Do you need a short-term storage unit? Find out more about our temporary storage options.


There are several reasons people need temporary storage space. Estate planning, relocations overseas, or trying to stage your home are just a few likely scenarios. In particular, storage for moving is meant to be temporary, convenient, and hassle-free.

At Life Storage, we offer short term storage units that have flexible month-to-month leases. We’ll discuss what to expect and answer some commonly asked questions in this guide.

Storage Units for Short Term Storage

If you live close to a storage facility, a storage unit is an affordable option for temporary storage. Indoor and outdoor storage units come in a variety of sizes. An outdoor storage unit is similar to a garage with a garage-style door. Indoor units offer more protection from the elements but are a little more expensive.

These are some of the top reasons our customers need short term storage:

  • Home sellers will rent a smaller storage unit to store excess decor and personal items while staging and selling a home.
  • If a child is going away to college, some customers will rent a storage unit to store dorm items at the end of a term.
  • Short term storage units help our customers when moving-related mishaps happen, like if the closing date on your new home gets pushed back.
  • We have a lot of military personnel that will use short term storage for PCS moves or temporary relocations overseas.

You don’t need to be moving to take advantage of temporary storage.

You don’t need to be relocating or cleaning out an estate to take advantage of temporary storage. Many people will rent a storage unit to help them sort through and declutter their homes. Also, people with limited storage space can use storage units four a couple of months to store seasonal items like snow blowers and jet skis.

Short Term Rental Agreements

One of the most commonly asked questions is if you can rent a storage unit for a week. In most cases, no. Even though weekly storage rentals are unavailable, most locations offer month to month leases, which is ideal for short-term storage for moving. Be sure to read your storage contract carefully to understand all the terms and conditions.

Common Sizes Available

  • 5’x15’ or 10’x10.’
    Ideal for storing items from a 1-bedroom apartment.
  • 10’x15’
    Ideal for storing items from a 2-bedroom apartment.
  • 10’x20’ or 10’x30’
    Ideal for storing items from a 2-3 bedroom home or apartment.

Determining the right size unit for your belongings is not always easy. Check out our size guide to make the decision easier.

Average Cost

The pricing of storage units depends on the season, availability, size, and climate options you need. You’ll be expected to pay rent once a month, which can range anywhere from $30 to $250.

For more information on costs, read our storage unit cost guide here or search for a storage unit in your area.

Storage Units vs. Moving Containers

Some people who are remodeling their homes might opt for a portable moving container for temporary storage. There are advantages and disadvantages to both storage options.

Here are some key storage unit factors to consider when making your decision:

  • Life Storage locations offer a free moving truck rental with a storage rental, so you’re able to move all your large items to the storage unit without an added expense.
  • In general, storage units are more affordable per month than portable storage options. You just won’t have the convenience of having a storage pod in your driveway.
  • You don’t have to worry about obtaining city permits to keep a container on your property when you rent a storage unit.
  • If you need to store your items off-site, you’ll have more access to your items in a storage unit facility than you would with a portable container company. Most container companies that store your belongings off-site provide limited to no access at all. Many storage unit companies offer 24/7 access.
  • With storage units, you can have third-party movers take your items in and out of the unit. Simply provide the movers with access by giving them the keypad combination and a key to your lock. However, we do recommend being present anytime a third party needs to access your unit for security reasons.
Storage for Moving - Storage Units Versus Moving Containers Infographic

If you need help with short term storage, search for a storage unit online or reach out to one of our sales representatives. Our team will be happy to help!

Editor’s Note: This post originally published on May 24, 2018, and was revised on March 28, 2020.

About the Author

Lauren Thomann

Lauren Thomann has written about self storage and moving since 2015, making her our storage expert. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in English and Linguistics and has published over 150 articles on moving, storage, and home organization. She is also a contributing writer at The Spruce and Martha Stewart.

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