Helpful Storage Ideas: Leaving possessions (and worries) behind when moving or travelling abroad
For those of you in the midst of planning a new life abroad, the thought of leaving the life you have always known and moving to a foreign country can be daunting. Therefore it’s understandable that you will want to ensure that the items left behind will be stored somewhere safely and securely.
But where do you begin when packing up your entire life?
Our step by step guide may be able to offer you some help.
First step: consider how and where you could store your belongings
If prior to your departure you have been renting your home, you will likely need to find storage for all your possessions – be it large items such as couches or beds, or smaller, more personal items such as books, picture frames and clothes (if moving to a warmer climate, there’s no need to take the wellies and winter coats – hurrah!)
In this instance, you have two options: you can leave your items with a trusted and reliable loved one (and someone who is lucky enough to have lots of space!) or arrange to put your belongings into self-storage, where your possessions will be safe and secure and you won’t be imposing on friends or family.
If you own your own home, however, you have the added option of storing some items in your own property. If this is something you are considering, decide first whether you are going to be renting out your property whilst you are away to generate further income. If you are, will you feel comfortable renting out your space fully furnished? If so, where will you store the other personal items previously mentioned that tenants won’t necessarily want or need? If storing these in a loft or garage aren’t viable options, a self-storage unit will again be the safest and more secure alternative for you.
Second step: establish what size storage space you will need
We have a variety of unit sixes available; from a modest 10 sq feet right up to a monster 250 sq feet! To help you establish how much space you will need, check out our size guide or fill in your details on our website and get a quote from us.
Alternatively, contact us directly for a chat and we will help you establish how much space you really need, based on the number of boxes you are likely to have or the number of rooms you will need to pack up.
You could always take your storage with you – Imagine dragging your fave couch around with you!
Third step: make like Frank Bruno and start boxing!
Now comes the fun part – looking through all your things and deciding what you want to take, what you want to store and what you want to throw out. Start this process early so you don’t make any rash decisions; the more time you take with sorting through your things, the more peace of mind you’ll have knowing you’ve stored everything important. Follow our top tips to ensure you pack your possessions securely:
- Invest in strong boxes. If you’re planning on being abroad for a lengthy period of time then you’ll rest more easily knowing that all your items are safe and secure. Check out our onsite shop, which sells pretty much everything you need to help you pack up and store your stuff, be it cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, tape or padlocks. To stock up on storage supplies, simply drop by during office hours and we will get you kitted out with whatever you need.
- Know that it is better to box your items instead of using plastic bags or just putting items straight into the storage container. By using boxes, you make you belongings easier to stack and ensure that none of your things get dusty. Additionally, fill every box to its maximum capacity without it being so heavy that the box (or your back!) breaks – a cardboard box filled with hardback books is one box that no-one wants or should have to lift! On the other hand, boxes with empty spaces are easily squashed and corners can collapse, making stacking them difficult; therefore ensure you fill any empty spaces with foam balls, towels, sheets or loosefill (available at our onsite store).
- Have a system and stick to it – you may decide to organise boxes by room, floor or alphabetically, but whatever you decide, make a note of your system (trust us, this will save you a lot of time and hassle when you eventually want to re-open them and find something in particular!) Likewise, ensure you label each box accurately; ‘bits and bobs’ may be easy to write when trying to get the job done quickly but it is not so useful when trying to remember where you put the bottle opener when needed after all your hard work!
- Extra protection such as bubble wrap or newspaper should be used with fragile items like mirrors and pictures to save them from being damaged. Also note that you should never store these items flat, as they are more prone to being damaged that way.
- Electrical items such as TVs, laptops and games consoles are best stored in their original boxes if possible, and for anyone storing clothes, it’s a good idea to invest in some sort of portable hanger or wardrobe so that you can hang them up and avoid them becoming creased (again, these are available at our onsite store, as are protective covers for sofas and mattresses).
- If storing appliances like washing machines, fridges and freezers, ensure you drain all the water from them beforehand and hey presto – you’ve got yourself another handy storage space for pillows, sheets and other bedding!
- Finally, make the process as enjoyable as possible by creating yourself a playlist of ‘moving’ tunes to ‘move along’ to (we recommend Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born to Run’ and John Denver’s ‘Leaving On a Jet Plane’ to get you started!) And most importantly, once all the packing is done, find yourself a sturdy box to take a seat on and reward yourself and fellow packers with a takeaway (the plates are all packed up anyway, so why not treat yourself?)
Fourth and final step: store it up!
When organising your storage unit, ensure you leave a central aisle to walk down. This is far easier than climbing over mountains of boxes to get to the one item you need. Then organise your things to ensure maximum use of space; pile boxes on top of each other and use the vertical space available to you i.e. work upwards; if storing sofas, try to store them vertically on one of their ends so they take up less space; any furniture that can be disassembled should be and can be stored on its side instead of lying flat. Also, think ahead and keep a fold-up stepladder in your storage unit to make it easier to grab things kept high up, and if you or someone you know is planning on returning to your storage unit, make a point of putting all the items you will need easy access to at the front of the unit, so you can grab them with ease. Our Furniture Storage facility in Bradford has trolleys, trailers and a variety of helpful aids to help carry your bulkier items.
Once all of this is done, you can rest easy knowing that your belongings are stored safely and securely with us and start looking forward to your new adventures abroad and the opportunities that lie ahead.
We wish you all the best with your move and look forward to helping you leave your worries behind and store your belongings safely.
Should you have any plans to move broad, require a storage unit for a set amount of time or simply wish to obtain a free quote, please contact Incredible Bulk Self Storage Bradford today and let our team help you.