As with any expense, you want the most for your money. However, sometimes a simple mistake or lack of effort on our part can result in us spending much more than necessary. What can you do to ensure that you are getting maximum value even if there are no obvious storage unit deals or discounts publicly available?
Let’s take a look at some smart ways to squeeze every cent out of your storage space first by renting smart and second by taking advantage of some common self storage discounts like military discounts for storage units.
1. Take advantage of one of these storage deals.
According to the research report “Self Storage Economics” by R. Christian Sonne, MAI, the average occupancy period of a self storage rental is 12 to 18 months. That’s going to work out to a decent chunk of change, but perhaps these freebies and storage discounts would help with the out of pocket costs.
Keep an eye out for these discounts:
- A free month of storage. Make sure you ask your provider about special storage rates! It’s common for major storage companies to offer a free month on a storage rental, or discount on self storage prices when you rent a unit online.
- A free truck rental. Look for storage companies that help you haul. While that old couch is not going to fit in your Yaris, it will slide nicely into a moving truck that your storage provider — like Life Storage, for instance — lends you gratis.
- Military discounts. The Self Storage Association (SSA) reports that over 1.5 million self storage units for rent in the United States are claimed by military personnel. Cities near military bases can see up to 95 percent rental occupancy from active military members. If you are in active service, remember to flash your military I.D. when renting — the SSA notes that you may be entitled to ‘10%-30% discounts off rental rates, free months of rent, gift certificates, free use of moving truck, ‘one-dollar move-ins,’ no rent increases while deployed overseas, waiver of security deposits, administration fees, etc.”
2. Save money by knowing how much space you need.
You are paying for every square foot of space in your storage unit. Whether you are a business using commercial storage or an average person who wants to declutter their home, efficiently organizing storage spaces is crucial. First, figure out the appropriate amount of space you need for your belongings using this space estimator. Next, learn how to save space so you can make the most of every square inch.
Remember these three key factors when packing your rental:
- Create aisles (easily forgotten in the urgency of unpacking). Make sure the things you will need the most — seasonal gear, important papers, excess stock from your business — are easily accessible.
- Label all of your boxes or containers on both sides.
- Make sure your boxes or containers are sturdy and made for long-term storage. The banana boxes from the local produce department do not count (and they may carry bugs). Use pallets or another flooring, if possible, to keep those boxes off the concrete floor.
3. Know how to store items without damaging them.
One way storage rentals can end up costing you a ton is if you don’t know how to store your items correctly. To get the most out of your storage space, make sure you’re not storing items incorrectly and causing irreversible damage in the process. Also, it helps to know what amenities are necessary for what you’re trying to store. For instance, perhaps you can save money by not renting a climate control unit if it isn’t essential.
Consider how to store the following items without wasting any money:
If you’re storing a vehicle: Whether you’re leaving town for an extended period — like our friends in the military, for example — or simply own a great ride that you want to protect, vehicle self storage is a great option. The first question to answer is how much space you’ll need. Check out this list of the most popular vehicle storage options as a reference guide.
Other important questions — do you want indoor storage? How big is your car? Do you live in a region where climate control storage makes sense? Settling on cheap self storage is not much help if it results in car repair bills.
Related: How to Store a Car in a Storage Unit
If you need commercial storage: Storage for your business can become a major expense when you’re using pricey office space to house excess inventory, equipment, files or supplies. Commercial storage, like vehicle storage, comes down to a space game. If you’re renting more storage space than you need, you’re still wasting money. Also, if you aren’t renting a big enough space, you’re not solving your problem — or you’re risking damage to your inventory.
If you’re storing personal belongings: Remember that electronics and instruments do not take kindly to temperature or humidity extremes — so climate controlled storage might be ideal in this instance. If storing other less valuable personal items for a short period, climate control might not be necessary. Just remember to store items like clothes in a cool, dark and dry space. Keep important papers in acid-free boxes with tissues. Have something specific you want to store? Search our how-to-store guides for more advice.
Read Also: The Benefits of Climate Controlled Storage
Like all things worth doing, self storage requires an investment of time, money and strategy. Put in the work, and you’ll be able to get the best deal possible on your extra storage space.