Do you know the real cost of storage units?
by Marianne Giullian
College Students and Storage Units
Storage units are convenient, yet very costly. Before renting a unit, ask yourself the following questions:
How much are the contents worth?
Some people forget what is in their storage unit and pay for years for something that ends up being thrown away in the end. I knew someone who had a storage unit for 15 years and paid $100 a month to rent the storage unit. When she moved, there wasn't time to go through the shed, so her kids had Good Will come and take all of it. Imagine paying around $18,000 just to end up having your stuff picked up and hauled away to give to charity. Many people put extra things in storage instead of cleaning out their clutter and putting the things that matter in their own homes, thus saving the cost of the storage unit. Assess value of items you want to store to see if it is worth the price to store them.
How long will it be in storage?
For college students, it may be worth it to find a storage unit for short-term storage instead of trying to haul everything home, especially if you live far away from where you attend school. Better yet, if the stuff isn't worth the price you will pay for the couple of months, then just sell or donate the things and buy new stuff the next year with the money you save by not using a storage shed.
I knew a man who worked for a company who paid to put his things in storage while he worked overseas for seven years. When he got back to the United States, his things weren't in very good condition because they were in humid climate all that time. He ended up throwing away most of the contents in the storage unit or donating it to charity. Luckily, he didn't have to pay for the storage. It may have been better for him to sell it before he left, and save the money to buy new things when he returned.
Is there an alternate method of storage that will work?
Some people build bigger houses to put all their stuff in instead of cleaning out the clutter. I knew someone who built an addition to his three car garage to put the extra stuff he and his wife couldn't fit in the house. While he was building, he broke his arm and was out of work for six weeks. Although it may be less money in the long run than renting a storage unit, that was a pretty high price to pay for clutter.
If we were to ask ourselves these questions before renting a storage unit, we would probably find that we can do without many of the things were would store. If they were important or valuable enough, we should keep them in our homes. We could sell our extra stuff and save ourselves tons of money in the long run.
Take the Next Step
- Ask yourself if you "really need" the storage unit.
- Consider taking the time to undecorate and declutter.
- Taking control Of your clutter will help your wallet and your peace of mind
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