Is That Item Worth Putting In A Self-Storage Unit?

Posted on: 12 July 2017

Self-storage units are great for storing items between moves or when you don't have enough space in your home for them. One issue people tend to overlook, however, is whether or not it's worth paying to store some of their belongings. Here are three questions to ask yourself to help you avoid storing items you don't want or need.

When Are You Going to Use It Again?

Many times people justify putting stuff they don't need at that moment in storage is they may require those items at a later date. Clothes, musical instruments, toys, and furniture are particularly prone to this sort of thinking. What happens a lot of times, though, is the items end up sitting in storage for years and often become too damaged, deteriorated, or simply unstylish to use when the owners finally remember those items exist.

One way to avoid this is to be honest about the likelihood you'll actually use the items again. Unless you're actively engaged in a weight loss program, chances are pretty good you won't actually wear those jeans that are a size too small anytime soon, for example. A good rule of thumb is to get rid of stuff you haven't used in the previous 18 months. It may be a better idea to make a little bit of cash now by selling stuff you likely won't ever use again rather than pay money storing it for months or years.

Are the Items in Good Condition?

Another thing you should consider is whether the items you want to store are in good condition. Things that are broken, missing pieces, or have deteriorated to an unusable level should probably be thrown or given away. It's tempting to keep these items—especially when you have an emotional attachment to them—with the idea that you'll repair them later. However, like with items you think you'll use again but never do, more often than not, you probably won't get around to fixing the item unless you've already started the process of doing so in some way (e.g. ordered the parts).

Ask yourself if the item is worth the time and money to repair in the first place, and whether you'll actually have the free time and cash available to fix it. If not, it may be best to get rid of it rather than store it.

Will the Items Last in Storage?

Some items, such as opened cosmetics and perfumes, will not last a long time in storage. Other items need to be stored in a climate-controlled environment to avoid being damaged by fluctuations in temperature and humidity levels that can occur on a frequent basis. If the item won't survive being in storage for the entire time it will be in the facility, you're better off selling, donating, or trashing it.

For instance, some spices can last for two to three years if they kept in a cool, dry place. However, standard storage units are often affected by the weather, getting really hot in the summer and really cold in the winter. This type of fluctuation in temperature and humidity can significantly shorten the lifespan of your seasonings, especially if the vacuum seals have been broken.

Look at your belongings and determine how they would fare being in storage for the amount of time you will be storing them, and get rid of things that just won't last. Be aware that you can get a climate-controlled unit that will keep the temperature and humidity at a steady level, which can prevent a lot of damage from occurring. So keep that in mind when making your evaluation.

For more information about storing different items or to rent a unit, contact a local storage facility, or visit websites like