Is A Storage Unit The Answer?
Many of my clients have considered renting a storage unit to solve the clutter problems in their home or office. If you are someone with a storage unit or are considering going that route, this article should help you map out that decision.
Are storage units advantageous or problematic?
If it’s because you are feeling overcrowded in your home, I would advise against it. All you’d be doing is moving your problem to a new location, and most likely exasperating the problem by making room for more stuff to enter your home. If you are facing problems with storage in your home or office then you are better off pairing down and setting boundaries to limit how you acquire belongings. Maybe you put yourself on a shopping freeze for home decor or clothing for the next year or even two?
Think about the money you’d save. Between the $200 you would have potentially spent on a unit rental fee each month and the shopping, that could be a significant amount saved or put toward another financial goal.
So, do you advise against them for everyone?
No, I understand they serve a practical purpose and can be very useful in particular situations. Especially, if have your house is on the market and you want your home to look as spacious as possible. Also, if you have a family member living with you or are living abroad for a period of time and renting out your home. Also, they can be useful when storing housewares and furniture for a college age child who is soon to launch off on their own.
How would you advise people to proceed if they currently have a storage unit or are considering renting one?
First, I’d encourage you to consider why you are keeping the items you plan to store in the unit and if it’s valuable enough to justify the cost of the unit? If the unit is going to be loaded up with items that haven’t been used in years (i.e holiday decor, books and papers from college, small kitchen appliances that no longer fit in your kitchen) then you are better off spending the replacement costs on an item you might later determine you need then paying a monthly rent for something that may never get touched again.
Second, how long do you intend to pay for the unit and do you have a plan in place to empty the unit by that date? Otherwise, it has the potential to become a long-term burden. Before you know it you will have spent $2,400 just for one year or worse yet, $24,000 if you still rent the unit 10 years later.
Lastly, is there a better place to store the items of sentimental value so you can better appreciate them? Your grandmother didn’t pass down that china to you to have it sit untouched for a decade. Your deceased family member’s art work isn’t being enjoyed by anyone in a storage unit and if it has monetary value it could be vulnerable to theft or damage in a unit.
If your self storage needs are temporary then it may be cost effective but if you are outgrowing a house or office that once suited you just fine then it’s not an ideal solution.
Clarity Co. Organization & Productivity Services