Moving into condominiums, downsizing, divorce, a death in the family, or renovations can all cause excess belongings to be temporarily without a home.

Storage units are a huge industry in North America, with between 2-2.5 square feet of storage for every person in Canada and 9 square feet for every person in America. Self-storage in Canada has doubled over the last ten years, while in the US, there are 53,000 storage facilities and the self-storage industry has been the fastest growing segment of the commercial real estate industry for forty years.

With a growing demand for self-storage, many state-of-the-art storage facilities are popping up all over Toronto.

Should You Consider Self-Storage?

Think About Your Motives. If you are investing in a storage unit because it is a way to postpone tough emotional decisions, then maybe you should think twice. It may seem a lot easier to get a storage unit and hide everything away but remember, you will have to deal with everything…eventually. Sorting, selling and throwing out items can be emotionally overwhelming and time-consuming but it has to be done now or later. Are there decisions you are avoiding? Ask yourself if these choices will be easier to make later on?

Keep In Mind How Much Your Items Are Worth. Be honest, your items are probably worth less than you think. Crunch some numbers and calculate the costs of storage versus the actual value of your belongings. (A 10 x 10 storage unit can cost upwards of $150 per month, that is $1,800 per year). Ask yourself, would you rather have the money, or your belongings? Or better yet, would you pay $1,800 to buy your belongings back? Because if you chose the storage unit – you just did.

Consider Alternatives. Paying for a climate-controlled storage unit can add up. You might consider renting a unit to store one or two large ‘expensive’ items, like a piano, or bedroom set, or ATV. Say you paid $2,500 for any one of these items, and you are looking at a unit that costs $250 per month. You paid for the item once, and you are basically paying for it again every 10 months you store it. Would it be better to sell it, donate it or temporarily loan it instead?

Remember, what you do not have, you do not have to clean, organize, maintain, worry about or pay for the real estate that it takes up.

When Self-Storage Is A Good Choice

Sometimes, there is no way around it and you need to get a storage unit. For example, maybe you need to store your things during a transitional time before moving into a new home. In this case, make sure to store your items only for as long as you really need and do not get more storage space than is necessary.

Storage units can be a great short-term solution, but when you are storing things for one or even two years, it may be a good idea to rethink and reorganize! Have a question about what to do with your things while you are looking for a new home? Do not hesitate to give me a call – I would be happy to help – 416-921-1112.