There are a number of situations where long-term storage units are a huge help:

  • For those moving overseas who need a place to store the things, they can’t part with.
  • Storing seasonal items which would otherwise clutter garages, closets, and crawlspaces.
  • Downsizing your home or moving in with a partner, when there just isn’t enough space for everyone’s things.
  • Home renovations mean you need to store some of your items to keep them safe until the remodeling is done.

Whatever the case, long-term storage can keep your things secure and protected for as long as you need. Once you know you need a storage unit, you’ll find there are many options out there. Here are a few things to consider when you’re looking for a long-term storage unit, so you can be sure to find the right one for your needs.

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How much storage space do you need?

Naturally, it’s important to know how much storage space you’ll need. Renting a unit that’s too large will only cause you to spend money you don’t need to. If there’s a chance, though, that you’ll need to store more things later, rent a unit with some extra room to accommodate.

While you’re taking inventory so you can choose the perfect storage unit for your needs, it’s also a good idea to make a list of what’s going in. This will help you keep track of what’s in storage – no matter how much you love your stuff, memory fades for the details over time. Making a list will also help you keep track in the unlikely event that you need it for an insurance claim. And while you’re making that list, draw a simple map to keep track of what you’ve put where. Don’t forget to clearly label it all when you’re packing for storage, too!

How long will you need to store your things?

The length of time you need to use the storage unit will help you find the company that is best for you. You’ll be able to get an understanding of the cost over time, and some units have discounts for annual commitments.

The amount of time your things will be in storage also helps to determine how best to store them. If your things will be in storage for a while, it’s best to give some space in between the boxes,  or pieces of furniture to allow airflow. for you. Many storage companies will offer a discount for annual commitments. The length of time your things will be in storage will also determine how best to arrange the space. For long-term storage, you should make sure your items have room for airflow around the sides. It’s also wise to leave some space so that you can move around boxes and behind sofas, so you don’t have to empty the whole unit when you need something.

How often will you need to access your storage unit?

How often you need to access the storage unit is a key factor. If you’ll need to access your things often, you want to choose a storage company that is convenient for you – near your house or workplace, or easy to commute to.

Many storage units have hours of accessibility, so it’s good to consider when you might like to go to your unit. If you won’t go often or can plan around work hours, most facilities will have you covered. If you’ll need 24/7 access, check the access policies before you commit. Consider also how you’ll want to access it. Is it important that you can drive right up to the unit itself, or would it be okay to park in the lot and walk through hallways to get there?

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Insurance and security

Of course, we all want to believe that nothing will happen to our things ever, and we’ll choose a storage facility that can offer high levels of security and safety. There are, sometimes, unforeseen circumstances and it’s important to be prepared. Choose a storage facility with insurance to protect against damage or theft due to security breaches. Keep track of your items so you can file a claim if necessary.

Of course, you’ll want a storage unit with a high level of security in mind. Ask the facilities you’re considering what sort of security measures they have in place. Video surveillance, good lighting indoor and outdoor, and gated access to the storage facility itself are all key aspects to ask about.


Once you’ve considered accessibility, security, and price, you’ve got all of the basics covered. But these days, there are also plenty of amenities available with some storage companies. To name a few:

  • Climate control – to keep temperature-sensitive items safe and well cared for.
  • Photo inventory – to manage your items online, wherever you are in the world
  • Barcodes and electronic verification – to track your items, so you know where everything is

All of these high-tech options will help ensure you can find your items, and that they’ll be in good shape when you need them.

No matter how long you need to store your things, it’s important you know that they’re stored safely, and securely, and they’re accessible when you need them. When you’re ready to look for a long-term storage unit, Flatrate has storage solutions to fit your needs. With climate control, 24/7 security, and inventory management, your things are safe here.