Storage for Americans Traveling Abroad

9 October 2014 by

Each day, the news lights up with another report on the Ebola virus. There are currently two Americans being treated for the disease in the U.S. and while it’s tempting to still see the virus as an “over there problem” it presents a good opportunity to discuss how self-storage can be used while working or living in a country outside of the U.S.

The U.S. has always had a rich cultural history, built on immigrants and foreign migration. According to the Migration Policy Institute (, the U.S. government does not track how many Americans live outside of the country either temporarily for work or school or on a more permanent basis. That being said, some estimate the number of those living overseas at anywhere from 2.2 million to 6.8 million people.

With that many people traveling outside of the country, a natural solution for storing personal while away is by renting a self-storage option.

“You need to have a good idea of what and how much stuff you’re going to store,” according to Apartment Therapy’s article “Things You Should Know Before Renting a Storage Space.” “Don’t just rent a space with the idea that you will fill it up with stuff as time goes on.”

That advice is great for those who will be out of the country and physically unable to continuously add or remove items from a storage unit.

The article also brings up the importance of insurance. Having a great insurance policy while living outside of the county and not being able to physically check on your belongings can sooth a lot of potential anxiety. Many homeowners or renters insurance policies will cover items in a self-storage unit, but if not additional insurance can be purchased.

Defining Moves and expat blogger Rachel Yates has written several posts about the ups and downs of moving items while abroad. In her post titled “Unconventional but Essential Items for your Household Goods Shipment..Your Expat Packing List” Yates suggests bringing items that make you feel at home, as well as books, photos and any mementos that are irreplaceable. This advice can easily be carried over to those who are only temporarily living outside of the U.S. and storing most items in a storage unit. Carrying a small piece of home – or two – can keep feelings of homesickness at bay.

And although it’s exactly what no one wants to think about right now, by keeping items in a storage unit while in an area where the Ebola virus is prevalent instead of taking them with you reduces the risk of having to quarantine or throw away those items if the virus is contracted.

Erin Miller
Erin Miller

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