Whether you’re changing offices or relocating your business, there is often a need for additional storage space for your belongings. While short-term storage may suit some items that need to be accessed frequently, others may require quality storage facilities for longer durations. Documents, files, machinery, and vehicles are examples of items that may require a specialist long-term storage unit.
It’s important not to commit your belongings to the cheapest or most convenient storage facility. Some long-term units give users limited access, have poor security, or store items in poor-quality storage containers that leave them vulnerable to moisture damage or theft.
Before storing your belongings for the long term, there are a few key considerations.
Location of Storage Facility
While it shouldn’t be the only consideration, the location of a storage facility holds significant importance. If your time is limited or you don’t have regular access to transport, the location must be convenient. If you need to visit the facility regularly, the distance traveled adds up over time.
If there is a better facility further away, you must determine whether it’s worthwhile to travel there. Consider the cost of the unit as well as the cost of traveling back and forth from the facility.
Traveling a little further for a cheaper or better storage facility can be beneficial in the short term, but it may not be worth it when storing items for long periods.
Storage Facility Opening Hours
It’s important to determine the opening hours of a facility before storing items there. Some storage businesses only allow limited access to their units. In some instances, they may close during the weekend. This is highly impractical for someone who works regular, Monday to Friday hours or who may need access to important items at a moment’s notice.
Many storage facilities offer access to their units 24-hours per day. This makes item retrieval very convenient and gives you peace of mind that you always have full access to your goods.
Budgeting is a key factor when deciding on a storage facility. Although some offer specialist storage, such as climate-controlled storage units, they can be a lot more expensive. It’s important to determine what is most valuable to you.
Create a list of requirements and establish a clear budget before comparing offers from various facilities. Remember that fragile items may need to be stored in particular conditions, so this must be considered within your budget.
Some regions experience extreme temperatures at different stages throughout the year. This can have a significant impact on the condition of storage items. While regular household items may not be affected by adverse weather conditions, electronics and documents can be ruined.
Humidity, heat, and frost can cause a build-up of moisture in the air. This can result in water damage if it is deposited onto storage items. To combat weather-related damage, a climate-controlled unit may be the best option. This can protect your things, keeping them in good condition.
It can also be beneficial to place a protective layer on your storage units’ floor, such as a tarp, sheet, or pallet. This helps promote air circulation and prevents items from being damaged due to a damp floor.
Security is paramount when it comes to long-term storage. As well as quality storage units with sturdy locks, opt for a facility that uses 24-hour security to protect people’s items. This not only helps protect your goods, but it can be a deterrent to potential thieves.
Some important security measures to look out for include:
- Strong locks
- 24-hour digital security camera surveillance
- Security personnel on-site
- Security lighting
The importance of storage unit sizes is often overlooked by those seeking long-term storage. It allows you to get the most value for the space you’re hiring. Use a size guide to determine exactly what size you need.
For a small office or a single person’s belongings, a 5’x5’, 5’x7’, or 5’x10’ unit should be adequate. For larger office spaces or to hold vehicles, machinery, and furniture, you may need several 10’x30’ units.
Determine your needs by measuring and taking inventory of the items to be stored, and avoid guessing how much space you require.
Assess Your Insurance Options
Even if all precautions are taken, there is no guarantee that your items will be safe in the long-term. Whether your goods are damaged or stolen, insurance can help you to recover financially when disaster strikes.
It’s common for storage facilities to offer at least basic levels of insurance, covering you for fire damage, theft, water damage, and insect and rodent infestation. Study the details of the insurance offered by your facility. If it isn’t adequate, consider taking out a policy with a private insurance provider.
Ensure You Use Appropriate Packaging
Packaging is undoubtedly one of the most important factors involved in keeping your items safe in storage. Proper packaging doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated.
Cover all fragile goods in bubble wrap before placing them inside sturdy boxes. Label all items to warn people if some goods should be handled with care. Place boxes, furniture, and heavy goods on the floor to prevent them from falling and causing damage.
Avoid placing items in plastic bags as they can harbor moisture, which can lead to your goods being damaged.
Consider Shipping Your Goods
Although long-term storage is an excellent option for businesses when they’re in transition, it can be impractical to store valuable items away for extended periods. Consider hiring a professional shipping company to take care of the safe transport and handling of your goods when the time comes.
For further shipping and storage information, contact Asiana USA. As a world-class shipping organization, we are on-hand to provide you with whatever help you need. Give us a call at (855) 500-1808.