Whether it’s short-term personal storage or long-term mini-warehousing, storage is no different from anything else; we all want to shave as much off the costs as possible. Although moving to a new house or office may only require a short-term solution the costs of moving can leave you tight on money, while some people looking to get more space than their small apartment currently allows will need an affordable long-term solution.
Whatever your situation, there are some things you can do to help keep your storage costs low. We’ve taken everything we’ve learned over our long careers as storage experts and come up with some of our top tips to save money on self-storage.
The cost of keeping or replacing
Before you go ahead and throw all your life belongings into storage, weigh up the value of your belongings against the cost of storing or keeping them. For people moving house or just looking for a short-term storage stay, chances are the value of your belongings far outweighs the cost of keeping and storing them. When it comes to long-term storage, however, you might want to consider things differently.
If the cost of storage is going to outweigh the combined financial and sentimental value of your belongings, maybe you should consider getting rid of them. You might find you simply don’t really need them after all, or they’re just cheaper to replace than they are to keep in storage for months or even years. This includes inexpensive everyday items like kitchen utensils, as well as homely knickknacks or decorations that don’t hold any sentimental value and are essentially replaceable items you don’t need.
Of course, the opposite is also true. Overzealously decluttering can lead you to throwing out items that might actually be worth keeping in the long run and will be pricey to replace in the future, so think wisely when making your choices.
Get more organised
Decluttering is something of a mantra here at Space4U. Getting organised is good for your purse and your brain, and we can’t stress enough how effective it is at keeping your storage costs down. Go through your belongings with a fine-tooth comb and create three distinct piles of dump, donate or sell, and keep.
While it can be hard, it’s important to be tough when decluttering. If you haven’t used it in the past year and it’s not a seasonal or speciality item, then seriously consider whether or not you need it. You might be surprised by how much there is to get rid of, and how much more spacious your home looks when you’re done. Donating is an easy way to get rid of anything in good condition but taking the extra time to sell your items means not only saving money on storage but actually making a few extra pounds too!
Our favourite top tip for decluttering is to temporarily re-home anything you’re not sure about. If you’re really struggling to decide whether something has real sentimental value and you’ll miss it, ask a friend or family member if you can keep it at theirs for a few weeks or even months. If you don’t end up missing it or even forget it’s there at all then you can safely sell or donate it.
After decluttering, don’t forget to invest in some clever organisational home storage or create your own DIY organisational systems. Simple yet effective organisers like shoe racks and door hooks can save you significant cupboard and storage space that you can use to cut down on the storage unit size you need, or simply bask in the extra space and organisation you’ve created.
Plan the whole process
Make sure you plan your whole storage space carefully, especially if you’re moving house. While you can’t predict the unexpected you can try to minimise any costly miscalculations. Getting exact handover dates and planning a timeline of events as well as booking your removals and any other services well in advance can help you reduce the amount of time you need and pay for additional storage. Plus, it will make for a more stress-free process.
Store with family and friends
Call in some favours or offer a few of your own and see if there any friends or family members that could take some of your extra belongings. Ask around to see if there is spare garage or bedroom space that you could use in exchange for a small fee or a favour, especially if you’ve seen someone eyeing up that nice lamp of yours. Of course, this typically only works for short-term needs. If you’re looking at a long-term storage solution or need additional storage space for your business, people might not be as accommodating.
Do your own removals
You can also save yourself some extra money by doing your own removals. Again, this might only be practical but for smaller storage needs but taking the time to pack and move your own belongings into storage can be a serious cost saver. Ask around to see if anyone can lend you a large vehicle or even a van for the day, or just suck it up and prepare to make a few extra trips with your own car.
If you don’t fancy the hard work and want to stay stress-free then stay on the lookout for any deals on storage and removals. At Space 4U, for example, we offer a free pick-up service on some of our personal storage units within a 10-mile radius. Getting removals thrown in with the cost of your storage can save you time as well as exhausting trips back and forth.
Check there are no hidden fees
Double check before you sign on the dotted line that there are no hidden or additional fees with your storage. For example, extra charges for security or other facilities that you may have thought came with the original price tag. All of our prices are transparent, and you’ll see exactly what your paying in quote with additional charges for our security facilities and other services.
Use as much of the storage unit as you can
This may sound obvious and even easy, but there is an art form to the Tetris-like stacking that can save you significant space and money when it comes to moving into your storage unit. Dismantling any furniture and packing like a pro can certainly help, but don’t forget that you can use the full height of your storage unit as well. If you don’t need to access your belongings at all while they’re in storage, you should consider the entire unit size and buy the smallest size you can squeeze your items into.
If in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends and family, and a friendly storage facility like Space 4U should have plenty of experienced staff on hand to offer some extra guidance where needed.