Sunday, May 31, 2015

Self-Storage Tips for Long-Term Travel

Traveling is a passion—a way to make lifetime memories and see the world at the same time. Unfortunately, determining what to do with your stuff while you travel can be stressful. Whether you’re headed on a European adventure or an RV trip across the United States, worrying about your belongings back home is the last thing you want to do. Don’t default to storing your prized possessions in a musty, unsecured basement. Instead, consider the benefits of using self-storage to secure your items while you travel.

Storing Your Belongings
Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry wrote, “He who would travel happily must travel light.” Because it’s just not possible to take all your precious belongings with you when you travel, determine what you need, and then bring versatile items to meet your needs while allowing you to pack light. To keep the rest of your items secure, store them in a self-storage unit during your absence.

When deciding what to do with your stuff while you’re away, consider your needs. According to the writers at Apartment Therapy, “You need to have a good idea of what and how much stuff you’re going to store. Don’t just rent a space with the idea that you will fill it up with stuff as time goes on.” Do you need a small unit to store your unsecured outdoor equipment while you travel? Would you prefer to store all your belongings to eliminate having to pay rent on your apartment? Storage units come in all sizes to fit your needs.

The Details Matter
Properly packing and storing your belongings will help make sure they’re secure while you’re away. Aaron J. Moore, RN, MSN, with AMN Healthcare provides some recommendations for traveling nurses, but they’re guidelines anyone can follow in preparation for a trip. “If you have things you truly care about, wrap them carefully before boxing and storing, stack boxes and containers carefully, and, if possible, use a pallet to keep your things off the floor (in case the guy in the next unit has something that leaks),” Moore writes.
Belongings that are climate sensitive, such as electronics or wood furniture, should be stored in a climate-controlled unit. These do cost a little more, but the increased cost may bring peace of mind, knowing your belongings won’t be subjected to extreme temperatures while they’re in storage. If space is more of an issue than temperature, there are units to meet those needs as well. There are even units large enough to store vehicles.

How to Keep It Secure
To add an additional layer of security, look into insurance for the items you store while you’re away. “Typically, standard homeowners and renters insurance policies do include off-premises property protection for theft and damage from fires and other disasters,” says Insurance Information Institute Vice President Loretta Worters. “Generally, things like flooding, earthquakes, and mold and mildew if the storage unit is poorly maintained are not usually covered,” she adds.

You might want to appoint a local person who can visit the storage unit on your behalf if the need arises. This person would be able to ship an item to you from your storage unit if you decide you need it while you’re away. He or she would also be able respond quickly if there were any type of problem.

When it comes to paying your self-storage bill while you’re traveling, you can set it up on auto-debit or you can use your bank’s bill payment feature and pay it online. “Schedule bills that you know will come due while you’re gone, such as your cable bill or cell phone bill. With bills like these, you should know roughly how much they’ll be,” writes Teresa Dixon Murray in the Plain Dealer. “If today’s the 16th, you should be able—today—to schedule your cell phone bill to be paid Feb. 28 and schedule your cable bill to be paid on March 5.”

Traveling light takes on a new meaning when you decide to store your belongings in a self-storage unit. You’re free to bring only the items you need, but you can also leave worry and stress at home when you know your prized possessions are well cared for.

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