There are times when you won’t just be putting your belongings in storage for a few days, but for a few months or more. If you’re currently looking for long term storage solutions, you also need to think about how you’re going to treat your storage unit. Are you going to put your items in there and not look at them for a few months? Or are you putting items into storage that you’ll still need access to?
If you need to be able to have access to your stored belongings, there are a few things you should know. We’re here to share our long term storage hacks that will help you get the most out of your storage unit. Read on so you can avoid some of the dumb mistakes we’ve made in the past!
1. Choose Plastic Over Paper
If you can, invest in plastic bins to store your items, especially if they’re going to be low to the ground. Mice have a nasty habit of getting into storage units, and they’ll eat plastic bags, cardboard, fabric, you name it. To avoid finding a little critter nest in our stuff when you go to unpack it later, make sure to use plastic, airtight bins whenever possible.
2. Plan Your Layout Wisely
Will you be needed access to your stored items at various times? Then think about this before you shove as much as possible into your storage unit. Plan a layout that allows you to access anything if you need to. For instances, consider including several aisles in your unit so you have access to more things without having to remove or rearrange your stuff.
3. Get a Combination Lock
It’s not a bad idea to have multiple locks for your unit. For companies where you provide your own lock, consider getting a combination lock instead of a regular key lock. These are harder to hack into and will keep your things safe while in storage. And if you’re storing valuables, consider putting a safe or other lockable unit within the storage space so there’s an extra hurdle for would-be robbers.
4. Label Everything
So, you’ve fit everything into your storage unit. Great. Now what the hell went into each box? If you don’t have a great visual memory, then you’ll need to include labels on each box so eliminate any guesswork and unnecessary unpacking later on.
5. Clean it Before You Store It
If you’re storing furniture or cookware, make sure to thoroughly clean it before you store it. This will prevent any mold or mildew growth within your storage unit – and trust us, you don’t want to deal with any of that.
6. Use Pallets and Shelves
Keep your things safe from bugs, rodents, and moisture by using pallets. Place pallets on the ground first so your belongings are a few inches off the ground. Then, incase water does leak into your unit, at least you’ll have a few inches of clearance before any of your stuff is damaged. Similarly, shelves will not only let you put more into your storage unit, but they’ll keep mice and other critters from gaining access to sensitive objects.
7. Make a Master List
If you are really in it for the long haul, make a master inventory list so you know exactly what is in your storage unit, where it is, when it was put there, and how much of it there is. This is also helpful if you’re cycling things in and out of your storage unit, or allowing family members to keep some of their belongings in there as well. The inventory list gives extra security since you’ll know when something was removed, who took it, and whether you should be tearing your whole unit apart trying to find your mom’s old jewelry (when in fact it’s been in your garage the whole time).
UNITS Moving and Portable Storage offers portable storage in Castro Valley, portable storage in Emeryville, and the entire East Bay Area.
What Are Your Long Term Storage Hacks?
Share your long term storage tips and tricks in the comments below!