Occasionally, the time comes when you must store your life away into hundreds of boxes and rolls of bubble wrap. This may be because you are moving home, renovating, traveling or because you find yourself in an unexpected situation such as taking care of a family member or their belongings. If you have your own secure storage space, then you are incredibly lucky, but in most cases, the decision needs to be made to either hire storage space or ask a friend to look after your belongings at their property. There are some big differences between these two options, and the below list compares them.
The financial cost of storage is an obvious consideration when making the decision on where to keep your possessions. The costs of hiring self storage units will vary depending on the company and the size of the space, as well as the packaging and other services provided by the business. On the other hand, quite often, a friend might offer to store your items for free or just for a nice dinner out.
It is more complex than it seems on the surface, though. With a company, you have an agreed contract and price, while a friend could later ask for money unexpectedly. There are also the insurance risks. Companies that are storing your valuables will have insurance if anything happens to the site, such as fire or flood, while it would be much more difficult to be reimbursed for any damage if the same situation took place at a friend’s home.
Some of your items may be particularly valuable or personally special to you, and therefore it is important to know that they are safe from harm or being stolen. With a professional storage service, your items will be in a locked space on a secure site that is staffed. It is normal to also have your own private key to access your storage unit. When keeping your possessions with a friend, you need to be very aware of the company they keep, the security of their home, and how often they will be in the building. Their home insurance is again unlikely to cover your possessions in the case of a burglary.
There is also the awkwardness factor. If you do need access to your possessions, it is much easier to allow yourself into your own storage unit accessible 24/7 than it is to be calling your friend each time. Not only can it be inconvenient for you, but it could also put extra strain on your friendship depending on the length of time your friend is providing you with storage and how disruptive it is to their own living space. There is also the initial stress of moving the items into storage. Many storage services will provide a moving service within their package, and this will take away some of the initial irritation.
Overall, the decision on whether to store your things with a friend is going to also be a test of friendship trust, and a lot riskier than hiring a professional service, but it will depend on your circumstances and how much you need to store.