New York City apartments aren't exactly swimming in storage. But renting a place to stash your extras doesn't come cheap, and the idea of adding monthly costs to your rent may seem less-than-ideal. Good news, though: For $50 a month, you can find self-storage options that aren't just usable, but will do the job nicely.
At this price point, you'll find mostly lockers (meaning not storage units you can actually walk into), but there are, in fact, some tricks for finding the best deals. Oftentimes you can get better rates on storage units that aren't climate controlled, if they're above or below ground level (and require ladders to reach), and if you make a long-term commitment. Also, storing your stuff in less crowded neighborhoods (like, say, the Bronx instead of the West Village) can save you a bundle.
Also, keep your eye out for specials on offer, especially during the slower winter months (this author got a storage unit for around $40 a month when Manhattan Mini Storage, a Brick sponsor, was offering a deal).
If you're looking for spaces in your neighborhood, we suggest perusing SpareFoot, a website through which you can find, compare prices and book storage units. Here's a sampling of what you'll find for about $50 a month:
Six boxes from Boxbee (for $45)
This company, which describes itself as an "urban storage valet" will lend you boxes, then pick them up and store them for you. The boxes — which are 24 inches by 19 inches by 13 inch (shown above) — hold 90 t-shirts, 20 pairs of shoes or 200 DVDs, to give you an idea of how big they are. You can also move or store “non-boxed” items like small furniture and bikes for $20 and add boxes a la carte (each is $7.50). Pick-up is free, but there's a $30 flat fee to have your stuff delivered back to you.
Eight bins from MakeSpace
Here's another storage start-up that provides you with boxes and picks them up (all your inventory is monitored via the cloud). Here it costs $6.25 per month to store a bin that's 27 inches by 17 inches by 12.5 inches (similar to BoxBee's sizes). You can also mix and match with boxes and oversized items, like bikes ($25 a month), AC units ($18.75 a month), and skis ($12.50/month).
A small locker from Manhattan Mini Storage
In the company's 110th and First Avenue location, we found a four-foot-by four-foot-by-five-foot personal closet for $49 a month, if you commit for more than six months (the typical contract time). A space like that typically hold 15-20 medium-sized boxes, and is available in a top, middle or bottom designation. Units come with a hanging bar. The company also offers "storage taxis" for one-way free rides to your stuff (within Manhattan) and a free initial move. At the end of summer, as students come back and move back into their dorm rooms, usually there's more vacancy and therefore slightly lower pricing. There's also an ongoing promotion for $29 -- but locations are limited and that requires a 12-month commitment.
A small locker from CubeSmart
This company has locations all over the five boroughs, an for $50 a month, you're likely to find mostly five foot by five foot by four foot lockers, which start as low as $26 per month in some locations in the Bronx. Lockers will hold items like boxes and office supplies, but don't expect to fit furniture. Some locations offer free move-ins.