How to Sell Everything in Your Storage Unit

Looking to get rid of your storage unit for good? Check out all these tips on how to sell everything in your unit!

Empty storage unit.

Do you have a storage unit filled to the brim with stuff and you don’t even want to look at it? Do you buy something that you already own just to avoid going to the storage unit to try to find it?

I hate storage units. I’ve had one for many years in my 20s as I often lived in smaller apartments. Then in the last couple of years with the numerous moves (from my pied-a-terre while renovating this house) and Aaron moving from his condo and moving into my house, we’ve had a large storage unit. In our area, this size storage unit goes for about $500 a month. That’s a lot of money to just hang on to ‘stuff’!

To save money, we were determined to empty it earlier this year and gave ourselves a two month deadline. Since this 10x 20 storage unit was packed to the rim, we wanted to give ourselves a reasonable time frame to work from.

Not only are we saving money now from not having that storage unit but we earned money by selling all the stuff!

Storage unit full of household furniture and items.

There were many stumbling blocks that we knew would come up but we were prepared ahead of time to face it head on!

Sentimental Items

Literally if you never stepped foot in that storage unit again, would you remember what was even in there? I have sentimental items that I’ve completely forgot about but when I’m faced with them, I have a hard time letting go of them.

  • Use your memory to remember what you have that you’d like to keep that is sentimental.
  • Determine what you’re going to do with them before you open the box and see them again.
  • If you didn’t remember you had them, it’s time to let them go.
  • Take a photo of it!
Woman holding Cabbage Patch Kids.

Furniture Passed down from family

This is a tricky one and I find it can be burdensome. I understand that furniture can be sentimental for people and when they give it away or pass it down to someone in the family, it can become a burden if they feel that they have to keep it forever. But it is just furniture and if it doesn’t fit with your home or style, I don’t feel you need to hang on to it. You can also give it a makeover (check out my post on how to decide whether or not to give antique furniture a makeover).

Furniture and bins filled in storage unit.

The one thing I tell friends or family that want to give me a piece of furniture (because they know how much I love furniture) is that I might give it a makeover. So if you don’t want it messed it, don’t give it to me 🙂 But then will it just be going to a thrift store or landfill? It’s always better for that piece to have a makeover.

Our storage unit was about 10 minutes away but having to take multiple trips there in a week to meet up with people is annoying so we made sure to leave that only for the larger items.

Storage bins and household stuff in storage unit.

Where to Sell Them

The best success I had with selling items is Facebook groups. There is Facebook Marketplace but I had the most success with the local groups that I belong to. There is more accountability as there’s an admin for the group and it’s people in your neighbourhood so it’s easy for smaller items to be ‘porch pick-up’ (where you just leave the item on your front door step and people can e-transfer you ahead of time or pop the money in your mailbox.

Facebook group for selling items.

To find Facebook groups in your area, type in ‘for sale’ in the search bar and a bunch of groups in your area will pop up. It seems if you’re in one group, other suggested groups will pop up after on your sidebar. I belong to groups that just sell kids clothing which is perfect for decluttering kids’ closets.

Facebook screen for how to sell in Facebook groups.

Smaller Items

This was the best thing we could have done for clearing out the storage unit but not having to take multiple trips there to meet people (they can be flaky!). We took a car load of items from the storage unit back to our house and then sold those on Facebook groups and Craigslist and had people meet us at our home when it was convenient to us.

As soon as we finished that pile (about a week), we would go back and get another car load and bring it back to the house to sell. This made it less overwhelming to deal with.

Stools and bins in storage unit.

Big and/or Expensive Items

Items that are big and bulky (exercise equipment, mattresses, etc.) keep in the storage unit and have people meet you there

Lots of household items in storage unit.

What if you can’t sell them

We donated a ton of stuff. It seemed like with every car load that we brought back to the house, we also took some stuff to the thrift store to donate.

It can be disappointing when you don’t get the price you were wishing for or worse, no one wants your item. Sometimes we think about how much we paid for that item and we have an idea on what we think it should go for but we really can’t think in terms like that. Something that was originally $3000 is not going to be sold for that price, maybe only 25-30% of that price (if you’re lucky). People want a deal and they know they can go get a brand new item for much more. Research via Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace on how much that similar item is going for and price it around the mid range (or just a bit less if you want a quick sale).

Woman smiling in empty storage unit.
Storage unit that is completely empty.
Empty storage locker.

What this experience has taught us is to only buy items that we love and to know that if we do need to sell it later on, that we won’t get that same price. Of course, there are times when we can sell items for a really good price (or more than we paid for it!) but those times are more rare. So if count on selling it for way less, you won’t be disappointed. The longer you are willing to hang onto something, the higher the price you can get but it could take six months for that one specific buyer.

I hope you find this helpful and this gives you the confidence to sell everything in your storage unit! You got this!

Make sure to pin it for later!

How to Sell Everything in Your Storage Unit.

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21 Comments

  1. A VERY big congrats to you two – it is difficult to purge so much – wow
    I am slowly ridding myself of my basement “treasures.” ( crap.) Your post came at a good time to bring me much-needed inspiration! It is so OVERWHELMING!

    My advise to you guys: Set up an auto-save into a special savings account for $500.00 per month and save it for a nice riverboat cruise in Europe. Seriously, if you do this it won’t take long. That is a very hefty sum……and now you can just save it for something wonderful for yourselves!

  2. My husband passed away 16 months ago and I have been purging his and my things as I want to move closer to family. There are many pawn shops in our city and I have been very successful selling many items that would have been taken to The Salvation Army or Goodwill. That is my solution because I do not like having garage sales or meeting strangers to sell an item.

    1. Hi Sue, I’m so sorry to hear about your husband passing away. I’m sure it’s been hard. I think donating items is a great way to purge so you don’t have to meet strangers! Definitely the easiest way!
      Hugs, Jamie

  3. Hi Jami! This really hit home for me. I have a tendency to hold on to family items that have been passed to me (ie: china, crystal, nic nacs, furniture) because i am sentimental that way. My daughter is not. some things i want to keep to pass down to my granddaughter, but if her mom has any say so I will not get to and that makes me sad. So yes, I am going to have to downsize and just “let it go”. It is not going to be easy. Maybe i will just take a picture of me holding it. 🙂

    1. Hi Cheryl,
      I know, I had the same problem! I had a lot of sentimental value to so many items. My husband had a hard time with letting items go too. We’ve kept a few special pieces that are small in our home and the rest we’ve let go. It does feel very freeing to let them go! We made sure to get a lot of photos of the items we let go. I’ve decided that I don’t want to burden my children with any of my items and will give items to them when I downsize but only if they want it. I want them to take care of their things and find things that they love but not for them to be burdened by them. It’s such a hard battle, isn’t it?
      Hugs, Jamie

  4. I have a storage unit and I want to clean it out! I keep Telling myself to just do it, but haven’t yet. Its overwhelming! Your post has inspired me.

  5. Hi!,
    This helped so much. Thank you. I am trying to purge one myself. May I ask how long it took with this strategy? I’m trying to move in several months with no more than a car load.
    Thanks!

  6. Great article Jamie!
    Quick question. wanted to see if you had a suggestion.
    WE moved cross country and ended up (before we drove cross country) putting everything in storage. Now I am renting out my apartment and have a storage unit, I am paying 130 a month for. I am remote (storage unit is in NY and I am in CAlifornia)
    Can I hire someone to go through all my belongings in storage and sell for me?

    1. Did you ever find an answer to your question regarding having someone else help you sell your stuff for a remote storage location? I’m in a similar situation and wonder what the options are

  7. I have 4 storage unit to get rid of be it sell or donate the units are in Las Vegas and I live in Arizona, I just want to stop paying storage fees!

  8. I have a 10by 20 storage unit in Chelmsford with all suitcases in it over 100 suitcases all good brands small and large with wheels want to sell the whole unit for 500 dollars obo 702 235 3157 Linda that’s only 5 dollars a suitcase

  9. Such forums provide helpful answers from experienced guys. People are asking how they can quickly sell inventory in their warehouse, and they got to know more about this useful stuff. This is why I am in favour of forums

  10. I would like to look for a storage unit where my other inventories will be placed. I also agree with you that it will be best to categorize the items and pack those properly. Thank you for sharing the importance of cleaning the unit first before transferring everything.

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