Get The Most From Your Self Storage While Living Abroad

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Whether you are studying for a semester in Europe, taking a temporary position with your company's office in Asia, or volunteering with the Peace Corps for two years, once you decide to move abroad for an extended period of time, you have to decide what to do with your belongings that are staying in the United States. If you are currently a renter, then you will probably have to store your belongings with a friend or family member or rent a self storage unit. If you do decide on a self storage unit, keep these things in mind to get the most out of your experience. 

Give Control To Someone You Trust 

When you rent a storage space, you are responsible for the things that are kept in storage. Meaning, you have to make sure that nothing dangerous, illegal, or perishable ends up in your unit, which is a good reason to make sure you are the only one who has access to your unit. However, when you are abroad for an extended period of time, you may want someone else to pick up something from your unit or empty your storage unit if you decide to relocate permanently. 

There are two main ways to give someone access to your storage unit. You can either include them on your initial contract with your storage company, or you can issue a partial power of attorney. If you share a contract with someone, make sure that you do not both have to be there to make decisions about your account. Similarly, if you create a power of attorney with someone make sure the right to access your storage and make changes on your account is specified. 

Either way, consider looking for a company that is willing to communicate with you via email or over the phone while you are away. 

Ask For A Discount 

There are several reasons you may be able to get a discount on storage when you relocate abroad. Many companies offer student discounts or are willing to give a discount to those serving in the armed forces or the Peace Corps. Additionally, you may be able to get a discount for signing a long term contract. 

Consider Your Payment Options 

If you have the money and you know how long you will be away, you may want to pay the full amount of your storage up front. This saves you from having to remember to make payments every month. Alternatively, you can set up a recurring payment with your credit or debit card. 

Pack Your Belongings Extra Carefully 

When your belongings are in long term storage you will want to make sure you label your boxes very specifically. This will allow your trusted friend or family member to find items you need more quickly, and it will also allow you to go through your items more easily once you return. 

You will want to make sure you stack your belongings as close to the ceiling as possible, as the extra space required by a poor stacking job can be costly over time. Finally, make sure that any important documents or items you think you might need while you are abroad are stored at the front of the unit, while furniture and equipment you will not need are stored in the back. 

Getting your belongings sorted for long term storage can be a frustrating while you are trying to juggle international arrangements. You should rent your storage unit with plenty of time to pack it without stress. If done properly, you will not have to worry about your belongings the entire time you are abroad. 

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10 November 2014

Sarah's Renting Tips

Although I've never worked professionally in the real estate business, I sure know my way around it. How, do you ask? Well, I have simply rented a lot of different places and worked with a lot of different landlords and real estate agents. In the past 7 years I've lived in 11 different houses or apartments, none of them my own. In finding those 11, I have looked at literally hundreds of apartments. I used to hate house hunting, but now it's kind of fun. You just need to know what you want and the right questions to ask. Hopefully this blog can help you learn some of the tricks of the trade from another renter like yourself.