Whether you're selling your home, going away to college or simply lack the room at home to store all of your seasonal items, there is no doubt that the use of a self-storage unit is an accepted and popular part of modern life. However, even the largest room may not be big enough for what you need, nor will cramming that unit as full as you can make it easy to retrieve your items when they are needed again. Therefore, before moving your belongings into a storage unit, it's a good idea to be sure that the items in question actually need to be stored. Asking the following questions about each item as you pack it will help you to get started.
#1-What Is The Value Of The Item?
It is easy to hold onto things due to sentimental attachment or a mistaken idea as to its cost. For example, designer clothing from ten years ago rarely has the same value as it would today and it might not make sense to store clothing for an extended period of time that is not going to be worn often. In addition, with the exceptions of valuable first editions, author signed books, etc., storing all of your books might not be necessary, given the value of used books and the availability of digital books.
If you choose not to keep all of your books, many libraries, thrift stores, and used book stores accept them.
#2-Does It Need To Be In Its Existing Form To Be Remembered?
As mentioned above, it's easy to get stuck in the nostalgia of an item and then be stuck carrying it around for years. Instead of doing so, you might find that taking photos or video of the items in question allows you to acknowledge the sentimental value of an item without maintaining its form and bulk.
You can then upload it to the cloud, email it to yourself for safe keeping, create a website or simply enjoy your photos. Regardless, they are safe and you have fewer items to be responsible for.
#3-How Long Has It Been Since You Used The Item In Question?
You may have heard about the six-month rule, often advocated by home organizers, that if you haven't used an item in six months, you should get rid of it. The truth is that there are many exceptions to that rule. For instance, if you haven't used your baby stuff in a year, but in the future you'd like to add to your family, there's no need to give away the crib. However, you could consider giving away the onesies and bodysuits that have been taking up space for a few years already.
A similar exclusion applies for summer sporting equipment if you live in an area with long, cold winters...and vice-versa. However, in general, if it's been six months and you haven't worn it, used it or repaired it so that it could be used, it's probably not worth paying to store it for an indefinite period of time.
In conclusion, storage units provide a vital service, but it's easy to get overwhelmed on moving day. Therefore, screening your items to see if they are worth storing will be quite useful and the above questions will help you to do so.