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Short-Term vs. Long-Term Storage: What Do You Need?

Considering using self storage? There are some things to keep in mind depending on whether you need to store for a few weeks or a few years. Here’s your guide to help you determine when to use short-term storage vs. long-term storage!

What Is Short-Term Storage?

Short-term storage typically refers to storage services used for three months or less. It’s a convenient, affordable storage method to help you save space while keeping your belongings protected over a short timeframe or during a transitionary period. While packing items for short-term storage is easier than packing things for a longer period of time, you should still prepare your unit and belongings properly they stay safe and dry.

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Benefits of Short-Term Storage

Because it prioritizes accessibility and budget, short-term storage affords renters several convenient advantages. Some benefits of short-term storage include:

  • Flexible time-frames
  • Less commitment required
  • Less intensive packing
  • Cost-effective storage

When to Use Short-Term Storage

Short-term storage is best used when you’re going through a major transition and need temporary storage solutions. These are a few situations where you can use short-term storage:

  • Moving or relocating your home or business
  • Remodeling your home
  • Adjusting to major life changes
  • Making space for temporary guests
  • Organizing inventory before a sale
  • Putting away garden tools and equipment for winter

What Is Long-Term Storage?

Long-term storage refers to storage services used for any period longer than three months, including up to several years. This self storage method is a secure and flexible solution for keeping your belongings safe over long periods of time. It you opt for long-term storage, pack items with preservation in mind—use protective coverings to keep your items safe from dust, moisture, and more.

Benefits of Long-Term Storage

Long-term storage prioritizes the safety of your belongings and provides a more permanent solution. Some benefits of long-term storage include:

  • Long-term preservation
  • Free up space at your home or business
  • Flexible payment options (pay month-to-month or pre-pay for the whole year)
  • Rotate items in and out of storage as needed

When to Use Long-Term Storage

Long-term storage is perfect for when you need to store important items for an extended period of time. Here are some situations best suited for long-term storage:

  • Preserving important heirlooms or collectibles
  • Traveling for extended periods of time
  • Storing old baby toys and supplies before the next arrival
  • Stocking business inventory or product staging supplies
  • Adjusting to more permanent lifestyle changes
  • Rotating out seasonal holiday decor, clothing, and more


Extra Space Storage offers both short-term and long-term storage solutions to accommodate residential and business storage needs. Find self storage near you!