Whether you are taking out (if you’ve yet to deck the halls) or packing up the Christmas decorations after the festive season, take a look around your loft.
If it isn’t bursting at the seams, consider renting the space to those who don’t have the room to store all of their belongings.
What's the deal?
The website Stashbee.com brings together people who need storage with those that can offer it, but although it has plans to expand, it is currently only available within the M25. Prices start at £1.49 a week per item or £8.99 a week for each square foot you require.
Rival firm Storemates.co.uk works across the UK and suggests prices equivalent to 50% off commercial self-storage services in your area. I was able to find a garage a few miles from my home in Hertfordshire for £23.50 a week.
Why should I care?
Renting your spare space can be a very easy way to boost your income – the more space you have, the more you can earn. Stashbee reckons that if you have space for 20 Stashbee boxes (40.5 cm x 40.5cm x 40.5cm) you could make £960 a year. If you have an empty garage it could earn you as much as £2,000 a year.
What’s the catch?
Before you can rent your space with Stashbee you will have to be visited by a member of the Stashbee team to check the security of your space. You will also have to have identity checks. In return for arranging the rental Stashbee will also take 20% of your income as a fee.
Storemates asks hosts to sign a storage agreement, which sets out the terms you will have to stick to in terms of security and access for the renter. Storemates takes a fee of 15%.
What are the other options?
This is an easy way of making use of your spare space. But if you have a garage you aren’t using you may also consider renting it to someone who needs parking space. Depending on where you live, Your Parking Space says people with a spare garage can earn anything from £40 to £350 a month by renting it out. The closer you are to train stations, office space, town centres, sports stadiums and music venues, the more you stand to earn.
I’ve got load of things I need to store – is this a good deal for me?
Stashbee says its costs are around 90% less than commercial storage facilities while Storemates says it charges half. Although this could be a great saving you will need to check that the access is going to be convenient for you, as you will have to arrange it directly with your storage host.
As a whole we reckon this is a great, community-friendly idea and preferable to paying more to leave your possessions on an industrial estate.
Yet while it can save you money (and give a neighbour’s income a healthy boost) it may still be worth asking local friends and family if they have space first – there’s a good chance they’ll do it for free or a bottle of wine. Or you could offer them something they might need in return, such as gardening or babysitting.