Moving On A Temporary Assignment? How Should You Store Your Household Belongings?

I am here to talk to you about preparing your items for long- and short-term storage. Learn about stacking and arranging your items to prevent damage.

Moving On A Temporary Assignment? How Should You Store Your Household Belongings?

1 April 2016
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Whether you're employed by the military, the Peace Corps, or a private-sector employer with branches in foreign countries, you may find yourself facing an overseas assignment that can take you away from home for a year or longer. If you're single and don't yet own a home, paying rent on a house or apartment simply to hold your furniture may seem like a waste of money. On the other hand, trying to offload as much of your belongings as possible before leaving may have you scrambling to replace crucial items (like a mattress) immediately upon your return, and the idea of renting out or subletting your home to a stranger may be unappealing as well. What are your most cost-effective storage options when planning to spend an extended period of time outside the U.S.? Read on to learn more about some long-term household storage solutions that can help you save money during your overseas deployment without having to sell (and later repurchase) much of your furniture and other belongings.

What are your storage options for an entire household? 

One of the most basic and ubiquitous storage solutions is a climate-controlled storage unit. These units are available in a variety of sizes (often based on the number of "rooms" they'll accommodate) and can be leased for as short as a single month or as long as a decade or more. When selecting a self-storage unit, you'll want to pay careful attention to the lease terms, potentially pre-paying the full term of your lease if possible. Many storage unit leases include forfeiture provisions that can give the unit management the right to enter your storage unit and take legal possession of the belongings inside once you've missed a rental payment. Others can cap the dollar amount of belongings that can be stored inside, which may mean renting more than one unit if you have antique furniture or other expensive heirlooms.

Another option that may be ideal for those planning to relocate to a different part of the country upon return is a portable secured storage unit or pod. These pods can easily be loaded onto a train, plane, or semi trailer and transported anywhere in the country, giving you the flexibility to take time to decide on your ultimate location while helping you avoid the hassle and expense of loading your household contents into a storage unit, then unloading it into a moving truck to ship it across the state or country. You'll be able to keep this pod at a larger storage facility while you're overseas (paying a weekly or monthly rental fee) and then simply provide the facility with information on where to ship the pod once you've settled in your new location.

Which storage solution will be the most cost-effective?

The best option for your situation will largely depend on your plans once returning stateside and the specific items you'd like to store. Many residential storage units won't permit storage of tires, motorized equipment (from all-terrain vehicles to chain saws) or guns, so a pod shipping container may be a better bet if you have a number of items that can't easily be stored in a facility. On the other hand, if you're planning to remain in the same location upon your return, renting a storage unit in this city or county will be an inexpensive and convenient way to ensure your belongings are protected. 

Whichever storage option you choose is likely to be significantly less expensive (as well as much more secure) than paying to rent a home or apartment that will remain vacant during the time you're gone. Contact a company like Allen's Transfer for more info about your storage options.