Arranging a long vacation takes a lot of planning. You want to ensure that everything you leave behind is waiting for you, in good condition, when you get back.
Self storage can be one of your greatest allies when you go on a long trip.
The Question of Rent
How long will you be on vacation? If you rent your home, you may want to completely move out. Many of us spend a third or more of our income on rent, so this could save you money. Also, per square foot, self storage space costs way less than a residence. Plus, you’ll be able to pack your belongings into a storage unit, so you’ll be using even less space than in your current home. For example in a 10x10 unit, you can fit the contents of about two rooms.
Just make sure you have somewhere to stay for a couple of weeks or so when you get back, so that you’ll have time to find a new place.
The Question of Security
Besides saving you money, most self storage facilities offer superior security. By security, we mean several things. First, we’re talking about the actual security at self storage facilities, the kind that protects your belongings from theft. Look for a facility with a monitored camera system, great lighting at night, a stone or granite wall around the entire place, gated access, and a good alarm system. If the units are individually alarmed, that’s even better.
Second, we’re talking about the safety of your belongings from damage. Most facilities work hard to keep out pests, prevent fires, and much more. To keep your things in the best possible condition, seriously consider getting a unit with climate control. This will add about 30% to the rental cost, but it’s worth it, especially in areas that get hot and humid, cold and dry, or both.
Simplifying for Storage
If you decide to give up your rental for the duration of your travels, you’re basically engaging in a move, but just a little bit easier. And the first thing we recommend to anyone facing a move is to look through your belongings and simplify. You can sell gently used items you don’t need online, donate to charities, or recycle.
Simplifying this way will have a couple of advantages. First, you won’t need as much self storage space, and second, you’ll have more room for interesting items you purchase during your travels.
There are a few moving basics we recommend you follow.
Prefer same-sized boxes. This makes them easy to stack safely and will use space efficiently. Document boxes are durable and most things fit well into them. Label each box, and keep an inventory of what each contains. This will make it really easy to find any item you might need when you get back, even if you’re not ready to unpack.
Rent a truck ahead of time, and don’t forget to include a hand truck and floor dolly. When it comes time to move the big items out of your place and into storage, get some strong friends to help, or hire a moving company.
Take Your Time
If you rent a unit a month or so before you move, that will give you lots of time to start packing and putting your things into the unit. You can bring over four or so boxes at a time every few days, and before you know it, you’ll have only the most necessary items at home. You can get those into the unit all at once with that rental truck and the help of friends, then you’ll be ready for your trip.
To keep your car safe during your trip, we suggest you put your vehicle in storage, too. Preparing your car for storage will take a number of steps, but when you get home, you can be sure it’ll be in good condition and waiting for you.
By preparing ahead of time, you’ll be able to save money, protect your belongings, and have a wonderful, extended vacation, wherever you plan to go.