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What Is Long-Term Storage?

If you’re preparing for a residential move and need secure storage for some of your belongings, in many cases you may need to utilize long-term residential storage. The process of moving your personal belongings to storage, particularly large items, can take time, and they also may need to sit in storage for a time during the process of selecting your new home and planning your move. This is where long-term storage comes in.

The difference between short-term and long-term residential storage is primarily one of timing. Short-term household storage is often used if the details of your residential move are already set, or anytime you know that the storage will be very temporary. However, if you are having a new home built, or if you’re still house-hunting, long-term storage is often necessary. Another reason to use long-term storage is if you’ll be traveling for an extended period and want to have the peace of mind that comes from knowing your belongings are safe.

Typically, the line between short-term and long-term storage starts at around 90 days, with storage needs of 90 days or more calling for a long-term storage facility. In many cases, long-term storage facilities will let you store your belongings for as long as you need, and because storage is often needed on short notice, you don’t usually need to notify the storage company too far beforehand. 

The type and size of long-term storage facilities can vary greatly. In terms of size, the facilities available for rent can vary from the size of a small closet to an entire warehouse floor, allowing you to choose the size that best fits your needs. If your household storage needs include electronics, wooden instruments, delicate furniture, or other items that need to be stored at a particular temperature, climate-controlled, secure storage facilities are available.

In addition, long-term storage will sometimes take the form of container storage. If you choose this option, most companies will deliver the containers to your home so that you can pack up your belongings yourself. A representative from the company will usually help you determine how many containers are necessary, which does sometimes involve performing a home inventory, but once you have everything packed up, the company will generally transport the containers back to the storage location for you, saving you quite a bit of work.

Overall, the most important thing to remember is that if you have any questions about the specifics of a company’s long-term storage options, contact them and ask. Long-term storage generally starts at 90 days and ranges as long as you like, but the maximum storage time allowed, if any, can vary from company to company. In addition, if you have particular storage needs, such as climate control for delicate items, you should be sure to contact the storage company beforehand to review the options they offer.