I was talking to a prospective client last week and he brought up a subject that I think warrants some attention. Storage! He said he was currently sharing a house with other people and was running out of room in his quarters. He wanted to know if I thought he should get a storage unit. I was actually THRILLED that he asked for my input before just going out and renting a storage unit.
Needless to say my answer was a resounding NO. However, I was able to give him some ideas as to how to get more out of the space he has. For the moment, I was able to talk him out of renting a storage unit.
I can’t tell you how many times in a month that we get calls from people who want to clear out their storage units after years (and I do mean years) of paying for storage. Most of the time after we’ve finished clearing out the storage unit, our clients are amazed at how much money they’ve spent (or should I say wasted) on rent because most of the time the contents weren’t worth holding on to or, for that matter, storing.
Here’s some interesting facts:
• If you rent a storage unit you’re contributing to a $154 billion industry – bigger than the Hollywood film industry
• 1 in 11 American households has a self-storage space and spend over $1,000 a year in rent
Before I give you my many reasons why I think storage is a waste of money, I want to acknowledge that there always extenuating circumstances and there are times when storage is necessary.
Here’s a few good reasons to rent a storage unit:
1. When you’re moving but don’t know where and, therefore, not sure of what to take (or not)
2. When you’re remodeling and don’t want your belongings to get ruined in the process
3. When you have to clear the contents of a loved one’s home and you don’t have time or the wherewithal to figure things out
4. When it’s for the short term (ie, the end of a college year but you’re returning the following season)
5. When you have no other options and it’s only for a short period of time
Now for my rant about why having a storage unit is usually NOT a good idea:
More often than not, storage units become an abyss. Once again, more often than not, it becomes a catchall. We wind up putting anything and everything in there that we’re not sure of or that we don’t want to make a decision about. Sometimes it’s because there’s no more room in the house or garage.
Before long the storage unit is full of who knows what and the thought of getting in there to figure it out is, in itself, overwhelming. So it just sits there. Month after month, year after year. In the meantime the costs keep adding up. At the end of the day, you’re using your hard-earned money to pay for storing “stuff” that you aren’t using and probably don’t need.
So, if you have a storage unit, spending who knows how much money, let’s talk. Maybe you really don’t need it after-all. Perhaps we can figure out another option. I do know one thing for sure and that is I can help you come up with countless other ways to spend that money.