A First-Timer’s Guide to Renting a Storage Unit

Published on 12/5/2023

You might be moving far away or just around the corner. You might simply be doing some home renovations and don’t know what to do with your furniture. Whatever the case, renting a storage unit could be an excellent idea for all your needs. If this is something you have never done before, you might get confused about your best option or how to begin. If you are in uncharted territory and feel like you don’t know where to start, follow our first-timer’s guide to renting a storage unit for some clarity.

Do I need a storage unit?

If you are asking yourself this question, chances are—you need it. However, you should think about what your specific needs are before making the final decision. Some things to consider:

  • Are you renovating your home and have nowhere to put your furniture?

  • If you are relocating: Do you own many things and do you need them stored, or can you move them all in one go?

  • Will you be doing some additional renovations in your new home that would prevent you from unpacking everything at once?

If your answers indicate your need for more space, renting a storage unit is the way to go. Among other aspects, the good thing about storage units is that they are cost-effective and give you time to make thoughtful decisions. 

Guide to renting a storage unit short-term and long-term 

Whether you are storing your items long-term or short-term, you want them to be safe. Let’s look at some differences between the two types of storage:

  1. Short-term storage

If you are only temporarily storing your furniture or personal possessions, you might not need to be as careful with packing, bubble wrapping, and securing all your items. Maybe you need to paint your walls or fix those hardwood floors and need room. You can rent a storage unit for a short period of time while you take care of minor upgrades.

  1. Long-term storage

Packing for long-term storage is slightly more challenging. Careful planning makes for easier transitions. Depending on where your storage unit is, you may need to take into account several things. For example, extreme weather changes might affect your valuable furniture or musical instruments. In this case, it is a good idea to protect everything in advance and prepare your unit for various weather conditions. This way, you can rest assured that your paintings or photographs will remain intact.

Preparing your items for storage

Packing can be stressful. What started as a small task, often grows exponentially. This is why the number one rule for packing is to start early. This might also be an excellent opportunity to declutter. We all have those drawers and storage boxes at home for knickknacks - things we probably don’t need but can’t bring ourselves to throw out. If you purge while packing for storage, you will be pleasantly surprised by your extra space

After you have decluttered, packing begins. Start as soon as possible for less stress. Dedicate time each day for this activity and enlist family, even kids. Packing items clean and organized keeps your items in their best condition. The same goes for the refrigerator. Defrost it, dry it well and make sure to wash and clean everything thoroughly. Anything with traces of food on it can attract unwanted insects and pests, which is the last thing you want in your storage unit. And of course, don’t leave food in your storage unit for the same reason. 

When should you rent a storage unit?

Whatever your situation is, research ahead of time helps ease the transition. Procrastinating and leaving everything until the last minute is a surefire way to panic and ultimately not get what you need on time. When finding and renting storage, research the availability of storage in the area convenient to you

The internet provides all your research online without leaving home. Try to do all this as soon as you decide to move your furniture. It might take time to find an available storage unit closer to your time slot. However, the good news is that you can book a unit months in advance and secure your spot.


Moving long distance

A long-distance move is a big undertaking. Many cite job changes, new life partners, school, or being closer to family as reasons for a long-distance move. Whatever your motives, make sure to hire professionals with proven experience in the field to help you move. This will make the process less stressful and ensure that your items reach their destination safely

In conclusion

We hope that this first-timer’s guide to renting a storage unit will help you on your important journey. Ultimately, everything you need to store and take care of your possessions is abundant and readily available. If you do some careful research and planning, the finish line will be closer than you think.