What are the actual costs of storage and warehousing?

April 16, 2015

Many factors will affect how much you pay for storing personal property in a secure warehouse. If you're looking to clear space at home, what are the actual costs of storage and warehousing services?
What are the variable costs of renting storage?

Storage isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. Everyone has different needs. Costs will therefore vary.

  • Location: has a big impact on the monthly rate you’ll pay, even if the services offered are the same from one place to another.
  • The total surface area of the unit: and if it's heated or not. If you’re unsure whether your stored items require temperature control, ask around for advice.
  • Limited or unlimited access: Some storage units are only accessible during office hours, while other places provide you with a security card or entry code that grants you access 24 hours a day.
  • Security procedures: which may be nonexistent, usually include fire detectors, camera surveillance and even an individual alarm system for each unit.
  • Time period: You can find promotions online, some offering discounts of 10% to 50% off the first month’s rent (or more). On the other hand, depending on how long you intend to store your belongings, you may be asked to put down a deposit of six to twelve months’ rent in advance.

Other fees to anticipate

  • Some places require you go through their insurance provider; others that you add extra insurance to your current homeowner's policy. One way or another, you must provide proof that your property is insured.
  • "Administrative" fees to open a file may be applicable. If some competitors don’t charge administrative fees, why pay extra?
  • You may be charged (mandatory) fees for a magnetic key at a cost of about $25.

Price comparisons for a 50 square-foot unit

In general, the closer you are to the city the more you’ll pay for storage. If you don’t foresee frequent trips back and forth, consider branching out to the suburbs.

  • A non-heated unit is usually in the ballpark of $60 per month. However, the same price for a rented space two hours outside the city may include amenities, like heating or air conditioning.
  • In the city, a unit in a heated warehouse can range from $70 to $190. What a difference! It is up to you to do the research. The day-to-day cost can be broken down to $2.33 and $6.33, respectively—that’s almost triple the amount! Investing an hour or two on the phone and getting as many quotes as you can is time well spent.

Larger portable containers of approximately 260 square feet

These units are delivered to your home by truck. You can load them at your own pace. After they're filled, you can have them delivered directly to your new property or a storage warehouse. Convenient and relatively inexpensive, this option affords you the most flexibility.

  • Rented containers cost approximately $100 per month, and can be sent cross-country and overseas.
  • Charges for transporting the container are added to the monthly fees and are based on travel distance.

The actual cost of storage and warehousingyour belongings means knowing beforehand what you want to store, and for how long. With a budget in mind and some planning, the peace of mind you'll enjoy will be priceless.

What are the actual costs of storage and warehousing?
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