long term storage

Long Term Storage Considerations

There are a number of reasons why you may need long term storage for your belongings. Perhaps you’re moving abroad and need to put household items in storage. Or maybe you need a spot to store seasonal items, such as winter clothes and skis, throughout the year. Many people also choose to store larger items (think: cars, boats and RVs) long-term because they lack space in their home. Whatever the reason you need long term storage, know that you have plenty of self-storage options. In fact, chances are good that there are dozens of storage facilities located near your house. If you’re not sure how to choose a storage unit that’s right for your long term storage needs, we can help. Here are 8 important considerations to make when selecting a long term storage facility.

What to Consider When Choosing a Long Term Storage Unit

The location of the facility and proximity to your home

As you begin looking at storage facilities in the area, carefully consider each one’s location and proximity to your home. How important is it to you that the storage unit is located near your house? Are you willing to travel farther for a better or less expensive storage facility? While the location of a storage unit may not be an important factor when storing items for a short period of time, it is important when storing belongings long-term, especially if you plan to travel back and forth between the storage unit and your home multiple times a year.

The hours of operation and storage access

What are the storage facility’s hours of operation? Is the storage facility open during hours that work for you and your busy schedule? When selecting a long term storage unit, it’s important to choose one that allows storage access at times that are convenient for you. For example, if you work Monday through Friday, but the storage facility is closed on weekends, then retrieving storage will likely be very inconvenient and may even require you to leave work early. For ultimate convenience, choose a facility that allows 24-hour access to your storage unit. 

The price and payment plans

Does the storage unit charge by the month or week? Does the storage facility offer one month of storage for free? Do they allow you to cancel your contract whenever you want? How expensive is the facility? Make sure the storage facility’s price and payment plan options work for your budget and needs. 

The storage unit’s environment and amenities

Is the storage unit climate-controlled? If you live in a place that experiences extreme temperatures, then this is one of the most important considerations to make when renting a long term storage unit. Climate-controlled storage units provide protection against heat and humidity as well as cold temperatures. Items that are particularly prone to weather-related damage stay in pristine condition when they are kept in a unit that controls both the humidity and the temperature. 

Other important amenities to consider include the storage unit’s materials (i.e. weather-resistant steel vs. not-so weather-resistant wood) and whether the storage unit is located indoors or outdoors. For long term storage, we typically recommend an indoor storage unit made of weather-resistant steel.

The safety and security measures

Protecting your items inside storage should be top of mind when selecting a long term self-storage unit. Fortunately, many storage facilities do offer safety features to ensure that items are secure. However, the extent of these safety measures varies by storage facility. For instance, some storage units may only provide customers with a lock and key, while others may include additional digital surveillance, 24-hour monitoring and a well-lit environment. Make sure to consider the safety features offered before signing a contract with a storage facility.

The facility’s insurance options

Haven’t insured your items through a third-party insurance policy? You may need a self-storage facility that offers additional insurance options to protect items while in storage. This insurance should protect your items from water damage, theft and other unfortunate events. Not only will insuring your items give you peace of mind while items are inside the storage unit, but it will also provide you with proper compensation in case your items are damaged or stolen.   

The specific items you plan to store

What items are you planning to store? Does the facility offer storage unit sizes that work for your items? When selecting a long term storage unit, it’s important to choose a facility that offers the right size unit and storage features for your needs. For instance, if you’re planning to store a large item, such as a vintage car, motorcycle or boat, you’re going to need an extra-large storage unit. However, if you’re only storing a few boxes, you should look for a facility that offers smaller, less expensive units.

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