A reality of modern life is that storage is often a necessity. Either you are moving and don’t yet have a place to stay or you are temporarily couch surfing while job hunting or you simply do not have enough space in your new digs.
If only we could just ditch everything, but in reality it’s not simple. Paring down takes time and effort if you don’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water.
So even if your goal is to get rid of a lot of that stuff, you may need a place to store it for a time. One of the questions you will be asked when you go to arrange storage is whether or not you want a climate controlled unit.
So let’s talk about climate controlled storage versus storage without climate control.
The No Frills Option: Basic Self Storage
This is storage without climate control. It’s basically like an old garage or shed: Four walls and a roof to keep out the rain and the ability to lock it shut to secure your belongings. There will be no heat, so things will get cold in winter.
There are plenty of things that get stored in garages or sheds on a routine basis. It’s a perfectly good way to store some things.
Most tools, kitchenware and building materials will do just fine in a space like this. If you only need it temporarily while waiting to move into a new place and it happens to be spring or fall, so the weather will be pleasant for the time you expect to store your stuff, it may be fine to store most household items temporarily in basic self storage.
However, in hot weather, basic storage can get a great deal hotter than the ambient temperature outside. In a humid climate, you may see mold and mildew grow on upholstered furniture or clothing or any other soft goods of that sort. This may true even if you only store it for a fairly short time, like two to four weeks.
Self Storage with Climate Control
Climate control just means the ability to regulate the temperature and the humidity. You can think of it as comparable to having an HVAC system plus a dehumidifier in your home. This includes heat, which can matter if you are in a cold climate and storing your stuff in the dead of winter.
Climate controlled storage is more a means to store your items in a setting more like having them at home. The temperature may not be exactly perfectly comfortable for human habitation, but it won’t be blazing hot nor freezing cold. It also won’t be so muggy as to promote the growth of mold and mildew.
If you are storing any of the following items, you may want to go with climate controlled storage to help protect them from damage:
When in doubt, you may wish to err on the side of caution and go ahead and spring for the climate controlled unit. It will cost a little more, but it’s cheaper than replacing thousands of dollars of valuable items that simply cannot take the heat, cold or humidity.
Of course, some items simply should never be placed in a storage unit. This includes perishable items, like fresh fruit and vegetables. It also includes things like live plants that would likely die if not tended to regularly.
Other items you should never put in storage include:
IN some cases, it is actually illegal to put such things in storage. Always read the contract. It will stipulate which items should not be stored on site at all. You can also look up the laws for your state to make sure you have all your bases covered.