How to save money on storage

I’m back in apartment living after a nearly 15 year break. Our apartment in Vancouver, WA has little to no storage for all the things in our home in Boise from which we are moving. So, today my goal was to find a place to store things. I went to public storage near our apartment which I’ve been driving by for several weeks. It’s close to our place so I thought why not. I got in and learned a few things I want to share which might benefit you too.

1) Rates vary by location. Each location has different rates despite being under the same company. Shop around.

2) Rates vary by day. Each facility changes its rates daily dependent upon availability and occupancy. By nature, with people moving in and out, this causes lots of changes. My recommendation is to shop around for a few weeks in advance and lock in on a good rate.

3) Rates for a larger unit are sometimes nearly the same price as a smaller unit. A 10×10 was $158 / month. A 10×15 was $212 / month and a 10×20 was $216 per month. So, at that moment on this day and that location the 10×20 was only an incremental 4 dollars.

4) Not all units come with the sign advertised “First month free” or “First month for one dollar” promotion. Again, it’s basically a teaser to get you in the door. More on fixing that later.

5) You WILL save money by booking online. The ‘walk in rates’ are about 10% more than the online rates. It will save you money to go to to ‘reserve’ a spot.

6) Public storage requires you to have insurance to cover your stored belongings. Of course they offer it at a premium for you when you sign up. In our case, we were already paying renters insurance. I made a phone call to confirm our coverage also supported storage units (which it did) and saved an additional $11 / month.

7) They will charge you for a lock, and it’s another 21 dollars. They use a cylinder type oddball lock which I couldn’t find online. My sense is they are forcing you to buy their over-priced proprietary locks to earn extra money. Do you know where to buy one online that works? Tell me and I’ll update this post for the world to benefit.

8) Be open to a larger unit – you might save money. In our case the larger units at the facility we ended up going to were on sale and nearly 50% cheaper than the smaller units. Do your own research online. They publish their prices on their website so you can quickly figure out what to do.

Hope all of that saves you some time and money.

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