Working for a self-storage company means that I constantly have the opportunity to meet people who are relocating and hear their stories. Given our economy, a great deal of my customers are most interested in trimming down moving costs and deciding whether to store or sell items before and after the move. This can have a significant impact on expenses because storing and moving items vary in cost depending on multiple factors.

Replacement Cost

  1. Consider both the financial and time factor of replacing your item. For example, if you have a dryer on its last leg, it’s not necessarilyy cheaper to relocate with the appliance rather than replace it. Hypothetically, you could pay a mover to relocate it, then pay to repair it a couple of weeks later – that’s already a down payment for a new dryer. In some cases, you could buy a new dryer with that amount of money! Consider that if a mover charges by the hour and you live in the top level of an apartment with twisty stairs …doesn’t it make sense that hauling a dryer would be expensive? In addition, factor in how much storing a dryer will add to the square footage of your storage needs. More space means a higher cost.
  2. Is the item replaceable? A couple of examples of irreplaceable items are a favorite item of clothing you’ll never find again or memorabilia. On the other hand, if you have three old televisions, a couple of toasters, and a couple of Foreman Grills, you probably could stand to downsize.
  3. Is there an added value in keeping an item you know more about? For example, my dad once had a very old Ford truck with the gears installed upside down and he had to learn how to shift opposite of what we’re all used to. It’s not exactly a strong selling point, but to my dad it didn’t diminish the value because he was used to driving it that way.

Storage Cost

Determine how much money it will cost to store the item. For example, you may not want boxes of memorabilia to be shipped to your new home, but consider that you may need temperature control to store it, which can cost extra money. You also should consider whether you require insurance or additional security for your stored items. Also factor in when you will need to access the facility – do you need something 24/7 at all hours?

The storage cost will depend on how much space you use. On average, prices range from $40 to $225 a month for units from 5 X 5 feet to 20 X 20 feet. Online space calculators can help you determine how much room you will need, or you can call the storage company for an estimate.
Padlocks and security deposits also factor in the cost, and look out for promotions such as “first month free” or “senior discount.”

Moving Cost

As earlier mentioned, movers typically charge by the hour. However, the number of movers and mileage also factor into the decision. When deciding on a mover, research about five companies in your city and receive a quote for each. When calling for a quote, know the square footage of your current home and its entire inventory. Some companies will offer incredibly low prices, but do your homework before signing on. Any deals that seem too low or too high should be cut off your list. Next, check online reviews of the remaining companies and see what people are saying about them. Although this isn’t the most scientific method, you can pick up on insights from other customers who went through what you are now going through. However, the best case scenario is that you ask around; you can’t beat word of mouth.

Clutter Control

Organizing your items will save you money whether you’re storing or moving your items. Consider that if your belongings aren’t consolidated, it will take longer for the movers to load them into the truck. Alternatively, if your belongings are not properly condensed, they will take up more space and increase the amount of storage space you’ll need. Remember to properly label your items because your time digging through boxes looking for belongings could surely be put to much better use. And when packing your items, eliminate what you haven’t used or worn in a year – once again, extra baggage translates to extra moving and storage cost.

In his role in the self storage industry, Tim Eyre helps customers care for their cherished belongings that must be put in storage. Tim regularly visits his facilities including a Whittier Self Storage Center and enjoys learning new tips about moving and saving from his clients.