Long Term Travel: What To Do with Our Stuff When We’re Away

The most prominent question families face while going on long term travel is, ‘what to do with all our stuff?’ You can’t simply pack it up and go and leave an entire house full of stuff. So, what to do? Should you give it away? Sell everything? Or leave it as it is and hope for the best. Well, the final solution is a big NO.

Long Term Travel: What To Do with Our Stuff When We're Away

Luckily, you don’t need to feel overwhelmed and ruin your travel plans because there are many efficient ways to manage your stuff while you are away. The key to deciding what to do with your things is to sort out which things you need to store, which things need to go out, and which items you can sell. So, let’s start!

Should You Leave It, Store It, or Sell It

Leave It, Store It, or Sell It

It is a burning question that has no simple answer. Whether you should store your stuff or sell it depends on the length of your trip. If you are gone for months, then you should stack unwanted things in the basement, throw what you don’t need, and you’ll get done. However, when it comes to extended trips such as more than 10 to 12 months, you should go with long-term solutions such as self-storage or lending.

For the long-term, storage units are a great option when you return to a house that at least has the essential items. Therefore, consider the following tips on what to do with your stuff for long-term travel.

Put Important Stuff in long-term Travel Storage Units

long-term Travel Storage Units

Keeping your stuff at a self-storage facility is one of the best ways to get tension-free when travelling. By renting a storage unit, you wouldn’t have to worry about your stuff getting damaged or people calling you to take your things out of their spare room. But which things to put in storage? If you want you to move your whole house into storage units, but if you’re going to be practical, start by scratching large items off the list.

The first things to go in the storage units can be valuable items such as TV, kitchen appliances, electronics, etc. The second batch of boxes should contain items that aren’t necessary for the house, but you don’t have the heart to throw them away. Even when it comes to storing stuff, the key is to declutter and organize.

Be Careful When Choosing a Storage Unit

Storage Units

Your stuff will be in a storage unit for a long time, which is why you should cross every requirement on the checklist before renting a storage unit. For instance, the first thing you should consider is getting a climate-controlled storage unit for added safety. Why? Because if you are planning to store valuable items such as furniture and electronics, then it’s best they are in a climate-controlled unit. You might be away for many reasons, and it’s a risk to leave these things at the mercy of extreme weather changes.

The next factor is to check whether your storage unit is leak-proof or not. Make sure there are no roof leakages and the drainage around the facility is working correctly. Finally, as an extra layer of security, you can look into storage insurance.

Sell Off Anything You Don’t Need or Donate

If you plan not to return sooner, anything that’s not of sentimental value should either be put on Craigslist or in a garage sale. Selling unwanted stuff is a great way to earn some extra cash and not worry about unimportant things while you are away. A long trip is an excellent opportunity to dispose of items you rarely use. However, before hosting that big garage sale, make sure you divide your items into groups like:

  • Items to sale
  • Items to donate
  • Items to throw away
  • Items to store

You can give away  “donate” category items to the needy, local charities, and other welfare institutes. When sorting these items, you should take the time to sort out clothes that you no longer use and are just another waste of space. The items in the rest of the categories (sale, throw away, store) are self-explanatory. 

Rent Your House Fully Furnished

Rent Your House Fully Furnished

Don’t feel like doing heavy-duty work of storing, sorting, and selling your stuff while you travel? No worries, renting your fully furnished house is always an option! It is a temporary solution if you have no intention of doing anything to your things. However, there are a few downsides to this option. You may constantly worry about the way the new family is treating your house. However, it can go either way, maybe the new tenants are fantastic, or they are a potential threat to your grand furniture. It’s a gamble, but if it’s the right one, then you’ll come to your house the way you left it without the hassle of replacing the old stuff or getting things out of storage.

Pack and Stack in the Basement

Pack and Stack in the Basement

Let’s say you don’t want to rent out your house, you don’t want to sell your stuff, and you don’t find storage units appealing then what are your options? Simple answer – your basement! Instead of asking your friends and family members to squeeze in your items, why not make room in your basement? For this to work, you can’t just throw in everything and hope nothing breaks. You need to up your ‘pack and stack’ game if you want everything to fit in the basement. Therefore, dismantle anything too large, carefully stack everything in boxes, and store items such as mirrors and paintings upright.


Travelling around the world is always such a privilege for many. However, with longer trips, the stress of worrying about the stuff you leave behind also increases. That is why when you plan for your next big trip, think about relocating valuable items to storage units.  Also, consider giving away anything that takes up too much space, putting up a garage sale for some side cash, or simply getting rid of the trash.

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