Moving is the worst. It’s almost always stressful and complicated, and something almost always breaks, gets lost, or goes wrong. If you’re lucky, you can afford to mitigate some of that stress by hiring movers to handle the whole process, or at least help with the heavy lifting. Even if you can’t afford movers, though, there’s a cheaper solution to making your move easier — renting a storage unit.

Wait — aren’t storage units just for, you know, storing stuff? Well, sure, but you’d be surprised how much easier stashing stuff away in storage ahead of your move can make things. It can help declutter your home while you stage it for sale, give you a chance to shop for the new house before you move in, lengthen your moving timeline, and even help you save money on a moving truck.

1) Declutter Your Home for Staging

Staging your home effectively will help sell it faster, and could get you a higher price, too. But staging a home well usually means erasing all signs that someone actually lives there. That can be a challenge, especially if you have a large family, pets, or just a lot of stuff.

It’s not always feasible to hide away all of your possessions in order to stage a home — and it may not be advisable, as buyers will want to examine things like the size of the closets or the condition of the basement. A storage unit can give you the space you need to stash anything that might clutter up your house and make it look like a home. Pack up your out-of-season clothes; stash your bikes, skis, and other sports equipment; store your spare set of pots and pans; get rid of that ugly chair your spouse insists on keeping. The higher offers you get will be worth the cost of renting cheap storage units for a few months.

2) Store New Items for Your New Home

Are you moving into a bigger home and anticipating needing more furniture, a new flat-screen TV for the new rec room you’re getting, or some new gardening implements for your new flowerbeds? There’s no need to wait until you’re all settled into the new house before you go shopping. Take advantage of that sale that’s happening now to get the new king-sized bed you’ll want in your new master bedroom in three months. Go ahead and grab that massive painting you fell in love with at the new art gallery downtown. You can stick it in your storage unit until you’re ready to move in.

3) Give Yourself More Time for Your Move

One of the biggest headaches of moving is the tight timeline it usually has to happen on. A short window between your move-in date and your move-out date can be a nightmare. So can closing on the sale of your old home and having to wait days, weeks, or months before closing on the purchase of a new one.

Renting a storage unit can give you the ability to move in stages. If you have a tight window for your move, you can start weeks ahead of time and just put stuff in storage until you get the keys to your new place. If you’re between places for a while, a storage unit can give you a place to stick your stuff while you’re living out of suitcases in your parents’ spare bedroom.

4) Use Less Moving Truck Cargo Space

Filling up a whole moving truck at once, and then emptying it on the same day, is exhausting. The bigger the truck, and the more stuff, the more exhausting it is.

You can use a storage unit to space out your move, so you don’t have to pack everything you own on the truck all at once and unload it all at once. You can use your car to move boxes into the storage unit a few at a time at a pace that works for you, and save the truck for the big stuff. This will allow you to rent a smaller truck, too, which will be cheaper. You might even be able to get a free moving truck rental with your storage unit lease. Many facilities that offer cheap storage units also offer complimentary truck rentals to leaseholders.

5) Streamline Downsizing

Moving into a smaller home can be even more challenging than moving into a larger home — a bigger place might mean needing more furniture, but at least you can fit all of your stuff in it. It can impossible to know what will fit in your new space before you arrive, and some stuff might not fit at all — a storage unit can give you the extra space you need to stash stuff that you can’t take with you, or that you don’t have room to store in your new place, like holiday decorations or sports equipment.

When you’re gearing up for your next move, consider renting a storage unit. Whether you need to extend your moving timeline, store stuff for downsizing, or just stage your home more effectively, a storage unit can help you get it done.