Storage Units: How to Use Them, How to NOT use them

Storage Units are great for holding onto items TEMPORARILY!  Storage Units are not great for long-term storage because they are EXPENSIVE!
I tell people that having Storage is like paying rent for people you don’t really like. If someone you LOVE needs a place to stay, you would make room for them at your place or help them find a place to go.  You would visit them and spend time with them. But when you take items you think are very important to you, stick them in storage somewhere and never look at them again as years go by, how much do you really need, want, or love those things?
Storage Success Stories:
Doug and Liza sold their big house and moved to a small apartment while their new condo was being renovated. They put a bunch of art, collectibles, and memorabilia into storage for one year.  They spent about $1800 for that unit.
Elizabeth went off to college and her Mom sold the house.  Her Mom put a bunch of items, furniture, memorabilia, household goods and things like that into storage for Elizabeth so that she would have it all when she got her own apartment. The storage unit cost $5,400 for 3 years.   When Elizabeth got out of college and got her first apartment, she hardly had to buy anything new.
Storage Sad Stories:
Sarah cleaned out her Mom’s house and put a lot of furniture, art and family china into storage, intending to sell it someday.  Time went by and she continued to pay $300 a month for the storage unit. She didn’t even remember what was in there until she finally hired me to help her clean it out.  Unfortunately, at that point she had spent $32,400 (that’s $300 per month for 9 years) storing her Mom’s things, and none of it was very valuable anymore.  She ended up donating it all just so she could get rid of the storage unit ASAP.
Betty had to clean out her house in order to sell it but didn’t want to get rid of many items.  Her son finally just put a bunch of things into storage and figured they would “go through it a little at a time.”  Time went by and before they knew it Betty had paid $12,000 for a storage unit she had never been to once.  As usual, no one could remember what was in there.  Betty’s son hired an Auction House to sell the contents.  They Auction brought in $3,200 and his Mom received $1,500 of that money.
How to Make your Storage Unit a Success Story
Rule #1:  Make a detailed list of everything in your Storage Unit.  If things are in boxes, you can number the boxes and list the Contents somewhere else.
Rule #2:  Take photos and measurements of big items like furniture.  That way if you decide to sell something that’s in storage, or move it to another location, you will already know exactly what it looks like and if it will fit into your new plan.
Rule #3:  Have a plan and do the Math.  If you can buy a new sofa for $1500, it doesn’t make sense to store an old sofa for 2 years, because you will have spent more money than if you bought it new.  When you rent a Storage Unit, have a plan, a timeline, and a budget.  If you are going to “go through” the items in Storage (which most people don’t do because it is REALLY not fun to sit in a chilly steel box and go through stuff that you will regret you kept all this time), then put those Sessions on your schedule, in your
Calendar and have a plan.
Rule #4:   Understand the physical demands of moving things around.  Hauling boxes of books, furniture, and knickknacks in and out of vehicles and storage units is hard physical work.  Be prepared to do it yourself or have some strong labor to help you.

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