There’s a multitude of reasons someone may search for a long term storage solution. Maybe you’re moving cross country, traveling for a while, or just don’t have enough space in your home to properly display all of your precious belongings. Whatever the reason may be, you’re going to need help with choosing a long term storage unit. Finding something that fits your needs isn’t as simple as it seems. People often think it’s a very easy process. Many factors should be considered if you want to ensure the safety of your items, which is why it is advised to seek help from industry professionals. Here at US Moving experts, we’ve shared our best tips below.

The type of items

One of the first things you should consider when deciding on a long term storage space is what you’ll be storing. Some items can just be chucked in a box and forgotten about. Whereas others may need special care or a different type of storage unit altogether. This would encompass art, valuables, prints, and delicate clothing as well as textiles. However, some items are not suitable for long term storage at all. You should call ahead to make sure none of your items fit into these categories.

A person choosing a long term storage unit
Make a list of things you’ll store before choosing a long term storage unit.

These include:

  • flammables and explosives 
  • weapons, ammunition 
  • hazardous or toxic materials 
  • perishable items
  • illegally obtained goods

Finding good storage Chicago that fits all of your requirements is hard enough, don’t make it harder by breaking any regulations.

Features, amenities, and extras

Another aspect of picking a long term storage facility is what kind of features are included in the price. If you’re located in an area with constantly changing weather and varying temperatures, it is advisable to search for a climate-controlled unit. A special ventilated unit will protect your items from any environmental damage. Additionally, if you’re storing items that are particularly susceptible to water damage, you may have to consider the material your unit is made from. Steel is best at keeping moisture at bay, while wood may be suitable if it’s properly treated. We also do not recommend outdoor units. If you have any doubts about what type of unit is best for you, don’t be afraid to ask the staff for guidance. After all, it’s their job to help you with any inquiries you may have.

Look out for hidden fees when choosing a long term storage unit

Everything we’ve listed above is not going to be useful unless you can actually afford to rent a storage space. Prices are going to vary based on location, type of storage, size of the unit, amenities included, and other factors. Most companies actually offer better prices for long-term storage. It is also important you check for any hidden charges. While it might not seem like much at first, these small amounts rack up over time. You definitely do not want there to be any surprise charges on your account. Additionally, ask what will happen if you’re late with payments. Life happens and it’s hard to predict when you’ll fall on bad times. Some facilities have a short period of time in which you can pay and get your items. Others will auction off your items immediately. 

a shot of american dollar bills
Be prepared to spend a decent amount of money on your storage unit.

Some things you should research beforehand:

  • what payment options they offer
  • before choosing a long term storage unit ask whether they charge monthly or weekly
  • any applicable sales and discounts
  • late fees

Picking a good location for a long term storage unit

You might think location doesn’t matter when selecting a long term storage facility. But it’s important when first moving your items. If it’s far from your home or business, you’ll have difficulty moving bigger pieces of furniture and heavier items. To take away the stress of transporting heavy things, look into services furniture movers offer. A reliable moving company is going to be able to guide you through every step of the relocation. From packing, loading, and reassembly they’ll be able to handle any task and make the entire process stress-free. You should also take into account how often you’ll be visiting the storage facility unit. Maybe you’re moving overseas and won’t be checking in often. In that case, location doesn’t matter as much. On the other hand, if you’re going to be making frequent trips, it’s smart to choose a unit that’s close and easily accessible.


One aspect you shouldn’t ignore when you’re looking for a storage unit is security. Whether you’re storing valuables or items you’ve decluttered from your home, their safety has to be a top priority. Some companies may offer better security measures than others. It’s important to do the right amount of research before you decide on a facility.

two security cameras on a wall
Always inspect the security of your storage facility, it’s the number one thing you shouldn’t skip.

At a minimum, your storage unit should come equipped with a door alarm and lock. Additional measures come highly recommended. Though if it’s all you can find in your area, make sure not to store any sentimental or valuable items. If you’re renting a long-term storage in Chicago you’ll most likely find many other supplemental options. Some facilities offer 24-hour surveillance, passcode entry, on-site security personnel, and automatic alarms. A storage provider without these options shouldn’t be trusted.

Visit the facility

Choosing a long term storage unit that fits your specific needs is no easy process as we highlighted above. It depends on a plethora of different factors. The last step you can implement to make sure your decision is the best possible one is to tour each facility you’re considering. Research is important, but nothing can replace inspecting the area in person. This is when you’ll notice if the area isn’t being maintained or cleaned well enough and what the security is like. Additionally, it will also give you a better idea of what size you should rent, how you’ll be able to organize your belongings, and more. This can also be a good time to ask the employers any questions you might have. They’re there to guide you towards the most compatible solution.

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