By Molly Hammond, Storage.com
Finding your place in this world can be pretty difficult, not to mention how hard it can be to move there. Storage.com is here to help with the moving process, either by providing storage or helping you find the ideal place to call home.
So you’ve decided you need self storage to remove some clutter from your apartment or house, but you also don’t want to spend a fortune each month on your storage unit rental. How can you find an affordable storage option? Well, first, it’s important to understand what affects the price of storage unit rentals. In most cases, there are three aspects of self storage that determine pricing: location, unit size, and amenities.
Why Location Matters in Self Storage Costs
“Location, location, location” is the phrase every real estate agent uses when explaining why certain apartments, condos, and houses cost more than others, and that’s because location determines everything from ease of access to area security. It’s no different with self storage.
Storage facilities in areas with higher storage demand—like urban areas of large cities where more people are renting storage to compensate for smaller living spaces—often have more expensive rates. Take Houston, Texas, for example. A 5×10 climate-controlled storage unit in Clear Lake on the outskirts of the metro starts around $60 a month while the same unit in Midtown Houston starts around $100 a month.
One of the easiest ways you can save money on storage is by choosing a facility in an area where demand isn’t as great. Obviously, this means accessing your unit is less convenient because you’ll have to drive across town, but if you don’t plan on visiting your storage facility regularly, it’s a simple compromise.
Why Getting the Right Unit Size Is Important
Although unit sizes can vary from facility to facility, most storage operations offer these standard storage unit sizes: 5×5, 5×10, 10×10, 10×20, and 10×30. The 5×5 and 5×10 sizes are best for smaller storage needs since they’re similar to the size of a walk-in closet. These units can typically hold a mattress set, small furniture, and some boxes. The 10×10, 10×20, and 10×30 sizes, however, are best for larger storage needs, such as storing vehicles or the entire contents of an apartment or house while moving.
Typically, the bigger the storage unit, the more expensive the rental. The last thing you want is to guess how much storage space you need only to wind up paying for a half-empty unit each month. This is why it’s important to determine your space requirements ahead of reserving a unit. Not only will you get the right unit size for your things, but you’ll also be able to shop and compare faster because you’ll know what you need.
If you need helping find the best unit size for your needs, check out our storage unit size guide.
Why Amenities Raise Rental Rates
Storage features definitely play a part in the cost of your storage unit. It’s the same reason why a car’s base model is so much cheaper than a luxury model—because you’re not paying for “creature comforts.”
Some of the features storage facilities will offer include:
- Drive-Up Access
- Level of Access (i.e., first floor, second floor, etc.)
- Climate-Controlled Storage
- Security (e.g., gated access, video surveillance, on-site management, alarmed units)
- Auto/Boat/RV Storage
While these amenities are useful in many situations—drive-up access when you’re moving heavy items, climate control when storing temperature-sensitive items—unless you absolutely need them, it’s better to find a basic storage unit. For example, an indoor storage unit on the ground level of a storage facility can cost anywhere from $20-100 more a month compared to a unit on a second or third level.
If you’re looking for ways to get cheap storage, opt for a facility that’s farther away, don’t rent more space than you need, and don’t tack on unnecessary amenities.
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