Moving Out Of The Country? 2 Ways To Prepare Your Things For Long-Term Storage

After your boss pulls you in his office to ask you to relocate to a foreign country, your mind might be filled with thoughts of tasty delicacies and exciting opportunities—instead of all of the personal belongings you will be leaving behind. Unfortunately, if you load your storage unit without a lot of thought, you might return to a unit filled with damaged items. Here are two ways to prepare your things for long-term storage unit rentals, so that you can focus on your new job:

1: Clean Out Your Kitchen Appliances

Over the years, it can be easy to collect extra kitchen appliances that you can put to good use. That old refrigerator might be the perfect addition to your woodshop, where you can use it to store cold drinks and snacks that your wife doesn’t know about. But what will happen if you move that refrigerator into a storage unit without wiping down the inside? Dirty appliances can attract pests, leak onto your other belongings, or infuse your storage space with the smell of rotting food. Here are a few tips for preparing your kitchen appliances for storage:

  • Freezers: Frozen drips and spills can be difficult to detect, leading to a huge mess when things thaw out later. Unfortunately, if you wipe down a cold freezer, the moisture from your cloth could quickly freeze into a microscopic film before it can remove any hidden grime. Before you put your freezer in storage, take the time to defrost it and clean it thoroughly.
  • Washing Machines: During your struggle to load that heavy washing machine into your moving truck, you might forget the fact that it could be harboring loads of extra water, which could develop mold and mildew later. To prevent rust, corrosion, and mold growth, always tip your washing machine over to clear out extra water before you store your system. 
  • Ovens: If you left burned drips or incinerated pizza ingredients inside the bottom of your oven, it could cause trouble later. In addition to stinking up your new place after you move, those rogue toppings could attract pests and other rodents, who can climb through the space underneath your oven drawer. Before you store your oven, use a shop vacuum to remove food bits from your oven, stovetop, and the drawer below.

In addition to protecting your appliances from odors and pest damage, cleaning and drying your appliances might also give you an extra spot to stash household belongings. For example, that unplugged chest freezer might be the perfect place to store delicate holiday ornaments or fragile jewelry.

2: Give Your Vehicles A Tune-Up

You might have room for that extra car and those ATVs in the states, but it might be another story abroad. If you plan to store your vehicles while you are away on business, take the time to do these things:

  • Add A Gasoline Stabilizer: Believe it or not, gasoline can degrade over time, compromising your fuel’s volatility and creating engine trouble later. If you store your car with half a tank of low-grade, untreated fuel, it could result in poor engine performance when you get your car out of storage someday. To protect your investment, add a fuel stabilizer to your tank. These chemicals work by neutralizing acids that can form in the fuel, keeping the gas and the surrounding tank safe from corrosion.  
  • Check Your Tires: If one of your tires contains a slow leak due to a nail or another sharp object, it might mean that your car sits on a flat until you return. Unfortunately, after awhile, your car rims can dig into that rubber, compromising the structural integrity of the tire wall. Before you store your car, have your tires checked by a professional, and make sure they are filled to full capacity.  

By preparing your personal belongings for the long road ahead, you might be able to relax and enjoy your new surroundings—without stressing out about your storage unit.