Skip to main content

People need storage options for many different reasons. Sometimes it has to do with moving into a new home and needing extra space. Some need it for longer periods, almost as an extension of their home. 

If you know you need a self-storage option, you have a few planning decisions to make. We’ll walk you through deciding between short term storage and long term storage! 

 Painted red storage unit doors keep items safe for indoor short term storage options

What Is the Difference Between Short Term and Long Term Storage?

When it comes to self-storage, you have two options: long term and short term storage units. Each of them serves a separate purpose. So, what’s the difference between short term and long term storage? 

Long Term Storage Options

Whether you need to use a storage solution as an extra closet to keep clutter away, or if you need an option to store seasonal items each year, a long term storage unit is the perfect fit. 

Extra thought is needed when deciding on a long term storage option. You’ll need to think about the seasons and how well protected your items will be to find the best solution.

Short Term Storage Options

Short term storage is the ideal option for you if you’re only storing something in for a matter of a couple of months or less. They’re excellent for moving in between houses or for college students spending a semester abroad

Often, people find storage units like Nesta’s that have 7 day access to facilities, are the most helpful. That way, you can get to your items at a moment’s notice! That said, you should always consider what it is you’re storing before choosing the right storage facility

When Should You Consider Long Term or Short Term Storage

 A sturdy cardboard box labelled “storage” will be used in a short term storage unit.

The biggest thing to determine before choosing your storage option is whether you need a long term or a short term solution. 

Think about your situation. What will you be storing away? How long will you need to use the unit? 

Here’s how to determine whether you need a short term or long term option:

Think About Long Term Storage When…

You Need to Store Items for More than 3 Months

Usually, if you need to store items for more than 3 months, your items will sit through more than one season. Therefore, extreme temperatures need to be at the forefront of your mind as you’re choosing the best solution for you. 

Choosing a longer-term storage solution opens the opportunity to look into indoor storage solutions. Just one month of extreme temperatures can cause damage to certain things, such as electrical items. 

You Won’t Need Access to Items Often

If you don’t need access to items as often or easily, then a long term storage solution is ideal. With these options, you can store and forget about them. 

Think About Short Term Storage When…

You Need to Store Items for Less than 3 Months

If you only need to store items for less than 3 months, a short term storage solution is ideal. Usually, your items won’t experience major fluctuations in temperatures. That said, you should still always package your items up carefully, just in case! 

You Need Readily Available Access to Your Items in Storage

If you know you’ll need to have access to your items quickly, easily, or otherwise at a moment’s notice, you’ll need to consider a short term option. The great news is with a Nesta storage unit, you can access your belongings at any time!  

How to Use Short Term Storage Options

A pile of cardboard boxes are ready to be moved into a short term storage solution

Short term storage options are perfect for many different reasons.  If one of these resonates with you, then this kind of solution is ideal: 

Off-Season Decor, Clothing, and Equipment

If you need extra space in your home and want to clear out seasonal items, use your self-storage option. Store seasonal decor, clothing, and even sports equipment

In Between Moving or Renovating

Many families need additional space as they move between homes. When you’re moving house, you can find a self-storage option close to your new home and keep your stuff there. 

And when you’re renovating your home, a short term unit can be beneficial to clear out space. 

Travelling for a Short Period

Often, students need a place to store their belongings as they travel or move home from abroad. That’s the perfect time to utilise a short term storage option. Keep your belongings safe while you spend time out of the country for a few weeks or even a couple of months at a time. And once you come back, you’ll have ready access to grab your things again. 

How to Pack for a Short Term Storage
A man stacks sturdy plastic tubs filled with items to put into a short term storage unit

The most important part of packing for short term self-storage location is using the right packing and storing materials. Even if you’re not using storage for an extended period, your items are still susceptible to damage if they’re not stored properly. 

  • Don’t use plastic bags (other than vacuum-sealed bags), as they’ll trap and hold moisture. This can cause mould and mildew. 
  • Use sturdy plastic tubs when possible for extra support and padding for your items.
  • When using cardboard boxes, ensure that heavy items go into the box first. 
  • Wrap your breakables in newspaper and bubble wrap to protect them from breaking. As items shift, some things may fall, even after you’ve left. 
  • And for short term storage units, leave a path down the middle of your space. This allows you to easily get in and out of the unit, which is one of the perks of having a short term option!

How to Choose Between Short Term Storage Options
Furniture is properly packed with bubble wrap to prepare for storage in a short term storage option

Once you decide on short versus long term options, then you’ll need to narrow down your search for the best choice. You may also find that taking a virtual tour of a storage space will help you in your search. Ultimately, here’s what you need to consider: 

Consider How Much Space You Need

There is a range of sizes available for all self-storage units. When you’re looking to book one, you need to know a broad idea of how much space you’ll need. Don’t rent a unit that’s too small and crammed full of your things. On the other hand, don’t rent a unit and waste money on one that’s too big. 

On top of it, think of what size boxes you’ll be storing. Think about the furniture you might need to place. How will that affect the size unit you require? If you’re stuck on how to figure out what to plan for, use our self-storage unit size guide to help you in your decision-making process. 

Think About the Season

If you need to store items in the heat of summer or the bitter cold of winter, you’ll need to think about how that could affect your items. Certain items like wood furniture may warp. Electrical items can easily be affected by extreme temperatures. That’s why using storage units like sheds or attics can be problematic. 

Look into indoor units versus container storage to help keep your items in pristine condition no matter how long you’re storing them. 

Take a Look at the Materials of Your Belongings and the Storage Equipment

Many people need to store clothing, especially to make room for new seasons. But, too often, the soft fabrics aren’t stored properly. That results in mildewy and mouldy clothing that’s ruined. 

So, as you’re searching for the best short term storage unit, consider how long you need the unit for. And think of the best way to store your items. Make sure your storage unit is big enough to store them.

Check the Airflow of a Short Term Storage Unit

Leave space in between your boxes and your walls. Try not to pile boxes on top of furniture. And keep pallets off the floor to allow as much airflow as possible.

Make sure you use storage materials that keep your items in top condition. Skip plastic bags as they hold moisture and wipe down all appliances before you store them away.

Before deciding on a self-storage solution, consider why you need it and for how long. This will help you when finding the right storage unit, whether it’s long term or short term storage!

And if you’ve made up your mind about long term or temporary storage space, you can get a quote for a self-storage solution near you!