Storage units and facilities are a growing segment. Think about how many storage facilities you see on a daily basis. Do you think they would keep opening more and more if there wasn’t a need? I don’t think so.
Here’s the truth: I do think storage units are useful, if used properly. They shouldn’t be a spot to dump your things, and then never, ever, ever think about them again. It’s not only a terrible habit, but it’s a huge waste of your money each month!
Below are a few scenarios when you might actually need a storage unit.
A temporary storage solution when you’re selling your home…
If you’re selling your home and need to store overflow items, this might be a great solution. You want your home to be free of excess items, so it looks bigger. However, if you’re never planning to retrieve these items after you sell your home, this is not a good idea.
Storage for a small apartment…
I rented a small storage unit for a few years because I was living in a small, one-bedroom apartment. I had no place to store my holiday decorations. I knew this was a temporary situation, and I did go to the storage unit at Christmas and retrieve bins and bins of decorations. I would prune through the items each year, and when the holiday was over, the items returned to storage. I did end up moving to a larger home, and then I finally emptied and got rid of my storage unit!
A place to gather items after a death in the family…
After a family member passes, it can be hard to go through their items in a timely manner, especially if you have to sell their home quickly, or are dealing with an expiring lease. Placing items in a storage unit can be a great place to temporary store these items as the family sorts through what needs to be kept, and what needs to be purged.
The general rule of thumb is this: If you are actively using it, then it is okay to utilize a storage unit. I have worked with many clients who have no idea what is in their storage unit and find it easier to pay the monthly fee versus spending the time going through the contents.
If you need to use a storage unit, take inventory of what you put in it, and better yet, take photos. Also, be sure to read my last blog post about items that aren’t worth storing for your children, and perhaps this will help guide your decision.
Remember, these fees add up, and the money you could spend on a storage unit can be better used on a vacation or other family activities. Memories are worth more than any material object!