If you’re looking for somewhere to store your property or any articles relating to your business – whether for a short time or in the long term – you’ll need to know how this will fit into your budget.
The use of storage units is usually billed on a monthly basis, but some businesses can also arrange shorter contracts – or negotiate hire in the longer term.
There is no one set cost for the hire and use of a storage unit, so it’s important to do your research and consider the various factors involved.
The cost to use a storage facility depends on a number of criteria:
- The size of the unit(s) you need
- The number of units you’ll be using
- The type of unit used
- The length of time for which you’ll be using the facility
- The location of the facility
- Introductory offers
- Administration charges
- Any other specialist resources used
Storage Unit Size
According to move.org, the average size of a storage unit measures 10 square feet. There are smaller options available – usually measuring 5 square feet – but to go smaller than this, you’ll usually need to hire a locker rather than a unit.
The price of a single average-sized unit is usually about $160 per month, with smaller options coming in at around $90 per month and larger units (over 10 square feet but usually a maximum of 10 feet by 30 feet) tend to cost approximately $290 per month.
Number of Units
Some storage companies may offer a discount if an individual or business hires more than one unit at a time. It’s worth checking with the organization you are considering to see if they have any special offers available.
Type of Unit Used
You can expect to pay a little more for facilities with additional features such as climate control. The cost of this type of unit has the potential to reach 50% more than the standard option, but in some circumstances, it may be much less. If you’re selling a property, remember to add this to your overall costs.
It is worth the investment if you are planning to store delicate or valuable items such as artwork, as any damage caused by damp or mould can result in a far greater financial loss.
Accessibility is another storage facility feature that you might expect to pay more for. This may include elements such as your own pass or card key, drive up access and use of additional space.
There will also be a difference in price if you opt for an “outdoor” unit versus one that is indoors.
It’s worth noting that storage companies who charge more may do so because they have higher overheads – perhaps due to a high spec security system or advanced facility standards.
For this reason, you may decide that it is in your interests to pay a little more for a better service. However, if a company is charging considerably greater than average amounts, it may be worthwhile to check exactly what it is that you are getting for your money before signing up.
Length of Time Using the Facility
Naturally, if you’re paying for your unit on a rolling basis, the costs will build up steadily month-by-month.
However, many companies offer longer-term contracts that will help you to save money over time, so if you know that you’ll be needing storage for a number of months, you should discuss this with your chosen provider to find out what kind of discount they can offer you.
Location of the Facility
Storage units in a more built-up or urban area tend to be in higher demand – and therefore are likely to cost a little more.
In a more rural or sparsely populated location, the cost of hire may be less, but you’re likely to pay more in fuel or transport costs when moving your items into storage as the storage site will be less central.
Depending on the provider you choose, you may be able to benefit from an introductory offer where new clients receive a discount on their first month or similar.
Of course, if you’re a repeat customer, you may not be able to access this same discount again. However, companies may have seasonal reductions or offers for loyal clients further down the line.
Most storage facilities charge an administrative fee to help with the upkeep and maintenance of your unit(s). This usually costs around $20 – $25 on top of the charge for the unit itself.
Any Other Specialist Resources Used
Depending on the provider you use, you might find that there are additional features or facilities available at a small additional cost.
This might be the use of crates and other containers, the purchase of boxes, and sometimes even the use of meeting spaces or refreshments like coffee.
Some storage facilities may even offer optional transportation services for your items – managed either in-house or via a partner – for a little extra. This may serve to save you time and money by providing all of the related services you require in one place.
It’s down to you to decide exactly what you’re willing to spend on storage. A good starting point is to make note of the precise features you’re likely to need so that you don’t find yourself paying too much for facilities or amenities you won’t use.
Do you need climate control? Does your unit have to be located indoors? These are just a couple of the elements you should consider before confirming an agreement.
Next, check out a selection of storage facilities in your local area to compare prices and to learn about the resources they offer. You may be able to “opt in or out” when it comes to certain services or elements of hire depending if you need them or not.
You should also try to determine exactly how long you’re likely to require use of the storage facility. You may be able to save money by arranging a longer contract rather than paying for a unit month-on-month.
Look at the way hire charges are calculated according to each provider. For example, in certain cases, it may be cheaper to hire multiple smaller units rather than one big one.
Once you have found the perfect storage facility for your budget and requirements, you can relax. Your belongings will be in safe hands without any needless drain on your finances.