Studying Abroad This Semester? Store Your Items Till You Get Back

by Dusty Rhodes on Mar 05, 2015  in 
  • School
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Studying abroad is a great learning opportunity, but if you are wondering what you should do with your belongings while you are away, storage provides an easy solution. Whether you live off campus and are packing up an apartment, or you live on campus and need a place to store all of your valuables, storage provides a place for you to protect your items while you focus on your studies.

Educating yourself on the various types of storage is a good way to start your semester off right. Think of it as preparing for an exam, learning as much as you can about all of your options, with the end result being an A+ storage experience.

Here are some SMART tips that will help guide you through the storage process:

Take Good Notes Knowing how much you have to store will help you determine what kind of storage to use. It’s a good idea to take note of what you have, well in advance of your trip, so that you won’t have to figure out what to do with all of your belongings at the last minute. Think about what items you want to store, what items you may want to keep with family or friends, and what items you may want to sell. This will help you to decide what type of storage unit you need. Climate controlled storage is great because it will protect your furniture if you are studying abroad during the warmer months. It will also work well if you are away during the winter season. Once you make notes on everything that will be stored, you will be able to pick out your unit and start prepping your belongings for storage.

Pack Efficiently Packing items in an efficient way will enable you to unpack and settle in faster after you return from your trip abroad. Here are a few simple packing guidelines that will help you to get started:

• Wrap up all of your breakable and fragile items, such as dishes and glasses, with protective bubble wrap. Place packing paper wrap over the bubble wrap for extra protection. A good tip is to cushion boxes with towels or sheets to help protect your dishes from sliding around. For your glasses, it’s a good idea to find sectioned glass storage boxes so that you can store each glass in a protected section of the box. Local hardware stores are a great resource for obtaining boxes, as well as checking with grocery stores that may have extra, unused boxes on hand.

• For your furniture, make sure that you protect all wood finishes with cloth or protective drop cloth. The main point to keep in mind is that your furniture will be stored during the time you are gone, and you want to make sure that it is properly protected within the storage unit. This will prevent scratching, in case you have to pack your storage unit tightly. This will also help to protect the finish of your furniture. • If you need to store electronics, it’s a good idea to store them in their original boxes. If the original boxes are not available, find boxes that will offer, good, solid support. Cover screens with cardboard or bubble wrap, tie downs cords, remove any batteries and cushion the box with extra packing wrap.

If you are going to be studying abroad for an extended period of time, it is helpful to have someone locally who can periodically check on your storage unit for you. If that is not an option, let storage facility management know how to reach you abroad, in the event they need to contact you or reach you with any updates about your storage unit. Properly protecting your belongings while you are away is important so that when you return, you won’t have to deal with the stress of buying new items and furniture. This will help save you money and time, so you can focus on your cherished memories from your trip, as well as prepare for your next educational experience. So, study hard, enjoy the wonderful opportunity of learning abroad, and relax knowing that your items are safely stored while you are away. If you want additional tips and information on storage options, check out our Storage page.

Dusty Rhodes