Smart ways to cut storage costs

There are times when renting storage space makes total sense. But since storage is an extra monthly expense, you don’t want to waste money by spending more than you need to. When it comes to saving on storage costs, there are plenty of practical ways to make it easier on your budget. Use these tips to get more storage space for less.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF DISCOUNTS ON STORAGE UNIT PRICES

Don’t pass up the opportunity to save on special promotions and discounts offered by storage companies. Just be sure to ask for all the details.

  • Discount offers: Look for discounts and always ask if there are any available, even if you didn’t find any on the company website. For example, with PODS’ BUNDLE discount you get free delivery and pickup for rentals of three months or longer, which offers the flexibility and convenience of portable storage at prices comparable to self-storage.
  • Military discounts: If you’re in the military or a veteran, you may be eligible for special savings. For example, PODS offers military discounts on storage and moving services for active duty, retired, and veteran members of the U.S. Armed Forces.`
  • Potential savings on long-term storage: If you think you’ll be using storage for three months or longer, it’s a good idea to ask: How much does long-term storage cost? There may be special discounts for longer storage periods. But be careful to avoid making a longer commitment than you have to, because you could end up spending more in the long run.
  • Read the fine print: Make sure a discount is really the right way to cut storage costs. Don’t get stuck with a bait-and-switch deal. Many self-storage facilities attract customers with “first month free” or super-low pricing promotions, only to increase your monthly rent after you’ve done all the work of moving your stuff in. Others have 12-month leases.
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ORGANIZE AND DECLUTTER TO REDUCE STORAGE NEEDS 

The less you need to store, the more you can save on storage space. Even though it can take extra time upfront to declutter and streamline your stuff, this step can pay big dividends in cutting storage costs — not to mention in time and trouble spent loading and unloading.

  • Sell or give away extra stuff: The best thing about selling or giving things away is others may haul it away for you. Raise some extra cash by holding a garage sale or posting items on apps like OfferUp, Nextdoor, Craigslist, and other online marketplace sites. If you’re short on time or don’t have a large enough vehicle to haul your items, schedule a pick-up with a local charity. Either way, your stuff will go to good use.
  • Get help from a friend or organizing professional: Decluttering is always easier when it’s not your own stuff. Ask a friend or hire a pro to help you sort, purge, and get organized. Get some quick ideas now with How to Declutter in 6 Steps.
  • Use on-site portable storage units to ease the process: When the amount of stuff seems overwhelming, you can take a few days or weeks to move items into a storage container in your yard or driveway to clear space temporarily while you figure out what you want to keep and store.

PACK AND LOAD TO OPTIMIZE STORAGE

Efficient packing and loading techniques will help you minimize the size and number of storage units you may need – ultimately cutting your storage costs.

  • Use PODS’ packing and loading tips and video: Learn how to pack and load like a pro so you use all available space inside your storage container. This includes wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling. Check out our tips and watch the video – you’ll be amazed at how much can fit into one container!
  • Hire packing and loading pros: Moving and storage professionals know how to get the most out of storage space, potentially avoiding costs for more storage. Get packing and loading assistance.

SET A DEADLINE TO EMPTY OUT YOUR STORAGE UNIT

Once you’ve got stuff in storage it can be a little too easy to just forget about it until the payment due date rolls around each month. We know. We’ve been there. Each time we pay that invoice we promise ourselves we’ll empty out that storage unit before the next bill hits. While it’s great to use temporary storage to ease the stress of moving or rent extra space fast, you don’t want to pay for it longer than you really need. Chances are, that monthly expense could likely be put to better use — like a college or retirement fund, paying down debt, or even a Caribbean vacation!

To keep the “temporary” in your storage, set a deadline and plan for transitioning out of storage before you rent the unit. Think about what needs to happen before you can clear out your unit. Need to clean out the garage, attic, or move to a bigger place? Write out the steps and set incremental goals to make it happen, including small rewards for hitting each milestone. If you need help creating an action plan, check out these tips from The Incremental Life.

If you want to limit storage time from the beginning, using a portable storage container instead of self-storage can help you stay on track. If the container’s on your property it’s harder to ignore. Plus it’s a lot easier to organize and clear it out if it’s just steps away — instead of having to  drive to a facility, load your car, drive home, and unload. If you’re using a service like PODS and your container is at the Storage Center, call and have it delivered to your driveway to give yourself a push to get moving. Set the date for final pick-up before your next monthly charge and put your plan into gear.

Organization and productivity research shows that the more specific, visual, convenient, accountable, and timely you can make a goal, the more likely you are to get it done. Be clear about the type and amount of storage you really need — and how long you need it. For help figuring out how much space you need, see our Storage Unit Size Guide. To find out how a PODS portable storage unit fits into your budget, click here to get a no-obligation estimate.

Liz Taylor is a freelance writer based in Tampa who is always looking for ways to declutter after living in the same house for 28 years.

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