Have you accepted an expat role on the other side of the world but are sitting in a home full of ‘stuff’ you have no idea what to do with? You’re not alone. For many soon to be expats knowing what to do with a lifetime of furniture, homewares and personal effects, while preparing for a new job in a different culture can be tough.
Sell or store; questions to ask yourself:
If you are moving away for a relatively short period, a year or less, with a fixed return date then storage seems the obvious choice. Keep reading though because storage is a relatively costly outlay on a monthly basis so you may not want to store everything you currently own.
If your assignment abroad is not fixed and may last a considerable amount of time, then you may need to consider selling some of your possessions and only storing those that are very precious or irreplaceable.
When trying to figure out what you might sell rather than pay to store, ask yourself the following questions:
Is it something I will need?
Is it something I use?
Is it in good condition?
Is it of sentimental value?
Is it a duplicate?
Another question to ask is do you have too many of an item? If you are a family of five but have place settings for 20, do you need to keep all of them? It’s good to keep a few extra for dinner parties, holidays and guests but figure out the maximum you would use regularly.
Sell or donate the items you no longer need. If you are selling them, try to be realistic with the price, many of us over value our own possessions!
Storage tips for expats
Shopping around for storage
Pack items carefully
This goes without saying but pack items, particularly table and glassware, carefully. Allow space at the top and bottom of every box for extra packaging and wrap individual items so they don’t chip or break by hitting off each other.
Top tip: number boxes and keep a log of what is in each one electronically so you can let family or friends know where to find an item if it is needed while you are away.
Disassemble anything you can
Consider climate-controlled units
Consider self-storage insurance
If you are storing valuable items or a significant amount, consider taking out insurance, in case it is impacted by events beyond the control of the storage providers i.e. fire, theft or natural disasters.
Don’t forget your health and wellbeing while you are working abroad. As an expat you may need international health insurance so you receive any medical care you might need. Contact us today for an expat health insurance quote.