Estate Sale vs. Storage: 3 Situations to Consider


Did you know that estate sales aren’t limited to when someone has passed on? People most often associate these with final wills and inheritances, but they’re often the result of the estate owner’s decision to choose another living arrangement. The only question is, are they the only option for certain situations like the death of a relative or transitioning to a smaller home? 

Let’s take a look at three different situations when you might consider an estate sale and compare it to the option of storing items instead.

1. Death of a Relative

When a family member dies, someone needs to put their affairs in order. Family and loved ones need to be contacted, care needs to be found for dependants/pets, their body needs to be taken to a funeral home, a death certificate needs to be obtained and the funeral needs to be planned. But after all of those steps, you’ll need to manage and settle the estate.

If liquidating assets is part of the probate process, you might be forced to have an estate sale—such as if there was no will or property wasn’t included in the will. If you have a choice, however, storing belongings in a storage container might be a better option. For one, you’ll have more time to decide what you want to do about items that have sentimental value. Second, you’ll keep items safe until you determine their value. Third, you’ll get items out of the way if you’re trying to sell the estate itself.

2. Downsizing Homes

Another situation when you might have to choose between a sale and storage is when you downsize a home. People downsize homes for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Children moving out of the house (empty nesters)
  • Relocation to an area with a higher cost of living per square foot
  • Desire to save on expenses (HOA, utilities, etc.)
  • Less maintenance and upkeep

Whatever the reason, there will be less space in your new residence, meaning you have to sell, give away or store your belongings. Holding an estate sale will generate income and giving away items will be a tax break, but there’s no going back with either of these decisions if you have second thoughts and want to upgrade again in the future. Also, many items may be keepsakes you don’t want to sell. By storing them in a storage container, you’ll be able to keep belongings out of the way while still maintaining access to them.

3. Transition to Assisted Living Facility

Finally, a transition to a retirement or nursing home may garner this decision. (Or when an older family member moves into the home with the rest of the family.) People accumulate belongings as they age and usually end up with quite a few items by the time they pass away or require living assistance. As with both of the situations above, there may be sentimental or valuable items you (or the older family member) don’t want to throw away. By storing items in a residential storage container, you’ll have time to go through items instead of making a rash decision.

If you’re debating between an estate sale and storage, call the SAM (Store & Move) team today for a no-obligation quote.