Whilst many people see self-storage as a temporary solution, used for shorter periods of time whilst moving house or perhaps renovating – there are circumstances when utilising self-storage for a longer period of time can be advantageous.
There are many affordable options for self-storage available. This is especially true when you look at the cost of storage per square foot compared to the cost of housing. When downsizing, especially in retirement, it can be cheaper to take on storage outside of the home to accommodate those items which you don’t necessarily need in your house, but that you are not yet ready to part with.
Advantages of self-storage in retirement
As we mentioned above, the cost of storage is likely to be less per square foot than the cost of the additional space in your home. A larger property will not only cost more to buy, you are also likely to pay more Council Tax and in heating costs for the additional space. By utilising self-storage in retirement, you are likely to save money on property costs.
Downsizing your property may well also enable you to release some of the equity which is tied up in your home. Whether this additional cash would be used to supplement a smaller income, enjoy some time travelling or fund another ‘bucket-list’ leisure activity.
Whatever your plans in retirement, self-storage provides a secure environment for your belongings. With most self-storage facilities offering 24 hr CCTV protection, secure perimeters and often, staff on site 24hrs. It may be that your plans in retirement keep you out of the house or even out of the country for periods of time and, if this is the case, using self-storage for your belongings will offer improved peace of mind that they are protected whilst you are away.
One of the hardest parts about downsizing a property can be deciding what to do with your possessions. Whilst it is likely that you will not need all the furniture and possessions you have accumulated over the years, you may also not be ready to part with them. Using self-storage enables you to keep hold of items, buying you some time whilst you sort through things and decide what you want to do with them. Often people want to keep hold of things with the thought that younger family members may be able to make use of them in future or just because they hold a sentimental value. Getting stuff moved into self-storage allows you the time you need.
- Get started by deciding what you are planning to store. Have a look at our guide to de-cluttering for some tips and advice to make the process easier and less stressful.
- Work out what size storage you need – use our handy self-storage size guide to work out what size of storage space you need and start to compare costs and other benefits with storage providers in your area. Have a look at our storage types guide for more information on the suitability of certain types of storage for your needs. Our blog posts about downsizing for retirement and storing antique furniture may also prove useful.
- Make a list of all the things you are planning to store. This is important for two reasons – first, it is very important to have a record of what you have in storage as the memory of what you have stored away will fade the longer it is in there. Second, a good inventory of what you are storing will enable you to make sure you work out the value of what you are storing for insurance purposes.
- Shop around for great value storage insurance. The cost of storage insurance can vary and it is well worth doing some research to determine the best cover for you. Many storage providers do offer their own insurance but do bear in mind that this is often expensive and inadequate. Our blog post ‘I lost £180,000 in a self-storage fire’ highlights the perils of under insurance and why you need to make sure the insurance you take out is sufficient to cover the full, new replacement value of your stored items.
Read more information about storage insurance from Store-Insure, including cover limits, policy exclusions and to get a competitive quote.