The time draws near and now you only have a few months to go before leaving for New Zealand, Asia or one of the many other countries this work has for you. You bought a great new camera and have already started packing but one annoying question remains: what are you going to do with all your stuff while you are overseas for a year or more? Lets look at some options.
The easiest way to handle a lifetime of belongings, is to give them to your family to hold on to. For many, this is the best way to go. Friends and family hopefully won't charge you for storage and if they do you must consider the favor and return in kind. If they do you this pro bono, then please, remember the favor while you're abroad and send a postcard or call from time to time. This gesture reminds them that you care and appreciate the favor. Storing another persons belongings can be quite the inconvenience especially if they don't have much room for it.
The next option, which might be good to do before a huge backpacking trip, is to thin out your load and sell what you can. Are you a gadget person? Then consider some of your electronics. If you are going to be gone for a a year, almost any new toy now is going to be obsolete by the time you get back. So unless you are going to take it with you, consider selling it to be replaced with next years version upon your return. Face it, you need the money now anyway, and when you get back, you will want to have the newest toys.
Web sites like eBay and Craigslist connect you with people who need your things. No one knows why people want your old stuff, they just do. With the money you make off online sales, you might be able to extend your trip another month or two and consolidate the important material objects in your life from the not so important.
Now you have consolidated your personal items to a car full, which you can't ever see parting with and your family can't help you. Where do you go? Try to find an affordable and safe storage unit in your area. A quick search online has units from Public Storage ranging from $20 to $60 per month. You have a lot of storage options so do your homework and find the best deal while also making sure its in a safe area.
Some units offer discounts like get the first month for only $1 or free. Take advantage of this. Also with the large amount of privately run storage units you can try talking the owner down in price for paying up front or a year at a time. This haggling is going to be good practice for your future shopping experience in the bazaar or elsewhere while overseas.
As well if you have a car, it is better to drive the car regularly rather than storing it long term. Try to find a friend or family member whom you trust enough to use it as a second or third car while you are away. As well, if you do store your car long term remember these tips. Consider a place indoors with a car cover and the windows cracked for air circulation. Keep rodents out by laying traps around the vehicle. They can get into your engine, create nests and cause long term damage. Replace all of your fluids, oil and filter with quality product right before storage. And finally, clean and wax your vehicles interior and exterior and make sure you don't lose your keys. It sounds obvious, but it does happen.
These are just a few of the more common things you can do with your personal items away. Most importantly, you must know that your personal property is safe. You don't want to spend any time worrying about your things while you are away on the journey of a lifetime.
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