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For some people, packing up and moving out of their home when they embark on a major renovation is a no-brainer. But for others, the monumental dilemma is what to do with their possessions while they get the job done.

The most important piece of advice we can offer is to scrupulously plan the move and research your storage options. The time to act is when you accept your builder’s quote. Not making an allowance in your budget for something you might see has no return could be the one expense that finally sends you over the edge in an already stressful situation. Don’t set yourself up for a surprise.

Sydney renovator-on-the-move, Renate Barnett says, “I think the cost of storage is justified and I do think you get a return because you have cleared out all your cupboards and you have a de-cluttered house to return to.” Veronica Morgan, principal of Sydney’s Good Deeds Property Buyers and co-host of Location, Location, Location appearing on the Lifestyle Channel, always advises renovators, “This should be the time when you edit your stuff. You keep it or you chuck it, and make this a deliberate process. And please, avoid using your car as a storage unit.”

The first step is to search online to find out what suits you in the way of packing materials. One of the cheapest methods is recyclable, stackable, sturdy, clear plastic-lidded crates. When I renovated I bought about 35 of them. They cost me around $500 because I shopped around to find the best price, and I numbered them and then entered the number and the box’s contents into the computer so I had a record of everything. This system worked well for me because I had a lot of books and photo albums and wanted access to them (they were eventually put away in my husband’s factory). As an alternative, storage facilities sell strong cardboard boxes of all sizes for everything and these are particularly good for heavy books and wine.


Storage in your own home

Ask your builder if any un-renovated areas can be made secure, waterproof and dust-free to house your biggest items. “Keeping things at home isn’t always the cheapest option. It’s false economy because there’s the potential for damage to property,” says Veronica. Be mindful of your home and contents insurance policy obligations, and check the builder’s contract for his.

Storage in someone else’s home

Enlist the help of family and friends. Does anyone have a vacant garage you can rent, or a backyard shed, spare room or attic? Renate is the custodian of her grandparents’ ancient encyclopaedia and other historical documents. “These are precious things that I have been entrusted with. I cannot put them into storage so I have passed them onto other family members,” she says.

On-site mobile self-storage

Mobile self-storage specialists such as TaxiBox in Sydney and Melbourne will deliver a storage box to your home that takes up to one tonne, or eight cubic metres of gear (1.5 rooms of furniture or 120 archival boxes). Prices start from $119 per month. If your reno is a really short-term thing, the box can be placed close by for easy access during renovation. Otherwise, TaxiBox will pick up the box and store it at their own secure facility, then return it when you want the contents again.
No need to hire a ute or truck. Too easy!

Self-storage unit at a facility

By far the most popular method because it can be customised, is very safe, and secure. Renate opted for a 10.5 cubic metre unit from Australia-wide storage experts, Kennards Self Storage “that I can walk into when it’s not full with our furniture,” she says. Renate pays around $400 per month for this sized unit. Weigh-up and compare costs of self-storage units in your local suburb and check what they offer in terms of service.

Story:   Rose-Marie Hillier     Source:

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