Storing Items the Smart Way

Four Ways To Save When Renting A Storage Unit

by Timmothy Pena

There are almost certain to be times in your life when you need to store items during a move or put away things that you may later need, but that don't currently fit in your home. Storage facilities offer secure, sheltered locations for these items, but renting a storage unit can cost more than you think. However, there are some ways to keep costs manageable without compromising the condition of your things.

Only rent a climate-controlled unit if you really need one.

Most storage facilities offer both climate-controlled and non-climate-controlled units. The controlled units are held at a consistent temperature and humidity level, while the non-controlled ones are more like an unheated garage. A climate-controlled unit is essential if you're storing things like artwork or electronics, since these items are climate-sensitive. But if you're only storing things like bikes, wooden furniture, and sporting goods, you can save a lot of money by choosing a non-climate-controlled unit.

Rent a smaller unit.

Many people overestimate how much space they really need to store their items. As a result, they end up paying more for a larger unit than what they really need. Remember that you can stack boxes to the ceiling in your storage unit! You can fit a lot in a small 5x5-foot or 5x10-foot unit, so really think hard before paying for anything larger.

Be willing to drive.

A storage facility in the swankier part of town may offer the exact same facilities as one in a less-swanky part of town -- but charge an arm and a leg more than the less-swanky facility. If you're willing to drive a bit further to the less-swanky facility, you can save a bundle. As long as the place has cameras and gated access, your items should be just as safe there.

Bring your own lock.

Some, though not all, storage facilities tack on an extra monthly fee if you use one of their locks. For instance, they might charge you an extra $2 per month as a lock-rental fee. This may not sound like a lot, so many customers just pay it -- but it adds up over time, especially if you're renting the storage unit for more than a few months. You can save a lot of money by buying your own lock at a one-time cost. Just make sure it's well made and sturdy. Key locks are usually considered safer than combination locks.

If you'd like to learn more about storage units, you can check it out here.