Military Storage Guide: Storage Tips for Active Duty and Military Personnel

Military family moving to a new home

Members of the military and their families face a variety of challenges that make day-to-day life a bit of an adventure. For instance, military servicemen and women move at least twice as often as civilians. Moving every two to three years and facing long-term deployment overseas can mean you need to find dependable storage options frequently and quickly. Active duty storage options provide military members with military storage options suited to the unique conditions they need when faced with moving to a new base or being deployed overseas. This guide will help you learn more about the active-duty storage options available. It will also help you prepare for your next move.

Reasons You Need Storage While in the Military

There are many reasons military self-storage might be a requirement when you receive a permanent change of station (PCS). Moving from one home to another is a stressful experience. Military moves often include other complications like a transitional space between homes. Alternatively, you may face a trip overseas with limited space for possessions. These are some of the most common reasons to seek storage while in the military.

  • Moving to a different U.S. military base: When moving between bases, there could be a delay between leaving one home and the availability of the next. Self-storage is a good way to keep possessions you won’t use every day safe while living in a temporary residence.
  • Overseas deployment: Vehicles and large quantities of possessions generally can’t travel with you overseas. Long-term storage during deployment is a common need among military service members.
  • Vehicle storage: It’s possible to have your vehicle shipped overseas, but driving requirements are often different in other countries. Private self-storage is the most common vehicle storage option for military personnel.
  • Convenience for moving with a strict time limit: PCS orders can require you to report to duty at a new military base with a timeframe as short as a few weeks to a few months. Placing items in temporary storage can help you avoid the clutter and hassle associated with the first days and weeks in a new home.


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Storage Tips for Active-Duty Military Members

Storage for active-duty military personnel is a common need. But it represents potential challenges that don’t arise in most rental situations. While short-term storage for a move within the U.S. may not be difficult to find, long-term storage is typically needed. This means you need a dependable option to keep your possessions safe for long periods of time.

Storage features to consider

Military families are like civilian families in that they’re always growing and changing. Additionally, military storage needs for deployment overseas can be drastically different from your needs for moving within the U.S. When assessing your needs for a new storage option, don’t assume the accommodations you had last time will properly serve you now. Instead, consider these storage features each time you place items in storage.

  • Size: If your family is growing, or you’ll need to depend on storage for a longer period of time, you may need a bigger storage unit than you thought.
  • Location: If you’re facing deployment overseas, you’ll need to choose the most convenient location to store your belongings. This is usually close to the base you’ll be stationed at upon your return if you have that information.
  • Climate control: If you’re storing electronics, paper documents, books, or musical instruments, climate control is a must. In the event of long-term storage, climate control is generally recommended, as well.
  • Accessibility: If you’ll need to access your belongings often, you’ll want to choose a location nearby. It’s also important to understand the gate schedule for convenient access when you need it. Conversely, if you don’t need frequent access, you may be able to save money by seeking storage options further away from your base.


Safely store firearms

If you’re planning to place your firearm in storage, you’ll need to plan ahead. Not all storage facilities allow firearm storage. Additionally, your ammunition will definitely need to be stored elsewhere. When shopping for storage options, always ask if guns are on the prohibited items list. If you have difficulty finding firearm storage, it’s a good idea to ask about storage options on base.

Pro Tip for Finding Military Storage:

Use our guide on how to move a gun safe as you move to your new home.

Lower storage costs with military discounts

Many storage services understand the need for active duty storage and offer military storage discounts to service members. When comparing your storage options, ask about military discounts and if any other discounts are available to help you save on the cost of long-term storage.

Remember your rights

Military life is unpredictable. Whether you’re a full-time service member or a reservist, you know you could be called to active duty or deployed at any time. These sudden transitions could create challenges for your storage facility. Still, you shouldn’t be punished for circumstances out of control. That’s why a law exists to protect the belongings of military members who are out of the country. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) includes regulations that prevent storage facilities from auctioning off your belongings due to missed payments or unexpected long-term storage requirements.

Moving Tips for Military Families

Military family packing boxes to move belongings into military storage units

No matter how many times you move, transporting all your belongings from one location to another always comes with challenges. While moving is common for military families, things are always changing. Planning your move early and finding the perfect military storage option can help you have a successful moving day. Use these tips to plan for storage and the items you’ll need to have on hand when you arrive at your new location.

10 tips to streamline your move

  • Determine all the items you’ll need to put in storage, and plan your storage unit size accordingly. If you’re only storing big-ticket items like furniture or mattresses, you may get by with a small storage unit.
  • Figure out what to get rid of before it’s time to move. Excess belongings make frequent moves more difficult. Get rid of clothing, tools, and toys that haven’t been used in the past year. It’s also a good idea to get rid of broken items and items that have never been opened. Keep items with sentimental value, important military documents, and items with a clear purpose.
  • Create a binder to keep all documents related to your move together.
  • Decide whether you’ll need climate-controlled storage or specialized storage for items like firearms.
  • Set a budget for the move. Then decide whether you’ll keep up with the costs of your move for military reimbursement or take care of packing and moving yourself. Taking care of the move yourself will allow you to keep 95% of what the military estimates it will cost to move you, but it’s a lot more hassle.
  • Prep the car for a long trip in the weeks before moving day arrives.
  • If you’re not planning a DIY move, label everything you want to move yourself. Movers are trained to move everything. So these labels can eliminate the hassles of searching for necessities when you reach your destination.
  • Consider an auto-pay option for your storage facility. During active duty or deployment, it can be easy to miss payments or extend storage past a planned storage term.
  • Plan which items to travel with while you move. This should include nighttime supplies, crucial documents, fragile or expensive objects, a couple of changes of clothes for each member of the family, and prescription medications.
  • Label all containers and items intended for storage before the movers arrive.


Military Storage Options With Neighbor

There are a variety of military storage options to choose from when deciding where to store your belongings during active duty. Keeping your belongings safe for long periods of time is a necessity. This can mean making choices that are difficult for your budget. There are traditional self-storage options available, but think outside the box to meet your military needs. Neighbor provides military storage options of all types and sizes in a variety of easily accessible locations. To learn more about storage at up to 50% off for vehicles, possessions, furniture, and anything else you need to store, visit Neighbor and find the storage unit that matches your needs.

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