Author Topic: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal  (Read 13504 times)

englishteacheralex

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Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« on: August 28, 2016, 11:55:06 AM »
So I did a job for my Mystery Shopping side hustle auditing a self-storage facility yesterday. The customer service was great--if I wanted to rent a storage unit, I'd probably go with the company I reviewed yesterday.

BUT what the heck kind of silly arrangement is renting a storage unit? It seem right up there with Rent A Center as a horrible financial decision. A 5 X 7 X 8 unit was $147/monthly "investment" plus an "initial investment" of $217. So let me get this straight: you're calling it an investment to PAY to warehouse your depreciating assets?

In what scenario is this an advantageous idea? Sometimes my husband and I, for weird fun, try to imagine scenarios in which Rent A Center would make sense. This is another one of those brain teasers. When would a self-storage unit make sense financially over just selling your stuff on craigslist and then buying more stuff off craigslist when you need it/have space for it again?

nobodyspecial

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2016, 12:24:59 PM »
When would a self-storage unit make sense financially over just selling your stuff on craigslist and then buying more stuff off craigslist when you need it/have space for it again?
You do outdoorsy stuff.
1, You store your mountain bikes and kayaks in the winter and your ski gear in the summer and live in a small city condo.
OR
2, You move out to the burbs and pay $500K for a double car garage to store this junk


scottish

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2016, 01:56:01 PM »
You can get specialized boat storage for a lot less than $150/month, here for example:

http://www.oziles.com/services_boat_storage.html

and it will hold a proper sea kayak, not just a whitewater boat.   :-)

Sailor Sam

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2016, 03:35:10 PM »
When would a self-storage unit make sense financially over just selling your stuff on craigslist and then buying more stuff off craigslist when you need it/have space for it again?

I'm in the military. Every time I get deployed for longer than 6 months, I put all my things in storage. At this point in my life, I have furniture I'm sentimental about, an amazing bed I love reuniting with, and I've built up the perfect collection of kitchen knives. For me, storage makes sense.

That being had, I do keep my possessions streamlined, to ensure everything fits in the smallest unit. The final price depends on the city, but it's usually under $100/month. The $1200/year ends up being much less than rent for an apartment.

I've also seen people use storage units after a spouse dies, and the survivor needs (or wants) to sell. Chuck everything into storage, and deal with it as grief allows, instead of having to go through everything on a realtor's timeline.

GizmoTX

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2016, 04:05:22 PM »
You're in college, renting an apartment for the school year, & you have acquired a bed, desk, desk chair, bookcases, locking cube (doubles as nightstand), love seat, 2 single seats, coffee table, end table, floor lamp, mini fridge, small dining table, 4 dining chairs, 3 bar chairs, kitchen equipment, trash can, & various cleaning & storage items. All of this was donated by family members & is much higher in quality & appearance than craigslist stuff, not to mention having sentimental value. You get a paid summer internship in another city. Instead of paying rent, utilities, & insurance on an empty apartment over the summer in your college town, you store the apartment contents at a fraction of the cost. (You were changing apartments anyway.)

Kwill

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2016, 04:52:44 PM »
I've used them twice when moving out of an apartment where I had a lease for 2+ years and moving into a temporary situation (housesitting, subletting, staying with relatives and combinations thereof) while I looked for a job. The storage units allowed me to move more easily among short-term situations while preserving a little stability when everything else was shifting.

My most recent time with a storage unit saved me thousands. I needed to get out of my lease to be able to take a job offer, and a woman was available to take the apartment only if it were available for January 1. The new job would reimburse my moving expenses, but I had to move in late January because of paperwork, visa, etc. I sold the big stuff on Craigslist and/or passed it to friends and then used my car to ferry everything else into a storage unit for about a month. I was able to bring enough of my own things to avoid replacing basics and to make a new apartment overseas feel homier. The new tenant made a new lease with the landlords and paid me back my deposit and last month's rent on the apartment, so I was free of responsibility for the remaining eight months. And the first month's rent was free on the storage unit, so I only paid the registration fee and about a week of the second month, prorated, because I couldn't schedule the movers as soon as I'd hoped. I saved $1100 from being able to get out of the lease properly plus $750 on January rent. Final cost for the storage unit was $56.04.

Cyaphas

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2016, 05:23:45 PM »
I think it was a great investment... for Walter White!

Travis

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2016, 05:29:24 PM »
When would a self-storage unit make sense financially over just selling your stuff on craigslist and then buying more stuff off craigslist when you need it/have space for it again?

I'm in the military. Every time I get deployed for longer than 6 months, I put all my things in storage. At this point in my life, I have furniture I'm sentimental about, an amazing bed I love reuniting with, and I've built up the perfect collection of kitchen knives. For me, storage makes sense.

That being had, I do keep my possessions streamlined, to ensure everything fits in the smallest unit. The final price depends on the city, but it's usually under $100/month. The $1200/year ends up being much less than rent for an apartment.

I've also seen people use storage units after a spouse dies, and the survivor needs (or wants) to sell. Chuck everything into storage, and deal with it as grief allows, instead of having to go through everything on a realtor's timeline.

As you point out, when you deploy you're completely trading your current living arrangement for the storage unit. One of my senior NCOs retired last year and during his terminal leave period coordinated to visit and closeout/relocate storage lockers in four states! At certain points of his career he accumulated property he either didn't want to move, couldn't fit at his new duty station, or in the case of one of those storage units he literally forgot it existed. I've seen this numerous times with senior officers who leave items behind thinking they'll come back to that location in a couple years. By the time retirement comes that stored property becomes useless to their current situation or their retirement location radically changes. It was probably a financial and logistically dubious decision back then, and even worse now.

Bicycle_B

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2016, 05:35:38 PM »
You are homeless, by choice or not, with income that is over $200 per month but less than what is needed for an apartment (or for a roommate situation).

Having a safe storage space for clothes, sleeping bag, and other goods could be invaluable.  Combine with a gym membership so that you can shower.  Suddenly you can be fresh and clean, presentable to normal society, every day.  You can apply for jobs, get respectable treatment when applying for benefits, be accepted rather run off when you appear in social events and public commercial spaces (coffee shops, malls).  You are less likely to get targeted by police, thus enabling you to stay out of jail.  A storage locker could be a great value to you.

« Last Edit: August 28, 2016, 05:39:19 PM by Bicycle_B »

MrsDinero

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2016, 05:36:41 PM »
I've only used one once.  When I downsized from a large condo to a tiny 1 bedroom.  I had some furniture and sentimental things I didn't want to part with but couldn't fit it in my apartment.  I had it for 1 year before getting rid of some stuff and then just living with a chaotic apartment for a while.

I know some people though who have kept theirs for years because they don't have the space in their home but don't want to get rid of anything.  One person I know has had a large unit for over 6 years and goes into once a year to renew the lease. 

meg_shannon

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2016, 05:56:52 PM »
We put almost all our belongings in storage for a year while we lived overseas. Our rent was paid by my husband's employer and we were renting previously. For us it made a lot sense to rent a storage unit (600$ for the year) than keeping our apartment (1600$/month) or selling and re-buying everything (not really possible - sentimental things, expensive tools, etc.).

After we moved back, we found a cheaper apartment while house hunting. Since it doesn't have a garage all of our tools and garage stuff is in a small storage unit (20$/mont). Much cheaper than an apartment with a garage (400$/month price difference)

bobechs

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2016, 06:25:34 PM »
In many cases, maybe the majority, the best, most highly optimized solution is for people to dispose of all the property they otherwise wind up putting in rented storage lockers.

The next best, next most optimized, solution is to pay to store the stuff in a rented locker.

The thirdest,  double-plus ungood way to go is to buy a bigger house with built-in extra room to hold all that self-same pile o'goodies.  It is also the overwhelmingly most popular choice from what I can see.  Even  around here.

So, #2 is better than #3, nicht wahr?

fa

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2016, 06:30:01 PM »
Is it possible to rent a garage instead?  I don't know if it is cheaper but you would have a ton more storage.  Anyone done this?

TomTX

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2016, 08:32:39 PM »
So I did a job for my Mystery Shopping side hustle auditing a self-storage facility yesterday. The customer service was great--if I wanted to rent a storage unit, I'd probably go with the company I reviewed yesterday.

BUT what the heck kind of silly arrangement is renting a storage unit? It seem right up there with Rent A Center as a horrible financial decision. A 5 X 7 X 8 unit was $147/monthly "investment" plus an "initial investment" of $217. So let me get this straight: you're calling it an investment to PAY to warehouse your depreciating assets?

In what scenario is this an advantageous idea? Sometimes my husband and I, for weird fun, try to imagine scenarios in which Rent A Center would make sense. This is another one of those brain teasers. When would a self-storage unit make sense financially over just selling your stuff on craigslist and then buying more stuff off craigslist when you need it/have space for it again?

It was a much cheaper place, but we used one for 2 months while our existing house was on the market and before we moved into the new house.

Our book collection scares people, apparently. Sheer volume (ha!) not content.

ghsebldr

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2016, 08:53:37 PM »
I rented a 12x20 unit the day after Oregon legalized pot. It was 300 miles from our shops in Washington. I started filling it up with greenhouse components for future customers. Advertised on craigslist starting a month later, then meeting customers down there to pick up their greenhouses on weekends. It paid for the years lease of $2400 within the first 2 months. We ended up pulling the plug a couple of months early when a area nursery supply company picked up our line of houses.
Probably one of the best investments/ideas ever for business. I'm now looking at the same idea in Northern Calif. depending on how their vote goes.


Goldielocks

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2016, 09:11:00 PM »
My dad just sold a small warehouse building after 20 years, at a large profit....

And rented a small storage to hold his displaced contractor (field use) tools.   The unit is ground level, and easy access to load into his vehicle, unlike home, and has much better security, to boot.

I think a lot of businesses rent storage units as much cheaper than expanding a property.

englishteacheralex

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2016, 11:28:39 PM »
Fascinating answers. My husband is a social worker who gets housing for homeless vets, and he said a lot of them do the storage locker thing.

We're in Hawaii, which must be why the lockers are so expensive. I didn't realize that the pricing was lower elsewhere--it just seemed a little insane to me to pay so much to store furniture that probably in the end would be worth less than what it cost to store it.

But clearly there are some legit needs for it.

Now, as a source of passive income--a real estate investment--fascinating.


marble_faun

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2016, 12:41:34 AM »
I've used the storage rentals twice.

(1) Year-long move to a foreign country.  Couldn't take much more than just baggage, but didn't want to dispose of every single other thing I owned.

(2) After a death in the family, I inherited stuff of major sentimental value.  I live in a small/cheap/crummy apartment where I couldn't fit the stuff. But someday I'll own a house.  And the storage unit is probably a safer environment for it in the meantime.

Bicycle_B

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2016, 02:42:11 AM »
Fascinating answers. My husband is a social worker who gets housing for homeless vets, and he said a lot of them do the storage locker thing.

We're in Hawaii, which must be why the lockers are so expensive. I didn't realize that the pricing was lower elsewhere--it just seemed a little insane to me to pay so much to store furniture that probably in the end would be worth less than what it cost to store it.

But clearly there are some legit needs for it.

Now, as a source of passive income--a real estate investment--fascinating.

Somewhere I read that a storage locker complex is a good way to turn land near a town/city into income property before other development becomes practical on the land.

In real life, a couple I'm acquainted with are serial entrepreneurs.  After a few years building up a small business and then selling it, they tour the US for a year in an RV for fun.  By the end of the travel year, they usually have scouted out their next business: first the type of business, then visiting examples for tips of what to do and not do, then identifying a specific badly run instance of the business that they can purchase.  Then they improve it, run it for a while, and eventually sell.  Their latest and apparently last business is a storage locker complex.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2016, 02:44:21 AM by Bicycle_B »

driftwood

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2016, 05:07:50 AM »
In the military - used while deployed and still receiving housing allowance. Cha-ching!

In outdoorsy college - used while spending most of the time out on field excursions and lived in the back of my clown car pickup when in town instead of paying rent.

Only other practicalish idea I've heard is for practicing drummers to use because normally they're in industrial areas and you can pound away without disturbing anyone.

Also I've rented out bigger units than the one you mention for far less $ per month.  Price can depend on area, security, environmental controls.

I do agree that for most people it is a place to waste money to store stuff you probably don't need anymore. 

I worked for a company in Scottsdale that paid for three $500 storage units a month.  With my Tetris skills I could have consolidated those three into one.  With common sense they could have been paying a $1500 mortgage on a building instead of those units.  With even more common sense they could have thrown 90% of the stuff there away and found room at the company for the other 10%.  Spare tires for the company president's personal BMW? WTF?


Khaetra

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2016, 05:26:23 AM »
When the hurricanes hit Florida in 2004 and destroyed half my house I used storage for keeping thing that weren't ruined a couple months until everything was fixed.

havregryn

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2016, 05:46:43 AM »
We moved from one country to another in the EU and are paying a fortune to store our stuff back home (Stockholm, Sweden, any kind of space costs a bloody fortune to have,  in a small town rent for a studio would cost less than we pay for our unit) and I'm dying to find a solution to get rid of it but I don't see it. Especially as we are renting one of the smallest units (not keeping furniture, we are renting the apartment out furnished), so sizing down is not really an option, we would have to get rid of all the stuff, period.
And that is just not realistic, especially as we do intend to move back at some point.
Not sure if it would be a good idea to try to move that stuff somewhere outside of the city for possibly cheaper storage. It bothers me a lot to know I am paying more to store boxes than some people pay to live in a nice flat but unless we decide to destroy all of our possessions or give up the rental profit from renting out our place, I don't see an alternative.

Making Cookies

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #22 on: August 29, 2016, 08:00:50 AM »
When I was in the Navy I had no space that wasn't on the ship. The ship was gone so much that it wasn't practical to rent an apartment. Because we were gone so much when we were in port I wanted off of that darn ship. My home was that ship.

On our ship if you dwelled too long after liberty call was announced (stayed on board over the weekend during daylight hours for example) you risked being "volun-told" to assist with various chores and put to work. Not all ships were like that but mine had a particular "Type-A" personality to it. It was tiring and good motivation to get out and finish college.

There was only so much I could do with a weekend day that didn't involve a fee - restaurants, movies, bars, rental anything, etc. I should have bought a decent bicycle and taken up long distance riding. Or a motorcycle. I got smarter as time went by.

I was "done" with military life at that point and just riding out my last 18 months of enlistment. What I did (do) enjoy doing was using my hands. So I started rebuilding my old car. There was an auto shop on base but they were very strict about clearing the premises after business hours so any work done had to get done and couldn't disable the vehicle b/c I couldn't leave it there inside the shop or out. That was part of why I was done with military life. Rules upon rules upon rules. I wanted a garage of my own to make noise in and a house where I didn't have to worry about snap inspections. ;)

My solution was to put a hitch I made on my little car (man, was that car cheap!) and tow the project car (also cheap) on and off base when I wanted to work on it. The rest of the time the project car lived in the storage unit. When base security got snippy about me towing this car on and off base then I just converted my storage unit into my own garage. With an inverter I had lights and the ability to run a drill or other small tool. I spent as much time just hanging out in the storage unit as I did working there. There was a bathroom about 75 feet away too.

Many storage units won't let you do this. Rules. They want to keep the place clean and I did.

The storage unit cost $700 per year (half the value of my cars) but the mental health benefits were worth multiples more! ;)

Chris22

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #23 on: August 29, 2016, 09:33:26 AM »

I think a lot of businesses rent storage units as much cheaper than expanding a property.

Yup.  I had a storage unit for around a year while we were between houses, staying with family, buying and renovating a new house.  On the occasions I went to put something in/take something out of the unit, I saw lots of contractor/trades people fetching or storing tools and materials, etc. 

gliderpilot567

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #24 on: August 29, 2016, 10:55:44 AM »
Some storage unit companies in my area rent out "hobby units" with extra lighting, ventilation, and electric power, where you can bring in your power tools and build stuff, or otherwise do whatever cottage industry. I think that's an interesting idea, especially if you can do something with the space that turns a profit and may be cheaper than renting a "real" workshop business space.

I've spit-balled the idea of getting one of these and starting a neighborhood wood-working co-op where you contribute your tools and get to use everyone else's, and all members chip in for the cost of the unit.

Making Cookies

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #25 on: August 29, 2016, 11:53:02 AM »
Our town has something like that. My buddies wanted me to jump in with them but it wasn't in my budget at the time.

Now I have my own well-equipped garage now. What I need is more space but I'd rather build a detached garage than rent anything.

englishteacheralex

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #26 on: August 29, 2016, 12:46:08 PM »
Some storage unit companies in my area rent out "hobby units" with extra lighting, ventilation, and electric power, where you can bring in your power tools and build stuff, or otherwise do whatever cottage industry. I think that's an interesting idea, especially if you can do something with the space that turns a profit and may be cheaper than renting a "real" workshop business space.

I've spit-balled the idea of getting one of these and starting a neighborhood wood-working co-op where you contribute your tools and get to use everyone else's, and all members chip in for the cost of the unit.

That is a freakin' amazing idea and my husband would be super into it. We live in a condo, he loves woodworking and has no space for it, never thought of this. So glad I started this random thread.

marble_faun

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #27 on: August 29, 2016, 04:26:47 PM »
Not sure if it would be a good idea to try to move that stuff somewhere outside of the city for possibly cheaper storage.

Yeah, we live in a city but use a storage unit out in the distant suburbs.

Land is cheaper, which makes the rental cheaper.  And the facilities seem newer and less decrepit.  Probably because they are catering to wealthy suburbanite types, and they have make an effort to seem reputable.

The only problem with this arrangement is that we have to drive to get there.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2016, 04:33:37 PM by marble_faun »

havregryn

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #28 on: August 29, 2016, 06:04:52 PM »

Yeah, we live in a city but use a storage unit out in the distant suburbs.

Land is cheaper, which makes the rental cheaper.  And the facilities seem newer and less decrepit.  Probably because they are catering to wealthy suburbanite types, and they have make an effort to seem reputable.

The only problem with this arrangement is that we have to drive to get there.

I actually started researching this as soon as I posted, but came to the disappointing conclusion that it makes hardly any difference (especially if I factor in the costs of actually hiring someone to do the move). We now pay cca 2000$ per year (gaaah) to store the stuff and we could maybe save 10% if we moved them to a middle of nowhere storage, but once you factor in the costs of moving them now and retrieving them later it would only pay off in a 10-15 year time frame.
It's a bit of a first world problem, we earn a lot more on renting the place out than we pay for this storage, but my inner mustachian shivers each time we do our accounting and I see how much we paid to store a bunch of things we don't really need but can't destroy either. 

Dee18

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #29 on: August 29, 2016, 07:36:35 PM »
When I was a prosecutor in DC I learned that more than a few of the units contained illegal drugs.  The dealers thought renting the units under fake names would protect them from prosecution.

Dicey

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #30 on: August 29, 2016, 09:57:17 PM »
In my pre-FIRE life, I had a storage unit for years, because I was a carpet and rug sales rep. I often had display racks and samples far in excess of what my garage could handle. Most of the time the company paid for it. I Tetris'd the hell out of it, stacking Gorilla Racks up to the 10' ceilings, and kept it highly organized. Unfortunately, the budget was cut and I had to move (racks and all) from the place that was between my house and the freeway to one that was further away from both.

Each place was clean and well kept. Neither manager tolerated any bullshit. Four months post-FIRE, I sold my house and moved into DH's while we waited for escrow to close on the house we bought together. We moved the contents of my house straight into the same storage place I'd been using for years. They remembered me and gave me the same long-term rate. Alas, our new home was a short sale and took eight months to close, but eventually it did and we were able to get everything out of storage, hopefully forever.

Of particular note was my next door neighbor at the first storage place. He was almost always there when I stopped by. His unit was completely full. He was in the habit of opening up his unit and pulling neat stack after neat stack of stuff out. (Think single car garage with roll-up door, fully enclosed and air conditioned.) He was always neat and tidy, but sometimes his crap would block my access and he always acted like he was doing me a favor moving it so I could get into my own damn storage.

Eventually, I moved to the storage place across town. About a year later, my town's new library building finally opened. Whaddya know? There he is, every damn day. Always sits in the same chair, facing the wall, no contact with anyone. Apparently he divides his time between the library and his storage unit. He probably has a cheap gym membership somewhere between the two, because he is always perfectly clean, neat and presentable.

So all of this is to say that storage units could be part of a stealthy mustachian lifestyle. This guy clearly had all his belongings in the fancy, inside access, air-conditioned storage unit. He spent his days there and at the library. He probably has a gym membership for showering. I have never seen him on foot, so my guess is that he has a vehicle that he sleeps in somewhere at night. Overall, not a bad set-up. Hey, wait a minute! Maybe this guy's name is dagiffy01! Nah, he's too old and obviously doesn't go to work anywhere, but still, an idea worth further mustachian consideration.

horsepoor

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #31 on: August 29, 2016, 10:19:23 PM »
You're in college, renting an apartment for the school year, & you have acquired a bed, desk, desk chair, bookcases, locking cube (doubles as nightstand), love seat, 2 single seats, coffee table, end table, floor lamp, mini fridge, small dining table, 4 dining chairs, 3 bar chairs, kitchen equipment, trash can, & various cleaning & storage items. All of this was donated by family members & is much higher in quality & appearance than craigslist stuff, not to mention having sentimental value. You get a paid summer internship in another city. Instead of paying rent, utilities, & insurance on an empty apartment over the summer in your college town, you store the apartment contents at a fraction of the cost. (You were changing apartments anyway.)

Yes, that's when I've rented storage.  However, I think it was like $60 a month in 1990's prices.

Recently rented a 5'x10' for a work situation.  It's only $39 a month, and holds a bunch of field equipment during the off season, to prevent clogging up warehouse storage space that I have to share with co-workers (who do things like put my heaviest gear on a shelf 8' off the ground).  Plus I can give access to whomever I need, even during non business hours, and if our storage demands outstrip this unit, it will be easy to move to a larger unit, and vice-versa, as our project needs change.

OTOH, I've argued to a co-worker that she would be better off buying a bigger house than paying for all the storage she and her husband rent (a couple units plus boat storage, eek).

I'm sure there are thousands or millions of storage units across the country that are filled with junk not worth the amount paid in rent to store it, though.

iris lily

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #32 on: August 29, 2016, 11:40:03 PM »
If you steal millions of dollars from an Armenian money train, you need a place to stash all of that cash until the situation cools off.

Dont let your wife know where the key to the storage locker is.

« Last Edit: August 30, 2016, 01:22:44 PM by iris lily »

Melody

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #33 on: August 30, 2016, 05:53:27 AM »
Working holiday? Its so common for Aussies to do the year in London. Normally these people are young enough they can store their things in their bedroom at mum and dad's place but not always. Any trip long enough to warrant renting out your house/no longer paying rent on a house, but short enough that coming back is a definate possibility (6months to 2 years).

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Melody

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #34 on: August 30, 2016, 05:56:14 AM »
Some storage unit companies in my area rent out "hobby units" with extra lighting, ventilation, and electric power, where you can bring in your power tools and build stuff, or otherwise do whatever cottage industry. I think that's an interesting idea, especially if you can do something with the space that turns a profit and may be cheaper than renting a "real" workshop business space.

I've spit-balled the idea of getting one of these and starting a neighborhood wood-working co-op where you contribute your tools and get to use everyone else's, and all members chip in for the cost of the unit.
My friends used one as a band practise space. Saved the hassle of tearing down the drumkit each time they wanted to jam and worked out a little cheaper than using a pay by the hour rehersal facility.
Also I am pretty sure guns and roses did the same thing in Hollywood in the 80s... so maybe its inspirational too!

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Miss Unleaded

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #35 on: August 30, 2016, 07:58:29 AM »
Working holiday? Its so common for Aussies to do the year in London.

...

Something similar for me. I was on working holiday in London, but wanted to come back to Australia for a month (a family member had cancer diagnosis). I wasn't keen to stay in the share house I was in, so I moved out and put my stuff in storage, then looked for another place when I returned.

The cost of storage was a fair bit lower than renting a room for the duration. It was also lower than selling my stuff and then buying new or second hand (less hassle as well).

VaCPA

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #36 on: August 30, 2016, 11:57:45 AM »
I used a storage unit to declutter our house for sale. Our stuff is actually still there because the renovations on our new house aren't quite done so there's nowhere to put it yet. All told we'll probably end up using it for 3-4 months. I think storage units make sense for a lot of scenarios in the short term.

Kaspian

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #37 on: August 30, 2016, 02:11:45 PM »
Real "self-storage": 

1.  Buy a big Rubbermaid container.
2.  Put your crap in it.
3.  Bury it in the yard.
4.  Mark it on a map.
5.  Done.

:D  ...That's the way the pirates did it, anyway.  No monthly fees and probably quicker to access than driving to the industrial part of town.

SJS

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #38 on: September 13, 2016, 05:53:54 PM »
Well, DUH!  PAYING $$ to store shit you don't need (most of the time).  Unless it's a temporary (6 mos. or less) resolution to store your "stuff" - these things are a definite BIG SCREAMING RED FLAG that people have too much shit! 

sunshine

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #39 on: September 13, 2016, 06:42:19 PM »
I u understand why people would use them short term. We used one once for 60 days wile selling a home. It was $47 a month. I have a family member that moved out of state 20 years ago. Her double unit  unit has went from $51 to $115 monthly over the twenty years. Yes I said twenty years!!!!! She has paid to store stuff in another state for twenty years!!!! Can you imagine???
« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 06:45:48 PM by sunshine »

nobodyspecial

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #40 on: September 13, 2016, 09:28:42 PM »
She has paid to store stuff in another state for twenty years!!!! Can you imagine???
It's harder to hide bodies these days. You start digging a hole in the desert and some environmentalist shows up, then you have to dig two holes ....

MrRealEstate

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #41 on: September 14, 2016, 02:09:49 AM »
Is it possible to rent a garage instead?  I don't know if it is cheaper but you would have a ton more storage.  Anyone done this?

In SF some people rent out their garages, some also rent out the parking space in front of their garage if they live near places of business. Definitely not financially worthwhile when compared to the profits they could have by selling and moving to a lower COL.

Roland of Gilead

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #42 on: September 14, 2016, 05:44:44 AM »
We have one to store items we will need in Alaska (winter gear, hiking stuff, gold mining gear, tools, welder).  We sold our house and could not fit everything for the lower 48 and Alaska in the RV at the same time.   I do hate it but at $50 a month to store $15,000 of gear, I guess it is worth it at least for a short time.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #43 on: September 14, 2016, 06:16:29 AM »
Slow travel. Store things for 1-3 years, it will be there upon returning.

Not having to sell and then repurchase furniture I can live with is well worth the couple thousands in storage costs. If you know you will be living somewhere else, rent the storage unit outside an inexpensive metro area with an international airport.

Example:
1. Live in an expensive place such as NYC or SF, making bank at high powered job
2. FIRE
3. Pack small truck, take a leisurely drive to any no income tax state of your choosing with a convenient international airport (DFW, SEA, MIA, LAS come to mind)
4. Establish residency in said state to minimize future taxes (this can typically be done almost immediately)
5. Put things in storage
6. Travel the world for a couple years
7. ???
8. Profit
9. Come back, take leisurely drive into the sunset to your new adventure


paddedhat

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #44 on: September 14, 2016, 06:34:19 AM »
We are moving, house closes next week, and no clue as to even what state we will end up living in. No worries thought, we typically spend our winters in our motorhome, so this snowbird season will just have to start a bit early. Over a long time frame, we have been working at decluttering, and minimizing our needless stuff. We probably eliminated half of our needless possessions in the last decade. We are leaving a 1250 ft. home that is far from cluttered, with one secondary bedroom lightly furnished, and the other empty. No garage, basement, attic or shed stuffed full of shit either. We temporarily rented a 10' x 30' locker to move our stuff into.

I have to say that it has been a shocking experience. We have 90% of our smaller stuff in the locker, and I can't believe how must shit we still own! At one time we bought about seventy of the Rubbermaid brand 18 gallon totes. We have whittled our supply down, but we still have 24 full ones in storage, and an equal volume of cardboard boxes. This does not include any furniture. We also have just enough stuff left in the house to get by with, for daily activities, and a fully stocked motorhome. We comfortably spend 5-6 months at a time in our motorhome. It's a bit over 200 sq. ft. and is loaded with storage, which we never even come close to filling up. We are quite the opposite of hoarders, and own a small fraction of the stuff that friends and neighbors, of our age group own. We get a lot of friendly abuse for living like monks, from that crowd.

At this point, I'm thinking that the rental locker will be a very valuable tool, especially to help the wife to let go of some stuff. We agreed that before we transfer anything to a new place, we will be looking at every single item, and donating what we haven't missed while it sat in lock-up. I hope that this can cull another 40-50% of our stuff. It's frustrating dealing with the DW on this issue, since she defaults to equating owning shit, to some sort of standing among her peers. "you are being irrational, it's normal to own all the stuff, most of my friends have three times as much!"  is one of her arguments.  Well, yes they do, and we can certainly hold on to several food processors, blenders and another hundred kitchen tools that you haven't touched in years, just so you can experience the pleasure of owning them..................... It makes my toes curl to even type this.

The distance between what we need to be happy, and what we currently own is frustrating. The difference between what we need to be happy and the average American family with a home, basement, attic, garage and/or rental storage packed full of shit, is mind blowing.

mtn

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #45 on: September 14, 2016, 07:49:23 AM »
We've used a storage unit effectively 5 times.

1: Storing our boat. Still in this one. Yeah, long term it isn't as good as selling the boat, but long term we want to keep the boat anyways. We lost our free storage for the boat, and this is temporary (going on 3 years now). This is about $500 a year.
2: Summer in college. The storage unit was cheaper than replacing the furniture. Did this the one summer that there was a gap in the leases
3: Moved areas and was living with my parents (and my then-fiance with hers) for 8 months. We had a full set of furniture that was very nice; paid about $500 to store $2500 worth of furniture--some of it sentimental.
4: My great aunt used it when she moved to assisted living. Wouldn't sell a thing. We ended up tossing most of it when she passed, a lot of it wasn't very nice.
5: Moved again. Our lease ended on August 31, our close date was September 6. We were living with my inlaws for a week and there was no room for our stuff. We were in the storage unit less than 2 weeks; it cost about $50 for the whole thing. Annoying part of that was that we had to pay movers twice (~$1,000 for the whole move including storage, not including eating out--worth every penny)

englishteacheralex

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #46 on: September 14, 2016, 08:35:39 AM »
We are moving, house closes next week, and no clue as to even what state we will end up living in. No worries thought, we typically spend our winters in our motorhome, so this snowbird season will just have to start a bit early. Over a long time frame, we have been working at decluttering, and minimizing our needless stuff. We probably eliminated half of our needless possessions in the last decade. We are leaving a 1250 ft. home that is far from cluttered, with one secondary bedroom lightly furnished, and the other empty. No garage, basement, attic or shed stuffed full of shit either. We temporarily rented a 10' x 30' locker to move our stuff into.

I have to say that it has been a shocking experience. We have 90% of our smaller stuff in the locker, and I can't believe how must shit we still own! At one time we bought about seventy of the Rubbermaid brand 18 gallon totes. We have whittled our supply down, but we still have 24 full ones in storage, and an equal volume of cardboard boxes. This does not include any furniture. We also have just enough stuff left in the house to get by with, for daily activities, and a fully stocked motorhome. We comfortably spend 5-6 months at a time in our motorhome. It's a bit over 200 sq. ft. and is loaded with storage, which we never even come close to filling up. We are quite the opposite of hoarders, and own a small fraction of the stuff that friends and neighbors, of our age group own. We get a lot of friendly abuse for living like monks, from that crowd.

At this point, I'm thinking that the rental locker will be a very valuable tool, especially to help the wife to let go of some stuff. We agreed that before we transfer anything to a new place, we will be looking at every single item, and donating what we haven't missed while it sat in lock-up. I hope that this can cull another 40-50% of our stuff. It's frustrating dealing with the DW on this issue, since she defaults to equating owning shit, to some sort of standing among her peers. "you are being irrational, it's normal to own all the stuff, most of my friends have three times as much!"  is one of her arguments.  Well, yes they do, and we can certainly hold on to several food processors, blenders and another hundred kitchen tools that you haven't touched in years, just so you can experience the pleasure of owning them..................... It makes my toes curl to even type this.

The distance between what we need to be happy, and what we currently own is frustrating. The difference between what we need to be happy and the average American family with a home, basement, attic, garage and/or rental storage packed full of shit, is mind blowing.

For me the revelation about stuff came when my father died and we cleaned out his house. He wasn't a hoarder, exactly, just not very conscientious about clutter or cleaning. Throwing out bag after bag of stuff...it made me realize that you really can't take it with you. Better to "clean up after yourself" as you live, finding people who actually want/need the stuff you don't use, selling things on Craigslist/Ebay, or better yet, not buying things at all unless they are absolutely necessary.

We live in an 850 square foot condo as a family of four, so this attitude is really important to our sanity.

mtn

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #47 on: September 14, 2016, 08:38:54 AM »
We are moving, house closes next week, and no clue as to even what state we will end up living in. No worries thought, we typically spend our winters in our motorhome, so this snowbird season will just have to start a bit early. Over a long time frame, we have been working at decluttering, and minimizing our needless stuff. We probably eliminated half of our needless possessions in the last decade. We are leaving a 1250 ft. home that is far from cluttered, with one secondary bedroom lightly furnished, and the other empty. No garage, basement, attic or shed stuffed full of shit either. We temporarily rented a 10' x 30' locker to move our stuff into.

I have to say that it has been a shocking experience. We have 90% of our smaller stuff in the locker, and I can't believe how must shit we still own! At one time we bought about seventy of the Rubbermaid brand 18 gallon totes. We have whittled our supply down, but we still have 24 full ones in storage, and an equal volume of cardboard boxes. This does not include any furniture. We also have just enough stuff left in the house to get by with, for daily activities, and a fully stocked motorhome. We comfortably spend 5-6 months at a time in our motorhome. It's a bit over 200 sq. ft. and is loaded with storage, which we never even come close to filling up. We are quite the opposite of hoarders, and own a small fraction of the stuff that friends and neighbors, of our age group own. We get a lot of friendly abuse for living like monks, from that crowd.

At this point, I'm thinking that the rental locker will be a very valuable tool, especially to help the wife to let go of some stuff. We agreed that before we transfer anything to a new place, we will be looking at every single item, and donating what we haven't missed while it sat in lock-up. I hope that this can cull another 40-50% of our stuff. It's frustrating dealing with the DW on this issue, since she defaults to equating owning shit, to some sort of standing among her peers. "you are being irrational, it's normal to own all the stuff, most of my friends have three times as much!"  is one of her arguments.  Well, yes they do, and we can certainly hold on to several food processors, blenders and another hundred kitchen tools that you haven't touched in years, just so you can experience the pleasure of owning them..................... It makes my toes curl to even type this.

The distance between what we need to be happy, and what we currently own is frustrating. The difference between what we need to be happy and the average American family with a home, basement, attic, garage and/or rental storage packed full of shit, is mind blowing.

For me the revelation about stuff came when my father died and we cleaned out his house. He wasn't a hoarder, exactly, just not very conscientious about clutter or cleaning. Throwing out bag after bag of stuff...it made me realize that you really can't take it with you. Better to "clean up after yourself" as you live, finding people who actually want/need the stuff you don't use, selling things on Craigslist/Ebay, or better yet, not buying things at all unless they are absolutely necessary.

We live in an 850 square foot condo as a family of four, so this attitude is really important to our sanity.

My parents love to go to estate sales. Ironically, there love for estate sales has made them realize that everything is really pretty useless and worthless. They now go just to upgrade, and then try to give away their old stuff.  It isn't working, but they sure are upgrading everything. And don't feel bad if something gets damaged knowing it is just stuff anyways.

paddedhat

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #48 on: September 14, 2016, 09:25:21 AM »

For me the revelation about stuff came when my father died and we cleaned out his house. He wasn't a hoarder, exactly, just not very conscientious about clutter or cleaning. Throwing out bag after bag of stuff...it made me realize that you really can't take it with you. Better to "clean up after yourself" as you live, finding people who actually want/need the stuff you don't use, selling things on Craigslist/Ebay, or better yet, not buying things at all unless they are absolutely necessary.

We live in an 850 square foot condo as a family of four, so this attitude is really important to our sanity.


Great post.  My mom passed a few years back, and closely fit your description of somebody who wasn't buried in hoarding trash, but had no issues with large volumes of worthless crap that accumulated in the "spare" rooms of a fairly modest home. My brother and I wasted weeks of our lives digging through worthless stuff, for no real reason other than it had to go.

My current dilemma involves the fact that we haven't addressed the subtle build-up of material over the last five years, or so. We also didn't take the time to purge, based on what no longer applies to our interests, such as a huge amount of kitchen junk that worked fine with kids at home, but is no longer relevant.

The 850 ft. place is cool. We have searched many desirable parts on the east, and Rocky Mt. west, looking for a place to relocate.  Our wants are pretty difficult to find, as I have little interest in excess space, and would be happy with  a 900-1100ft modest ranch house. The problem is that this is almost always built on a piece of ground that's little bigger than a bedspread. Trying to find room for a nice yard, maybe a detached garage, and place for a garden and to park a motorhome, is nearly impossible. If we find a nice lot, it typically has a 2000 ft. four bedroom house on it.  I can't see spending 100K or more, for additional  space that we will never occupy.

PencilThinStash

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Re: Storage Units Seem Like a Terrible Deal
« Reply #49 on: September 14, 2016, 01:38:19 PM »
I've only ever used storage once, for a long-distance move a couple months back where I didn't have a new place lined up yet. Out within 2 months.

One of my buddies from college, though... last I heard, his family keeps three separate units. Two of them for various furniture, because "Great Aunt Martha left us her couch, and we can't throw it away, it's got sentimental value" or "We might change our decorating taste again in a few years and want that entertainment center we used back in the early 90s."

The third unit is filled with a bunch of his childhood toys that they think have some sort of resale value. I guess a number of them are Star Wars Phantom Menace figurines still in the original packaging, and are viewed as an "investment."

Because, you know, Phantom Menace was such a cultural milestone of a movie, and people view it with the same reverence as the original trilogy. </sarcasm>

I tried running the math on it with him one time. "Okay, assume you're paying $X every month in storage fees. Are they rare enough items to increase in value by more than $X every month? If you spend $15k on storage over the next 10 years, to sell the collection for $5k more than it's worth right now, you're not coming out ahead."

"No, no, PencilThinStash, you don't understand. These are STAR WARS figurines, and those fans are INSANE. People will totally pay top dollar for my Jar Jar Binks figurine from 1999. I'm gonna make BANK when I decide to sell these."

Pardon me, I need to go bang my head against a brick wall.