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How much do storage units cost?

Unit size, location and features are all factors in determining cost

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Written by Danni White
Edited by Jon Bortin

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    storage units

    Whether you’re planning on downsizing or need space to store your boat or other belongings, storage units provide safe and reliable weather and theft protection at an affordable cost.

    In this article, we break down how much a storage unit costs and what goes into the overall price (on average, between $90 and $290 monthly) to help you find the best solution for your specific needs.

    What is the average cost of a storage unit?

    The average storage unit costs about $190 per month, but your exact price will vary based on the size of the unit, what type of facility you’re renting from and many other factors (see “What factors affect the cost of a storage unit?” below). A 5-foot-by-5-foot unit, which is about the size of a home closet, averages about $90 per month. A 10-foot-by-30-foot space (a better fit for a vehicle or multiple large items) costs $290 per month, on average.

    The most common storage unit is 10 feet by 10 feet, which is about the size of a child’s bedroom. This size comes at an average monthly cost of $160.

    Unit sizeAverage monthly costPossible uses
    5 feet by 5 feet$90Temporary storage of possessions, not including larger items like furniture; sometimes used to archive documents
    10 feet by 10 feet$160Single room of furniture, such as while renovating a single room
    10 feet by 20 feet$220Multiple rules of furniture, such as during moves
    10 feet by 30 feet$290Large-scale storage needs, such as vehicles and RVs

    How much do portable storage units cost?

    To store items in a portable storage unit, you can expect to pay around $150 to $290 in rent per month, depending on the size. Some portable storage companies require you to store the container at their facilities, while others let you keep the container at your home. Your costs will vary based on how much storage you need and whether the container needs to be delivered to your home or a new destination.

    What factors affect the cost of a storage unit?

    Not all storage units are created equal. Some units have features that raise the price, while others offer a more bare-bones place for storing unused items. But add-on features aren’t the only factor that can drive up price — something as simple as where you live can have a big impact on what you pay. A unit in a suburb is likely to be more affordable than one in a major metropolitan area where there’s less space and demand is higher.

    • Unit size: The bigger your storage unit, the more expensive it will be. In the U.S., the most common storage unit size is 10 feet by 10 feet, but options commonly range in size from 5 feet by 5 feet to 10 feet by 30 feet.
    • Climate control: Not all units have climate control. Climate-controlled storage offers steady humidity levels and temperatures between 55 and 85 degrees. These facilities are better for items that might get ruined in changing temperatures, such as antique furniture or documents. Climate-controlled units are more expensive than those without climate control.
    • Security: Some units are drive-up facilities, while others have secure entrances and exits. If you choose a facility that’s more secure, like one that has a security guard, cameras or a keypad entrance, you should expect to pay more. For some people, the protection is worth the added cost, especially for high-value items like jewelry or vehicles.
    • Season: The time of year can impact rental cost. During peak times, like the summer months (when many students use storage between semesters), storage can cost more.
    • Location: In the same way rent is often higher inside city limits, your monthly rate will vary based on where your unit is located. If you have the flexibility, you should consider a facility that’s a little out of the way to save on your monthly cost. If accessibility is important to you and you expect to visit your storage unit often, paying extra for one closer to your home might be worth it.
    • Indoor or outdoor unit: You can choose whether you want to use a facility with indoor or outdoor units. Outdoor units are garagelike facilities where you can drive up and secure your unit with a padlock and key. Indoor units require entering a building, which gives you extra security. For this reason, indoor storage facilities are typically more expensive than outdoor ones.
    • Length of rental: If you just need your unit for a short period of time, your monthly price may be higher. Many companies offer discounts for long-term rentals or contracts.
    • Discounts or promotions: Some storage companies run promotional programs and offer discount pricing from time to time. These may be used to increase occupancy for facilities.
    • Additional fees: Some companies charge additional fees, such as security deposits, insurance protection, administration fees and more. When comparing companies, be sure to ask what types of fees they charge in addition to the rental cost.

    Some companies also offer valet storage programs. These are programs where your items are picked up and stored for you, then delivered back to you when you want them. This additional service adds to the cost.

    In addition, market events can impact cost. The coronavirus pandemic has led to increases in pricing, and the growing demand for RVs has resulted in pricing increases for 10-foot-by-30-foot units.

    Frequently asked questions

    Do storage unit companies run your credit?

    Storage units typically don’t run your credit before renting units — but missing a payment can hurt your credit in the long run.

    Can you get insurance on your storage unit?

    Most companies offer insurance as an added cost. But before you buy insurance, check your homeowners insurance policy — it may provide coverage for items kept in storage units.

    How much does insurance cost on a storage unit?

    It’s usually very cheap — typically around 50 cents to $2 per month for every $100 of coverage. The deductible can be as high as $500, so insurance policies might not be worth it unless your storage unit is full of high-value items. However, some facilities require that you have insurance on your unit.

    Are storage units or storage pods cheaper?

    It depends. With storage pods, you have to pay for the unit itself and for it to be stored (unless you’re able to keep it at your house), which can make the overall cost more expensive. But if you’re planning on filling and moving your pod, it can be cheaper than taking out a storage unit and paying for a moving truck.

    Is ordering your unit online cheaper?

    It can be cheaper to order a storage unit online. You can save 10% to 20% off the costs of a unit with some companies.

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      Bottom line: Are storage units worth it?

      Some people argue that storage units are a waste of money. A couple of the reasons they offer are:

      • The stored items may simply need to be donated or thrown away. If you’re never going to use the items again, then storing them doesn’t make sense.
      • You may be able to free space in a current residence by better organizing possessions.

      However, there are many scenarios where storing items at a self-storage facility makes sense. As a general rule, if you need extra storage space, renting a storage unit is a good idea — unless you’re willing to part with your items or are lucky enough to have friends or family who can store them for you. A storage unit offers flexibility, security and the ability to choose the type of unit and facility you want based on your price range. It should be pretty easy to find a storage solution that’s worth it for your specific situation.

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