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We all know what a hassle renting a storage unit can be. There are availability and security issues. Not to mention the monthly payments which rapidly add up to huge amounts of money.
The storage unit will eventually cost you more than all your stuff combined. This is not a position you want to find yourself in, which is why we have compiled a list of the best alternatives to storage units. Read on to see the seven top self-storage options.
Here are the Best Alternatives to Storage Units:
- Our Top Pick: Neighbor
- Our Runner Up: Clutter
- Notable Mention: PODS
- Best Budget Option: Buy a Shed
- Most Practical Option: COWs
- Best Innovative Option: WeatherPort
- Most Similar to Storage Unit: KWIPPED
Our Top Pick: Neighbor Storage
Neighbor is a peer-to-peer online company that connects people with storage spaces in their area. Neighbor allows people to advertise their available storage space online for others to rent.
This can be anything from a shed to an available driveway. You can find storage space for practically anything, whether it be household items or large vehicles, such as a boat or an RV.
Hosts have complete control over how much they want to charge for their space, so it’s a great way to make passive income. It’s also a great way to connect with the community and help others.
Unlike renting a storage unit, Neighbor requires zero annoying paperwork. However, Neighbor does require legal identity verification. This as well as several protection plans ensure reliable security.
You can easily connect with hosts through text or call, which is another reason why Neighbor is our go-to self-storage option. Better yet, you can now enjoy a 50% discount when renting with Neighbor by using our Neighbor storage promo code. Click the link and start saving money now!
- Convenient and easy to use
- Fosters community
- Security measures
- Large range of storage options
- Usually cheaper than storage units
- Hosts can be inexperienced
The Runner Up: Clutter
Clutter is a moving and storage company. If you need to store your stuff, Clutter will pick up your items and store them in their warehouse.
Once you’re ready for your items, Clutter will deliver them to you. This makes Clutter one of the most convenient self-storage options.
Clutter’s monthly rates are generally more affordable than the rates of storage units. They also provide an online photo catalog of your items, so you always know what items you have stored.
Clutter is also extremely flexible. You can always add and remove items whenever you want. Unfortunately, Clutter’s warehouses are only located in a handful of cities across the United States. The good thing is that Clutter has joined forces with MakeSpace. If Clutter doesn’t operate in your city, they can most likely set you up through the locations of MakeSpace.
- Online photo catalog
- Delivery and packing help
- Limited Locations
- Some items are restricted
Notable Mention: PODS
PODS is the #1 moving and storage company of 2022 and for good reason. They are an extremely flexible company that delivers containers to your house, which you can use to store your belongings.
PODS gives you the choice to either keep the container at your house or have it delivered to their storage center. PODS containers come in three different sizes: 16-foot, 12-foot, and 8-foot. They are also steel-framed and weather-resistant, so you can rest assure that your items will be safe.
- Contactless service
- Easy and flexible
- Sturdy containers
- Locations all over the U.S.
- Restrictions when parking PODS
- Can be expensive
Best Budget Option: Buy a Shed
Buying a shed is a great long-term investment. The initial cost of a shed might seem greater than the cost of renting a storage unit, but it’ll save you a lot of money in the future. If you have a shed, it is unlikely you’ll ever need to rent a storage unit again.
Picking your own shed allows you to choose how much space is ideal for you. A standard size shed will cost around $300-$500. A much bigger shed, which you would need to store large household items, will be around the $1,000-$2,000 range. This might seem like a lot, but it’s actually much cheaper than paying monthly rates for a storage unit.
One of the sheds we recommend is this 8×6 ft steel shed. This shed is of standard size and affordable. You can use it store anything, though it is generally used for tools and equipment. It is also 100% waterproof and easy to build.
- 【Utility Sheds Outdoor】: Delivered in 2 boxes. Storage sheds (8' x 6' FT)，large sheds & outdoor storage, which is suitable for multi-purpose use, perfect for outdoor backyard, garden, patio, utility weather resistant tool house. The outdoor garden shed features a large size inner and extra tall 65" wall provides extra headroom and increased storage, ideal for safely storing lawnmower, trash bins, bicycles, power tools, hoses and other items.
- Long-term investment
- Cheaper than renting a storage unit
- Owner has complete control
- Limited space
- Hard to move around if needed
Most Practical Option: COWs
COW stands for “containers on wheels” and it is exactly that. COWs is both a moving and storage company that offers straightforward services.
COWs will deliver one of their containers to your house, which you’ll use to store all your stuff. You can either decide to keep the container in your driveway or let COWs take it to their storing place. It’s as simple as that.
COWs monthly rates are generally affordable, especially if you are just interested in storing. They operate in cities all over the United States, though their locations are limited.
- Straightforward and easy
- Extremely flexible
- Both onsite and warehouse storage
- Limited locations
- Cannot store vehicles
Best Innovative Option: WeatherPort
WeatherPort is a one-of-a-kind company that specializes in building fabric structures. This is similar to buying a shed for your stuff, just that WeatherPort will build a fabric structure of your choice to accommodate your storage needs.
You get to completely customize the fabric building to your preferences. For instance, you can add an insulation system if you’d like. Not to mention that WeatherPort’s fabric buildings are extremely durable and resistant to extreme weather.
- Durable and resistant
- Eco-friendly and energy-efficient
- Can be expensive
Most Similar to Storage Unit: KWIPPED
KWIPPED is primarily an equipment rental company, however they do offer storage services. KWIPPED allows you to rent, finance, or buy a shipping container. A shipping container is a great place to store your items- they are both spacious and extremely durable.
KWIPPED provides you with an extensive list of available shipping containers you can use. They all come in different sizes, which allows you to pick the perfect one for your storage needs. However, renting a shipping container can often be as expensive as renting a storage unit. This highly depends on the size and condition of the shipping container. We recommend that you buy a used shipping container instead of rent one.
- Durable and reliable
- Long list of options
- Site is easy to use
- Can be expensive
- Might be impractical for some people
What is the Cheapest Storage Option?
Currently, one of the cheapest storage options are peer-to-peer companies like Neighbor. Another cheap option is to store your stuff onsite, usually in a shed or garage.
Obviously, you would have to look at your particular circumstances to see what option is best for you. If you live in an apartment or have a lot of stuff, then companies like Neighbor or Clutter might be more suited for you.
If you have a house with space for a shed or any sort of storing place, then you should consider getting one. You should also consider getting rid of as many stuff as possible. This will make it easier and less expensive to store your items.
How to Clear Out Space
More often than not, we own more stuff than we need. This can cause us a lot of problems, especially when it’s time to move or renovate our home. For this reason, it’s best to own just the essentials.
To figure out what items are essential for you, you need to determine the value of each item. This doesn’t mean how valuable the item is in terms of money. It’s about how valuable the item is to you. You’d be surprised how many of our belongings don’t add any value to our lives or we don’t use.
After you have considered what items are truly important to you, you can then figure out what to do with the rest. You can sell your items through a yard sale or eBay. You can also donate your stuff to charities or give it away to friends. There are many paths to take.
Here’s How to Save Money on a Storage Unit:
- Rent the right size: You don’t want to mistakenly rent a storage unit that is bigger than what you need. To ensure you rent the smallest size possible, make sure you are not storing unnecessary stuff. You also want to make sure you pack efficiently. Always pack high and tight to use as much space as possible.
- Disregard unnecessary features: Some storage units will come with special features like climate control. These special features might be necessary in some cases, but not in all. Make sure to research whether your items require climate control or not. It can save you a lot of money.
Be aware of time: It’s usually best to aim for short-term storage rather than long-term storage. Always try to rent for as little time as possible.