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6 Tips for Long-Term Self Storage

Lockaway Storage | January 5, 2022 @ 12:00 AM

People often need to find a place to store their belongings. Some of the reasons might include downsizing, looking for new adventures through travel, or facing family bereavement. When those situations occur, you can choose between long-term and short-term self storage. It's worth noting, however, that objects that go in there for a long time might require special treatment. Whether you intend on getting a container for a few years to keep personal or company belongings, you need to make sure those items are adequately prepared for long-term self storage. Our team of professionals has just the guide to help you with that.

Short-term vs. Long-term self storage: What's the difference?

Generally, anything less than three months is considered short-term storage. On the other hand, long-term storage would imply a period of over a year. While using short-term self storage, it is common for people to frequently make stops at the units. When it comes to long-term storage, though, most customers typically store their belongings and keep them there until they need them again. As a result, there are differences in how you prepare for short-term and long-term self storage.


Essential tips for long-term self storage

Don't underestimate the planning and preparation procedure if you're storing something for a more extended period. If you devise a system and stick to it, it will simplify the process. Whatever your reasons for storing might be, you'll want to have the assurance that your valuables are secure - and you want to do your part of the work, as well. Following our advice will ensure you find your items the same way you left them in your unit.

1. Evaluate your belongings

Your long-term storage project starts with a headcount. First, you need to determine your needs: the type and the size of unit you'll require. So, we suggest you evaluate everything you plan on storing. 

Since you're considering long-term storage, you probably have a lot to store. When you're organizing things, make sure to mark the boxes and take a master inventory of everything that goes into them. This way, you'll know what you packed and where you put it. It's a great idea to make a duplicate of the master inventory for yourself and retain the original in the storage facility.

2. Find an adequate facility

After you've gathered your things, it's time to decide where you'll keep them in the long run. First and foremost, you should choose a site. While some people can arrange long-term storage on their property, most will have to rely on self storage facilities. Even if you have plenty of room in your house, self storage is an excellent option for long-term storage. 

Self storage can help you save space no matter where you reside. Moving your belongings somewhere is a fantastic method to extend your property's prospects, too. You can finally declutter your home, put away those boxes of holiday decorations you rarely use, and find a new purpose for your garage space.


Above all, a storage container is a location where your possessions will be safe and sound. Keeping your belongings in long-term self storage provides you with the peace of mind knowing that they will be there whenever you need them.

3. Think of a climate-controlled unit

Long-term storage units can be climate-controlled and non-climate-controlled. The majority belong to the latter group, implying they lack interior heating and moisture control systems. They're sufficient for most things, but you might prefer temperature control for some of your goods, especially if you live in areas where humidity and temperature change a lot or hit extremes.

Climate-sensitive items, such as electronics or wooden furnishings, should be kept in a climate-controlled facility. They are a little pricier, but the added expense may provide extra comfort, knowing that your valuables will not be exposed to severe temperatures while you're absent. If you plan on leaving your items for more than one season, it is best to store them in a climate-controlled unit.

4. Check that everything is dry and clean

This is, without a doubt, one of the essential pointers. When storing belongings in a storage unit for an extended time, it is critical that all items are dry and cleaned. Critters might be attracted to things that contain food leftovers, filth, muck, or fuzz on them. So, to avoid pests and potential damage, pay special attention to the state of your belongings before you leave them in storage.

Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for cleaning each item. You should also give sufficient time for the item to dry if you cleaned it with water or a chemical, then pack it up in a box.

5. Prepare your items for an extended stay by packing properly

Packing your goods well will help keep everything in good condition for as long as they are in your storage container.

Our best advice is to purchase strong packaging boxes. Thin cardboard will not suffice for extended storage. You want bulky cardboard that will last for years. You also might want to consider switching to plastic containers. But ensure your plastic containers have a tiny gap or two to allow air to circulate through, as plastic can trap moisture. You should avoid using plastic bags for anything storage-related, no matter how tempting it is.

It would be best if you also covered the floor of your storage container with a tarp or sheet. Placing a sheet beneath bulky objects and piles of boxes will prevent them from coming into contact with any moisture on the floor. 

6. Invest in insurance

As our final tip, we suggest you look into insurance for the stuff you store to provide an extra level of security. You can examine your existing policy rules to see if supplementary insurance is necessary while renting your storage unit, especially if storing valuables. It's always better safe than sorry!


Final thoughts

Now you have all the essential tips for keeping your items in long-term self storage. Whether you are traveling, downsizing, or decluttering, the units are available and waiting for your boxes. Our friendly and professional team is at your service!

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