How to Save Money On Storage
How to Save Money On Storage

The cost of a self-storage rental unit can add up. If you don’t want to throw money into the wind, there are some simple steps you can take to save money and lower some of the indirect expenses associated with storage. There is an adage that says “Work Smarter not harder”. This statement means you should focus on reaching your goals with the least amount of effort so you can accomplish more in the same amount of time. The phrase has been morphed and used in many areas of our lives. For example, tennis players use their own version of this phrase, “Play smarter, not harder”, to describe a methodology of conserving energy during a match so they, the player, don’t run out of gas before its conclusion. This guide will help you rent smarter not harder by pointing out ways to find cost-saving deals, use space efficiently, and prevent costly damage to your stored items.

Find the Best Deals

Finding deals for storage shouldn’t be a monumental task. There are several deals that are offered throughout the industry that can help save you money with minimal effort on your part.

Free Month – Many self-storage companies offer deals at the time of signup. One of the most popular is a free month offer. Before you complete the rental contract, make sure to contact a sales representative and ask if there are any deals or special rates available. According to the 2010 Storage Almanac, the average length of stay for a self-storage unit is about 18 months. Saving one month’s rent works out to be a 5% – 8% savings. Not too shabby.

Free Truck Rental – Moving into a storage rental can have some unexpected additional expenses. For example, many people need the use of a truck to efficiently move their items. Before you sign an agreement, inquire about a free truck rental. If the company doesn’t offer that perk, you might be able to negotiate. At a national average rate of $130 – $150 for short trips, a free day can mean big savings.

Military Discounts – Discounts for active and retired military members are common across industries and self-storage is no different. Based on a search of popular providers, military members can expect to receive discounts between 5% and 10%. Some companies offer more nuanced deals, such as 50% off the first 3 months. If you’re a service member looking for self-storage make sure to contact customer service to ask what deals are available.

Hidden Fees – If you want to get the best deal in town, it’s important to consider what the final amount will be. Hidden fees are common in the self-storage industry, and some of those fees may be required by the state or municipality where the facility is located. Some of the fees you may encounter are:

  • Administrative,
  • Late Payment,
  • Lockout,
  • Convenience, and
  • Cleanup.

In some instances fees are negotiable; however, other fees, such as the administrative fee, are standard across the industry and will not be waived. One way to save money on fees is to utilize the auto-pay feature, if available. Many companies charge extra if you pay your invoices by phone. You can avoid this fee by setting up an automatic transfer. Along the same lines, some states allow merchants to pass on credit card processing fees of up to 4%. In most cases, this can be avoided by using a debit card or ACH transfer. You can also avoid paying fees for cleaning and locksmiths. Make sure you leave your unit in the condition you found it (take pictures) and you can avoid paying for the cleanup. Similarly, don’t lose your keys. I like to attach devices like the Tile or Apple Tag to help me find lost items.

Use Your Space Efficiently
Use Your Space Efficiently

Use Your Space Efficiently

In addition to obtaining a discount or avoiding fees, efficiency is also useful to save money by only paying for what you need. To get the most out of your storage space, determine how much space your stored items will take up. Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish! When calculating your requirements remember to include room for isles so you can navigate your unit when you need something. You don’t want to spend a lot of your time (which is valuable) pulling everything out every time you need something.

To help you estimate the appropriate size unit we’ve created a Storage Unit Size Guide. Self Storage Advisor also has agents available by phone, text, or chat if you have additional questions not answered in the guide. To start a chat, you can use the blue dot at the bottom right corner of this page. At roughly $1 per square foot per month renting a properly sized unit can save you a lot of money.

Covid Moving Tips for a Storage Units
Covid Moving Tips for a Storage Units

Prevent Damage to Your Valuables

In addition to hidden fees, another hidden expense to renting storage is the cost of damage. This expense is totally preventable. Identify if your items are sensitive to temperature fluctuations. Items such as documents (paper), clothing (fabric), and electronics will become damaged by humidity and temperature fluctuations. Therefore, these items should be stored in a climate-controlled storage unit. Conversely, you can save money if you are storing durable items such as outdoor furniture, tools, or lawn equipment. For these hardy items, you can forgo climate control. If you’re not sure what type of climate control you need, check out this article or ask one of our customer service agents for advice.

While necessary, self-storage isn’t cheap. To save your hard-earned money make sure to take advantage of discounts, be efficient and avoid damaging your stored items. While some additional fees are to be expected, using features like autopay, following move-out guidelines and a little bit of negotiation can go a long way to saving you a substantial amount of money.


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