How to Store Possessions During a Temporary International Move

Storing Possessions During a Temporary International Move

Often, international moving is necessary for employment purposes. In many of these scenarios, the move can be temporary. Even a permanent international move can prevent you from bringing some, or most, of your personal items due to varying shipping laws throughout each country.

For those items you do not want to sell, renting a storage unit may be your best option of stowing away items stateside. The following are some issues to consider when storing your belongings.

For possessions you will be bringing, it’s best to leave the task up to professional international movers. These professionals can safely ship your items overseas while complying with all rules and regulations.

Nature of the items

Some items can be stored safely in storage units that are susceptible to a range of temperatures and humidity levels. Others may be damaged if stored in a unit that reaches too high or low of a temperature or produces excessive moisture. Items such as artwork, wine, classic vehicles and even family pictures should all be kept in climate-controlled environments. While climate controlled storage units are more expensive, they are worth the potential loss in valuable property and irreplaceable family mementos.

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Renting the smallest possible unit might be your best option when you leave items at home during a long distance move. Your possessions don’t need a roomy environment — just a space that will keep your belongings safe and secure.


Does the rental company allow for advance payment? What is the policy for return of rent if the unit is no longer necessary? When is the unit available during the day? What is the security policy for the facility? When you are in the process of making an international move, you need to be sure your items will be kept safe and will be available when you eventually need them. Often, paying in advance can prevent you from forgetting payments. Some facilities allow for 24-hour removal of items. While this may be convenient if you are frequently accessing your items, it can pose a security risk. Be sure to check out the facility and inquire about what measures are in place to prevent theft.

Outdoor storage

For large items, such as RVs and boats, you may need to rent outdoor storage. Units large enough to fit these vehicles can be costly, and outdoor storage is a lot less expensive. Be sure to securely cover any open vehicles in order to keep them protected in harsh weather. Some storage facilities will also require all vehicles to be appropriately licensed and registered.

Consider a trustworthy friend

Having a trustworthy friend check on your items every so often can ensure your peace of mind. No security system is fool proof. Having someone who can check on your property allows for reports of theft to be filed in a timely manner. If you wait a year to retrieve your property and find it is gone when you get there, the odds of finding the perpetrators are slim.

International moving is tougher logistically with the more items you bring. If your international move is temporary, pack lightly, and store your items.

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