Save and Make Money with a Storage Unit!

Conventionally, self storage is used for furniture, seasonal items, boxes, clothing and other belongings that aren’t used on a daily basis. Many people also choose to rent storage space when they’re moving or down-sizing in order to save items that there may not be enough room for at home. But did you know about the massive saving and earning potential that storage units have to offer? There are so many creative ways to utilize rental space that many have used it to rack in the savings and generate a healthy income!

Thrift & Flip
The most popular way of making money with a storage unit is the Thrift & Flip method, which means reselling items for profit! Based on our research you may be able to Thrift & Flip your way to make over $20,000 a year working as little as 4 hours a week!

Thrift & Flippers admit it takes work to be successful, but they love it because it’s fun! You never know what you’ll find at garage sales, thrift stores, searching Craigslist and related sites. This is modern day treasure-hunting! Simply store all of your finds in your new storage space and sell them online for a profit. The unit will pay for itself and you’ll get a nice return on your investment. In addition to flipping merchandise, there are countless other business opportunities that could benefit from a storage unit, whether you need some space for inventory and paperwork, or want more work space for your writing, crafts and hobbies!

Communal Storage
This innovative method of saving with storage involves splitting the unit’s monthly cost with compatible community members of your choice with a shared purpose. This could include storing outgrown kid (or adult) clothes and toys, open for any member to use and return as needed. In addition to toys and apparel, other great money saving items to store include bouncers, cribs and changing tables, etc., which all have a poor resell value. Many families spend over $10,000 on brand new baby supplies and equipment only to have them used for a few years (and sometimes only for a few months). Sharing these items in a storage unit is an amazing way for new couples planning to start a family and young families to save money together!

Communal storage can also involve contributions by all members of the group towards bulk (non-perishable) groceries like canned food and paper goods. Items in bulk are cheaper per unit price, especially with coupons. This is how starting your own ‘co-op’ of sorts can lead to significant savings!  And do you and your friends talk about how nice it would be to own a kayaks, a snow mobile, jet skis, or even a boat?  Imagine splitting the cost for all of this fun stuff and only paying a fraction of the price. When you split the cost of the items together with the storage, it puts more within your reach. Organization and communication are key in sharing items and storage, but when it’s done well it can really pay off. Create a check-out schedule and some basic guidelines and START HAVING FUN! There are so many ways to benefit and save when we come together as a community.

Splitting Space
Space-splitting is a concept similar to communal storage, except instead of sharing items communally, you’re just sharing the storage space. Let’s take a look at an example: Jenny has a brother named Larry who lives a few blocks away. Jenny pays $65/month for a 5 X 5 storage unit and Larry pays $55/month for a 5 X 5 unit. Jenny’s best friend, Samantha pays $60/month for a 5 X 5 unit and also lives in town. Jenny notices on that a 10 X 15 unit is renting for just $99/month and she has a brilliant realization. “What if I share the cost of the 10 X 15 unit with my brother and best friend at $33/month, each? We will have the same amount of storage space as before and I’ll save nearly $400 a year! They’ll save, too!”  It’s as simple as that.

We ONLY recommend sharing storage-space with friends and family. It’s so important to share your space with members that you absolutely trust, since they will have access to all of your stored belongings. This setup works great for friends and family who live near each other and it’s perfect for college students. Let your storage facility know who is authorized to access the unit, make copies of the key, and enjoy your storage savings.

Going Minimal (Sort of)
By now, most are probably aware of the nation’s growing obsession with tiny houses. What at first appeared to be nothing more than a fad, has become an entire movement that grows larger every day. Some ‘go tiny’ to get away from the hustle and bustle, ditching their 9-5, mortgages, commutes, and piles of debt for adventure, freedom, and peace. Others are deciding to go off-grid altogether, including environmentalists, survivalists, and people who just want to enjoy a slower pace of life in general. And then there are the minimalists, who ‘go tiny’ because it pairs with their belief that less is more and that happiness comes from within. There are many reasons that people have become fascinated with this movement. However, the majority of us who take interest in the idea are left wondering if there is a happy medium. There has to be a more practical way of achieving similar results, right?

You can absolutely enjoy the best of both worlds! You don’t have to sell all of your things and move into a 300 sq. ft. tiny-house or ditch society for a yurt in the woods to reduce stress and enjoy what really matters in life, there are other ways to minimize. Self storage is generally cheaper per square foot than living space, so down-sizing into a smaller home while storing bulky items such as recreational equipment and seasonal belongings can end up saving you 1,000’s of $$$ a year! You don’t have to get rid of the things that you love to enjoy a simpler life.  Come on, how about semi-tiny?

Smarten Up Your Storage Space
For those of our readers who already use self storage who may be thinking, “I don’t have any room to spare,” the following steps can help you visualize the potential of your space and milk every square foot to the max.

If you haven’t already done so, sort your items into KEEP, SELL and GIVE AWAY piles. Dispose of anything that doesn’t fit into one of these categories. It may be helpful to designate one side of the unit for the items that you want to KEEP, while leaving the other end of the storage unit reserved for SELL items – this is your $$$ space (figure 1).

To make reorganization and taking photos easier, move all of the SELL items outside of the unit for a bit. Then you’ll want to move everything that will be donated into your car or truck. Of course, if you will be keeping everything in the unit, simply re-organize your items on one side of the unit.  Make sure to arrange the things you use most near the entrance or close to the center “walk-way” so your items are still easy to access (figure 2).

When the sorting process is complete, take some nice well-lit pictures of each SELL item (if you have any). Make sure to snap multiple pictures of each piece, as items with pictures tend to sell faster. Afterward, arrange these items in the $$$ space that you just made. Go ahead and decide on prices for your items and take note of this on a scratchpad or your phone. (PROTIP: Do you have a spare bookcase, shelf or bins you can move into your $$$ space?  This can be helpful when organizing your SELL items.)  Your next job is to list the SELL items online when you get home. Now that you’ve freed up some space inside of your unit for money-making purposes, you can start having some real fun!

We hope that this article gave you some fresh ideas and inspiration on the many ways a storage unit can help simplify your life, build your own personal community and maximize savings for your family.

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