I’ll be back…

If you find yourself planning to be away from home long term and you’re not prepared to get rid of your belongings, there are ways to make sure they’re waiting for you when you get back.

Whether you work for Toyota and they’ve asked you to go to Japan for six months, or you feel called to a mission trip in Mongolia, you really don’t want your home and possessions sitting idle and vulnerable while you’re gone. Here are a few tips on what to do with your belongings while you’re away.

Rent your place out as is

Whether you live in a stand-alone house or an apartment, advertise to rent your place as fully furnished. Make sure you specify the length of time the place is available, you’d hate to come home and find your tenants aren’t quite ready to move out yet.

As for your personal belongings in this situation, the things you don’t want your temporary tenants to have access to, but that you aren’t taking with you, box them up and lock them in the attic, basement, or any other room that won’t be in use. If there isn’t space in the house, you can put a few boxes in storage.

Put everything in storage

Furniture, books, CDs, clothes; pretty much anything can go into storage. Self storage is pretty simple, you rent out a container, garage or locker of whatever size you need and you are either given a key, or you put your own lock on. The property is usually kept secure so your stuff is safe.

It’s pretty easy to find storage units, just Google what you’re looking for. If you lived in Vancouver, that would be something along the lines of storage units Vancouver.

If you’re renting and are happy to find somewhere new when you get back, you don’t have a house to worry about while you’re away. If you own or are tied down by a lease, you can sublet. While your things are in storage, you can rent out your place without worrying about anything being interfered with or going missing.

Have someone house sit

This is a great option for people with pets; they can stay in their home and be taken care of, though they will probably still miss you. Reliable house sitters are easy to find through the right channels. Most agencies do a thorough background check before employing people. The trouble is, it can be pretty pricey, especially long term.

If you have a trusted friend or family member who’s fallen on hard times, they’d probably be more than happy for a place to stay. It’s a win-win, you have someone to keep an eye on things and they have a few months without worrying about rent.

Much as we all like to feel at home wherever we are, shipping all of your possessions across the ocean isn’t really practical, so see what works for you. Pack your fluffy slippers and your favorite teddy, but your leather recliner and X-box can survive a few months in storage.