Summary: long term storage is not the same as short-term storage in a lot of ways. We will discuss the better way to store your goods for a longer period.
There are lots of reasons why you may need long-term storage for your goods. Maybe you are moving to another country and need to keep some household belongings in storage. Or maybe you need a place to keep seasonal belongings like skis and winter clothes all through the year. A lot of people also decide to keep larger stuff (like cars, RVs, and boats) in long-term storage because they did have space in their home.
Regardless of the reason behind your need for long-term storage, understand that you have a lot of self-storage options. You are probably in close range with many storage centers around your home.
If you are uncertain of how to select a storage unit that is perfect for your long-term storage needs, we are here to help.
In this article, we will talk about 8 vital considerations to make when choosing a long-term storage facility. Before that, quickly answer the question below:
What are the Two Various Types of Storage Options?
When choosing the type of storage option that you need, you will be required to consider two separate types of storage options:
1. Full-service storage:
A full-service storage provider offers all services to their customers. The deal behind a full-service storage company is that they will be the one to pick up your shipments and deliver them to the storage facility. A lot of full-service storage providers also allow the customer to request and arrange for a pick-up or return just through their smartphone.
Hiring a full-service storage provider will prevent the customer from the much stress of having to deliver their belongings to the storage unit. A lot of full-service facilities will also take photographs and record your belongings. This will make sure you always know what is in storage by just taking a look at photos or go through your online items list.
This is surely the most famous storage option available. These facilities offer a secure, safe and cheap way to store your possessions from the home, including larger belongings like boats. With self-storage, it is the responsibility of customers to deliver their items to the storage unit. When they decide to remove an item from storage, they also pick it up themselves. It is also the responsibility of customers to document their belongings.
Things to Look Out for When Selecting a Long Term Storage Unit
The Facility’s Location and Closeness to your Home
As you start looking at storage facilities near you, consider each of the locations and the closeness of the facilities to your home. How important do you find having a storage facility closer to your house? Are you willing to go farther for a better or cheaper storage facility? While you may not see the location of the storage facility as a major factor when storing your belongings for the short term, it is important when you are storing them for a longer period. This is true if you plan to visit the storage unit more often to access some items several times a year.
The Hours of Operation of the Facility and Storage Access
What are the hours of operation of the storage facility? Is the facility accessible during convenient hours for you and your busy schedule? When choosing a long-term storage unit, it is necessary to select one that allows you to access your storage unit at times that are most easy for you.
If for instance, you work Monday through Friday, but the storage center is closed on weekends, then accessing storage will possibly be so inconvenient, and may even demand that you leave work early. For the best convenience, we recommend that you go for a facility that allows unlimited access to your storage unit.
The Price and Payment Plans
Does the storage facility charge by the week or month? Does the storage center offer 30-days of free storage? Do they let you cancel your contract anytime you want? How costly is the storage facility? These are all important questions you need to ask before you choose a long-term storage unit. Ensure the storage facility has a payment plan and price that works for your needs and budget.
The Environment and Amenities of the Storage Unit
Do they offer climate-controlled storage units? If you reside in a location that sees harsh temperatures, then this will be a major factor to consider when renting a long-term storage unit. Climate-controlled storage units protect against cold temperatures and humidity. Items like furniture and electronics are so much prone to weather-related damage.
The good news is that when they are stored in a climate-controlled storage unit that regulates humidity and temperature, the items remain in great condition. Other vital amenities to consider are the storage unit’s materials, such as weather-resistant steel or not-so-resistant wood, and whether the unit is in a closed or open atmosphere.
Are you in Need of a Climate-Controlled Storage Unit?
While all your possessions can enjoy climate control, items like furniture and clothing must prevent the growth of mold and mildew. Protect your highly-prized belongings from excessive heat, cold, and humidity using climate-controlled storage units, with temperatures between 550 and 800 all year long.
Climate-controlled units are generally expensive than standard storage, but the additional cost is worth it in ensuring temperatures and humidity are kept under control and not damage your belongings.
Below are a few items that we recommend keeping in a climate-controlled unit:
- Wooden & leather furniture
- Household appliances
The Safety and Security Measures
Protecting your belongings inside storage should be your priority when choosing a long-term self-storage unit. Fortunately, a lot if not most storage centers do offer safety features to make sure that items are safe. However, the magnitude of these safety measures differs by storage center.
For example, there are storage units that may only give customers a lock and key, while others may add extra digital surveillance, daily monitoring, and well-lit surrounding. Ensure you consider the safety components offered before you sign a contract with a storage center.
The Reviews and Ratings
Have you checked the reviews and ratings of the storage facility? Even if the storage center is a national company, make sure you read reviews for the exact location you’ve chosen. Online reviews from Yelp and Facebook can indicate whether or not the storage center has quality customer service and other vital features.
The Better Business Bureau also gives ratings for storage centers in the country. Also, we recommend you should ask friends and neighbors for recommendations and advice on selecting a storage facility in your location. Usually, word-of-mouth recommendations from your closed circles can yield a positive outcome than online reviews.
The Insurance Options of the Facility
Yet to insure your belongings via a third-party insurance policy? You need to go for a self-storage facility that offers extra insurance options to protect belongings while in storage. This insurance should protect your possessions from water damage, theft, and other unexpected events. Ensuring your belongings while they are inside the storage unit will give you peace of mind as well as give you the right compensation in case they were damaged or stolen.
Storage providers are not responsible for the items in your unit. So in the event of flood, break-in, or the act of God, the company is not liable to pay for or replace your items. This is why we strongly recommend going for storage insurance. However, before you get insurance offered by your storage company, verify with your homeowners or renter’s insurance to find out if you can include storage in your policy as this may even be added for free.
The Exact Items you Plan to Store
What are the things you are planning to store? Does the storage facility offer storage unit sizes that are perfect for your belongings? When choosing a long-term storage unit, you need to select a storage center that offers the ideal size unit and storage features you specifically need. For example, if you plan to store a large object, like a vintage motorcycle, boat, or car, you will need an extra-large storage unit. However, if you are just storing a few boxes, you should go for a storage center that offers smaller, cheap units.
What are the Things you Need to Rent a Storage Unit?
Get ready to show some ID: you must come with a valid, government-issued form of identification to rent your storage unit. Below are your options:
- Driver’s license
- State ID
- Military ID
You will also be required to sign a storage unit contract (which you should carefully read from start to end) and adhere to the rules contained in it.
How is Self-Storage Unit Cost Determined?
The amount you pay for your storage unit will be different based on the size of the storage unit as well as the amount of time you plan to keep your items in storage. A lot of storage facilities offer monthly contracts, but you could obtain a discount by going for a long term.
Pricing can also be based on whether your unit is positioned indoors or outdoors if there is drive-up access there, and whether you require climate control. Location is also a great factor. Prepare to pay a huge amount in metropolitan locations like New York City and Washington, DC, and cheaper rates in less busy locations.
What is the Size of Storage Unit I Should Go For?
Good news: most self-storage facilities offer different size units for rent. Many of them offer a minimum of five sizes which include 5 by 5, 5 by 10, 10 by 10, 10 by 15, and 10 by 20 storage units. Some of them offer larger sizes too. The majority of full-service storage centers also offer different sizes of the stage units, however, the price, as well as square footage required, will possibly be dependent on the number of boxes you request. Full-service facilities offer different storage unit sizes, so make sure you check with the exact facility that you will be using.
Ready to Move?
Have you booked a safe and secure storage unit already? Then now is the time to look for a reliable long-distance moving company to take care of your next move. Whether you are searching for full-service or partial-service assistance during a move, a professional moving company can take care of little or much as you wish.
Fortunately, there are lots of quality moving companies competing for your business. To locate the best moving company to transport your goods, hire reputable and trustworthy movers. We are insured and licensed, so you can forget worrying as your move will be in the best hands. Contact us today!