Why Paying for a Storage Unit Is Always a Terrible Idea

While renting a storage unit probably seems like a good idea at the time you do it, experts conclude that it might not be worth the expense in the long run. According to data sourced from the Self Storage Association, reported by Neighbor.com, 9.4% of U.S. households rent a self-storage unit. These folks pay an average price of $88.85 per month — and the cost adds up significantly over time. So is the storage unit cost worth it?

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Here are 10 reasons why it’s a terrible idea to rent a storage unit.

Last updated: Aug. 31, 2021

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You’re Wasting Money

The biggest downside to renting a storage unit is that you’re throwing away money on stuff that isn’t contributing to your life in any positive way. Storage units can range from $60 to $225 per month, depending on the size, location and other features. If you spent $100 each month on a storage unit, that’s $1,200 a year.

Now imagine investing that money and earning 6% interest rather than spending $100 on a storage unit. At the end of 10 years, you’d have a significant savings account of $16,247.34, The Penny Hoarder calculated.

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You Might Be Storing What You Don’t Need

The problem with a storage unit is that your stuff is out of sight and out of mind — and it’s easy to forget about what you’ve got in there. You’re less likely to downsize and get rid of things you don’t need as long as they’re tucked away where you don’t have to look at them. Still, you're continuing to spend money storing these items.

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Your Goods Are Reducing in Value

If you’re storing goods that you might consider selling at some point, the longer you keep them in storage, the more they're probably depreciating in value, according to The Penny Hoarder. Maybe it's time for a yard sale instead.

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It’s Inconvenient

Should you actually want to visit your storage unit to grab things you have tucked away, you have to drive to the location, make sure you’re there during the facility’s open hours and probably pick your way through boxes or furniture to find whatever it is you’re after. If you can’t fit it into your residence, maybe you don’t really need it.

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It Increases Worries About Theft

When you store your valuables or belongings in a storage unit, you’re essentially trusting someone else to watch over them for you. You have no control over how secure a facility is or whether there's surveillance or security on duty. The quality of security and safety varies by facility.

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You Might Store Stuff For Longer Than You Intend

When you first put your items in storage, you probably expect they'll be there for a limited time only, The Penny Hoarder suggested. Many people who plan to store things for a short time, however, often go on to keep them there much longer for a variety of reasons.

Additionally, your local storage facility might have a minimum time requirement. It’s important to assess just how much you're willing to spend, consider how long you're planning to keep the items in storage and then stick to a schedule to save money.

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Storage Units Do Not Spark Joy

If your stuff is all cooped up in a storage unit, you’re not doing anything meaningful or useful with it. Your stored goods probably don't, as organizing guru Marie Kondo says, “spark joy.” It’s important to be realistic about why you’ve got more stuff than you can fit into your living space. Then, be aggressive in letting go of what you don’t need.

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Storage Might Prevent You From Better Organizing

If you’ve got so much stuff you can’t fit into your current home, you might be missing an opportunity to improve your storage and organization systems, according to Garage Living. By storing your belongings, you're missing an opportunity to declutter and then install systems to make your stuff fit neatly and be easily accessible.

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There Are Often Hidden Costs

On top of your monthly storage fee, many storage facilities tack on extra fees for things such as climate control, mandatory insurance and security features, to name a few. Over the months, these fees add up to continue a slow drain on your wallet for things you aren’t even using.

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You Could Be Making Money Through Sales

Instead of holding on to your stuff in storage, you could earn money by selling off unused items via avenues such as eBay, Craigslist or a personal yard sale. Depending on what you’ve got stored, you might be able to quickly recognize a new cash stream, both in items sold and in storage space you no longer have to pay for.

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Storage Units Make Money Off Your Stuff

When it comes right down to it, the storage unit owner is profiting off of your stuff just sitting there, and they’re happy to do it. They really benefit if you decide that it's easier to pay the bill each month than to clean out the unit.

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