Guide to Short-Term vs. Long-Term Storage of 2021’s

Guide to Short-Term vs. Long-Term Storage of 2021
Storage units are an incredibly convenient option, allowing you to store your items for whatever time period you specify, whether it's for the short-term or long-term storage. Should you get a long-term or short-term lease for your storage space? Here is a guide to the two options.

Temporary and long-term storage is important for various reasons.

Short-term storage is ideal for keeping something for a short period while moving.

Long-term storage can be ideal for storing items that you still like but don’t have enough space for.

People trust storage for various reasons. Whether for a short move, a temporary help during renovation, or a long-distance move, storage units often come helpful.

Some people make use of storage units as additional closets and garages at home. And others may even rotate storage items by seasons, which is a nice way of being organized.

Regardless of the situation or reason, you should always trust professional storage unit rentals.

However, there are various types of storage, and you must get the one that fits your need the most. Yeah! Renting long-term storage when you need a temporary one means you will be paying more than what you suppose to pay.

We will look into the differences between short-term and long-term storage here to help make the most informed decision when you need a storage unit.

Difference between Short-Term and Long-Term Storage

Since there is no right or wrong approach to using the storage, it is therefore important to have purposes. Understanding the need to get the right storage helps a lot. Knowing what is motivating you into storage unit rentals help you in packing and getting ready the right way.

For instance, storing a box that contains books for a month while moving is different. However, leaving the box for a year is also a different thing entirely. Especially if there are delicate or uncommon leather-bound books in there.

This is one simple example of the difference between short term and long term storage options.

Understanding how to identify the difference before you pack and load your items will save you time, money, and possibly damaged items.

Next in this article, we will discuss each term and the major differences to give you some helpful tips on how to best keep your items in both situations.   

Short-Term Storage

Short-term storage is perfect for things you just need to store for months.

This can be helpful for those who are relocating to a new house and may have time between the old house and the new one whether they will live in a hotel or an apartment.

Its usefulness can also be perfect for those who are renovating or doing repairs after some form of damage to their home.

There are more convenient payment plans with short-term storage.

You can pay every month and change the storage size as you remove or add items to storage.

Insurance levels can also be adjusted by month too.

You will also have quick and easy access to your stored belongings. Storage services are available at convenient hours, and you will be provided a key to your unit.

Long-Term Storage

This storage solution is ideal for those who are moving to another country and will need to store their heavy pieces and/or other items for a long period.

Long-term storage would also be ideal for those who have relocated to a smaller home and need to store away excess furniture.

It is also perfect for storing items of sentimental value if there is no space in the home.

Long-term storage services include expert packing and keeping of items so they will be properly protected. Your belongings will be under watch to make sure they are properly taken care of.

Long-term storage features a lease. This may be cheaper than paying every month as it is with short-term storage.

Also read How Much Do Moving Companies Charge For Storage?

How to Pack Short-Term and Long-Term Storage Units Efficiently

Even though choosing the ideal storage depends on the amount of time you need it for, that is not all it takes. Packing everything in a storage unit and locking it for the remaining part of the year can be more harmful.

Packing is one other major topic to discuss as regards short-term and long-term storage. Packing is an important part of storing, and for your belongings to remain in perfect condition, it must be properly done.

When getting ready for packing, you must figure out the number of items you have, to determine the perfect size of the storage unit. After doing that, below are some nice tips to prepare you, based on the type of storage you rent: 

Short Term Storage

  • Make an aisle to allow walking in the middle: You will do a lot of coming in and out, so you need mobility. Move your belongings close to walls and use enough vertical spaces as possible, for free walking space.
  • Tarps can be used as a replacement: This should be tried when you have no other option, even though it is effective. Seeing that you don’t have enough time for grime and dirt to pile up, you can use dust covers as a perfect short-term solution.
  • Handle delicate items with care: Packing of fragile items require much care in short-term storage, as in the long term too. The items may even require more should be packed close to proximity because items are often shifted and moved while using them. Add more layers of bubble wrap or keep them in a secure box away from reach.

Renting your temporary storage unit from the right company is vital to what to expect from your storage.

Read How To Find Temporary Storage Around You

Long Term Storage

  • Ask yourself the number of items you need to store: When deciding on what to do with your belongings while you are away, firstly, think about your needs. Do you need a small size unit to store your unsafe outdoor equipment while you are out of town? Would you like to keep all your items to get rid of having to pay rent for your home?

Storage units are available in different sizes to meet your situations. But the unit you later rent must be reasonable. Talk to your size estimator to make sure the space you rent is enough to hold all your items in the unit comfortably.

  • Be sure long-term storage items are well packed: Packing and storing your goods properly will help ensure that they are safe while you are not around. Taking time to pack well may seem like a no-brainer, but it cannot be overemphasized.

Ensure breakables are properly packed, and boxes are well stacked. Keep moving boxes and furniture away from the floor when possible. Wrong storage of your belongings even for the short period can cause unnecessary damage and stress.

  • Make use of climate-controlled storage when necessary: Items that are sensitive to the climate like wood furniture or electronics should be kept in a unit that features climate control. These cost a bit more, but the increased cost may provide peace of mind knowing that your household gods won’t go through harsh temperatures while you are not around.

If you will not be around for over one season, we recommend you keep your belongings in a climate-controlled unit. Keeping a complete household worth of goods through harsh temperature changes and weather also poses risks to the items. 

  • Buy travel and storage insurance to be safe: To add an extra layer of security, buy insurance for the belongings you store while you are not around. Perform research on your existing policy guidelines to figure out if any extra insurance is needed when you get your rental storage. You will want to ensure that your insurance policy covers items that are stored off-site and inside a long-term storage unit.
  • Designate someone to check in on your items routinely: Since you are away, you might want to appoint someone in town to visit the storage facility where your belongings are kept on your behalf when necessary. This person would be able to transport an item to you from your rental unit if you need the item while away.

The person would also be able to provide a quick response if there were issues that require attention at the moment.

This is even more important if you are storing a vehicle for a few months. If the tires are perfectly in place and the battery is still in the car, driving the car routinely can help get rid of any little damage from sitting.

  • Set auto-pay for your storage rent: When considering paying your storage unit bill while you are not in town, you can set it to auto-debit, or you use the bill payment feature in your bank and make an online payment. This method will make sure you enjoy yourself wherever you are with no worry of self-storage payment. This tip is applicable for other bills you might also have while you are out of town, such as Netflix or cable.

Above all, make sure you rent your storage unit from a reputable company to save yourself an ugly experience.

Read How To Find 24 Hour Storage Near You?

Our Best Storage Provider Recommendations

  • Extra Space Storage: This is our favorite self-storage provider, but it doesn’t have locations in all the states, and it might not meet your personal needs. If you need something that the company doesn’t offer, you can look into our other recommendations.
  • U-Haul: If you are more concerned about the safety and security of your personal belongings, we recommend this company.
  • Public storage: If you are looking for a provider that will be perfect for your small budget, then this provider is one of the best you can get.
  • CubeSmart: Last on the list, if you have special storage needs, then this might be your best option.

If you are considering opting for a self-storage solution, read our post on Tips to Find Best Self-storage Companies.


There are many factors to remember when making decisions between short-term and long-term storage. You need to remember that one is not better than the other. They both serve different purposes. The one you choose will be based on your needs and the duration for which you plan to store your goods. With our help, choosing the perfect solution for your needs will be easier.

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