Top 5 Tips for Using a Storage Unit Long Term
How to utilize self storage long-term?
Whether you’re planning a long vacation far away or will be moving to a different location for a long time, stressing about the belongings you leave behind is the last thing you want to do. Depending on the situation you’re in, it might feel like a good idea to give your current residence up and entrust your items in a storage unit for long-term storage.
Now you might be asking yourself, “Is it safe?” “Is it beneficial?”
Well, the answer to that is a resounding YES. Not only will it help you secure your things for an extended length of time, but it will also help you save more money and give you peace of mind while you’re away.
But before packing your stuff and running to your nearest storage facility, it’s important to take note of the following tips to ensure a smooth transition.
Tip #1: Sort your stuff
First things first, address your needs. Do you need a big storage unit? What size are you getting? This will help you decide on which stuff and how much of it you’re putting in storage. While there are storage units of different sizes, make sure the size you pick makes sense – not too big nor too small. Once you’ve taken this into account, it’s time you sort your stuff, decide what to store, take with you, or throw away. If you’re in doubt about your storage size, you can always make use of size estimators so no space is wasted. Most facilities have them on their websites.
Tip #2: Start packing efficiently.
Security is important. While most facilities promise that, it helps to pack your belongings safely still. It may sound easy, but this is extremely important. Make sure that fragile items are well-packed, and that the boxes are stacked properly. Failure to do these may result in damages and unnecessary stress. Here are some things you need to pay the most attention of:
- Fragile items such as dishes, mirrors, glasses, vases, and other home décor
- Heavy furniture
- Large and small boxes (properly stacked)
Tip #3: Organize your storage unit
To maintain the integrity of your items and having them in excellent shape when it’s time to use again means not just proper packing but also proper positioning. Place your largest things like furniture at the back of the unit and organize the smaller ones in front. You also need to leave an ample amount of space between the wall and your things to keep proper ventilation. If possible, leave aisles between these items to gain access to the back and sidewalls of the unit, and make sure the labels are facing out.
Keep in mind that some things don’t match with each other, aka don’t put them together. For instance, placing your gardening supplies next to your mattress and clothing is a bad idea.
Lastly, make sure to follow these basic guidelines when setting up your storage unit.
● Cover the floor with a waterproof material such as a plastic sheet or canvas tarp
● As much as possible, keep your items off the ground. This will protect them from moisture and add better air circulation to the unit.
● Position the items correctly. For example, keep mirrors upright or couches horizontally.
Tip #4: Get a travel and storage insurance
Purchasing insurance for your items (especially the valuable ones) will add a second layer of security to your belongings. Talk to the facility manager to determine the best possible insurance you can get and explore your options. Don’t forget to review what the policy covers.
Tip #5: Get someone to visit your storage unit from time to time
You can get a family member or someone you trust to visit your unit while you’re away. You’ll never know when the need arises. This person could help you take away and ship things as needed. If any specific issues need to be addressed locally, then you can ask for assistance from your trusted friend. This would seem like a pretty convenient solution for “in-case” scenarios.
By doing the above tips, moving and staying away from home for a long time will be less stressful. Always explore your options and don’t forget to seek help when necessary. Talk to one of our experts if you need help with long-term storage.