Sunday, October 27, 2013

When Offsite Storage of Stuff Makes Sense

CityStash ad: Your doll collection scares people.

Self-storage units are like Vegas. What goes in the unit, stays in the unit. In many cases, a long-term waste of money. — Donna Hoo

As much as I agree with Donna in most cases, under certain circumstances offsite storage may make sense. Sometimes you really do need storage for a short period of time: during a remodel, for example, or when a home is being staged for sale.

And people in cities with small apartments sometimes find that renting a storage unit makes more sense than paying for a larger apartment to store infrequently-used items they don't want to part with. Someone on the Apartment Therapy website mentioned storing baby gear in between kids; she did the calculations on using storage vs. buying replacements, and storage came out significantly cheaper.

And here's a scenario that someone shared on an Unclutterer post about self-storage:
I have ski equipment, camping gear, a kayak, and some car maintenance stuff that’s currently stored in the basement. This is all stuff that, while not used on a weekly (or even monthly basis) gets used regularly enough that it doesn’t make sense to rent or borrow it. In short, it isn’t clutter, but it also needs to be stored somewhere other than in my living space.

While I’ve never done this before, I am considering the possibility of renting storage space for these large, seasonal things. Renting a storage space would add a rental cost, but it also changes how I’d go about finding an apartment. Previously, storage space has factored in to my apartment choice — if a place didn’t have enough storage space, it was automatically off the list. Using self-storage could allow me to rent a significantly cheaper apartment — if the savings significantly exceed the added storage cost, this seems like a win to me.
If you determine that offsite storage really does makes sense for your particular situation, here's an alternative to renting a storage unit: CityStash Storage. CityStash delivers plastic storage boxes to you, which you pack; the company then comes and picks up the boxes and larger items such as furniture, and takes them to its warehouse. You can retrieve anything you've got stored for a flat delivery fee. CityStash has a three-month minimum, and is currently only in San Francisco and Washington D.C.

I met Gregory, the owner of CityStash, at the recent conference of the National Association of Professional Organizers — San Francisco Bay Area Chapter. He was kind enough to send me copies of some of the company's ads, which I thought were hilarious.

CityStash ad: Maybe your Star Trek collection explains why you're still single

CityStash ad: The only cheaper storage is at your parents' place. But that means you have to visit.

Yes, some of us like visiting our parents, but these ads still made me giggle.

And a side note: This is my blog anniversary; I've now been blogging for seven years! Thank you, readers, for your support.

Related Posts:
Renting Self-Storage Units Can Be a Big Mistake
The Stuff That Resides in Self Storage Units
Self-Storage Units: Sometimes Useful, Often Wasteful


get organized already said...

These ads are hilarious!
And congrats on your anniversary. We are all so happy you are blogging.

Cynthia Friedlob said...

Congratulations on your 7th anniversary! It's quite a challenge to keep a blog alive and interesting for such a long time, but you've done the job. (Note to self: write a post.)

Storage: I've come to the same conclusion about self-storage. In many locations, rents are so expensive that it makes sense to have a lower cost-per-square-foot place to keep the stuff you don't need in your home, but do need in your life. CityStash sounds like an interesting approach.

Blog on, Jeri!