Understanding Long-Term Storage Options for Military Families

A picture showing military bags

For military personnel and families of active military personnel, the reality of moving at a moment’s notice is very real. Whether by permanent change of station orders or deployment, when the notice comes, there are lots of questions to answer in a very brief period of time.

While there are a lot of tough questions that each family must answer during this transition, what to do with their possessions should be as easy as possible. For those not able to sell their possessions or willing to donate them, there are a handful of options on what to do with them during the transition.

Vacant Apartment or Home

If you have an apartment, it may be hard to get out of a lease, and if you own a home, it may take a while to sell if you want to sell at all. So storing your possessions within your house or apartment may be the easiest and simplest solution available to you.

Storing stuff in your house or apartment means you do not have to figure out what to do with your living space. Not only do you not have to worry about selling or buying out your lease, but storing at home also allows you to have a place to return when you come back. In addition, there is no stress of having to move your stuff to another area, which lowers the chance of damage. It also saves you a ton of time and headaches. This makes the entire process of what to do with your possessions rather straightforward.

While it is simple and easy, it can also be expensive and time-consuming. Everything in the house needs to be properly covered or stored to keep them from becoming damaged over time. This can mean buying sheets and dedicating time to organizing and protecting your possessions against the elements.

In addition, the emptiness of the house can also open up the possibility of squatters, thieves, or pests as well. To deter this, hiring a housesitter would be a good solution, albeit an expensive one. Depending on how long you are away, it can easily put you in a bad financial position.

Leaving your possessions securely in a house or apartment is a very simple and straightforward solution if you have the means and can accept the risks. While this is not an option for everyone, it is a popular one for a reason.

Storing With Friends or Family

There is nothing quite as rewarding and as difficult as family, but when you need to store your belongings, they can be reliable guardians. This solution is the best financially and depending on the relative or friend, it can earn you some brownie points with them. As such, it is one of the first options that many consider. However, it also has the highest barrier for entry—a family member or friend you can trust to hold onto your items for months or years. In addition, it can be the least safe solution for a number of reasons.

While family members and friends often have the best intentions when offering to help you store things, they will often store items in attics or basements where moisture and pets can damage your items. They also are more likely to damage items in the transition process than other storage options.

In addition, depending on who you ask, they might have a limit to how much they can store for you, which may require you to split your belongings among multiple friends or family members. This can increase the likelihood of serious damage to your items, given a natural disaster or home malfunction.

But because of the low financial burden, this is still one of the most popular solutions for military families.

Full-Service Storage

A woman opening her self storage unit.

The safest and most expensive storage solution for military families, full-service storage facilities are facilities that will pack, move, and store all your belongings for you. Their facilities are only accessible by employees and have built-in storage insurance, which makes them some of the safest solutions for military families. However, the price tag is eye-watering even for well-paid military members.

Full-service storage facilities are mainly used by businesses and do not usually serve individuals. This means their price tags are aimed at what businesses can afford, not individuals. But if you want to guarantee your items are safe, it is one of the best military storage solutions.

Self Storage for Military Families

Self storage is a great in-between solution between storing with friends and full-service storage. Instead of having people pack and store for you like at a full-service facility, you receive a storage unit you can organize and store yourself. While not as cheap as freely storing with a friend, it is much safer, as the facility has 24-hour security and climate control and will often offer insurance.

Storage units for military families usually have a discount at self storage facilities, something you may not find at full-service facilities that can make the rent even cheaper. They often have short-term and long-term leases to rent and offer constant access to your items. While it is not free, it is far from expensive to rent a self storage facility.

In addition, self storage facilities take many steps to ensure the safety of your belongings. They often provide 24-hour security and limit who can access the facility to only those who rent from them. When choosing a rental unit, you can make sure your self storage unit is climate controlled, which will prevent time and the elements from degrading your possessions.

While self storage does not provide movers or packing, which can increase the risk of damage, a smart renter can find resources that self storage facilities provide on how to store items safely.

Self storage is becoming increasingly popular for military families as it provides cheap safety for their belongings and serves as a good middle ground for lots of families between full-service storage and storing with friends and family.

If you are thinking about using self storage to store your possessions, consider Devon Self Storage. We have proudly served countless homeowners and businesses through our convenient, affordable self storage solutions. We have locations across the United States, and we would be proud to work with military families within this country. Learn more about Devon’s Military Storage.  

Military Storage With Devon Self Storage

A military family smiling for the camera.

Military personnel and military families give so much to us that their transition to different stations or on deployment shouldn’t be a stressful one. Making the decision to store their possessions and where shouldn’t be confusing. Hopefully, this has helped some military families come to understand the different options available and figure out what works best for them.



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