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.
- Special promotions: Always check the storage company’s website for discounts and special offers. It’s a good idea to also call them up and ask if there are any other promotions running that may not be on the site yet.
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- Military discounts: If you’re a veteran or are currently serving in the military, 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. And remember, PPM entitlements are equal to 100% of what it would cost the military to move you with a full-service moving team. Moving with the support of PODS, you could end up keeping a whole lot of that money and save on stress too.
- 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 long-term storage agreements. 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 you really understand the terms of the discount you choose to use to avoid getting 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.
- Friends and family discounts: It’s possible you have a friend or family member working for a storage company and they may be able to offer you a special discount on your storage costs.
- Check for promo codes: Simply search google for “storage discount codes” (or replace the word “storage” with the name of a company you’d like to use) and see what pops up. It’s not unusual for companies to offer special promo codes around the holidays and it could save you big time! Just make sure you really understand the terms so you actually get the deal you want.
ORGANIZE AND DECLUTTER TO REDUCE STORAGE NEEDS
It probably goes without saying — it costs more to store more; it costs less to store less. Even though it can take extra time upfront to declutter and minimize your stuff, this step can pay big dividends in cutting storage costs — not to mention in time and trouble spent packing, loading and unloading. Here are some simple tips to help you declutter before you put your things in storage:
- Find a starting point: If you’re packing up your entire house (maybe you’re going on a 6-month hike up the Appalachian trail or a 3-month eat-pray-love trip to Europe), then start in any room. Otherwise, put together everything you’re planning to store and then work your way through it box-by-box, item-by-item. If you don’t want it, need it, or use it — let it go.
- Get help from a friend or organizing professional: Decluttering is always easier when it’s not your own stuff. If you’re having a tough time making the hard decisions, ask a friend or hire a pro to help you sort, purge, and get organized. Get some quick ideas now with our post on How to Declutter in 6 Steps.
- Sell or give away extra stuff: The best thing about selling or giving something away is that you can get other people to come pick it up. Here are some tips for offloading unwanted things:
- 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 and just want to be rid of things (especially larger items), you can set them on your curb with a sign that reads “FREE.” Just don’t put them out on trash day.
- Finally, you can schedule a pick-up with a local charity.
Whichever course you take, your stuff will find a second life with someone who needs it — good for you, good for them, and good for the environment.
- Use on-site portable storage units to ease the process: If the amount of stuff you need to go through feels overwhelming and you don’t have enough space in your home or garage to really go through it, you can rent a PODS portable storage container and keep it right in your driveway. Use it as a sorting station. Once you’ve got a box packed that you know you’ll want to store, just move it to the back of the container (heavier boxes on the bottom). You can keep the container as long as you need to get the job done.
PACK AND LOAD TO OPTIMIZE STORAGE
Efficient packing and loading techniques will help you minimize the size and number of storage units you’ll need – ultimately cutting your storage costs.
- Learn the right way to load a storage container: Find how to pack and load like a pro and avoid wasting any space in your storage container. We’re talking wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling. Check out PODS Packing and Loading Tips and watch the video above – 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, which helps you avoid paying for more storage than you actually need. If you’d rather leave it to the pros, PODS can refer you to local packing and loading assistance.
|Q: How much does it cost to put everything in storage?
A: The cost to put everything in storage will depend on how much of everything you have. Renting a storage unit costs about $180 a month (on average), and it can cost more or less depending on the facility you use, whether or not it’s climate-controlled, and any discounts you’re able to apply. If you need two or three storage units, that cost will double or triple.
If you’re using a portable storage container company (like PODS), you can stagger your container deliveries. This is a very smart move if you’re considering renting more than one container. Schedule the delivery for each container a week or two apart. After you’ve loaded the first one, you’ll have a better idea of how much storage space you’ll actually need. If you don’t need the second (or third) container, cancel the remaining container deliveries to avoid paying for more than you actually need. Just make sure you understand the cancellation policy of the company you’re working with as these policies differ from company to company.
|Q: What are storage costs?
A: The specifics of your storage costs will depend on the type of storage you choose, so be sure to ask for a breakdown before settling on a storage provider. In addition to monthly rent, you may need to pay for coverage to protect your things while they’re in storage. Also, though rare, some storage units come with electrical outlets. Having access to electricity in your unit would almost definitely come with an additional fee.
PODS storage costs start at $149/month plus delivery and pick-up fees. In most cases, delivery and pick-up charges can be waived depending on the duration of your container rental.
SET A DEADLINE TO EMPTY OUT YOUR STORAGE UNIT
Once you’ve got stuff in storage it can be all 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 storage rent for longer than you really need. Chances are, that monthly expense could 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 prior to renting the unit. Think about what needs to happen before you can take things out of storage again. 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 before your deadline. Need some motivation? Give yourself small rewards for hitting each milestone. If you need help creating an action plan, check out these tips from Entrepreneur.
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 quote.
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.