Short Term Vs. Long Term: Which Storage Type is Right for You?

Inevitably, there is bound to be a time in everyone’s life where they have just a little bit (or a lot!) more stuff, than space, and whether this is a short-term situation or a long-term one, you are going to need to rent a storage unit!

But what’s the difference between short-term and long-term storage, and how do you choose (and prepare your belongings) for the right choice?

Short-Term & Long-Term Storage Defined

Short-term storage is technically defined as any storage that you don’t need beyond three months, or three months or less. Long-term storage then, is designed for anything beyond three months, and can be for years, or even longer!

Short-Term Storage Examples
Who might need short-term storage? Short-term storage is perfect for people in many different situations, circumstances, and times of life. Here’s a list of some of the reasons why someone may be looking for a short term storage option:

  • You are a student in transition between dorms, your parent’s home, or your apartment/rental unit
  • You are moving from residence to residence
  • You are relocating (longer distance too!)
  • You are remodeling your home, or even just a room or two in your home
  • A friend or relative is moving in or visiting for a period of time and you need to make room
  • Repairs are needed at your home, office, or apartment
  • Your office is relocating or undergoing expansion or renovation
  • You’re getting ready for a garage sale, auction, or something similar
  • You are redecorating and need some time to get the old items out before you bring the new items back in
  • You are listing a large item or several items for sale and can’t or don’t wish to meet potential buyers at your residence
  • There has been a death in your family, and you need to store their items for a period of time
  • You are experiencing a divorce, separation, or other change in relationship status
  • You are a business that needs short-term storage for items or equipment
  • You are an entrepreneur and you are a little too big for your home but not big enough for an office yet
  • Switching between holidays
  • Anytime you need to store something for three months or less!

Long-Term Storage Examples

Long-term storage, however, is optimal for those items and situations where you need your items to be securely stored for three months or longer, even indefinitely in some circumstances.

Here are some examples of situations and circumstances that might make long-term storage the perfect solution for you!

  • Hobbyists or enthusiasts who need safe, secure storage and access to their toys and equipment
  • Heirlooms, furniture, etc that you don’t want to part with but aren’t practical for everyday use in your home
  • When you are downsizing, or planning to purchase a home or sell your home
  • Businesses that needs a secure, accessible storage space long term
  • Agencies or businesses that regularly needs offsite storage or need a staging area or landing place for product or materials
  • Seasonal items like holiday decorations, lawn and garden or landscaping equipment, pool maintenance equipment, seasonal toys and more
  • Toys and other effects as your kids begin to leave the nest
  • Vintage or collector automobiles, motorcycles, and similar items
  • Storage for your belongings during more major home renovations, or if you are waiting for your new construction to be completed
Long-term storage solutions are a perfect fit for some of these circumstances and more. There’s generally a little more commitment involved with long-term storage, but when you know that you’re going to need your items to be safe and secure for the long term, it’s the perfect fit!

Getting the Most Out of Storage

Short-term storage is the perfect solution for almost every life event or circumstance, while long-term storage is perfect for situations where you need to secure your belongings for longer periods of time.

How to Prep for Short- or Long-Term Storage

Coverings. When you are only packing things away for a few months, only a dust cover may be needed to protect your belongings, as opposed to long-term storage which may require more robust or heavier protective barriers. It’s a good idea to pack your items in uniform, high-quality boxes, label them clearly on all sides, and remember not to over-or under pack them! Boxes that are either too light or too heavy can be difficult to stack and store correctly and are more likely to incur damage or fail prematurely.

Temperatures. If you are storing your items during the hottest or coldest months of the year, keep in mind that electronics don’t care for either, and there are other items that may not tolerate severe heat or cold as well either. If you have questions about what kinds of items should and should not be stored, or how to best prepare and protect them, don’t be afraid to ask! In many circumstances, a climate-controlled storage unit may be the perfect solution.

Disassembly. If you are disassembling furniture or other items in preparation for storage, it's a good idea to place all your bolts, screws, and fasteners in a bag, label it, and either attach it to, or package it with the piece of furniture it goes to. Polishing your furniture before storing them may also help protect their finish from dust or scuffs, and scrapes due to moving. Appliances like washers and refrigerators should be fully drained and dry before being stored, and fridges should have their doors left slightly ajar to help them stay dry during their stay.

Whatever the size, the type of items that you may have, and all the reasons why, a short-term storage unit can take the worry, headache, and pain out of many of life’s events and transitions! If you are looking for amenities like drive-up access, camera systems, secure access, climate-controlled units, customer service that goes above and beyond, and the answers for all your storage questions, give us a call!