8 Tips For Storing Your Belongings When Working Abroad

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Moving abroad for work can be an exciting adventure, but it also comes with its fair share of logistical challenges. One of the biggest hurdles when relocating internationally is figuring out what to do with all of your belongings while you’re gone. Storing Your Belongings becomes a crucial consideration, whether you’re planning on being abroad for a few months or several years. You’ll need to make arrangements to store your possessions safely and cost-effectively, ensuring they remain in good condition until your return.

When your departure date starts creeping up, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the task of packing up your entire life. However, with some strategic planning and preparation, you can make storing your things while working overseas much more manageable. Follow these tips to help you store your belongings stress-free when embarking on your international career journey.

  1. Spring Cleaning

Before packing up your life to move abroad, take time to thoroughly declutter and organize your belongings. Go through every room, closet, drawer, and cabinet and decide what you really need to take and what can be donated, sold, or discarded. Next, have a garage sale, sell items online through platforms like eBay or the Facebook marketplace, or donate slightly-used goods to charity.

Getting rid of unnecessary possessions means you’ll have less to transport and store later. Take this as an opportunity to simplify your life and only keep items that spark joy or have true utility. The more you can minimize, the easier and more cost-effective storing the rest will be.

    1. Choose a Reputable Storage Company

Do thorough research to select an appropriate storage facility that is well-established, reputable, and secure. Many workers, like those staying at an oilfield man camp, often require storage solutions during their work rotations. So, if you intend on staying at a similar housing facility, you might want to look into such solutions. Here are some tips to consider when picking one:

  • Look for companies that have been in business for many years with a proven track record.
  • Check online reviews and ratings or ask for referrals from people who have used their services.
  • Make sure the facility has robust security features like perimeter fencing, video surveillance, coded entry gates, and on-site managers or guards.

A reputable company will also offer insurance options and climate-controlled spaces if required. Taking time to vet providers helps identify secure, professional storage that you can trust.

    1. Make Use of Climate-Controlled Storage

Renting a climate-controlled storage unit is highly recommended for safeguarding belongings, especially if you’ll be gone for an extended time. These units regulate temperature and humidity to prevent damage from heat, cold, mold, and pests. Although more expensive than non-climate-controlled spaces, they provide ideal conditions to preserve the condition and integrity of stored items. The upfront investment is well worth mitigating the risk of possessions being ruined by extreme temperatures or moisture. Climate control gives peace of mind that cherished items will be protected no matter how long your assignment abroad lasts.

    1. Pack Strategically

Carefully packing possessions using strategies that efficiently utilize space and prevent damage is time well spent.

  • Invest in high-quality wardrobe boxes to properly hang delicate clothing and prevent wrinkles.
  • Dismantle furniture into components that are easier to load and stack.
  • Wrap fragile items like china, crystal, and artwork in protective materials before boxing.
  • Clearly label all containers with their contents and intended room to simplify future unpacking.

While packing strategically does require more immediate effort, it streamlines the storage and transition process. Taking the time to organize methodically results in fewer headaches and hassles down the road.

    1. Get Insurance

To fully safeguard your belongings, it’s critical to have adequate insurance coverage. Standard renters or homeowners insurance often has limitations when it comes to valuables and items stored off-site. For comprehensive protection, consider getting supplemental insurance that is specifically for stored personal possessions. Make a detailed inventory of expensive items like jewelry, electronics, and musical instruments, and take photos in case you need to file a claim. Having this specialized insurance coverage provides peace of mind that your belongings are protected if the unthinkable occurs.

    1. Find Safe Storage for Vehicles

If you’re leaving a car, motorcycle, RV, or other vehicle behind, you’ll need to find secure, covered storage to protect it. Look for storage facilities that offer parking garages or dedicated vehicle storage spaces, preferably with 24/7 security and surveillance.

Other good options are specialized vehicle storage companies that provide amenities like gated access, climate-controlled garages, and maintenance services.

To prepare your vehicle for storage, change fluids, top off the gas, clean the interior, and follow any additional recommendations from the owner’s manual. Taking steps to properly store your car or motorcycle keeps it in optimal condition until you return.

    1. Understand All Policies and Costs

Before signing a storage rental agreement, scrutinize all policies, fees, and restrictions to avoid surprises. Typical costs may include monthly rental fees, insurance fees, late payment penalties, admin fees for setting up/closing an account, and charges for moving supplies. Make sure you understand all relevant costs and policies upfront so you can budget accordingly. Also, ask questions if any aspect of the agreement is unclear. A reputable company will take the time to explain their policies and fees to your satisfaction, ensuring no confusion or miscommunication.

    1. Designate a Point Person

Appoint a trusted friend or family member as your domestic point person while abroad. Provide them access to your storage unit and a detailed inventory list in case they need to check on or retrieve items. If any payment issues arise with the facility, your point person can quickly resolve it on your behalf.

You can also have them periodically inspect your belongings and report any concerns. Delegating these responsibilities provides added oversight and convenience when you are overseas.


When accepting a job abroad, storing your possessions can be a big undertaking. But breaking the process down into more manageable steps makes it much less daunting. By decluttering, packing strategically, finding secure storage, and designating a point person, you can ensure your belongings are protected while you focus on your overseas adventure. With the right preparation and research, you can store your things stress-free as you embark on new career opportunities and life experiences around the world.

Thank you for reading!