To make a budget for storage, you need to plan which things will go into storage, and for how long. Follow these steps to make a lean storage that will cost as little as possible.
- Inventory Everything
Make a list of everything you might want to store. Organize it, roughly, by priority.
- Make the Hard Choices
On your spreadsheet, find the cut-off points for different sizes of storage lockers. At what point do you think you will need to upsize? Which priority items would fit into the smaller size? If it helps, consider diagramming how you will store everything. Remember to leave an aisle or two to make it possible to access items stored at the back.
After you have figured out what can fit into the smallest locker, think hard about whether the additional items are worth a larger locker. Consider downsizing your stuff instead of committing to a higher size.
- Consider Sharing a Lease
Like most things, storage space is cheaper in bulk. Consider splitting a large locker with a friend to save money.
- Determine How Long You Will Need Storage
Look at your spreadsheet. What do you think is the longest amount of time that you will need to store any of the items, before using them again?
- Make a Decision About Climate Control
Climate control is essential for any items that degrade under exposure humidity, or during rapid temperature changes.
Any of these items will do better in climate-controlled storage, especially over the long term.
- Look at the Extras
Storage companies provide many extras, like free trucks, cheap move-in services, storage supply rentals, and more. Look at your company’s freebies and see how much you can save.
- Add It All Up
By now, you know whether you will be renting your own locker or sharing one, whether you need a small or large locker, how long you will need the locker, whether you need climate control or not, and which extra services you need to pay out of pocket. Add it all up and find out the total costs of storage for the time you need it.
- Consider any Cuts
Once you know what it will cost, take another look to find any cost-saving measures, like purging more of your stuff, keeping climate-sensitive items in your home, or bringing in more partners to share the locker. Adjust your spreadsheet accordingly.
- Book your Storage
There are no surprises left. You now know exactly what it will cost you to use a storage locker. Go ahead and book the storage, adding its costs into your monthly budget.