Best Practices for Long-Term Self Storage

Last Updated on March 8, 2024

Oftentimes people use a storage unit for short-term needs, such as relocation or temporary living arrangements. In these cases, people often can get by using simple practices and right features for their short term needs—but how can you preserve your items when using long term self storage?

Whether you’re someone using a storage unit to maximize your living space in a cozy downtown apartment, utilizing self storage as a business owner to store additional inventory or equipment, or maybe you use a storage unit for your automobile or boat, there are some key practices to using self storage for the long haul.

Keep your belongings clean before storage

A best practice in all self storage situations is to carefully clean your items, no matter what they are. This means brushing out the crannies of a keyboard, washing the salt and grime off your car’s undercarriage, and removing as much lint as you can from that dryer. Also, always check for water anywhere.

Dust and debris can cause scratches and deterioration over time, and any traces of water can cause rust in metals as well as mold growth in fabrics or paper.

A good way to ensure many items, such as furniture, mirrors, or glass surfaces, stay clean is to place a breathable tarp over them to keep dust and other debris off of the items.

Use the right packaging

When packing your items, it’s always ideal to use original packaging. If that isn’t possible, however, use appropriately strong cardboard boxes, though plastic totes may be preferred. Do not overpack the boxes, and always make sure you clearly label what is on the outside for easy inventory and pick up when the time comes to collect them.

Find the right self storage features

One of the biggest things that will protect and preserve your belongings in long-term storage is the use of the right self storage features. For instances, self storage users in the Midwest would be wise to choose a storage unit with climate control. As these areas experience extreme seasonal weather—from frigid winters to blistering summers—your items in storage would be exposed to this fluctuating weather throughout the seasons.

Such fluctuations will warp wood, fry electronics, and cause plastics to become brittle among other damages. A climate controlled storage unit will preserve your belongings throughout the months or years with a constant temperature and humidity level.

Other long-term features to consider focus on security. We never know when or why people steal or destroy what is not theirs, but we can take steps to prevent it with the right security. Find a storage facility with features such as electronic gate access, video surveillance, and onsite management to know your belongings are always under a watchful eye.

Organization is key in long-term storage

Whether you’re using a 5×5 unit for your apartment or a 10×20 for your business, organization is going to be crucial when it comes to using long-term self storage. A good rule of thumb is to never pile all of your belongings in a heap. Instead, line the walls of your storage unit so you can easily see and access everything you have, making your visits quick and painless.

If you’re using a larger unit, it’s also a good idea to create aisles between shelves or boxes on the interior of your unit so you can still keep things organized and visible.

Regularly check on your items

Out of sight, out of mind isn’t always the best practice. Be sure to regularly visit your storage unit to ensure they are safe and sound. It is also a good idea to make sure things are in working order, and be sure to make sure things are clean and pest free.

Long-term self storage can be a cheaper option to get the most out of your home, apartment, or business, and with the right steps, you can ensure your belongings are safe and sound.