You put your stuff into a storage unit months ago, locked it up and now that it’s time to open it up again, you’re not quite sure what to expect. Will your electronics still work? Will your clothes look the same? The best way to guarantee a sigh of relief rather than a gasp of horror in this scenario is to consider the region of the US that you live in when selecting your storage unit and choosing how you go about placing your items inside of it.
If you’re an optimist, the first thing you think of when you imagine the northeastern climate is beautiful New England fall foliage. If you’re a realist, you remember that the region is also known for bitterly cold winters that include storm systems called Nor’easters, which are caused by storms forming in the Gulf of Mexico that travel up the coast. In addition to long, icy winters, the northeast region also experiences warm, humid summers. If you’re storing in this region, consider storage facilities with covered loading docks (Bonus: Sometimes these are even heated!) or indoor storage, preferably with climate control to cut back on the humidity.
The southeastern region is known for the kind of weather that allows you to rock shorts and flip-flops year-round. If you live here, you’re used to mild winters and hot, super humid summers that can only be made tolerable by drinking mass quantities of sweet tea. For those living close to the coastal part of the southeast, epic thunderstorms and occasionally dangerous flooding are also a part of life. If you’re storing in this region, you can probably opt out of drive-up access as it isn’t torturous to be outside in the southeast during the winter. If you do so, be sure to avoid placing items directly on the floor of your storage unit (a wood pallet can raise your stuff up a few inches) in order to prevent water damage from storms. And of course, never underestimate the power of climate control.
The midwest is known for its friendly citizens and for the fact that it’s the place where fast food restaurants test their potential menu items before releasing them nationwide (Beer flavored Frappuccino, anyone?). It’s also known for being a region that experiences four true seasons including cold winters and hot summers. The further north you live in this region and the closer to the Great Lakes you get, the more snow you’re likely to experience. The further south you go, the more heat and humidity you’ll have to deal with. It’s also worth noting that a large part of the infamous Tornado Alley is in the midwest. If you’re storing in this region, consider climate control to combat humid summers and ask your storage facility about storage insurance. Just make sure your policy covers natural disasters.
From the sunny beaches of SoCal up to the foggy coastline of Washington, all the way to the plains of eastern Colorado, this region has a diverse range of climates, so store accordingly. If you’re storing towards the coast, take into account the effect of salty ocean air on anything that might rust, like your trusty bicycle (Say it with us: Climate control.) Living in a region where vineyards are plentiful? Fancy yourself a wine collector and seek out facilities that offer wine storage. If you’re storing more inland, protect anything that can be negatively affected by very cold temperatures, like electronics and appliances.
The southwest is pretty much known for being one great big desert, but if you live there, you know it’s so much more than that. The region isn’t all sand, cacti and hot weather. It’s actually characterized by drastic temperatures in the form of unexpectedly cold nights and significantly warmer days. The only real consistency is dryness. If you’re storing in this region, you might think that you can forgo climate control because of the lack of humidity, but an arid environment can have a detrimental effect on certain items. For example, if you’re storing a leather jacket, purse or piece of furniture, choose a storage unit with climate control to prevent the item from drying out and cracking. And if you ever move to an area with a wetter climate and place those items in storage, you may want to forgo climate control for a brief period of time so that your stuff can come back to life. Sounds weird, but it works!