7 ways self storage can help when downsizing your home

Are you considering downsizing your home? Perhaps you’re entering your retirement, or maybe you’re facing a move to a smaller property because of a separation or divorce. You could be choosing to downsize to free up some capital tied up in your home. Whatever the reason for doing so, downsizing is not an easy task and self storage could make life a lot easier.

1. Self storage can speed things up

Once you’ve decided to downsize, you’ll probably find that you’ve mentally and emotionally ‘checked out’ of your existing home. You’re ready to move on. The trouble is, you’ll inevitably need to get rid of a significant amount of belongings, and sorting through a lifetime’s accumulation of furniture, furnishings and keepsakes will take time. Rush it, and you may come to regret giving away, selling or binning items that you later wish you’d kept… Delay it, and you’ll end up feeling frustrated at the lack of progress made in moving house. 

Using a self storage unit to store your excess belongings will give you time to sort through them at your leisure. Take the essentials and items of sentimental value with you, and store everything else until you’ve had time to settle into your new home and take stock of what you really want to keep.

2. Self storage can save money

The quicker you move your items out of your home, the sooner you’ll be living in a smaller property with lower monthly payments. A storage unit costs a few pounds each week (the exact price depends on how many square feet you rent); why not get a price for a unit that’s the right size for everything you want to store, and compare that to the weekly cost of staying in your current home?

3. Self storage can be a permanent home for seasonal items

When considering what items to keep and what to give away, sell or recycle, think about whether you have any belongings that you don't use very often. Your Christmas decorations and tree, for example, or your holiday suitcases and summer garden furniture. Rather than including these items in your list of ‘things to take to the new home’ (which will take up valuable space), consider leaving those items in storage during those times of the year when you don’t need them. You could even store out-of-season clothing (which can be bulky) in your unit to save wardrobe space in your new home. That way, although you’ll have less space in your new house, the space you do have will be used intelligently and efficiently.

Further Reading:  How self storage can help through the seasons 

4. Self storage can help you to prioritise

When boxing up and organising your belongings for the move, separate them into:
  • Items you will definitely need (e.g. beds, wardrobes, settee, coffee table; kettle, cutlery, crockery, bedding);
  • Items you would like to keep (sentimental items, photographs);
  • Items that you don’t use very often (extra pots and pans for big family meals, spare bedding, sporting equipment, camping gear etc);
  • Items that you haven’t used for at least a year.
You’ll need to take everything in the first two categories. You may not be ready to let go of the items in the other two categories - that might feel like too great a step to take when saying goodbye to your home. If the items you don’t use very often include any of the seasonal belongings mentioned at point 3, above, consider popping them into self storage for the medium-to-long-term. For everything else, box them and label them clearly and put them into your self storage unit. 

Come back to them with fresh eyes - have you missed having those items around the house? Or could they be put to better use by selling them for some extra cash, or recycled? How long you wait to go through them again is up to you, but if you wait at least a few weeks you’ll know whether you’ve really missed an item or if you can live quite well enough without it.

Further reading:  How to help a loved one downsize

5. Self storage can help your children or grandchildren

If you’re downsizing for your retirement, you may be reluctant to part with things like extra beds, wardrobes or chairs/tables etc because you know that your children or grandchildren are likely to need them at some point, perhaps when moving to a larger home or setting up their very first home. Your children and grandchildren are unlikely to have the space to store those extra items at the moment, but you could put them into self storage to keep them clean, safe and dry until they’re of use - and save your children and grandchildren an awful lot of money in buying replacements at a later date.

Further reading:  How self storage can help grandparents 

6. Self storage can help with temporary moves

You might have decided that you want to downsize in theory, but you haven’t yet found the perfect property. Bungalows are always popular for people entering their retirement, but there are relatively few on the market, and many that are for sale need a considerable amount of work to update them. 

Rather than continue to pay to stay living in your existing home, you may be tempted to rent somewhere smaller as a stop-gap until you’ve found the right property. If you’re not moving straight into a property that you intend to live in for the long term, you won’t know which items of furniture you’ll really need. Move your essentials into your new (temporary) home and keep the rest in your self storage unit until you’ve moved into your permanent home, when you’ll be able to see exactly what you need (and want) to keep.

Further reading:  Why renting can be a positive experience

7. Self storage helps you to simplify

Clutter has a way of building up over time. If you’re planning to move into a smaller home, you have the chance to start afresh, with a simpler, more minimalist lifestyle. Fewer knick knacks to keep clean, less furniture to work around when vacuuming. But you never know what the future holds and you might later regret getting rid of quite so many of your belongings: if you pop them into self storage, they’ll be kept safe and sound until you decide you’d like to have them back in your home.

Self storage units cost a few pounds a week and our indoor units are designed to keep your belongings clean, dry and protected against pests. Downsizing is a big enough upheaval without having to get rid of the bulk of your possessions - take one step at a time and make use of your self storage unit until you’re emotionally ready to decide what you want to keep. 

Call for a free, no-obligation quote, advice on the size of unit you’re likely to need, or for any other details you need to help you to make an informed decision about whether to use self storage when downsizing.
Using storage during life's events (animated video)

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