Are Storage Units a Waste of Money?

Are Storage Units a Waste of Money

When you take the time to look at all of your options, storage units may not be as expensive or wasteful as they seem.

For many people, deciding if it’s worth paying for a unit is based on how much money they can save in their pocket and what they’re getting in return; but when you break down the numbers, there are actually several benefits that come along with storing some or all of your possessions.

To help give an idea about this dilemma we’ve broken down everything from monthly rates and insurance costs to construction and vacancy times so that by the end of this post you’ll have a better understanding about whether renting out space might just be something beneficial to consider.

Table of Contents

How Much Does a Storage Unit Cost?

Row of 5x10 Storage Units
Inside units can offer temperature control and more protection against the elements, but it may come with a bit of a walk to the unit.

Storage units can cost from as little as $20 a month for a small 5×5 space to as much as $1,500 for an 8 foot x 10 foot space with climate control. In general, the bigger the unit the more you save on the space. In other words, the more you have to store, the more valuable it is to buy a larger unit because they’re cheaper per square feet.

You may want to take into account location and accessibility before deciding on which storage facility will work best for you.

For example: If you live in a large city and traffic congestion is a problem, then getting one that’s not located too far outside of town might be worth considering. Of course there are other factors such as security and hours of access available but those are some things you may want to think about.

Units in a tightly congested city area tend to be more expensive as well, simply from supply and demand. If you won’t be needing to access your unit often, consider getting a unit more out of town to get a better rate.

What is the Difference Between a Storage Unit and Self-Storage Facility?

Take into account that there are actually two different types of storage facilities: self storage units, which are more common, and actual storage companies.

Self-storage facilities simply offer vacant space for people to pack their belongings in while they’re moving or renovating their home.

By comparison, real estate companies who specialize in renting out spaces come with all of the amenities you’d expect from an apartment complex such as 24/hour access, security cameras everywhere (with restricted entry), temperature control options so your items don’t get too hot or cold during certain months where one might be necessary, etc.

So if it’s any comfort knowing these things exist then you can feel a little bit better about your decision.

What are the Benefits of Renting a Storage Unit?

Storage Units

There are actually quite a few benefits to renting out storage units for yourself and we’ve listed some below:

  • Saves money on moving costs by storing as many things as possible until you’re ready to relocate them into your new home, apartment or office space. In this case, it’s definitely worth spending that extra $20-$50/mo just so everything is safe from damage during those short periods being stored.
  • Keeps items organized when they’re packed away in boxes where there would probably be more chaos if all belongings were left lying around the house collecting dust while waiting to be unpacked later down the road.
  • Can add an extra layer of privacy to sensitive items that may not be something you would want everyone in the family seeing if they were left lying around your home or apartment without any place else to store them. At this point, it might just be worth it!

How Much does Insurance for Storage Units Cost?

When renting out a storage unit here’s what you can expect when thinking about whether storage insurance is worth the money:

The average price is $20-$30/month which covers everything from damage done to your possessions by someone who doesn’t belong inside the facility (theft) to climate related disasters such as rain and flooding; so keep these things in mind before deciding on whether or not all belongings should stay at home until ready for relocation or if it’s worth “investing” in a storage unit.

When deciding on whether or not storage insurance is worth the money, take into consideration the location of your unit. Water damage from rain/flooding is much more likely in an outdoor unit or units on the bottom floor of a storage building. Do you trust the general security measures in place at the facility – lighting, cameras, etc.?

Personally, I’m generally not one to purchase insurance on things like a storage unit, but I’d want to feel comfortable about where my things are being stored.

What are the Disadvantages of Using Storage Units?

Water seeping into a storage unit

Although there are many benefits to renting out space, there are also some disadvantages that you’ll want to keep in mind when deciding on whether or not they make sense for your personal situation:

Depending where you live can depend on how much security is provided at these facilities and what time access is given (24 hours vs. certain business hours). So depending on your lifestyle this may be something else to think about before making any final decisions because let’s face it; we’ve all heard stories from other people who have had their stuff stolen!

You will not be able to access your belongings on your own time (unless you pay extra).

There may be a limit on how much stuff can fit in one unit, which may lead to having to rent multiple units.

You will have little control over the security and safety of your belongings (unless you pay extra).

There can be hidden fees with each rental period (some companies charge by the size of the unit), and they require monthly payments which can get expensive. If possible it’s best to avoid using these services due to all the fees involved; however, sometimes there is no other option but to use them when necessary.

Final Thoughts

Storage units are a great way to store your belongings while you’re moving or renovating, but they may not be the best option for everyone. If this is something that could work well with your lifestyle and personal preferences then it’s worth checking out all of the benefits before making any final decisions!

Trying them out on a month-to-month basis might also make sense if you aren’t sure about committing long term. Insurance can give peace of mind in case anything happens so don’t forget to ask questions when shopping around for quotes!


I've been a college coach for going on 20 years now and that career has led Jen and I on quite the journey. We've lived in 7 different states and have moved a dozen different times. We've learned A LOT over the course of all those moves and we want to pass on our knowledge to help others going through the moving process.

Recent Posts