If you’re planning to travel for an extended period of time, self storage is a great solution to ensure that your belongings are safe and protected. Getting a long term storage unit is typically more affordable than paying to keep everything in a home or apartment, and more secure than trying to store it all with friends and family. Below are some things you should keep in mind if you plan to store your belongings in self storage while traveling.
Can I Afford a Storage Unit?
According to move.org, the average cost of a medium (5×15-10×15) storage unit in 2022 is $160 per month. Keep in mind that things like size, features (climate control vs. standard), location, and availability will all affect storage unit prices. A storage unit in New York City or Los Angeles will cost substantially more than one in a smaller town or city. You may also find that storage prices are higher in the spring and summer, as moving season causes storage facilities to fill up. Make sure to budget for taxes, additional moving expenses, and storage unit insurance if you plan to get a long term storage unit.
Do I Need Self Storage?
If you’re asking yourself if you need a storage unit – the answer is most likely yes. While you could find creative options to store your items long term when you are traveling abroad, storage will be your best option. By booking long term storage, you ensure that your belongings are safe and protected for as long as you need. If you want to travel without having to stress about where your things are and if they are safe, self storage is right for you.
Tips for Using a Storage Unit
Pack Your Storage Unit Efficiently
After a long day of moving, it can be tempting to throw everything into your storage unit as fast as possible. Try to avoid the urge to rush the process. Storing your items efficiently will keep them safer, make unpacking easier, and allows you to find what you need in the unit when visiting. For optimal efficiency, start by putting all large items like your washer, dryer, refrigerator, mattress, couch, etc. along the back of your unit. Odds are, you won’t need quick access to these items. Plus, having them out of the way ensures they won’t crush smaller, more delicate items. As you pack your storage unit from the back to the front, utilize all vertical space. Set aside items you know you’ll need most often to pack in your unit last. This will help avoid having to unpack your entire storage unit every time you need to find something.
Utilize Vertical Space
The biggest mistake you can make when renting a storage unit is not utilizing all of the space. Most storage units have fairly high ceilings, providing you with bonus storage space to fit all of your belongings. Stack heavy things on the bottom of piles and stack lighter items on top. Make sure everything is stacked stably to ensure nothing topples. Couches, mattresses, and other long items can be stored on their side to take advantage of more vertical space and leave floor space for other items. Utilizing vertical space can help you fit into a smaller storage unit, which will ultimately save you money.
Utilize Plastic Tote Bins
Despite cardboard boxes being a more affordable option for packing and moving, plastic tote bins are essential for long term storage. Cardboard boxes are much more susceptible to water damage, as well as pests. In the case that water or pests make their way into your unit, an airtight plastic container will keep everything out and guarantee the items on the inside stay safe and dry. Plastic bins are also much more stackable, as they are all the same size and sturdier than cardboard boxes. You can also pack heavier items more easily in plastic totes, as you won’t have to worry about the bottoms tearing.
Choose Climate Controlled Self Storage
Climate controlled storage is essential for keeping precious items safe while they are in storage. They maintain a consistent temperature and humidity level 24/7 to keep conditions similar to what they would be like in your home. If you are using long term self storage, it’s important to get climate controlled storage. Keeping your belongings in a standard unit through all seasons can lead to humidity, and the fluctuation in temperature can cause damage to wooden and leather items. For optimum protection while you are abroad, it’s highly recommended to select climate control for your storage unit.
Throw Out Any Food Before Storing
When it comes to storing items, food is one thing you should absolutely avoid. If it can’t come with you, you’re better off giving it away or tossing it. Most storage companies have policies against storing food because it can attract pests onto the property and into your storage unit. This puts all of your other stored items at risk. Plus, the fluctuations of temperature paired with high heat and humidity can cause any food to spoil.
Self storage is a great option when going abroad to ensure your belongings stay safe and secure for a minimal fee. As long as you properly pack and store your items, you’ll have a relatively easy time getting everything unpacked when you get back! To find long term storage near you, check out our locations page!