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How to Prepare Your Belongings for Long-Term Storage

June 27, 2021 | Storage Tips

Here at Metro, we understand the importance of preparing your belongings for long-term storage. Whether you’re moving or life has thrown you a curveball, knowing your precious items are safe and secure is one less stressor. 

Self storage facilities are designed to accommodate both short- and long-term household and business storage items. Even so, not all facilities or features are the same. 

We’ll outline how to prepare your items and what to look for when choosing the right storage facility.  With a little up front planning you’ll enjoy peace of mind knowing your things are stored properly.         

What is the difference between short-term and long-term storage?

Moving to a new home is the number one reason people utilize self storage. Moving is most often a short-term solution whether in between leases or waiting for new home construction to be completed. 

Student storage is another example of short-term storage. If you’re attending college across the country, hauling or shipping everything back and forth is too expensive and time consuming. Renting a student storage unit with college friends is a popular strategy for budget-minded students.

There are numerous other scenarios where people need to store their items. Maybe you’ve decided to turn part of the garage into a DIY cave but are not ready to get rid of all your recreational gear. 

For some, packing up the house and hitting the road in an RV is an opportunity too precious to pass up. Other times, people pack up their entire lives and store it for reasons like deployment, or living abroad for an extended period of time.

Three of the most significant advantages of self storage are saving money, managing your storage unit online, and if you store with Metro, knowing you can call the friendly property manager at your facility to check on your unit. 

Splurge for quality packing supplies and moving boxes

Thanks to recycling efforts, gone are the days of picking up used boxes from your local grocery or discount store. That said, moving is such a common experience, there are online forums for getting cheap used moving boxes. 

Alternatively, going to a home improvement store for moving boxes doesn’t really give you a great advantage in most cases. Stock can be low on certain sizes and sticker shock might mean more than you’re willing to pay. 

Part of your decision making tree for choosing the right storage company is whether or not they carry a wide selection of sturdy moving sizes and packing supplies. A one-stop-shopping experience is sure to get you in the right frame of mind for packing. 

Sturdy, new boxes are easier to transport and stack and bubble wrap or wrapping paper is a must-have for fine china and glassware. Storage providers typically carry wardrobe boxes and dish pack boxes specifically designed to keep your items in long-term storage. 

Declutter your home before you start to pack 

As tempting as it may be to just throw things in boxes, think about your future self. Will you really want to deal with unpacking items that you never really wanted in the first place? Decluttering your home before packing for long-term storage may save you a lot of money too. 

And taking the time to donate, sell, or recycle items you no longer need will lighten your load both mentally and physically. Decluttering before you move means you won’t spend more money on storage space or more time on packing things you no longer need. 

If you’re unsure whether or not you’ll need or want an item in the future, ask yourself the #MinimalistChallenge game question, can I replace it for less than $20 in less than 20 minutes? 

Determine if you’ll need climate controlled storage

The top reasons people choose climate-control over drive-up units are as follows: 

  • Living in a region of the country that experience severe temperature swings like heat and humidity, freezing temperatures, or both during different seasons
  • Storing business or household valuables over a long period of time 
  • Gaining more peace of mind when their storage units are located inside a fully enclosed building 
  • Desiring further protection from dust and debris that comes with interior climate-controlled units

Pack your storage unit strategically

While everyone’s needs are different, there are some common pro tips we suggest for packing a storage unit strategically to make it easier. 

Stack boxes with the heaviest boxes located at the bottom to prevent a column from tipping over. In general, don’t stack boxes higher than your shoulders. If you have a lot of books, be sure they are packed properly in book boxes and don’t place anything heavy on top of them.

When loading your storage unit, pay attention to your labels so that they are placed outwards so you can read what is inside the box at a future date. You’ll be surprised how quickly you forget what is inside a large box so be sure to label as you pack. 

In larger storage units, which are ideal for long-term storage, leave a middle aisle the length of your unit if you think you may need access to items before you’re ready to unload the entire unit.

When it comes to furniture and appliances and other items that scratch easily, be sure to cover them with towels or heavy blankets before wrapping furniture with plastic. 

Set up online autopay

Make your payments effortlessly and on time by setting up online autopay for long-term storage.  Autopay is a convenience that takes the stress of bill paying off your plate whether you’re in between houses, on a military deployment, or traveling abroad. 

With auto-pay, you’ll be billed automatically billed each month. Moreover, the worry of potential late fees is no longer an issue. This would be a good time to get insurance for your items as well.

So even if you think you’ll be storing for just a short amount of time, with a little upfront planning, your belongings will be well protected no matter what situation might arise. 

Find a Long-Term Storage Solution at Metro Self Storage

Contact Metro Self Storage when you’re looking for clean and reliable storage units managed by professionally trained and friendly storage teams. With more than 45-years of storage industry experience, we understand the unique needs and life scenarios that make storage a great solution.  

Call today to speak to our award-winning customer service team and find out more about our services, discounts, and special rental offers that can help you secure a great deal on your long-term storage needs. 888-GO-METRO

Lobby of Metro Self Storage facility.