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Whether you’re going on a road trip or working overseas, long-term self-storage is a great way to keep your possessions secure until you’re ready to use them again. But unlike short-term storage, long-term storage requires a bit more preparation. Otherwise, you could be in for a rude shock when you open your unit two years later! Here are six tips to ensure your belongings stay clean and tidy for the long haul.
1. Use a Tarp
Even though your storage unit is sealed, there are gaps where moisture can intrude into your space. For example, water may seep through the concrete or an ink cartridge could leak from the unit next door. To avoid damage to your boxes or furniture, place a tarp on the floor of the unit. This is also useful if you’re moving furniture around. It’ll stop delicate wood from being scratched by the concrete floor. We also recommend covering your items with a tarp to keep off dust.
2. Use New Packing Boxes
It’s tempting to save time and money by using second-hand boxes, but they can quickly break under the weight of heavy possessions and stacking. This can result in toppled boxes and broken items. Instead, buy new boxes from your facility’s Box Shop. They’re specifically designed for long-term storage, which means they’ll resist stacking and protect your belongings for much longer.
3. Keep an Inventory
When you’ve stored items for a long period, it can be hard to remember what you put in each box. This is why you need to keep a detailed inventory, particularly if you’re storing a full household. Label all the boxes (and their contents) clearly and keep a list at home and within the unit. This means you won’t put something fragile at the bottom of your pile, only to find it bent or in pieces a year later!
4. Get Insurance
If your home and contents insurer doesn’t cover self-storage, make sure you take out self-storage insurance. While storage facilities are generally safe, accidents or natural disasters can happen. It’d be a shame to lose a bedroom suite or unique artwork just because you didn’t take out insurance. At StoragePlus, insurance only costs $2 per month for every $1000 of insured contents. While this may add to your storage expenses, it’ll give you peace of mind in the long run.
5. Find a Caretaker
When you’re overseas or on the road, it can be difficult to access your storage unit. That’s why it’s important to have a trusted family member or friend act as a ‘caretaker’. With a copy of your key/code, they can access your unit and send you any item you need. What’s more, if there are deliveries or problems with your unit, they can sort them out in your absence.
6. Set up Automatic Payments
If you haven’t done this already, set up direct debit payments. It’ll save you the hassle of making monthly payments – or paying late fees!
Whether you’re planning to store your belongings for five months or five years, our six handy tips will keep your belongings clean, intact and secure for a long time. If you’d like to discuss your long-term self-storage needs, contact our friendly team at StoragePlus or fill out our online form to get a free quote.