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Self storage is a magic cure for tiny spaces.

If live in a 440-square-foot apartment, then you probably need some self storage. Self storage can be a great cure for your spatial woes, but you have to be careful to use it properly. In some life situations, self storage is a brilliant idea. And in other situations, it’s a waste of your money.

You’re renting a small place

Tiny living can save you money, so it’s always a good idea to rent a small apartment (or even live in a tiny house) when it’s just you, or just you and a partner. You might, however, have some stuff you really want to keep. If the cost of renting a separate storage unit is cheaper (when combined with your rent) than a bigger place, then you’d save by moving some of your possessions into storage. You might want to keep that leather couch you have, but when it doesn’t fit in the apartment, you could try storing it until you need it.

You’re moving to a new city

Whenever you move from city to city, the transition can be rough. Unless you’re lucky enough to find the right home immediately, you’ll likely have to transition your family into apartment living for a bit. Something to consider when moving to a new city is that the bigger the city, the more expensive the real estate– A city like Chicago, Illinois is a great example of this.This is the perfect opportunity to use cost-efficient self storage units in Chicago, since you’ll want all your furniture, movies, and spare dishes in a month or two when you’ve bought a new house. In the meantime, you have to have somewhere to keep them. Self storage is the most useful in a situation like this, and it gives you plenty of time to decide on the right house, instead of taking the first one you could live with.

You’re saving antiques

If you’ve inherited some gorgeous pieces of furniture, but don’t have space for them yet, or you’re planning to sell them, self-storage is the perfect solution. If you’re a flea market flipper, self storage is the perfect spot to keep your finds before they sell. If you want to hang onto some antique pieces for a year before you buy a house and have space for them, a self storage unit is worth it.

Self storage isn’t really worth your time when you’re in one of these situations.

You don’t actually need the stuff

If you’re able to live comfortably with everything you fit into your tiny apartment… then what exactly is in your storage unit? If you’re keeping odds and ends and stuff you don’t really use in your storage unit, then you’re wasting your money.

You’re going to be sitting on it for years

If you’re saving that antique china cupboard for your future days, that’s great. But if you’re renting a self storage locker for six years until you buy a house, you’ll end up paying more than the china cupboard is worth. Don’t let sentiment get in the way of making smart financial choices. If you have space for the china cupboard, keep it. If you’re going to spend too much storing it, let it go.

Sometimes, self storage is just what you need to save money and make your housing decisions in peace. When used correctly, it can help you save income, save space, and give you more time to find the house of your dreams.