Tips When Using Short-Term Storage

By Maria Paulia Belgado
Special to

Storage facilities are great for people who find themselves with more things than they have space for. Often, these are lockers that are rented by the month or year – a space to put all of the things you need but can’t keep at home.

Sometimes though, you’ll find that you’ll need a self storage unit for a short period of time – maybe you plan to move out of your home temporarily or perhaps you need to move out of your current home but your new home won’t be available until some time later (which is a fairly common occurrence). For those needing short-term storage, you’re looking at two options: self-storage and storage through a moving company.

Self-storage (also called mini-storage) can be the cheapest and easiest solutions. Self-storage facilities will rent you out a space, and you’re responsible for carting your things to their facility, filling up the space, and taking it away once you’re done. It’s a great option if you need access to your stuff all the time. The downside is that it’s all very DIY – you’ll have to move everything yourself and sometimes even provide your own lock (which can actually be a good thing to ensure only you get to access your stuff). For a fee, some storage companies will do all this for you. Also, insurance provided by these companies is very minimal – so if you have a Picasso in your storage space, you may want to think about getting additional insurance.

Moving Company Storage.
For an additional fee, your moving company may offer storage services. You may want to consider this option, as it can be the most convenient way to go. Your moving company will come to your home, as they would on a regular contract, pack your things and load them up into their moving trucks. However, instead of bringing it straight to your home, they will keep it at their facility until it comes time to move them to your new home. If you’re only going to need a few days between moves, then this can be a stress-free option (rather than lugging around your stuff between the storage unit and your new home).

What to Consider.
Choose whichever one is best for your needs and budget, but no matter what option you choose, make sure you consider the safety and security of the items you are storing.
Check out the security measures of the facility – are there guards round the clock? Is there video surveillance? What other security features do they have?
The next consideration is insurance – is the company fully insured, not just against theft, but also accidents like fire and tornadoes. If you have any valuables, like jewelry or antiques, it would be best to keep them with you at all times. If that’s not feasible, then you might think of getting additional insurance for them – it’s better to be safe than sorry after all.

Short-term storage can be stress-free if you prepare for it in advance. Choosing the right storage methods and being vigilant can help make it a pain-free experience.