Storage Solutions for When You Are Moving Overseas
Moving to a new country can be an exciting and enjoyable adventure. The rest of the world often describes our homeland as ‘the edge of the world.’ When they see it on the map, it seems so distant and cut off from anywhere else, and we sometimes feel that way too. So a chance to ‘join the rest of the world’ can be quite the thrill.
There are lots of reasons why you may be leaving. You might have found an excellent job opportunity, or are off hoping to seek one. You might be going on a study tour or a military one. Maybe you’ve fallen in love and are following your heart. Whatever has prompted your migration; there are several ‘unsexy’ things to be dealt with first.
The first and most influential is your visa. If you’re off on an exploratory excursion, it’s likely you got a three to six-month visa, even if you were confident enough to buy a one-way ticket. As a student, you might get a four-year re-entry option, depending on the location of your school. Work visas are often valid for two years before they require renewal.
The duration of your visa has a significant effect on how you’ll handle your property. If you own a house or apartment, you might rent it out for additional income while you’re away, or you may put it up for sale. Another option is to have a friend or relative house-sit so that you have a place to stay when you’re home for short visits.
If you’re a renter, you don’t have the option to keep the house unless you can work out a feasible subletting arrangement that your landlord will approve (or might not find out about.) But that just sorts the housing situation. What about all the stuff in your home?
House sitters are less fussy, but many renters and buyers prefer to bring in their furnishings and appliances, so you’ll need to get rid of yours. And even with house sitters, there are probably specific delicate and valuable items that you’d prefer they don’t use.
Plan A is to have a massive garage sale and get rid of anything you don’t want. It can be a pleasant, cleansing experience that lets you sort through old memories while psychologically preparing yourself for a new start overseas. It’ll also help you gain a little travelling money. The mental and emotional decluttering can be oddly therapeutic.
Not everything can be sold. Some items are too well-used to fetch funds or gain a buyer’s interest. This kind of merchandise can be sorted into bales and offloaded at thrift shops. They often pay by the kilo, so they’re more interested in quantity than quality.
Other items can be donated. Charities are more open to older, outdated items that are no longer fashionable or relevant. They can always find a use for it. Still, in the matter of donations, you can donate some of your more functional items to friends and relatives. Your college-age nephew might want your old couch, microwave, or fridge.
You can probably stash a few things in a friend’s garage or in your parents’ basement if they’re okay with it. Your siblings might offer you a shed to keep some of the things that matter to you, though they may not clean your storage items enough to maintain them.
A more convenient option is mobile self storage. There are Australian companies that offer safe, affordable storage boxes where you can stash anything from a vintage cook top to your high school yearbook. And unlike leaving them abandoned in the family garage, your items will be stored in a safe, clean, waterproof warehouse with CCTV and 24-hour security.
These services are more convenient than typical storage lockers because they will bring the box to your doorstep, leave it with you for 24 hours so you can load it, then pick it up and take it to their secure storage space. You can access your box at any time, so if you’re home for a few days and you’d like a peek, give them a day’s notice, and you can get into your box.
Of course, this will cost you money, but it’s half the price of traditional storage lockers and you won’t have to worry about your nosy friends and family poking around in your stuff. A single mobile storage box can hold the contents of one and a half rooms, or up to the 1, 200kg worth of books, furniture, electronics, or personal items.
The service providers can pack for you if you’d like some help with that, and they provide cardboard boxes, furniture covers, and other packing materials if you need them. They can also deliver your stored goods to selected locations. This is helpful if you need to move to a new house once you’re back in Australia.