As a storage provider, it might seem odd that I’m writing a post about whether you actually need self storage.
This post is the result of a conversation i had with a friend of mine who is a personal organizer in Atlanta and an article i read recently on unclutterer.com (a great blog for the organizationally inclined). Although we’re a provider of storage space, we don’t think that people should look to use storage just because they have too much stuff and don’t have anywhere to put it. Over time, a lot of stuff that ends up in storage is forgotten about and, eventually, they look back and have spent lots of money on years of storage for things they later realize they don’t care about.
A lot of people have a lot of stuff. We won’t go into the reasons why that might be the case (nor are we exempt!). It’s just the reality. Some of that stuff is useful and holds real sentimental or future value, but a lot of stuff just accumulates over time. In many cases, people feel the pressure of clutter and think of using self storage when, really, they just need to declutter and throw stuff away. Organizers and organizational resources can be helpful in determining which stuff should stay and which should go. Using a One Year Box might also be a helpful strategy for you.
That said, there are some good reasons why you might need self storage. Here are a few:
- Temporary Living Condition
I moved several times in my twenties. Between college, internships, graduate school, my first full-time job, roommates, solo-living, getting married, etc, I was in a constant state of flux. During this time period, I needed to use storage a few times because I had stuff that I knew I was going to use once life settled down. Eventually it (kind of) did, and now much of the stuff that was in storage is in my home.
For years, my parents kept the stuff that my sister and I had in our bedrooms stored away at home. But, a few years after being empty-nesters, they decided the big house was too big and moved into a smaller townhome in the city. Until we were settled, they used storage to keep the stuff they knew we’d one day want.
- Large Seasonal Items
I like to bike, ski and camp. So, I have a bike, skis, camping equipment and the like. Because I only use these items every so often (and usually know in advance when I’ll need them), I don’t keep them in my home, where they take up space in my garage. Because I have a modest woodshop in my garage, and like to park a car in there, I keep these larger, seasonal items in storage until I need them back.
- Space Constrained
In Atlanta, there are a lot of really nice homes that were built in the 1920s to 40s that don’t have a lot of space. These homes start to feel more confined once you start to have a family or consolidate lives (i.e., get married). In many cases, you know you’re likely to move to a bigger home in the suburbs and you might not want to get rid of the stuff that one or both partners own.
- Transition Period
People often need storage when they’re in the process of moving from one home to another, remodeling, or relocating. However, if you’re in a period of transition, you should also take this as a time to declutter and throw away stuff you no longer need.
- Home Business
Folks with home businesses might need to store things like records or inventory that don’t fit in the house. If you’re in this boat, you should factor in the cost of storage as a business expense.
- Long Term Overseas Travel
If you have a job where you have to go overseas for an extended period of time (but know you’ll be back), domestic storage might be a necessity. Not only does storing your stuff allow you to keep your stuff safe while you’re abroad, you can probably have your company pick up the tab.
For most items that you might need to store, consider using our service. Our storage by item service allows you to store and retrieve individual items using our unique online interface. This means you have perfect visibility at any moment into what’s being stored (i.e., no forgetting what you have in storage) and have the flexibility to have it picked up and delivered based on when you need the item back. Perhaps most importantly, when you store by item, you only pay for what’s in storage at any given time, rather than a fixed price for a storage unit. This means that your rate scales with the amount of storage space you need (or don’t).
Whatever you decide, if you think you need storage, you should make sure you consider how much storage space you need and how long you think you’ll need it. These two factors will drive much of your total cost of storage (we’ve created a free tool to help you calculate this). If you need help deciding whether self storage or our storage by item service is right for you, give us a call at 404-624-6013 and we’ll be happy to help you.
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