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Life takes storage. And in many cases, more storage than what you have in your home.

Even if you don't need it right now, you'd be surprised by the different occasions in the years to come when you need storage units. What if you find yourself in a small, temporary apartment after selling your home and before purchasing a new one? Or if you live in a tiny apartment but are handed down your grandmother's furniture and want to save it for your future house?

Let's look at whether or not you really need to splurge on the rental space, as well as the considerations to make before choosing the right rental space.

When It's Worth It to Rent a Storage Unit

Since every dollar counts, you should figure out whether or not spending the $40-$230 monthly cost of renting storage space is really something you need to do.

Here are questions to help you figure that out:

  • Are These Belongings Important Enough to Pay to Keep? The best way to avoid renting storage space is to pare down your belongings. This isn't always reasonable to do, especially in cases of relocating. Still, asking yourself this question might save you from having to rent storage space.
  • Can You Temporarily Make Do? No one wants to wake up to a wall of boxes in their living room, or a garage so stuffed that they can't park a bike, let alone a vehicle. But if you need to store items for a short period of time, then perhaps you can make do by converting part of your home into storage space. If you're storing your belongings for longer, perhaps it's time to get a storage unit.
  • Can You Store Your Belongings in a Free Location? Perhaps you don't have space for your extra belongings, but maybe your mother would let you keep them in her garage, or your friend can open up their attic to you. Keep in mind whether or not any free offers of space are climate controlled, and how long you plan on keeping your belongings in their space so that you can give them the head's up.

If you've decided that you do need to rent storage space, check out the considerations below to help you choose what kind.

Considerations to Make When You Need Storage Units

When shopping for a storage unit to rent, be sure to take the following into account:

  • Duration: There are both short- and long-term rentals available, based on your needs.
  • Space: Remember to make sure that you have enough space to walk around inside the unit and get to the items that are all the way in the back as easily as the ones in the front.
  • Climate Control: It's no use storing your belongings in a location if they'll be ruined due to climate issues — you may have to repurchase them. Remember that the definition of climate control changes at each location, so be sure to ask which type of control — such as humidity, moisture, or temperature — they offer.
  • Access: Do you need to be able to access your belongings 24 hours/day, or would business hours work? How far away do you want the unit to be located?
  • Budget: Be sure to ask how to decrease your costs by locking into an extended period of renting, downsizing to a smaller space, or even getting credit for referrals.

When you need a storage unit, just know that the industry has grown and expanded so much in the last few decades that all of your needs — budgetary, climate control, lease duration, etc. — can be met.


This information and recommendations contained herein is compiled from sources deemed reliable, but is not represented to be accurate or complete. In providing this information, neither KeyBank nor its affiliates are acting as your agent or is offering any tax, accounting, or legal advice.

By selecting any external link on, you will leave the KeyBank website and jump to an unaffiliated third party website that may offer a different privacy policy and level of security. The third party is responsible for website content and system availability. KeyBank does not offer, endorse, recommend, or guarantee any product or service available on that entity's website.

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