Short-term storage tips and tricks

You might be wondering “what even is short-term storage”? While not strictly defined, moving industry professionals would consider any storage for a term under 3 months, short-term storage. Sometimes it can go by the name of self-storage too and involves storing items in various rented places. These can range anywhere between just a small locker to large storage units. The way self-storage is different from storing items in a warehouse is that with self-storage only the lessor has access to his storage unit when rented. There may be various reasons you might choose short-term storage. You might be in the middle of a move, having to leave your old place without finding a new home to finally settle in – something industry professionals refer to as “dislocation”.

Self-storage units
Whatever the reason for your short-term storage, having a good storage unit is a good idea.

Maybe you have just married and you need a place to store duplicate items before you and your significant other decide what to do with them. You might even just need a space for excess items from your home. Whatever the reason for using it, one of the defining aspects of short-term storage is the ability to quickly access your stored belongings. Being different than long-term storage makes certain aspects of it specific. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of short-term storage tips and tricks to help you make the most of your short-term storage experience!


One of the first things you need to do when it comes to short-term storage is to decide on how big of a storage unit you would need. Measure all the boxes and items you will be storing and form a storage plan. If you need help with this you can always call your short-term storage company of choice for help with the estimates. Usually, they will provide packing services as well. Additionally, depending on the type of items you will be storing, you should check to see if you would need a climate-controlled storage unit. This is especially important if you will be storing valuable artwork or antique furniture.

Preparing the items for short-term storage

Preparing your belonging for short-term storage is not much different than packing them for the move or long-term storage. After all, they will have to be moved from your home to the storage facility. You can cut down on time needed to pack some items if the storage will be really short like a few days. For example, you can only wrap your furniture in cloth sheets, which will save you time. However, bear in mind that your short-term storage might get prolonged unexpectedly. So if you have the time, it’s still smart to pack your items fully, as you would do for a move.

Bubble wrap and maksing tape. Its important to protect your fragile items well for short-term storage.
Pack items carefully, especially the ones that will be handled more often.

Another thing that’s different with short-term storage is packing fragile items. While its true that they need to be packed with extra-care for any kind of move, with short-term storage chances are they will be moved more often. This makes it a good idea today a little more attention than usual to securing these items when packing, to avoid any potential damage.

Storing the belongings in a unit

After you’ve finished packing everything its time to store your items in a short-term storage unit. Depending on the reasons for your storage, you might need to access certain items at a moments notice. Here too good planning comes into focus. Plan your storage in a way that you can access the most important items first. These will usually be smaller items like documents. After all, what are the chances of you suddenly need a couch? Try to pack your belongings in a storage unit in a way that leaves a little corridor between two piles of items. That way you will have easier access to both of them and you can stack items by priority.

A woman picking up a box
Store your items in a way that will keep them accessible.

Most important ones closer to the corridor. Don’t underestimate the importance of clothing either. There might be a sudden change of weather or an invitation to a classy cocktail party. This will require you to dig out that warm change of clothes or a little black dress. To save yourself the trouble of rummaging through all the items to get them, think of clothes as medium importance.

What to look for

No less important than carefully planning and packing your items for short-term storage is finding a good short-term storage facility. Here are some points to take into consideration when deciding:


This is an option If you’re moving out of your new home and have a period during which you need your items stored and taken care of, while you look for a new home. Seeing how then you’ll need your belongings moved there, it might be a good idea to combine the two moves into one with a  resting period. Sure, storage-in-transit may be a bit more expensive than just renting a short-term storage unit, but, it might be cheaper than hiring movers twice. Also, your items will be handled by industry professionals, which is always a plus


A very important aspect of short-term storage is flexibility. It includes the option to rent for a shorter or longer time than originally expected. Also, it concerns the ability to access your items at any time during the day, around the clock. You never know what you might suddenly need.

Unit options

If you will be storing electronics or the aforementioned antiques and art pieces, you will need a climate-controlled unit. You might even need one that has humidity control. Storing your electronics or wooden furniture in a damp environment for two or three months can lead to irreversible damage. So ask about which types of storage the company you wish to rent short-term storage from has. Then keep in mind what you will be storing there. They don’t even have to be that expensive. There are many cheap storage options that will still fit your needs.

Picking a short-term storage solution that fits you the best

Now that you know what to pay attention to, and how to properly pack your storage unit, you’re ready to take on short-term storage. Do it right and plan the whole process carefully, and you will be able to easily transition through this period. And that means a lot.

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