You Can’t Take It With You; Storage For Moving Abroad

Self storage for moving abroad or emigrating

So, you’re finally doing it! Moving abroad – for work, for new experiences, for love. It might be for just a good time or a long time; planned to the letter, or left to fate. This adventure could take you anywhere – but all your belongings can’t come too.

Everyone’s got personal property that they don’t want to part with, but which simply can’t be taken when they emigrate. There are usually lots of free and easy storage options – a parent’s attic, a relative’s shed or a friend’s spare room. However, when you’re on the Subway to work, or cruising down the Ganges, do you really want to get that message that says; “slight problem, the pipes in the attic have burst …”, ‘Did we tell you we have mice?” or “we’re letting the room and you need to clear out your stuff by Thursday…”. Uh oh …

A guaranteed way to keep your possessions safe and in tip-top condition is self-storage. Secure, hassle-free and cost-effective, self-storage is one way to make sure that your belongings are where and how you left them when you come home, or need them to be shipped to you. 

So here are some things to think about, before you head off:

A Good Clear Out

Parting is such sweet sorrow, but do you really need seven years of school textbooks, a three-person tent and that dusty rowing machine? Take a long look at your belongings and think hard about whether they’re worth keeping. Do they still work? Are you sure they’ll come back into fashion/’come in handy someday’? Sort the stuff that you want to keep, and recycle, bin, donate or sell the rest. This will leave more space to store those valuables and keepsakes that you really can’t part with.

self storage for moving abroad


Size Matters

Once you’ve figured out what you’re planning to stash, make sure that the storage unit you need is the right size. A 0.9 m2 unit, for example, should hold one small vanload – about 10 archive boxes. At the other end of the scale, a 23.3m2 unit should fit everything plus the kitchen sink –  the contents of a 5+ bedroomed house in other words. With plenty of size options in between, do your research and get the space that’s right for your needs. 

Keep It Contained

It’s worth investing in good storage equipment. Sure – black refuse sacks have their merits, if you fancy a good game of “where on earth is … everything” when you get back. Instead, have a think about what you’re storing; self-assembled cardboard boxes, for example, are cost-effective, neat to stack and great for non-perishable items.  Sealable plastic tubs are better for keeping out moisture and are highly durable, as well as being transparent enough to identify what’s in there at a glance. If you’re stashing your kitchenware, dish packs will protect breakables; for clothes, avoid vacuum-sealed bags which can cause damage to delicate or natural fibres, and check out special electronics storage boxes for items like turntables, gaming consoles, cables etc.

A Parting Gift

Present You wants to get on with packing, making arrangements and doing the rounds of goodbyes. However, Future You will be forever grateful if you take the time to leave some clues behind. We’re not talking a library-standard system of cataloguing and cross-referencing, but popping content lists, or categorisation notes on your storage equipment will sure make life easier not just for you, but for any poor unfortunate who might have to fetch something for you while you’re away.

Space – The Final Frontier

The time has come to put all of those skills you picked up from playing Tetris to good use and make wise use of your storage space. Instead of flinging everything in, pulling down the shutter and hoping there won’t be an avalanche when you open it next, stash your stuff with care, stacking crates and boxes, dismantling furniture where you can and strategically fit in what you can’t, keeping it upright. Wrap your breakables in bubble wrap, pop crumpled paper in your shoes so they keep their shape and keep anything you might need easily accessible toward the front of your storage unit. 


Whether your belongings are of monetary or sentimental value, you’ll want to know that they’re 100% secure. Check out the security offerings of your chosen storage provider in advance. Modern security systems offer so much more than just padlocks and alarms – we’re talking biometrics, smart entry systems with reporting and analytics, CCTV, fire prevention systems, and infrared detection – modern security means that you can leave your worries behind along with your perfectly safe belongings!

Check the Small Print

Another way to add to your peace of mind – and that of the storage facility – is to have insurance in place. If you already have a policy, give it a once-over – you might find that you already have cover for your possessions while in self-storage. If you’ve got unusual items, then check out getting specialist insurance to keep them covered too. 

Getting Preppy

It’s all about forward-thinking so keep in mind that individual items will have their own needs when it comes to storage.

Your car, for example – you need to be able to drive it or sell it in usable nick, so before you go, put air in the tyres, fill the tank, change the oil and block any holes so it doesn’t become a cosy nest for a cute family of mice.

Remove batteries from devices so that they don’t leak, and throw a pack of desiccant in with your washed, dried and neatly folded clothes. 

Stow, or no …

Of course, there are certain items that can’t go into your storage unit:

  • Obviously – illegal items including drugs, stolen goods, fireworks etc.
  • Explosives and Firearms
  • Money, Gold, Jewellery
  • Dangerous chemicals
  • People, no matter how stuck they are for somewhere to stay!
  • Food – even non-perishables as heat and humidity turn cans into can’ts
  • Animals – even if Tony the Tortoise is hibernating indefinitely

So once you’ve packed, prepped and departed, self-storage ensures that everything’s in its right place, waiting for you to come home or even to be shipped off to join you. Bon voyage!

Unlock the freedom of extra space. Get in touch with Storage World today or get a quote online.