Last Updated on June 16, 2023 by Rental Recon
At some point in your life, you will likely have to consider putting at least some of your things in storage. While regular storage units certainly have their perks, they also have some hefty limitations and include a high price tag. Thankfully, there are plenty of other, more economical options for you to consider.
Storage Shed vs. Storage Unit: What is the Best Solution?
A storage shed is the most cost-effective solution. They can come already assembled and are much cheaper than renting a storage unit on a monthly basis. If you are storing items of value, you’ll want to consider a storage unit to provide more security.
Let’s say you are in a position where you would still like to consider a storage unit to store your things, but aren’t sure if it would be better than renting a storage shed. Here is a nifty comparison chart of the two; hopefully it will help you gain some clarity!
Storage Shed Pros and Cons
- Unlimited access to your items 24/7
- No monthly charge or extra fees
- A nice compliment to your yard. Some use it as a tiny home or hideout
- Ideal for storing low-risk items such as art tools, gardening tools, and other miscellaneous items that would not suffer the elements
- Requires an upfront time or money investment, ranging from $100-$5,000, sometimes more, depending on if you DIY or not
- Does not have climate control technology. Not an ideal choice for valuables
- Difficult to keep insects away.
Storage Unit Pros and Cons
- Often has climate control features to protect against the elements
- Insect and rodent repellent
- A private entrance and lock make your items secure. Ideal for valuables
- Wide range of sizes to accommodate large furniture and items
- More expensive. Ranging from $50-$300 per month depending on the size
- Extra fees for insurance, and seasonality are not uncommon
Neighbor.com is the Airbnb of storage, in that you can rent someone’s garage or shed to store your things in. Oftentimes, you can find a space located in or near your neighborhood. Additionally, not only can you store your items, but your car, truck, and RV can find a home as well.
The best part is that Neighbor is cheaper than renting a storage unit, and for a limited time you can save even more. Check out this article for a more in-depth review and a discount code!
- Vehicle, boat, and RV storage options are available.
- Climate-controlled options.
- Pet-free and Smoke-free options.
- Security options.
- Private entrances.
- Priced lower than storage unit rentals.
- Storage options in all 50 states.
- User friendly.
- Security features vary and are sometimes nonexistent.
Understandably, some people may be turned off by the fact that there are no security guarantees. However, the fortunate thing is that Neighbor will cover $25,000 worth of items should the unthinkable ever happen. Keep in mind that storing anything worth over $1000 must be disclosed upon renting out a space.
Best of all, Neighbor is often cheaper than a regular storage unit! Coming in at an average of about $140 per month (including the service fee), that is $43 below the industry average. If you are a digital nomad, in a temporary living situation, or just on a budget, check out Neighbor!
Buying a Storage Shed
If you decide to go with a storage shed, make sure you check out this one. We love how easy it was to assemble and also like that is more secure than other options out there.
- 【Utility Sheds Outdoor】: Storage sheds (8' x 6' FT)，large sheds & outdoor storage, which is suitable for multi-purpose use, perfect for outdoor backyard, garden, and patio. The outdoor garden shed features a large size inner and extra tall 65" wall that provides extra headroom and increased storage.
- 【Adapt in All Conditions 】: High-vented waterproof gables away from rain allow for increased airflow to the interior of the patio storage shed. Galvanized steel effectively helps to keep your property in good condition.
If you’re not yet ready to commit to purchasing a shed, you can rent-to-own one instead. They come slightly cheaper than storage units and have more flexible terms. The prices range from $80-$300 per month, depending on what size you’re looking to get. Those prices are just estimates and can be more or less based on where you are looking.
Also, if renting is more your style, you can always use Neighbor. Your stuff will still be close by, the pricing is often cheaper, and there is no need to commit to a large shed to be put in your yard.
Are Sheds Good for Storage?
It depends on what you need to store. If you are using it to store your gardening tools, art tools, or using it as an extension of your garage, then yes! Though they require a relatively high upfront investment, the cost is not monthly and you can use it for life. In fact, if there comes a time when you are not using it, or you have some room to spare, you can list it for free on Neighbor and make some passive income on it.
Another pro to sheds is that they are portable. If you are moving, it is possible to bring your shed with you. You won’t have to worry about renting out a storage unit because you’ll essentially be bringing it with you!
On the flip side, if you need to store large furniture/items, or delicates and valuables, a shed might not be the best option. The level of climate control technology is just not the same as a storage unit. Also, though you can put a lock on the shed, it isn’t as secure either.
Storage sheds generally do not come climate-controlled, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Though it will take some extra costs and effort, you can climate control your shed. Essentially, you will need some good insulation installed, a temperature regulator (a/c, thermostat), and a dehumidifier. If you want to go the extra mile, sealing the shed and spraying insect repellants will keep the bugs out and your items protected.
The short answer is yes, it is cheaper to build rather than buy. If you happen to choose low-cost materials, the project likely will not require many special tools to complete. However, you must consider the time investment. Building a structure like a shed is no walk in the park, especially if you have no professional training.
Consider watching tutorials, reading up on blogs, and budgeting for all the suitable materials to save yourself any extra time that might be spent backtracking because of a mistake. Perhaps you can take on a partner or two to help lessen the load and complete the project that much faster.
What Should You Not Store in a Shed?
As mentioned above, a shed is not an ideal choice for everything in your home. Here are the things you should not store in a shed:
- Food. This is pretty self-explanatory. Even non-perishables are not a good idea as the problem of bugs contaminating them could arise. Canned goods are not immune to the elements either. Keep your food in your home. If you have too much, consider donating!
- Electronics. Extreme heat and cold temperatures will undoubtedly damage your electronics.
- Delicate items and valuables. Precious heirlooms, expensive art, fabric, and photos are just some examples. They will be susceptible to heat, cold, moisture, and even insects.
- Leather, wood, and cardboard. Again, the elements are not friends with malleable materials such as leather and wood. Warping is a real and sometimes irreversible thing. Further, storing your items in cardboard boxes is not a sustainable form of protection. Go for plastic or metal storage bins instead.
- Paints. Being delicate solvents, paint can become unusable from extreme temperatures and can eventually pose a hazard to the rest of your items.
Investing in a shed not in your budget at the moment? For one, Neighbor.com is a great alternative. You can rent someone else’s shed or garage for a reasonable price, often in your own neighborhood. Speaking of, you can also use your own garage for storage. Others prefer the DIY route and build extra storage in their home.
Check out our article on storage unit alternatives here…
If you simply have a lot of bits and bobs lying around, you can purchase a tarp to keep them in one place and covered. For a more clean look, check out Pinterest for some organization inspiration. The site is chock full of chic, space-saving solutions to store your items without ruining the integrity of your beautiful yard.
First, avoid storing your items in cardboard boxes as this can act as a breeding ground for mold should moisture hit the porous material. Keeping your shed organized with shelving and plastic bins with lids is a great way to protect your items from mold and insects. If you live in a humid climate, consider installing a vent/dehumidifier and sealing any gaps inside the shed to keep things dry.
Some shed owners also swear by letting your shed “breathe.” As often as you can, go out and open up your shed to let some fresh air in. Not only does this keep mold and bacteria away by keeping your shed dry, but it’s a great way to prevent stale odors.