Ideal Organizing + Design: 4 Good Reasons You May Need a Storage Unit

4 Good Reasons You May Need a Storage Unit

By: Jennifer Dwight, IOD Organizing Coach

  1. Staging the home you are selling.
  2. Car(s) don’t fit in the garage.
  3. You have too much stuff; your home is a safety hazard
  4. You have a lot of seasonal items

As Professional Organizers, we see a lot of homes with a lot of stuff. Our job is to make sense of the mess.

This often involves encouraging clients to divest themselves of unneeded, unused, and unloved belongings.


Extra cubic feet are gained, items are categorized and rearranged in a tidy, functional, and aesthetically pleasing manner.

Some clients receive ongoing coaching on behavior modifications to keep the space and systems organized, and our work is done!

Step Three of Our Ideal Proven Process is “Eliminate”

Part of that step is “store elsewhere.” Ideally, when we have finished sorting through a client’s items, there is plenty of storage in the home to contain everything.

However, sometimes there is just too much stuff. The client wants or needs to keep more belongings than can be safely and practically stored. There is simply no room for them anywhere in the home. Older homes simply don’t have the infrastructure to accommodate the modern storage needs of some families.

Without some space to move, little can be accomplished. If you are actively using everything that you own, at least once a year, then off-site storage makes sense.

I am not advocating hoarding, but there are situations when a storage unit definitely brings value.

Reason #1

If you are selling your house and not downsizing.

On average, staged homes sell 88% faster and for 20% more than nonstaged

We hear similar statistics all the time from Realtors that we work with. It makes sense to stage your home, even if you are still living in it. To do this, you will want to store up to 80% of your belongings.


Think about your closet and a staged closet and you get the idea.

Renting a storage unit for several months and packing most of what you will be bringing to your new home, gives you a jump on the move and beautiful square footage that you can now show off to the best advantage.

Reason #2

The Garage has become a storage unit.

Your expensive vehicle languishes outside, exposed to the elements, while unused belongings enjoy the prime square footage of the garage!

Only in America do people park their $30K cars outside because their garages are full of worthless

If your garage is full of junk, please, just get a dumpster or try to sell and/or give the hoard away. A “FREE STUFF” sign will do wonders for clearing out that space and you will get the satisfaction of bringing joy to others. Don’t forget to set a deadline. Winter is coming!

On the other hand, if you are storing valuables in the garage, it may not be the best place for them anyway. Garages are generally not climate controlled and a good storage facility will be.

It may be worth the cost of storage just to keep yourself and your loved ones from having to deal with inclement weather on a regular basis. It just feels so good to come home in a rainstorm and not have to get soaked!

Reason #3

Your home is a safety hazard.

Hopefully, this is a no brainer. The safety of you and your loved ones should always be a top priority.

Here is a partial list of unsafe places where excess items end up being stored when the belongings have exceeded the existing space. On the stairs, on the floor, on overflowing counters, tables, shelves, and other surfaces, in an egress, blocking an exit or window, over or in front of air vents and ductwork, etc.

If this sounds familiar please take action before someone gets hurt. Older adults are especially susceptible to falls in an overly cluttered household.

As an organizer, I would always prefer that a client lives within their means as far as space goes, but if you absolutely feel that you simply must keep more items than safely fit in your home, a storage unit is highly recommended for everyone’s safety.

Ideal Organizing + Design also offers a four to six-hour comprehensive safety check from a NASMM certified organizer. CLICK HERE for more information.

Reason #4

You love holiday decorating.

Dressing up your home for holidays should bring lots of joy. If trying to figure out how to pack and store all of those cherished items stresses you out, a storage unit could really help.

With the right shelving system and storage boxes, everything can be visible and rotate through the seasons. These are the kinds of belongings that really “spark joy,” and will do so even more when kept together in this way.

Hopefully, this sheds some light on the possibilities and appropriateness of renting a storage unit.

If you are in the market for a storage unit, here is a LINK (provided by to a compiled list of providers in Hampton Roads.