Not everyone needs storage for a lifetime — or even an entire year. For many, a few months is more than enough. Moving, remodeling, and seasonal houseguests are all great reasons to look into short-term storage.
Before taking the plunge with a provider near you, there are few things you should know about this type of storage. Our experts here at Stor-It have put together a quick guide with five tips to consider when investing in short-term storage. Read on to learn more!
What Is Short-Term Storage?
As the term suggests, it’s self storage reserved on a relatively brief timeline. While storage providers may have different definitions of “short,” most agree that anything under three months (roughly one season) counts as short-term storage. It’s an attractive solution for families and individuals who may be moving or remodeling, as well as students or travelers leaving home for a single season.
Short-term storage is available at self-storage facilities, where it’s typically rented with contracts on a month-to-month basis. It’s also available in curbside storage units (commonly called pods), which are usually priced based on size and timeline.
Tip 1: Determine Your Timeline and Size
No matter what kind of storage you’re looking for, two of the biggest factors to determine ahead of time are your storage timeline and your required storage unit size. You can choose a storage provider with flexible month-to-month leasing so you can pay as you go and leave as you please. However, some providers offer discounts for longer-term contracts, so if you know that you’re going to need your unit for longer than a few months, it may be beneficial to choose one of those.
As far as storage unit size goes, estimation is the name of the game. You have a few resources that can help you in this department. First, you can tour local storage facilities and see what certain unit dimensions look like in person. You can also compile all of your to-store possessions in your garage or a corner of your home and then measure the square footage.
Tip 2: Consider a Climate-Controlled Unit
Unlike traditional storage, which is subject to changes in the weather in the same ways a detached garage is, climate-controlled storage units are true indoor facilities with temperature and humidity controls. They’re a great choice for sensitive items such as musical instruments, pieces of art, collectible items, and wood furniture. If you live in a climate with extreme temperatures or humidity levels, climate-controlled storage is even more critical.
Tip 3: To Pod or Not to Pod
Piggybacking off the theme of Tip 3 — climate — it’s vital to decide what type of short-term storage you need. You have two options: a self-storage facility or a curbside storage pod. If you need climate-controlled storage, then you need a facility with climate-controlled options. Beyond that, there are several advantages to each storage option. Self-storage facilities offer extra peace of mind, on-site amenities, and often more sizes to choose from. Pods offer unbeatable commutes, minimizing hassle when it comes to loading and unloading. Price can vary with both, so it’s best to shop around before buying.
Tip 4: Get Your Contract Right
We already talked about timeline and size. Something that goes along with these factors is the storage contract itself. Any list of storage tips would be incomplete without reminding you to consider the storage contract before signing. This is especially true for short-term storage, as inattentive renters may sign up for more than they need.
First, choose a storage provider that can accommodate your timeline. If you’re not sure what your timeline is, then choose a provider with flexible month-to-month leasing. If you know your timeline is going to be short, then you need a provider who can draw that up in that contract and price it accordingly. Don’t sign up for a year if you don’t need to, and try to compare the listed price with other offers before signing.
Tip 5: Pack for the Short Term
Despite what the title of Tip 5 may suggest, packing things for short-term storage is quite similar to packing things for storage in general. That said, there are a few differences worth noting. Here are a few must-follow steps to make sure you get it right:
- Gather your essential supplies. There are several things you’ll need to pack your items properly. Most important among them are your boxes. For short-term rentals, you can use cardboard or plastic — just make sure the boxes are sturdy and uniform in size so you can maximize your space. Other essential packing supplies include cushioning (preferably bubble wrap), packing tape, and a marker or two for labeling. If your storage unit provider doesn’t give you one at sign-up, you’ll also need to get a lock.
- Keep things cushioned and wrapped. Even if you’re only storing for a month, you want to keep your items in tip-top shape. To this end, cushioning is still important. You don’t have to go crazy, but you do want to make sure that all sensitive items get some coverage. Use bubble wrap for corners and slim pieces, and place a blanket or dedicated cover for your furniture items. Try to clean and air out all items before storing them, even if it’s just for a month or two. You’ll thank us later.
- Double-check each box before closing it up. This step is essential if you’re going to be traveling. What if you need something while you’re away, and it’s buried deep in the storage unit? Likewise, if you’re moving or remodeling, you don’t want to have to make an extra trip (or several) to your unit just to grab one or two daily essentials. Double-check each box and save yourself the headache.
Make the Choice on Your Terms With Stor-It
Need more short-term storage tips or general storage unit tips? Ready to reserve your short-term storage unit? Our team here at Stor-It is standing by to help. We are Idaho’s oldest and largest self-storage provider, and we have the expertise and facilities you can count on for successful storage on any timeline.
With flexible month-to-month leasing and a huge range of storage unit sizes and options, we make it easy for you to find the perfect for your needs — whether you’re storing for one month or one decade. Contact us to have all of your short-term storage questions answered, and visit our Locations page to find and reserve your unit from one of our 16 Idaho locations.