Renting a self storage room is a great way to clear the clutter from your house. By following a few simple steps, you can save money on personal or business storage to make it an even more affordable choice.
Do Your Research
Even a quick internet search of storage units near you can give you an idea of what you should expect to pay. Price comparison websites can compare the cost of each of the storage facilities near you, but be sure to do your own research, too.
Many companies will offer deals to entice new customers. From ‘first month free’ to discounts for long term storage, you’ll find plenty of companies keen to draw you in. Be sure to read the small print beforehand, as a deal that seems too good to be true probably is. You may find you can only make use of the deal if you pay for several months’ storage upfront, which can leave you severely out of pocket. Other companies may charge a greater fee for subsequent months after a free honeymoon period. Take the time to do some calculations before diving in.
If you find a different company offering a better deal, see if your chosen facility can match it. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know! You could also see if the manager is able to throw in any freebies, especially if you are renting for a longer period. This could include free boxes, packing materials or a heavy duty padlock.
When looking at the cost of storage facilities, pay close attention to what’s included in that price. Top facilities will be ultra-secure, with monitored CCTV, and alarm systems. If you are storing valuable items, this may be very important to you.
Does the facility require you to buy a padlock from them? This can be an expensive outlay. If you require insurance for your goods, check whether this is included in the price of the unit or if you will need to pay extra. Some facilities offer a free ‘man with a van’ service. This is especially useful if you are moving bulky furniture by yourself or do not own a large car. Students looking to store possessions over the summer may also find this a particularly useful service.
Consider when you will need access to your storage unit. If regular opening hours could work for you, you do not need to pay a premium for storing at a facility that is open 24 hours a day.
Find a Storage Mate
Ask around to see if any friends or neighbours are looking for a storage room. Sharing the cost of one medium sized storage room between two people is likely to be cheaper than individually renting two small units.
Minimise Storage Contents
Once you’ve decided to rent personal storage, it can be tempting to dump all of your unused items into the unit. However, taking time to declutter beforehand could see you radically reduce the number of possessions requiring storage. You could even do a car boot sale of items that you no longer need, giving you some extra cash. Fewer boxes will allow you to rent a smaller unit which will lead to far cheaper storage costs.
Similarly, think about how tightly you could pack your boxes into a storage unit. Planned, organised, packing means you’ll require a smaller unit, storing boxes efficiently. If you will not require access to any of the items in your unit, you can pack from floor to ceiling and front to back. Tight packing will allow you to rent the smallest possible unit.
Although it can be tempting to choose the storage facility closest to your home or business, it may actually be cheaper to look further away. If you live in the city, a facility located in the next town could see you benefit from big savings. If you will not need access to your items for six months to a year, it could even be cost effective to travel up to an hour or two to save money on storage.
However, if you require regular access to your storage room, the time and petrol costs associated with multiple journeys may outweigh the cheaper fee.
The cost of buying storage boxes can quickly add up. Many storage companies sell boxes and other packing supplies, and buying from their packing store can be very convenient.
If you won’t be renting storage for long, it may work out cheaper to rent plastic storage boxes rather than buying anything. If you have to rent boxes by the week or month, then for longer storage periods you may be better off buying your own boxes. You could always sell these on if they are not required once you have moved your possessions out of storage.
If you have time you may be able to get cardboard boxes for free by asking at supermarkets or restaurants. You might feel cheeky doing so, but it could save you a considerable amount of money.
Use social media to find cheap or free packing materials including bubble wrap or packing paper. Many people have these materials lying around at home from parcels that have been delivered. They will probably be only too glad for you to take it off their hands!
Some companies will charge a late payment fee. When you sign up for storage, set up the monthly direct debit there and then. Set a reminder in your phone to check that you have sufficient funds in your bank account to avoid being stung by a fee.
Consider Multiple Uses
Once you have a storage unit, make it work for you. If there’s some leftover space, move seasonal items in and out to free up space at home. Christmas decorations, camping equipment and garden furniture can all take up a lot of space in the loft or shed. Moving them to your existing unit is a great way to get the most out of your storage space.
If you decide to do some decorating, you could completely empty the room of furniture by moving it into your storage unit. Painting the walls is far easier and quicker in an empty room. If you have a business that is becoming cramped, move unwanted files or furniture into your unit for a more spacious workspace. Once you have your storage unit, you can use it to your advantage.
There are plenty of wise ways to save money on storage. At Stop and Store in Fareham, we have a wide range of units, ranging from 12 to 200 square feet in size. Units are easily accessed with prices to suit all budgets. Check out our space calculator online to see which unit would best suit your requirements.