To Store or To Sell?

When to store vs sell

“You never know how much you have until you have to fit it all into a cardboard box.”

Nearly everyone has either experienced this or seen a friend or relative deal with this fact. You might think that everything in your desk can fit into one box, but that desk lamp is awkwardly shaped and takes up more space than you thought it would. And those books could fit into one box, but then that box is so heavy you might hurt yourself when you’re picking it up.

Usually, it’s at that point that a good friend or maybe your significant other leans over to you and says “Have you thought about maybe selling some of this stuff?” Bonus points if this is said with an “I told you so” smirk.

But then you have to wonder: What should you sell, and what should you store?

First, how long will your things be in storage?

When deciding what to put in storage, you’ll need to think about how long those things will be locked up. Is this a long-term arrangement? Will you be in a position to retrieve items from your storage unit should a need arise? If your situation changes and you need to store your things for longer than planned, will the items in your storage unit lose their usefulness?

For instance, you have a nice microphone for your computer, which you use for recording music occasionally. Putting it in storage seems like a good idea (after all, the thing cost 1,000 AED, but you don’t use it every day), but you’re planning to store your things for 6 months while you search for a new apartment. This might be a good thing to sell (or “liquidate,” if you prefer that term) and buy a new one later on when hobbies are more sustainable.

Second, how often do you use the item(s) in question?

If you use it every day, then this is probably a thing you want to keep with you. If you only use it once a month, but it’s like clockwork every single month, it might be a good idea to store it, depending on how long it will be stored and how easy it will be to retrieve items from your storage unit. If you almost never use it, then ask the second part of this question “Is the benefit of keeping this item worth the cost of storing it?”

For example, you have a set of dishware that your mother gave you years ago, but they just sit in your china cabinet and never move. Should you keep the dishes because they were given to you by your mother or sell the dishes and the cabinet to make space for other things? (Hint: Talk about this with someone you trust. Two minds often make a decision easier to tackle.)

Lastly, how much space is occupied by the item(s)?

This is an important question to ask, not only as you’re choosing the things to go into your storage unit, but also when considering what size of unit to rent. You might think you can fit everything you need into a 16 sq. ft. unit, but that twin mattress you’re not using will take up 19.5 sq. ft (when lying flat). If you’re not sure what size unit you need, you might find this video helpful.

As an example, you really like your dining set but it’s as large as your queen size bed plus the chairs, and on top of that it’s heavy. Is it worth it to you to keep the table and spend that space on storing it, rather than the portable dishwasher and washer/dryer set? Dining sets can be expensive, so replacing it later on would be a major investment. In this case, it might be a good idea to hang onto the table, even though it’s a little inconvenient.

You might be surprised when asking yourself these questions, what things you never use, or what things take up more space than you thought they should (multi-headed floor lamps are notorious for this). Take your time, choose wisely, and feel free to contact us if you have any questions. We’re more than happy to help!

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