Essential long-term storage guidelines

There are a few reasons one might want to consider long-term storage. While it is inconvenient to leave your things in some Storage unit, and to many of us who get attached to their valuables and collectibles it could fell weird and unnerving, sometimes it is a right choice.

You might be going for a trip of self-discovery around the globe. Leaving home behind and taking only what you can carry. You might also be in a need for a home decluttering. Maybe you finally realized you have just a little bit too much stuff around the house, and some of them need a more permanent and less distracting solution.

Whatever the reason, if you are in need of some long-term storage advice, you have come to the right place!

Planning ahead of your long-term storage

Before getting your items to their new home, there are a few things to consider. Actually, carefully planning things out now will save you a lot of hassle, frustration, buyers remorse or even permanent damage later.

A long-term storage plan
Having a long-term storage plan is essential. So, what is the first step? Items!

What to store?

Deciding what to actually store is pretty essential. May we suggest that, if you are trying to declutter your home, you should take a paper and a pen and work out what exactly are you to move to storage? Maybe that instrument you always had but never took to practice? Or possibly some of those books just collecting dust because you lack time to properly enjoy them? And what about all those stamps that might be just important enough not to be thrown away, but not quite enough of a collectible? Yes, we all have some of those.

You need to be honest with yourself. Do you really need all that stuff, or is it just that you have trouble throwing them away? If the latter is the answer, then long-term storage is a perfect way to get them out of the way without giving up on them forever.

If you are, however, going on an international trip your choices might be much more limited. In this case, we would only suggest that you take careful consideration of the next step in your planning process.

Pick a storage unit

So, you have decided what to store (and presumably you already know when). Now you need to decide where to store your valuables. This is a really important thing to keep in mind. Long-term storage means that your items will be left unattended for a long time. This might seem all fine and well and first, after all, they have already spent a lot of time unattended on that shelf over there

Well, the reality of the situation is a little bit more complex.

Sing with a right and a wrong
While, of course, we are only providing guidelines, not rules, do keep in mind that some experience thought us that certain things are always a bad idea. Shady company or humid storage units, for example.

When they are at your home, they are always in room temperature, without any pests and all the other positive aspects of a livable home. Storage unit, on the other hand, can have a lot of harsher conditions.

So, how to pick a storage unit? Well, believe it or not, storage units have been around for a long time  so people had, over the years, figured out some things to be careful about:

  1. Trustworthiness – Do you trust the company that will keep your stuff is the first question you should ask yourself before committing to long-term storage. Check out internet reviews from other customers. Is there something concerning or are they well rated?
  2. Moisture and temperature in the storage units –  These two are the biggest and most often encountered enemies of the good state of your stuff. Always check if there is ventilation in the storage units.
  3. Pests – Aim for metal/concrete and solid build. Any wholes or expendable materials could be a way in for insects or even rodents. You don’t want your piano to serve as a dinner for termites or your coat from the 80s to become a tasty dish for months.

How to pack for long-term storage?

So, you picked your long term storage unit. Now, how to pack your stuff into it:

Boxes

First and foremost, you have to think about the boxes you will put your stuff in. Common wisdom about shipping is to pack your stuff in a box bigger than it. Here, however, the opposite is the case. In storage units, there is no turbulence, (and hopefully) nothing is riding your stuff down the road. This means that when you are going for packing of your stuff, different problems apply.

Here, boxes should be as filled as possible. Why you might ask? Well, space is limited and costly. Nobody wants or should pay more than they need. Here is what we are aiming at. Stacking boxes one upon the other is a way to optimize your space. For, this you need boxes to be filled so they can support the weight of the boxes above. Also, it would be preferable if they are the of same sizes for rather obvious reasons.

Tetris
Playing Tetris might come in handy!

Big and fragile

As for the furniture, electronics and other sensitive things, always think disassembly. We also suggest taking pictures during the process. One day you will have to reassemble that couch and you don’t want to find a few “unused parts” lying around after the reassembly.

Also, take careful note of operability or general health of the items you store especially fragile ones. You want to know exactly in what conditions you left them in, should there be unexpected damage.

Few more words of wisdom

While we covered the main guidelines for long-term storage, may we also offer the next pieces of advice:

  • Keeping stuff at your friends – if you think you don’t have enough things to justify a storage unit, or you want your items used while on the road, you might want to opt in for a friend.
  • Insurance – If possible, get one! We all hope to never need one, but we also would like to have one should we need one!