I know a lot of you are selling homes, relocating, maybe down-sizing by getting rid of some dead weight you don't want around the house, but you don't want to get rid of either.
So you're shopping storage facilities. Obviously, you have to consider cost, security, accessibility and climate control.
But Tim Dietz, vice president of the Self Storage Association in Alexandria, VA., recommends you also ask about these costs -- costs that don't always jump out at you.
* SET-UP or PROCESSING FEES. Dietz says these can be $25 or more, and that's on top of the unit's price. If you're going to store stuff for a year or more, ask the facility if it will drop these fees.
* LATE FEES. At some storage places, if your payment's late just one month, the penalty can be as high as 30 PERCENT!
* TRANSPORTATION COSTS. Some places offer to pick up your stuff for or let you borrow a vehicle to haul it. Ask!
* VARIABLE RENT. Like a variable mortgage, some facilities can jack up the rent after a certain length of time. Ask if they do that, and also ask how much notice you have to give before you cancel your contract.