Storage units are great places to stick household items as you clean out garages or remodel your home. However, they're also places where you can put your belongins if you're about to go out of the country for a few months, for example, and will be giving up your current apartment. Putting items in storage for a longer length of time means that you have to ensure the goods can withstand whatever might happen. For short-term storage, throwing the boxes into the unit might work fine, but for longer times, you need to use a little more care.
When you fill out the storage unit paperwork, you'll have to list an emergency contact. It would be a good idea to also list this person as another authorized user of the unit. Each storage facility will have its own regulations about this -- for some, an authorized user who is not the main lessee can access the unit just like the main lessee can, while others may want the person to call ahead first -- but having that authorized user means that if there is a problem while you're away, you will have a representative who can handle the problem for you. Be sure that person knows your gate access code and any other building codes, too.
Shelving and Wrapping
Placing your belongings on shelves and wrapping the items all in plastic becomes even smore important if you're going to be gone for a long time. The shelving helps prevent the boxes on the bottom of each pile from being crushed by the weight of the boxes on top, and the shelving also helps raise the boxes off the floor in case there is a leak that lets fluid into your storage unit. Wrapping everything in plastic helps protect the cardboard boxes against pests and moisture.
Normally when you have a storage unit, you have the choice to use your own lock or a lock specially made for storage units. In your case now, go for the special storage unit locks. These are round locks with short hasps that are a lot harder to get through.
Get That Camera
Once everything is in the unit, start taking pictures. Take pictures, with flash, from every angle. Take a copy with you (these can be on your phone if you want), give a copy to the other authorized user, and leave extra copies with other friends or family members. When you come back, compare the pictures to how the unit looks upon your return and see if anything looks like it's been moved.
Storage unit leases can be paid ahead of time, so you may want to pay ahead for your entire trip length so you don't have to worry about overdue bills. Ask the storage facility staff if they have any other advice regarding long-term storage. For more information, contact companies like Afford It Mini Storage.