Long-term storage has many uses. You can safely and securely store items you don’t need right now but may need later. There is a vast range of choices when it comes to company and location. Whether or not you need climate control, there will be something in your budget.
Anything over 90-days is considered long-term storage, and there is more chance of damage occurring beyond that period. That said, if you are storing valuable or delicate items, even a few days in the wrong self-storage unit could cause damage.
In this brief article, we look at the pros and cons of long-term storage, the distinct storage types, and who needs long-term storage.
Who needs Long-Term Storage?
For personal use, there are many reasons to choose long-term storage. You may sell your current home with plans to build your dream home. While the building work takes place, you need somewhere safe and secure for your possessions.
You might be lucky enough to be going on an extended vacation around the world. Storing your valuables makes excellent sense in this case, particularly if you rent your home out while away. This is also important, as household insurance may not cover your possessions while you are away.
Businesses must store files and documents for many years, such as invoices, receipts, and tax returns. It is essential that these items are stored carefully, and in a location where they are safe from damage.
A business may also prefer to take a long-term storage unit instead of expanding at its current location. Taking this route is more cost-effective if the storage is only for excess stock, which is only accessed infrequently.
Long-term storage considerations
The security level at different long-term storage areas will vary, but you should be looking for the following as a minimum;
- Closed Circuit TV
- Secure fencing around the perimeter
- High-security access points
- Alarm system
- Well lit perimeter fence and building
- Staff on call 24/7
Also, larger self-storage areas will offer a security guard on duty around the clock, with regular patrols.
Check the hours of operation carefully and how easy it will be for you to access your storage area. For the ultimate convenience, 24-hour access is recommended, but this is long-term storage, so not always necessary. If the unit has defined opening hours, make sure they fit in with your lifestyle. Putting your items in long-term storage that is closed on the weekends while you work every weekday will cause a problem.
As this is long-term storage, the location need not be close to home, unless you intend to visit the site often. Looking further afield will give you more choice and possibly a better price. Weigh up the reduced cost against the inconvenience of longer traveling times.
Putting your possessions in long-term storage may mean your property insurance does not cover them. Check if your storage company offers protection or take out a third-party policy.
Check the reviews
See if you can find reviews for any storage units that interest you. Reading other people’s objective reviews can help you decide. Just remember that a single critical review doesn’t mean you need to avoid that company!
Standard Long-term Storage
Standard long-term storage is cheaper, but not climate-controlled, and items stored for extended periods may suffer damage. If you only have a few things that require climate-controlled storage, it may be better to keep them at home than pay the extra.
Climate-controlled Long-term Storage
Climate-controlled storage maintains a constant temperature and humidity level. If you have antiques, fabric furniture, important documents, or electronic items to store, climate-controlled storage would be an excellent investment.
Tips for Long-term Storage
Use sturdy boxes
It is tempting to pack your items in boxes you get free from the grocery store. The problem here is that the boxes will be odd sizes and difficult to stack, reducing your available storage space. Instead, buy good sturdy boxes of uniform size, so they can be stacked easily.
Wrap fragile items
You should wrap anything delicate in bubble-wrap or similar protective material before placing it into boxes for storage. Mark the boxes so you know the contents and that they are fragile.
Use vacuum-sealed bags
Vacuum bags remove the moisture and help to protect clothes and fabrics from damage.
Clean and dry items before storing
Make sure everything you put into storage is thoroughly cleaned first. This is particularly important for domestic items such as refrigerators and freezers, where an insignificant amount of moisture can quickly turn into mold.
Keep your items off the floor
Try to raise all your items off the floor. It encourages airflow around the storage unit and helps prevent pockets of humidity and damp.
Long-term storage is an excellent option for both business and personal possessions. Use climate-controlled storage for items that may be damaged by humidity and temperature changes. Check the security in place for your peace of mind and make sure you can access the storage when it’s convenient for you.