Often, it’s only when we decide to go travelling that we realise how much stuff we actually own. Even if we’re going away for just a few weeks it can mean finding a short-term home for our plants and pets, but for longer trips storage is a key consideration.
One of the easiest ways to save a little money when travelling is to rent out your house or room while you’re away. Even short-lets can return a sizeable investment depending on your property and where you live. The catch though, of course, is where to put your things while another person lives in your space. A good way of culling unneeded items is to sell them online through eBay and then put everything else in storage. Be careful where you decide to keep your more expensive or delicate belongings though – it might seem like a good idea to put everything in a friend’s basement, but consider things like dampness and security. Access is also a consideration – if you’re away for a long time, will other things block your possessions?
Here are our top tips for when you’re about to head off overseas:
- Pack clothes and other fabrics loosely so they can breathe. Avoid placing them against wood and check for any additional measures you may need to take for specific fabrics. Delicate fabrics, for example, should be interleaved with muslin or similar acid-free tissue.
- Leather too, needs to be able to breathe. Be sure to fold straps so as to avoid creasing and allowing buckles to leave an impression.
- Also – bubble wrap makes better stuffing than tissue paper.
- For crockery, arm yourself with plenty of paper and strong boxes – preferably the type with built-in supports. Individually wrap glasses, but nest bowls and cups. Plates can stand on their edge. Once boxed, fill the spaces between your items with additional packing material and place the box at the top of any stack – avoid placing anything heavy on top of crockery and glassware.
- The golden rule with books is to use plenty of small boxes instead of fewer large ones. Books are heavy and difficult to move around in large quantities. Another tip is to store them horizontally as opposed to vertically. This way, their spines stay in good condition.
- Wood varnish will protect wooden furniture from moisture, while dismantling flat pack items will also help to prolong their life. Remember to keep the fixings close – preferably in a small bag taped to the item – and place cloth between the individual components.
- If you have a leather or micro-fibre sofa, it will be fine stored vertically. If you’re moving the sofa yourself, double fold several blankets on the floor to give the sofa’s weight-bearing arm a soft surface.
- Mattresses can be placed in special bags available at supermarkets and DIY stores. These bags keep mattresses dry and help them retain their shape. The controlled temperature of a modern self storage facility will help to keep the mattress in top condition.