So many of us are “stuff” obsessed, filling our homes with useful and, if we’re perfectly honest, useless items. This can lead to cramped spaces packed to the rims, closets overflowing, guest rooms stacked with boxes, and garages that serve as storage spaces instead of a place to park the car. When this happens, it’s not uncommon to seek out additional self-storage spaces. Self-storage is always an option, but it can get expensive. If your home is starting to get a little overrun with stuff, here are 12 trade secrets to help you keep your self-storage costs down.
1. Do you need it?
The easiest way to reduce costs is to reduce the size of your storage space. This takes some tough love. Anything you plan to store should be scrutinized with a brutally honest eye. Ask yourself, “Do I need this?” If the answer is yes, then keep it. If the answer is no, then you can choose to:
- Give away to friends or family
- Give away to charity
2. Sell it
Once you’ve sorted your items, you can make some extra cash by selling the items that have value. Not only will you reduce the stuff you have to store, but also have money to go towards your storage space.
3. Stop buying stuff
This can be hard for some people, but you have to ask yourself if you need to buy so much stuff. Think of the money you could save if you stopped giving in to the need for material things. You could plan a trip, have a down payment for a home, buy a car, or invest in your future.
4. Depart with technology
One of the most wasted items to put in storage, especially for the long-term, is technology. Old electronics lose their usefulness very quickly. These items become very hard to dispose of overtime, so it is in your best interest to either try to sell it, donate it or dispose of it.
5. Store strategically
A lot of people don’t take the time to use a good storage strategy to use space wisely. One of the best ways to take advantage of space is stacking upwards. Using space vertically can make a world of difference, allowing you to choose a smaller unit. You can even consider purchasing cheap shelving units to assist in organizing your items, depending on the size of the boxes you are using. Sturdy storage bins also help, as they are designed for stacking. Having a plan to keep everything neat will make a huge difference in space optimization.
6. Compact storage
If you have items that you will need to reach more often, consider renting a separate compact storage unit. This provides you with two benefits: First, you can access the stuff you need easily. Second, the other, larger storage unit can be packed to the rafters since you won’t need to get in there very often. This can work out to be more affordable, believe it or not, as you will be optimizing space in both units.
7. Consider how and why you are storing
Timing is important. If you’re a student and know you are placing all your furniture for your university apartment in storage for the entire summer, you can rent a smaller unit and jam it full since you won’t need to get in there until moving day when everything will be coming out at the same time. If, on the other hand, you need to access your stuff frequently with longer-term storage, you’ll need a larger unit so you can leave a path.
8. Consider timing
Ask your storage company how the month to month pricing works. If timing for moving will not be optimal because it takes place at the beginning of the month, you will have to pay an additional month for the unit. This adds more to your overall storage costs. Try to time things so you can move before you have to pay for an additional month when possible.
9. Find alternative storage options
See if you can find a free storage option. For example, if you need to store something until you move, or you have a few pieces of furniture that might fit in a friend’s or family member’s garage, this might work better than paying for a storage unit. Of course, you want to avoid having your belongings scattered across the city, as this can get confusing and also be very inconvenient. However, if money is an issue, this might be a better option than paying for a storage unit.
10. Invest in quality storage for your home
Sometimes, you are taking up space in your garage, attic, or home because you aren’t storing things efficiently. Today, there are tons of storage bins, shelves, and closet options that can help you get organized. Much like we advise you to store smartly in your storage unit to save money, you can use the same strategies at home to clear up space.
11. Value versus storage fees
Try to figure out if the stuff you are going to store is worth the investment. If you can add up the value of the items and it is a pittance compared to what you’ll have to fork out for the storage space, get rid of your belongings. Although it might seem a waste, remember you can first try to sell it before deciding to send it off to the local dump. You can then make money off the items, instead of forking out hundreds or even thousands to store them when you might never use them again.
The key is to determine what makes the most sense. Don’t purge for the sake of purging. If it has value, keep it; if it doesn’t, toss or sell it. Consider how much it will cost to replace the item as well. For example, if you have furniture in good condition that you know you’ll use, this might be worth storing for half a year, as the replacement cost might be more than the storage fees. However, over the course of years, it won’t be worth it. Chances are that you won’t be in love with your outdated furniture and will end up replacing it anyway!
12. Shop around
Always shop around to look for the most affordable space with the best security and unit options. Not all storage units are created equal. You want to have good security, pest control, and climate control. Do price comparisons and see if you can find a deal. Remember that the cheapest unit is not always the smartest choice. Consider all the features and make an informed decision that will offer the most value.
Using these tips will help you reduce the self-storage that Toronto pack rats need, and might even help you avoid needing to rent a storage unit altogether! Speaking to the storage experts at Jiffy Self-Storage is also a good idea, as we can help you choose the self-storage unit with the best value for your needs. Contact us here for more information.