Maintaining A Long-Term Storage Unit

Sometimes you need long-term storage for items that you can't or don't want in your home. Maybe a relative died, and you want to sort through that person's belongings instead of just calling a charity to take it all away. Or, maybe you're traveling and returning home occasionally, but not for long until you take off again. Whatever the reason, you need to care for that storage unit. While it's certainly possible to leave items in there for years unseen, it's better to go in occasionally just to ensure there are no surprises.

Rearrange It Occasionally

One thing you can do is to occasionally rearrange the unit, in a couple of ways. The first way is to literally rearrange it — take everything out, inspect the boxes, deal with any that look damaged, and put everything back once it's all wrapped up properly. That just lets you check everything over and make sure nothing has fallen prey to mold or other problems.

The other way is to rearrange what's inside the boxes by taking out a few every so often, sorting through the items and removing any you no longer want, and repacking the rest into fewer boxes. This again lets you inspect everything for problems, and it also lets you pare down items that maybe you thought you wanted to keep a few years ago, but now you realize you don't need. A bonus you could get from this is that maybe one day you can downsize enough to fit everything into a smaller, and thus cheaper, storage unit.

Ask About Ways to Lower Your Rent

Over the years, your rent at the storage facility will go up. And, chances are that new units for new renters will remain at a lower price (those prices will rise, but not as much as for occupied units because the facility wants to attract new renters). If paying your rent starts to reach a point where paying the bill is a little painful, talk to the facility about ways to reduce the rent.

One possible way is to transfer items to a different unit; sometimes you can do that and then pay the lower "new" rent. That rent will still eventually go up, but you'll still be paying a lower rent overall. Another way would be to downsize to a smaller unit, as mentioned. Ask about discounts for paying several months in advance. There may be other ways, too, and you'd have to speak to the facility staff to find out.

Self-storage is a great way to get stuff out of your house without having to actually dispose of it, and these units can be very helpful during moves and remodels. Just don't completely ignore the unit for years because, when it's time to remove your stuff from the storage unit, you want to be sure it's in great shape and that the financial aspect of renting a unit has been easy to handle.

For more tips, reach out to a local self-storage facility.