Johnny Buckhingham
self-storage unit

Picture this scenario.

You’re a single airman in the U.S. Air Force and your home station is Fairchild AFB in Spokane, WA — the biggest tanker base in the United States.

You have a nice, expensive apartment in a prime downtown location next to all the bars and restaurants and you’ve set up a pretty nice man cave with all of your belongings. Over the past couple of years, you’ve spent time hiking around the Spokane River, spending time with friends at The Davenport and enjoying events like HoopFest.

When you come in for work on Monday, you bump into your commander and he gives you the news…you’re deploying to Qatar for twelve months and you leave in four days. At that moment you’d probably ask yourself, “What do I do?”

Do you keep paying rent on your expensive apartment for the next twelve months? Do you find a subletter for your place so you don’t lose that prime location? If you do move out, where are you going to put your belongings?

Why should I put my stuff in self-storage?

The biggest reason why you should consider self-storage are financial reasons. The average monthly rent for a 2-bedroom apartment can range from $1,135 in Memphis, TN to $2,835 in Washington D.C. On the other hand, the average rate for a self-storage unit can range from $40 to $330 a month depending on how much space you need.

As you can see, the potential savings by moving out of your apartment and placing your belongings in storage are quite staggering. Over the span of 12 months you could save thousands!

That money could be used for a down payment on a new car or a house if you use your VA Loan Benefits.

Near You

Tips for choosing the best self-storage units

  • Climate-Controlled Storage. Some of your items are valuable, one of a kind or environmentally sensitive and would benefit from climate-controlled storage. Climate controlled storage units keep items in a constant environment (temperatures between 55°F and 85°F).
  • Auto-Pay or Payment Plans. When you’re deployed, you already have a lot on your plate. Automating your bills can really help ease your burden and let you focus on the task or mission at hand.
  • Help with Moving. If you can’t convince any of your friends to help you move, check for storage facilities that offer moving help. There are many storage units that offer this service as a move-in incentive.
  • Moving Truck. Sometimes your own vehicle won’t be able to haul away all of your belongings. Often, self-storage companies offer you the use of a free moving truck as an incentive.
  • Military Discount on Storage. There are many storage facilities that offer military discounts for active-duty personnel and their families. If you’re going to be deployed for an extended amount of time, consider signing up for a long-term rental or a prepayment discount.

If you have information or tips for servicemen and women in need of self-storage, please leave your comment below or on


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About The Author

Johnny Buckhingham

Johnny Cruz Buckingham runs his company, Military Crashpad, which specializes in fully furnished, corporate housing for people looking for temporary lodging near military bases. Johnny served as a Captain and Pilot in the U.S. Air Force for ten years before transitioning to his role of real estate investor and CEO. He writes articles on housing, moving, personal finance as well as manages his other company,