rental insurance with them or provide proof of insurance you’ve paid for on your own. It’s wise to do some research before spending money you may be able to avoid.
Do you really need a climate-controlled space?
Climate control is critical in states with extreme weather conditions that can affect or destroy your items. Over time, the moisture and temperature change can create mold and mildew growth. For example, suppose you’re storing an extensive record album collection, comic books, clothing, antiques, and family photos in Florida. In that case, an air-conditioned unit is a must!
Heat and humidity can deteriorate certain stored items. However, if storing items like dishes and tools, non-climate-controlled spaces will suffice and can save you money.
Can you purchase your own lock?
Find out if you can bring or buy your own storage unit lock. Most storage facilities provide you with a brand-new, unopened lock. It’s convenient, but it can cost up to $12. Before renting your unit, ask if you can bring your own to waive this fee. Your own lock can save you a few dollars.
Are there any offers you’re unaware of?
It doesn’t hurt to ask if any money-saving specials, discounts, or offers are available that may not be publicized. Before making any purchase, you should always keep this in mind – so why not ask before renting a storage space.
Hopefully, these tips and tricks save you money on a storage unit and successfully explain how to find affordable storage on a budget. There are different ways you can avoid spending top dollar on storage.
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