A good third of Americans use self storage to compensate for a lack of storage space at home, or to manage life events such as moving or downsizing more efficiently. How, why, and how much people use self storage is, obviously, influenced by their lifestyle and personal needs, or even by where they live. Self storage costs and availability can vary significantly from one city to the other, which can have an impact on the decision of whether to rent a unit or not.

Below we’ve listed self storage costs for some of the biggest US cities, just to give you an idea of what you can expect if you’re planning to rent a storage unit.

Interestingly enough, our self storage use survey also showed that women tend to use the service more than men. Do we own more stuff? Or are we just more organized? A little bit of both, probably. Here are some stats that can help you understand when self storage can come in handy for women and how to make the most of your storage space.

Women manifest a strong interest in self storage

About 48% of the women we surveyed showed interest in self storage, compared to 45% of the men who are also fans of this service. Among the women, 27% are currently using self storage, about 14% are planning to rent a unit in the future, while 7% used self storage in the past.

Women show a preference toward smaller units: the most popular unit size for this category of consumers is the 5’x10’ unit, favored by 27% of them. This unit size is one of the most practical options, allowing the storage of a mix of belongings, including larger ones, such as furniture and appliances, and, of course, boxes with smaller items, such as clothing, books, and miscellaneous. Men, on the other hand, seem to need more self storage space, and rent larger units, such as the 10’x10’ unit and the 10’x15’ one.

As for what women store most often, furniture and clothing are among the top items, with 28% and 27%, respectively, followed by home appliances and equipment. Men, on the other hand, are not so keen on storing their clothing (only 17% of them highlighted this category of items), but they do have an interest in keeping their sporting items and hobby gear in pristine condition, with 14% of the respondents saying they use self storage for such items.

Women tend to use self storage most when moving

Interestingly enough, women are using self storage when moving to a significantly higher degree than the men: 41% vs. 33%. Single women are indeed a growing demographic in the housing market, according to the National Association of Realtors, which noted that single women made up 19% of all homebuyers in 2021, while single men represent only 9% of the homebuyers.

What’s worth storing as a woman

Renting a self storage unit goes a long way in helping you maintain a neat and tidy home while also holding on to your precious belongings. However, it’s important that you only store items that you are certain you will need (and use) in the future. Here are some examples of items that are definitely worth storing:

  • Designer clothing, shoes, or bags – good quality items tend to maintain, or even increase, their value over time, so it’s totally worth it to put them in storage. Even if you’re not going to wear them again, you can sell them in the future.
  • Baby items – whether it’s clothing, furniture, or accessories, these items tend to be quite pricy. You might want to expand your family in the future, or someone close to you, family or friends, might, and these items will be more than welcomed.
  • High quality furniture – maybe you inherited some nice furniture, or maybe you simply stumbled upon some very nice pieces while antique shopping. You should keep such items in storage until you move to a place that allows you to display them properly.
  • Hobby and craft related items – maybe you’re into quilting, or you love to paint, but your hobby and the accessories you need for it are taking up a lot of space in your home. In such situations, you can rent a small storage unit located close to your home and keep the bulk of your hobby and craft-related items there. As most facilities have generous hours of operation, it will be easy for you to pick and drop off stuff, and you’ll be able to enjoy both your favorite activity and a neat and tidy home.

How to make the most of storage space in a storage unit

Packing and arranging your belongings properly in the storage unit will ensure that you benefit as much as possible from the space you rent and that your belongings are protected. Here are some of the things you should consider while organizing your storage unit:

  • Pack small things like clothing, books, toys, and so on, in sturdy lidded boxes that can be stacked safely and easily. This way, you’ll be able to make the most of the vertical space in your unit.
  • Start by putting the big items (furniture, appliances, and so on) inside the unit, then the small ones (boxes with various stuff).
  • Raise your furniture and appliances on some pallets, and make sure they don’t touch the unit’s walls, to avoid potential damages due to condensation or humidity.
  • Make sure that you leave some free space inside the unit so you can reach most of your possessions without having to move half of the unit’s contents outside.
  • Put the items you’re more likely to need frequently as close to the entrance as possible.
  • Drop by your unit at least once every few weeks to ensure that everything is in good order.

Maria Gatea is a real estate and lifestyle editor for Yardi with a background in Journalism and Communication. After covering business and finance-related topics as a freelance writer for 15 years, she is now focusing on researching and writing about the real estate industry. You may contact Maria via email.

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