Nearly 10% of American households rent a storage unit, at an average cost of $88 per month. This adds up to over $1,000 a year!

Think about it this way: If you invested that money at a 6% interest rate, you’d save $16,000 over the course of a decade.

Of course, some of us genuinely need to rent a storage unit at some point, and that’s fine. The trick is to find affordable self-storage units so you don’t have to pay more than necessary.

Here are five proven ways to reduce storage unit costs and keep more cash in your pocket.

1. Purge Before You Store

The average American home has tripled in size since 1960. Is it any wonder that the average home contains more than 300,000 different items?

With this in mind, it’s time to take a serious look at those items you’re placing in storage boxes. What do you actually need to keep? Do you truly need to hold on to that beat-up pan, the thrift store painting, or the jacket you outgrew 10 years ago?

Use this opportunity to sell, donate, or give away the things you can live without. You’ll find you have much less to place (and pay for) in your storage unit.

2. Pack Efficiently

After your purge, you’ll want to focus on packing the remaining items as efficiently as possible. Fill each box or bin completely, leaving few or no gaps between items.

At the same time, be sure to protect fragile items with bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or a similar material. And since we’re on the subject, don’t forget to get more info about insurance for the items you’re storing.

3. Store Bulky Items Elsewhere

A large sofa, dresser, or bookcase can easily take up half your storage unit, leaving precious little room for other items.

If possible, ask a friend or family member if you can leave your large items in their garage or basement. You could even look into lending those items to a local charity or organization for a period of time.

4. Rent the Smallest Possible Unit

When it comes to low-cost storage options, don’t pay for more than you need. This is especially true if you’re storing your items long-term and won’t need to access the unit regularly.

Don’t worry about leaving space to reach the back or creating a walkway between boxes. Fill all available space and you may be able to get away with a substantially smaller unit than you planned.

5. Look for Discounts & Special Offers

Keep an eye out for advertisements from local self-storage companies. They may offer an annual discount, a few months of free rent, or a price reduction for a certain sized unit.

Even if there’s no visible ad, it never hurts to call and ask. They may have a special promotion going on or they may be open to negotiating a long-term contract.

Lower Your Storage Unit Costs Today

So then, how much does a storage unit cost? The answer depends on you!

Use our proven tips to reduce your storage unit costs and have more money to spend on the things that truly matter.

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By Manali