Short or Long Term Storage?
A great advantage of self storage occupancy at Abacus is its flexibility. You can move in immediately if it is empty, and you can use it only for as long as you need it (i.e. one month, or longer (some customers have been at Abacus for 20 years!), regardless of how long that may be. Further, you can terminate your storage unit occupancy at Abacus on the monthly anniversary of your move in date. So you can rent for one month, and stay as long as you want, or just leave at the end of your first month.
Therefore, at Abacus there really is no distinction between short and long term storage. The short or long term decision is based purely on the needs of the person who needs the self storage, at the time they are renting a storage unit.
Short term storage is designed to be a stop gap measure – something flexible that allows you a bit more space only when you need it. A lot of people will use short term storage while they’re moving, while they’re renovating, or even to accommodate short term stays by relatives.
Short Term versus Long Term Storage Packing Basics
Packing and packaging is something we get asked about at Abacus Self Storage. From what type of boxes to use and which packaging material is best, to the kind of tape used to secure boxes and how to stack them properly. But just as important, as the materials you use to pack your belongings for storage, is how you pack them.
For really short term storage, you don’t always need dust covers for bigger items like furniture, as there isn’t much time for dust to settle. Most often, you can cover things with a bed sheet or cloth and get reasonable protection.
However, even if only for a short term, pack your fragile items carefully. While some things won’t need secure packaging and protection for short-term storage, anything fragile or valuable still needs to be taken care of properly. Make sure fragile items are wrapped and protected well, and stored in containers or boxes that will not shift and fall.
To make storage easier, you should pack your items inside your unit in a different order, depending on what you may need while in self storage, and regardless of whether you’re putting them in for long or short term storage. This will help you stay organized, as well as save you time if you have to get anything out of or put something into the unit before you move out of the storage unit.
To create better access to items in storage, leave yourself an access aisle in the middle of the storage unit. This will make it easier to move things in and out, even during a short term stay. If you can, arrange your boxes and items against the unit walls and stack them safely, using all the vertical space you can.
Long Term Storage
Long-term storage generally is a term of about 3 months or longer. When putting items into long-term storage, there are a few things to bear in mind:
Use plastic covers or bags as appropriate but only if they are completely dry and clean. While plastic covers or bags might seem like a great way to protect against water damage, the opposite sometimes occurs – the plastic can trap moisture and speed up the growth of mould and mildew on things in the bag. If you do use plastic, make sure that the items going into the bag are as dry as possible.
- Invest in clean and good quality boxes, preferably ones that have not been previously used. While recycling boxes from other peoples moves or from other uses might be cheaper, they can have invisible residues that may attract pests, or may even contain the pests themselves. Further, it is better to have boxes that are similar in size so that they can be stacked to save space. Of course, you can also use plastic containers that are stackable. A small expenditure for good quality boxes and containers that save space will quickly pay for themselves in the reduced amount of space needed. Good boxes and containers will also protect your belongings and preserve their value to you.
- Pack fragile items carefully. Individually wrap fragile items in bubble wrap and/or newspaper and mark their boxes accordingly. Use clean egg cartons for really small items.
- Seal any clothes or fabrics. If you can, use vacuum sealed bags for storing clothes, curtains and general soft furnishings. This will protect against humidity changes and insects.
- If you’re storing appliances, make sure they are cleaned thoroughly before you put them in, again to prevent the attraction of any insects or other pests. Wipe down the interior and exterior with something like baking soda or bleach to make sure the appliances are clean.
- Stack everything on pallets if you can. Put a pallet layer on the floor of your unit, and stack boxes and furniture on top of them. This prevents condensation and water damage under these items and allows air movement through the unit, which helps prevent damage to your goods while in storage.
- As a general rule for both long and short-term storage, it’s a good idea to clearly label everything. If you can, keep an inventory list of what’s in your unit, either on a clipboard on the inside of the door, or on your mobile, so you can always find what you need.
At Abacus Self Storage, we help people with short and long term storage questions and needs every day – please call us. Our units can be rented monthly, or for any term that you may need. If you would like to find out more about our self-storage facilities, contact us at abacuselfstorage.com.