Friday, November 4, 2011

Never Say Never to Renting a Storage Unit

Ask any clutter fighter and they'll likely tell you renting a storage unit is a slippery slope on the way to a hoarding disorder.

I'm going to take a different stance.

Storage units have their place and can be a practical tool in several instances.

My husband and I have rented storage units twice in our married life. I know someone else that keeps a self storage unit rental at all times for business reasons.

When we first married, way back in 1996, my husband and I lived in a cute house with two bedrooms, an office and a full basement. We were young, just a few years out of college, and living in an area where the economy was not thriving. We didn't have children yet, unless you count our two very spoiled cats. To support our thrifty lifestyle, Greg was driving a bus full time and I was working at a law firm coordinating their hearing calendar. Needless to say, these were not the dreams we had for our lives. Taking a leap of faith, we packed a moving van and headed to Raleigh, NC, a 12-hour drive from our cute little rental house.

At our destination, we moved into a not-so-cute, 500-square foot apartment with one bedroom and a kitchen so small you bumped into yourself while cooking dinner. As soon as we unloaded the moving van with all necessary items, we drove directly to a self storage facility and filled a unit with the rest. There was no way around it. Either we walled ourselves into our apartment with stacks of needed, but not crucial day-to-day items or we rented a storage unit and were able to move freely about our living space.

It was only temporary. Six months later, our lease was up. We found a bigger apartment and closed our storage unit.

In Raleigh, Greg was able to get a job in the computer industry, which is where he wanted to be. I worked as a secretary at a school district and contemplated going back to school for a masters degree in education. We missed our families. Then, we had a baby. We really missed our families. In the winter, we were dreaming of snow covered fields and white Christmases. There were a few other compelling reasons, so three years later, we moved back to Upstate NY.

There we found ourselves with a moving van full of household stuff and an apartment that wouldn't be ready for two more weeks. We stayed with relatives. Our stuff stayed at a storage facility. We moved into the apartment, closed the unit and haven't needed another one since.

However, we have a friend who is a successful salesman and keeps a lot of stock in a self storage unit so he doesn't have to fill his garage with it.

There you have it. Three perfectly valid reasons for renting a self storage unit. I'm sure there are others. If you've needed a storage unit at any point in your life, please share your story in the comments.

I was compensated for this blog post, but all opinions expressed are my own.


  1. I need a storage unit just to clean out the spare room in our house! Probably should just part with the things I haven't touched since moving in 6 years ago. lol

  2. We just moved to a smaller premises and storage unit's have been a lifesaver. Allows us to keep items which we may need in the future without needing to sell them off cheaply or throw them away. Storage unit's are becoming so competitive that their prices are nothing to complain about too :)

  3. This only proves that owning a storage unit can be a big help for thriving families. I mean, if a family doesn't have a house or if they have transferred with their belongings with them. It is not that quick or easy to find a house that is perfect for you, so putting your belongings in a storage facility is far safer rather than bringing it with you while looking for a house.

  4. I like the title of this blog – very catchy and clever! Renting a storage unit is not only a great idea for when you move, but also for when you never know where your job is going to take you. My job requires a lot of travel, both throughout the U.S. and to Europe. Sometimes I don't know until last minute where I'm going to end up. I'm from the big state of Texas and so I rented a storage unit in Houston to hold all of my most valuable and larger items. Storage units are great for any type of travel, whether to a new home or a new job location!