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Storage and Removal Tips for Travelling Homeowners

Many people these days are pooling their vacation time into one longer holiday period so they can take a world cruise, go on safari or enjoy a sabbatical doing voluntary or conservation work. The trouble is, when you’ve worked hard to buy a home and furnish it well, you don’t want to leave it standing empty for months at a time.

If this is you, here are some solutions to the dilemma:

Arrange for a House Sitter

A search online will show you agencies that pre-vet house sitters, and sites where those willing to house sit advertise their services. Agency house sitters are likely to be more expensive, however, while independent ones often charge nothing at all. Their payment is staying in your house and in return they care for your worldly goods while you’re gone.

Put Possessions into Self Storage

Hiring house sitters, or even renting out the property, doesn’t appeal to everyone. An alternative is to simply remove your most treasured possessions and put them into self storage while you’re away. By leaving your main furnishings in place, you reduce the size of storage unit you need, but you still have peace of mind in knowing smaller, easily stolen items are under lock and key.

If you haven’t previously considered self storage while you’re on holiday, it’s probably because you don’t realise how flexible the terms are. Many people make the mistake of thinking storage is just for people who’re moving house or going abroad to work for a few years. In truth, you can rent a storage unit for as little as a week, and the smallest ones are very small indeed at around 10 square feet. They’re ideal for those with just a few boxes or  home electronic items.

Arrange Your Removals

Regardless of how much or how little you plan to store, you’ll need to give some thought as to how you’ll transport your effects to your storage location.

If you’ve got lots, for instance if you’re renting out your home and want to store your furniture, a removal firm will take a lot of strain off you. Book early to secure your date, and stay in touch just in case you need to make any changes.

For those with fewer items to store, either use your own vehicle, rope in a few friends to help, or hire a man with a van. Whichever way, you’ll find plenty of parking at the storage facility which will make unloading easy. Just make sure you have some helping hands if you’re doing it yourself.

Packing for Storage Tips

  • More small boxes are better than fewer big ones. They may hold less, but they’re easier to lift and stack.
  • Fill boxes up. Boxes with empty space at the top can collapse when they’re stacked.
  • Use plenty of padding. Bubble wrap is ideal, for both wrapping and to plug gaps between items in boxes.
  • Label your boxes, and be specific. You may think you’ll remember what’s in them, but chances are you won’t.
  • Stack boxes safely. Put larger ones at the bottom and gradually work up to smaller ones on top.
  • Use good quality tape. Cheaper tape can come unstuck over time, leaving boxes in danger of falling apart when you move them.

Every year, countless thousands of home owners take extended trips then return to find everything is safe and secure, just as they left it. You can join them. You just need to organise things before you leave.

Drew writes for Big Yellow. See their website for more information on storage or removals.


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