Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on Point2.
The self storage industry has helped many people during challenging times, including anyone who needed to move or create a home office.
While rents vary between regions, it can always provide homeowners with a cost-effective way to store a wide variety of items, giving them more space at home.
In addition, their chances of finding a unit near where they live are now better than ever.
Here’s why self storage can be a great idea.
1. Self Storage: From Seasonal Solutions to Permanent Decluttering
Maybe you thought a self storage unit was only worthwhile when you move to a smaller home, keeping furniture until you can move back into a bigger one. But renting storage space has many advantages, which have been increasingly evident in recent times and for a wide range of people.
If you recently had to create an office in your home so you could work from there, self storage could have provided the space for all the stuff that was displaced. That could mean furniture, filing cabinets, boxes of clothes or toys, and much more.
Outdoor sports like golf became “pandemic pastimes” — your bulky bag of clubs can be picked up from a storage unit on the way to the course.
Seasonal gear and clothes are also candidates for storage, so you can do renovations during summer, get out on the snow in winter, and your equipment won’t clutter up your home at other times.
Plus, with the festive season just over, gifts could be put into your storage unit — StorageCafe research indicates 9% of Americans prefer to do this! — not to mention all those decorations.
2. Self Storage Assists Downsizing and Lets You Keep Your Stuff
If you had to move to a smaller property, finding room for all your belongings might have been a problem. Having extra space at a local self storage facility, however, could be a good solution.
And you can continue renting the unit after you have downsized, using it for all sorts of items you don’t need every day. Make sure the opening hours match what you need — 24-hour-access facilities give greater flexibility.
A 10-by-10-foot storage unit might be large enough to accommodate all your excess possessions, and you can stack them up to the 8-foot ceiling.
The nationwide average rent for a non-climate-controlled version of this size is currently a reasonable $127 per month, per Yardi Matrix data. Units with climate control are useful for delicate items such as paperwork and clothing and in regions with extreme temperatures, and they generally cost a little more.
3. Self Storage Smooths the Moving Process
People who had to work from home no longer needed to stay where they were for commuting. Maybe you moved out of town, avoiding stress and congestion, or back in with family.
Renting a storage unit smooths the moving process: You can vacate your old place before your new one is ready, put bulky things temporarily into a storage unit, then move them into your new home in your own time.
A 10-by-20-foot storage unit has enough space for the contents of homes of many sizes. As it has the dimensions of a regular one-car garage, it also has space for a vehicle, plus some boxes of belongings and a wide range of tools.
This can be a permanent solution that means you don’t have to park on a street or a driveway. A small boat or trailer will also fit in here, but you would need a larger unit for some types of recreational vehicles.
4. Self Storage Is Now Nearer to Hand Than Ever
The self storage industry has expanded into a wide variety of locations, with facilities in both city centers and suburbs.
Renting a unit near where you live not only lets you easily store and access household and leisure items, but it also helps if you run a business and had to give up your physical premises: Many entrepreneurs use self storage units for equipment, raw materials or stock.
The chances of finding extra storage space near where you live have been increasing as the self storage industry has seen plenty of development of new facilities.
The total storage space delivered in 2021 is reckoned to be 51.3 million square feet, adding to the 1.5 billion square feet already available across the U.S.
5. Self Storage Provides Much-Needed Space at Low Cost
Storage unit rents vary across the nation’s largest metropolitan areas, but they are always much cheaper than the local cost of residential space, and they tend to be in scale with it.
The five most cost-effective large cities for self storage in the country, together with the average street rates for non-climate-controlled 10-by-10-foot units, are the following:
- Columbus, OH: $93
- Houston, TX: $94
- Raleigh–Durham, NC: $96
- Charlotte, NC: $97
- Dallas–Fort Worth, TX: $102
The five most expensive are:
- San Francisco, CA: $208
- Los Angeles, CA: $203
- New York, NY: $190
- San Jose, CA: $183
- San Diego, CA: $178
Maybe you were one of the people who discovered the advantages of self storage for the first time over the last couple of years.
The ongoing growth of the industry has meant you can probably find a facility quite near your home where you can store all manner of possessions, freeing up your living space, and the cost won’t break the bank.
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