Top 10 Self-Storage Tips for Military Families

Members of any military family know that moving every few years is just part of the job description. Though being reassigned or relocating has become commonplace for most of these families, the process of moving can still be difficult, especially as children begin to grow up and the families accumulate more personal effects. For military families preparing for a move, there are several considerations to choose from and some good resources for choosing a storage unit, like size guides, tips for how to rent, and information on climate control storage. When you are looking to rent self-storage in your new location, keep these ten tips in mind.

  1. Storing clothing
    Clothing is often the bulk of a military family’s moving items. Keep unnecessary clothes, such as seasonal wear, maternity clothing, extra shoes, spare accessories, and any other type of extra clothing in plastic bins. Plastic protects clothing against moisture and bugs better than cardboard and ends up being a good long-term investment.
  2. Items of personal significance
    Military families often take with them personal effects that they don’t always want cluttering their new home. This can be anything from family photo albums to precious heirlooms. If possible, try to keep personal items in smaller boxes. Smaller boxes are safer than larger boxes because you are less likely to stack anything else on top of them, which can prevent crushing and breaking.
  3. Special collections
    Members of military families often have collections of particular items they have taken interest in. For anything from stamps to model cars, consider keeping them in airtight plastic boxes, as well. This can protect most collections from potential moisture or other damage. Keep collections near the front of your storage unit so they are easily accessible any time someone in the family may need them.
  4. Furniture
    Consider wrapping any padded pieces of furniture in plastic and make sure to add additional padding to corners of furniture that could get bumped or damaged during a move. Industrial wrapping is offered at most storage facilities, and you can pad your furniture with anything from a pillow to Styrofoam. Avoid placing other items on expensive pieces of furniture to prevent damage.
  5. Storing large appliances
    Military families moving to homes pre-furnished with appliances often need a place to keep their own large appliances. Consider using storage blankets to cover them and avoid stacking appliances to prevent toppling. Drain any water out of a washing machine and refrigerator to reduce weight and potential freezing.
  6. Vehicles
    It’s often a good idea to look for a storage facility which also provides parking spaces for your cars. Even if you are using covered parking or an indoor unit specifically designed for vehicles, consider buying a car tarp to protect your vehicle from dust, snow, rain, and other elements. This also helps protect vehicles against potential bumping or scraping.
  7. Important documents and paperwork
    Military families often have very sensitive documents, such as birth certificates, tax returns, and other items of paperwork that they want to protect. Try securing a filing cabinet with file folders where you can sort out your taxes and other secure documents.
  8. Storing with climate control
    There are many self-storage units that offer the option of climate control. This is a highly valuable feature for military families. Not only can you protect your belongings from temperature fluctuations, there is also less chance that your storage items will be damaged, vandalized, or subject to theft.
  9. Musical instruments
    Oftentimes, musically-inclined military family members have collections of instruments, such as guitars, pianos, drum sets, and wind instruments that all keep well in storage. It is recommended that these items be stored in climate controlled units to prevent exposure to extreme temperatures.
  10. Electronics and video games
    Many military families invest in electronics and video games as a form of family fun and entertainment. Again, consider springing a little extra for climate control to ensure the weather and elements don’t ruin their processing units or other electronic functionalities. Also avoid stacking anything on top of breakable electronic equipment.

Has your family ever used a storage unit to keep possessions after a move? What tips did you find helpful?

This post was created by our friends at US Storage Centers. For more information, visit


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  1. 1
    Adrian Jones

    Looking for a storage facility especially if you’re a military family should be of the utmost importance since there are various valuable items that go into storage whenever the family packs up and moves to a new location to live in–like important papers, large appliances, as well as furniture and even items of personal significance. It helps to have a place to park a car for the long-term if the family is moving out of the country altogether as well since storing cars would mean having to leave them unattended for varying amounts of time. If I were to pick a storage facility I would choose one that lets people rent out long-term especially if they’re a military family.

  2. 2
    Steele Honda

    Thanks for pointing out that military families moving to homes pre-furnished with appliances often need a place to keep their own large appliances so a self-storage can be a good idea. My husband is thinking about joining the marines so I am trying to learn all the military family tricks so that I can be ready. I think that having a self-storage would help us keep better track of our things overall, and help us keep all our appliances in good condition even though we’re not using them.

  3. 3
    Alandre Smith

    One of the most common questions we’re asked about military storage is whether or not you need climate-controlled storage. The short answer? It depends. Climate-controlled storage simply means that the internal temperature of your unit is maintained within a set temperature range. That makes it great for storing electronics, paperwork, and upholstered furniture. It’s also a good idea for long-term storage or if you don’t have a set return date.

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