Whether it is for work or personal reasons, a long-term trip would mean that you will need a safe place where you can store your belongings that will be left behind.
You can have an option or two. However, your safest bet would be having a self-storage unit.
If you are fine with that idea, we have listed down six must-know tips on how you should store your belongings while on a long-term vacation:
1. Decide which items to store
First thing first, you need to decide which items you would like to bring with you and which are the ones you would store. Doing so allows you to execute two things:
- Find the best carry-on that you can use for your next long-term trip
- Determine what factors you should consider when choosing your storage provider
Keep in mind that having a storage unit comes with a price, and not all of your items are worth the storage cost.
That said, it is advisable to go through your possession first and assess whether it fits any of the following categories:
- To bring
- To keep
- To store
- To donate or give away
Anything that does not fit in any of these categories, you can consider discarding them. You may even opt to sell some of them for extra pocket money that you can use for your long-term vacation.
2. Pack items properly
Once you have determined which items you will bring and which one to store, the next step is to pack your items properly.
It may sound simple, but it is imperative to know the different ways of packing, say, your dishes and other chinaware. If you will place your items in a box, make sure that they are stack properly. Otherwise, your items might get damaged.
As for your furniture, it is advised to cover it with a clean 100% white cotton sheet. Dark-colored sheets can bleed color to your items eventually, more so if there is moisture in your storage unit.
And if possible, keep your boxes and pieces of furniture off the floor. That way, pests and vermin will be less likely to creep in. Although a top-notch facility will ensure that it will not happen.
Remember: Packing your items properly will give you the peace of mind knowing that your belongings are secured.
3. Avoid plastic bags
Speaking of packing your items properly for long-term storage, you should not keep your belongings in a plastic bag.
Although it appears that plastic bags can repel water, what you do not know is that it can induce moisture build-up inside. Not to mention that it can easily get inside a plastic bag or container that is not well-ventilated.
This can damage your item and will emit a strong musty smell once opened after a long while. Plus, it can cause mold and mildew to grow.
Use sturdy boxes instead. If you will be storing fragile items, wrap them in bubble wrap first before placing them in a box with fillers.
However, you can use vacuum-sealed bags to store your clothes and fabrics. Unlike an airtight package, vacuum-sealed bags keep the mold and mildew from growing. So, you should invest in a couple of vacuum-sealed bags.
4. Use new sturdy boxes
It is common for cardboard boxes to wear and tear as the months pass by. Hence, you should use new, sturdy boxes when storing your items for safekeeping while you are on a long-term vacation.
They are more durable, which means that it can last for months. Thus, new boxes can protect your stored items longer than when you reuse an old one.
It is also possible that old boxes were previously used to store food. Cardboard boxes can absorb food smell and can transfer it to whatever item you will store in it. Not to mention that it can attract pests and vermin that can damage your stored items.
5. Make sure to label your boxes
Once you are back from your long-term vacation, it is possible that you will forget which items are in which boxes. Hence, it is imperative that you label your boxes on all four sides.
Doing so will make it easy for you to identify what you packed and where everything is.
PRO TIP: Make a master list of all the items that you left for long-term storage. You should also make a list of what items you stored on each box, and then leave it inside. That way, you will know whether you are missing an item or not.
6. Consider self-storage facilities
Storage units allow you to have anything and everything in one place, regardless of whether you are moving to a new home or will be on a vacation for at least two weeks.
Plus, it comes with the following features:
- Climate control
- Computerized access control system
- Excellent maintenance
- 24/7 unit access
- Packing facility and package options
But, of course, it is important to consider your needs when looking for storage unit features.
Whether you are headed to a month-long European trip or just crossing borders from one state to another, worrying about storing your belongings for the long-term is the last thing you want to do. Hence, you should know how to store your belongings while on a long-term vacation.