storage unitsIn the U.S., 65% of self-storage renters have a garage in their home, 47% have an attic, and 33 percent have a basement. This suggests that Americans have more things than their homes allow them. ~Brute Storage

There are a lot of situations where people have a need to rent a storage unit.  Some of those situations are temporary, or transitional, while others may be to put a band-aid on a much larger issue.

The statistic above says a lot about Americans and their love of things. Renting a storage unit doesn’t always mean there isn’t a need, however, a reasonable amount of thought should go into the decision.

Typically, when someone feels that need for additional storage, they have more things than the storage they have in their living space can accommodate. There could be many reasons that lead to this realization.  Before you have that knee jerk reaction by renting additional storage, look at the reason you’re in that situation.

Temporary situations make the most sense.  Long term storage typically isn’t the best solution for a lot of reasons.  As mentioned above, you could have a much larger issue that you don’t want to face. There are some situations below to consider before you make that decision.

Do rent a storage unit if…

  • You’re in the military and move frequently during your enlistment
  • You’re remodeling and need temporary storage
  • You’re selling your house and need temporary storage due to staging
  • You’re moving abroad to a smaller home for a short period of time
  • You’re temporarily living with family or friends until your new home is ready

Don’t rent a storage unit if…

  • You don’t have enough storage space in your home
  • You inherited items that don’t fit in your home
  • The things you plan to store will never be used again
  • You don’t have sufficient funds

By now you’ve probably noticed a theme in the lists above, and that is temporary. If your need to rent a storage unit is not temporary, you need to look at the bigger picture.  You probably have more things than you need, and more importantly, than you have the space to store.

Storage is costly so you don’t want to pay long term to store items that you may never need again. Your best bet would be to purge unnecessary or unwanted items.

Before you bring in new items, or new to you such as inherited items, think about where that item will live in your home.  If you don’t have space, remove an existing item to free up space.

Decisions about what things to have in your living space can be difficult.  We all have a finite amount of space and when it’s used up, you can no longer bring in more things.  Actually, you may be able to bring in more things, but you will find that it becomes increasingly more difficult to maneuver throughout your home. That could be when you feel the need to rent a storage unit.  Resist that urge and look at the bigger picture and you will see that you need to purge your things to keep your peace of mind.