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Seniors and Storage: How to Get the Best Deals

By Laurence – on in News, Discover, Learn

If you are entering your older years you are probably looking for somewhere to store the piles of stuff you have accumulated across the years. Your kids may have flown the nest and you could be looking to downsize, move to a retirement community, or pile into an RV and take to the road, making your abundance of treasures more of a burden than a blessing.

However, there’s no need to say goodbye to a lifetime of memories and collections. There are 50,000 storage depots in America, and they are all competing for your business. If you do your research, you could secure yourself a great deal on storage.

Storage depots are as diverse as the goods they store.

Your first step to getting a great deal on a storage unit is to think about what it is you are going to store. A few boxes of smaller items, a car, precious artworks or instruments that need to be stored in a climate-controlled unit to ensure they aren’t damaged, your requirements will dictate which storage depot is right for you.

Then, you need to think about how much you want to store and thus how big the storage unit needs to be. Record the dimensions of any appliances or furniture for storage and think about how many boxes your goods will fill. If you are planning to visit the unit to remove items, then you’ll need some extra space to allow you to move yourself, boxes, and furniture around the unit. To help you with these calculations, check out a self-storage website as these sites generally feature online space-estimating tools.

After you’ve figured out how much space you’ll need, it’s time to do some storage window shopping. Think about your criteria, such as security, location, cleanliness, lighting, and climate control and then look at payment arrangements.

Negotiation is key.

You’ve negotiated the price of your car and house, and you can do the same with your storage unit. You may find some facilities to be inflexible, but others won’t be. A storage depot owner is essentially a landlord and they’d rather do a deal than have a unit sitting empty.

Get online and look up a few different prices to work out average costs. This will put you in a great spot to understand what sorts of prices you could negotiate.

Your home is or was secure and insured, your storage unit should be, too.

You need to know all you can about the insurance offered by the storage facility you are thinking of using. Some facilities will not assume any responsibility for damage to your goods and some will demand you have self-storage insurance and can produce proof of this insurance. If you own a house, your home insurance policy may cover self-storage or you can buy this insurance from the storage facility itself. Whatever the situation, ensure you understand exactly what is covered and what isn’t.

Deadlines can help you make decisions about your storage needs.

Storage isn’t intended for the long term. Typically, storage is a short-term solution and if you can’t find somewhere for your goods or no longer have any use for them, it may be time to donate them to a local charity rather than store them.

Bigger is not always better.

When it comes to storage units, bigger is definitely not always better. The smaller the unit, the smaller the cost. So, don’t just store everything. Be selective

What can you live without? If there is stuff you no longer want, donate it to charity or earn a few dollars by having a garage sale. You could take photos of the items that mean something to you and give the items themselves to family and friends if you know you won’t have space for them again. If you find it difficult to say goodbye to your stuff, don’t even look in those boxes you’ve just discovered in the basement. If you can’t remember what’s inside, you probably don’t need to keep any of it.

Once you have your final collection of items, think about putting smaller items in bigger ones. Fill your chest of drawers, your car, even your fridge with whatever you can and save on boxes and storage space. Also, if you have digital copies of documents, get rid of the hard copies.

Finally, if your storage unit is going to be full of stuff you think your kids will love to have one day, ask them about it first. They may not really like that ornate headboard after all.

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Laurence not only holds a certificate in finance, but she also has several years of professional experience in this field. After helping many of her clients better manage their bank accounts, she decided to share her expertise by writing articles on the subject. You can now read her on Get-Finance.