Preparing your belongings for a long term storage unit stay seems pretty easy-peasy; put your stuff in a unit, come back to get it after time has passed! But storing your items long term means different care and treatment than short term storing, especially if you want your stuff to last while being away from home. Whether you need your things to be stored while on deployment, a new job assignment, or you’re just not ready to let go of your stuff, here are some self-storage tips and tricks that will help you out long term.


Deciding What to Store

No matter what your reason is for long term storage, the first step is deciding what you’d like to store.

It can be hard to think of what your future self will need, especially if what you’re putting away will be sitting for more than a year, but here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you assess your items:

  • Is it functional and convenient?
  • Will you (or a family member) ever need it again?
  • Is it high-quality and durable?
  • Is it in good condition?
  • Does it have sentimental value (like an heirloom or a keepsake)?
  • Is it difficult to replace (like antiques, pieces of art, etc.)?

If you go through each of your items and you answer “yes” to two or more of these questions, then the item is worth keeping. This leads to the next step: finding a safe spot to store these items for future use.


Finding the Right Storage Unit

Once you’ve decided what you’ll be putting in long term self-storage, you’ll be able to decide which unit is the right one for you.

In a good self-storage facility, your belongings will be kept safe and protected from the elements and from being damaged or stolen. Not all storage units are created equal though, so there are a few things to consider before you store your belongings away.

Unit Size – Since you know how much stuff you’ll be storing, you want your unit to be able to comfortably store it all. Don’t cram everything into a small unit but don’t get one so big you’re paying for unused space. With various unit sizes, we can help you choose the best size so your stuff sits comfortably and has the perfect amount of breathing room.

Security – The safety of your items will be a top priority, especially when you’ll be away from them for a long time. So, choosing a storage facility that takes the safety of your items seriously is important. At Bay Street Storage, we have a gated and fenced property, security cameras, and alarmed storage units available so your items will be kept safe while they sit in long term storage.


Preparing for Long Term Self Storage

Now we’re getting to the good stuff. It’s time to prepare your items for their extended stay away from home. Here are a few self-storage tips and tricks you’ll want to start with when packing for long-term:

  • Create a detailed inventory list of your belongings. This way you won’t forget what you have in your storage unit and it’ll be easy to cross things off once you go to collect your items again.
  • Clean your items thoroughly. This goes beyond just wiping things off. A good cleaning will help keep pests at bay and prevent stains from settling. Wash fabric materials, disinfect appliances, vacuum upholstered furniture, and clean off wood surfaces.
  • Make sure items are fully dry before storing them. Any remaining moisture can lead to mold growth or other moisture damage.
  • Use brand new, sturdy boxes for long term self-storage. A brand-new box will ensure that they hold up during their stay in your unit. Don’t forget to label your boxes!

When it comes to long-term storage, the risk of damage is much higher than short term. So special precautions are needed to guarantee your items stay intact and unharmed. Provide plenty of cushioning inside boxes, like crumpled paper, bubble wrap, or even old clothes. Place heavier items on the bottom of a box, and lighter on top. And don’t forget to disassemble large furniture items to reduce the risk of damage and to also save space in your unit.

Your last step is packing your unit strategically and safely. Keeping your items above the ground will protect them from leached moisture and will ensure air circulation in your unit. Use wooden pallets or cinder blocks as a base for stacking your items on to keep them safe, no matter how long they sit in storage. Also, arrange your largest items at the back and smallest items in the front. Leave aisles between items so there’s plenty of ventilation and you have easy access to your unit when the time comes.


Keeping Your Items Safe, No Matter How Long

When you use these self-storage tips and tricks, your items will remain in excellent condition and will be ready for you when you need them again. At Bay Street Storage, we offer contactless self-storage solutions for those in Post Falls, no matter if you need us for a few months or more than a year.