How to Share a Storage Unit with Family & Friends
Mini Mall Storage Properties
July 13th, 2021
If you’re thinking about sharing a storage unit with someone, you’re not alone. This is one of the most common questions we get asked at Mini Mall Storage Properties. Using a storage unit is a great way to free up space at home, but sharing it with another person also means you pay less in rent, plus you have a helping hand when you’re moving your belongings, or an additional person who could access the unit on your behalf. Whether you’re looking to split the cost, store a friend’s items, share some belongings amongst family members, or you simply won’t fill up the space on your own, sharing a storage unit is possible if you do it right.
3 Steps to Sharing a Storage Unit
1. Decide on a Layout
First, consider how you want to divide up the space. Common methods are putting tape down on the floor and dividing the area into halves, corners or aisles. Before you commit to sharing your space, it’s important to be clear how much space each party gets. If you’re splitting the rent 50/50, you’re likely going to split the room in half or have equal aisles. If one party is only using a quarter of the space and you’re splitting it 75/25, then your measurements will have to reflect this accordingly. However you decide to split up the space, make sure to do this up-front before the items are moved in so everyone stays within their boundaries.
2. Optimize Your Space
Once you’ve decided how you will divide up the space, it’s time to make the most of it. One way to do this is to maximize your vertical space. Shelving is a great way to organize your belongings and make them easily accessible so you’re never digging too deep into the pile and making a mess. This also ensures that you’re never blocking each other's items, since each box and belonging will have its own place on the shelf.
3. Keep it Organized
Finally, keep your space spick and span. You can label the floor, the shelves, the aisles or your belongings — whatever works best for you and your storage mate. If you don't want to do the physical divide, perhaps you can use coloured tape for your belongings so they’re easy to spot in a stack.
By following these three steps, you can effectively share a storage unit with another person. However, there are some key considerations that we recommend you think about before entering into an arrangement like this.
What to Watch Out For
Before you agree to share a storage unit with someone, it’s important you both understand the liability involved. There will only be one name on the rental agreement, so that person is legally responsible for all of the items in the unit, as well as making the monthly payments. We strongly recommend having a written agreement, so you’re both clear on exactly what’s expected and what your responsibilities are. This agreement should include items like payment amount and date, storage unit rules, partnership expectations and cancellation details. Even if you’re partnering with a friend or spouse, these rules can come in handy down the line.
It’s also important to really know the person you’re sharing your unit with. This individual will have access to your belongings, so make sure that you completely trust them and know they will respect your stuff. If your name is on the lease, make sure your chosen person is reliable and will pay you on time, because even if they don’t, you’re expected to make the full payment each month. In addition, you need to trust that this person will follow the storage unit rules, as the legal signee is responsible for any activity that goes on inside the unit, including illegal items stored or activities performed.
Sharing a storage unit with another person almost solely depends on organization. Make sure you have a system mapped out beforehand, so your beautiful space doesn’t turn into chaos. Think about the person you’re about to share your unit with and consider their habits. Whether it’s a family member, close friend or college roommate, how you work together and communicate will make or break your storage relationship. Once you start sharing the unit, it’s a good idea to check on it often. This way, you both know what’s going on in there and can keep an eye out for poor habits, disorganization or storage issues before they become a problem. Once you’ve ticked all these boxes, you can get ready to share your new storage space in harmony.