Storage In Your Home & Garage? Here's How It May Cost You & What You Can Do About It
by Mia Kuhn
Most people use their attics, basements and garages as storage spaces. But, using these spaces can actually cost you money in the long run. It may be a good idea to get rid of items in your storage before those stored items impact your wallet in a bad way. Here's what you need to know.
5 ways in-home storage can cost you money
Whether you are holding on to those items because they are sentimental to you or you have plans for those items in the future, keeping them may cost you more money than you think.
Attic floor joists may not support the additional weight. This could cause problems with the structural integrity of the floor joists and the overall structure of your home, especially if you are keeping a lot of heavy items in your attic. You may see cracks in your drywall due to the compromised structural integrity.
Attic insulation may no longer be effective if it is compressed. This may cause your heating and cooling costs to increase. To reduce those costs, you may need to install more insulation.
Bugs are attracted to basements and may nest in your storage items. Basements make ideal habitats for bugs because they are normally dark and damp. The clutter of your storage items can easily become nesting grounds where they may multiply to uncontrollable numbers. You may end up needing to call a pest control service to get rid of the infestation.
Refrigerators and other appliances can be fire hazards in your garage. If you keep an old refrigerator in your garage, you may want to think twice about keeping it plugged in. A spark from the motor could ignite gas fumes coming from your vehicle or lawn mower. Any appliance with a heating element or contact switch should not be stored and used in the garage due to the risk of fire. Of course, a fire is costly in so many ways.
Old refrigerators can leak Freon and may cause health problems. The risk of is greater for those with heart conditions and for small children. Freon can cause irregular heartbeat and palpitations in people with heart conditions. Freon is 4 times heavier than air, so children may be exposed to a higher amount due to being low to the ground. Dealing with any illness may cost you health care co-pays and lost wages.
5 ways to get rid of storage items
Given the hazards and risks listed above, you may be reconsidering keeping items stored in those areas in your home. Here are a few ideas that may help you de-clutter your storage.
Sell usable items by having a yard sale, through the classifieds, or online. As they say, "One man's trash is another man's treasure."
Donate usable items to a charity. Contact your local charity organizations for lists of items they accept as donations.
Pass down usable items to younger family members who are just starting out on their own in adulthood. Of course, you'll need to thoroughly inspect all items for bugs and other pests before handing the items over.
Recycle materials to help the environment and, possibly, put some money in your pockets. Materials such as copper from air conditioning units can be sold to scrap metal recyclers.
Hire junk removal services to dispose of all the items you cannot sell, donate or recycle. Another option is to hire a junk removal service that will divvy up the items for you, which may be ideal if your time to take care of it all is limited.
Does your heating bill send you into a state of shock? If so, now is the time for you to begin making changes to your home to bring the cost of heating your home down. In years past, my heating bill was actually more than my mortgage was. It really made getting through the winter difficult for my family. I decided to do something about the high bills. I started with insulation, then invested in some new windows, and I also changed the way that we used our utilities. You can learn everything that I did to reduce my heating bill so that you can cut your heating bill as well.