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Sooner or later you will likely find yourself asking one question: do I need a storage unit?

It is a product of modern life that American accumulate stuff. And couples and families accumulate stuff at an even faster rate. This can be exacerbated by big changes, such as a family member or friend dying and leaving you a lot of things or your parents selling the family home and telling you to get the stuff from your childhood or they are throwing it out.

assembled stuffThe great thing about modern life is that there are so many space-saving and organization inventions that can help you find storage in your home. Shelves, cabinets, wall and hanging solutions as well as multi-purpose furniture and closet systems can seem to generate space out of thin air. Plus, if all else fails, you can buy a storage shed or two and move things out of your garage or basement to make room for other stuff.

The question is, should you store it at home or find an off-site solution, like a self-storage unit. Here are some standard questions to ask yourself when making the decision:

  • Do you have enough to store to fill a storage unit? – If you’re paying a monthly fee, you don’t want it to be for a mostly empty unit.
  • Is your storage need short or long term? – You may be able to live in a crowded space if it’s only for a few weeks or months, but otherwise you may need to move them to a storage unit.
  • Do you need regular access to the items? – Unless you live down the street from the storage facility, don’t put anything in storage that you need to use all the time.
  • Do you really need to keep those things? – It may be better to give things to someone who will use them or sell them rather than storing them anywhere. Plus any profit you make can be used to pay for storing the items that do matter to you and your family.
  • Does anything going into storage need temperature or moisture control? – Storage units with temperature control, such as air cooled or air conditioned, usually cost more than those without. Take that into account when making your decision.
  • How valuable are the items you need to store? – Truly valuable items may be better placed in a safety deposit box or at home where they will be protected by your home owner’s insurance.

Make no mistake, there are plenty of times when a storage unit is the best choice. Just make sure you’re making the best choice for your specific circumstances. That way you won’t feel a twinge of guilt when you make that monthly storage payment.

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