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Apr 23 2013

What Should You Do With All Your Stuff?

stuff, travelling, preparing to travel

Once you have decided to leave your home to go travelling, one of the decisions you have to make is what to do with all your stuff.  By stuff, I mean furniture, soft furnishings, decorative objects, DVDs, CDs, books, electronic equipment etc.  Basically, all the things we furnish our properties with to transform them into homes.  It’s amazing how much stuff we accumulate over the years doing just that.

The first time I went travelling, it wasn’t really such an issue for me.  I hadn’t even thought about getting rid of any of my stuff until a friend of mine said that… if he were in my position, he would get rid of everything and go.  That felt too… well, too permanent for me and I wasn’t ready to do that.  I mean, what if I wanted to return home after 6 months?  If I had gotten rid of everything, I would have to furnish the whole house all over again.  I loved all my bits and pieces and just wasn’t ready to do that so I sold and gave away the things I definitely didn’t want and stored the rest.

When I returned to the UK after a year away, I didn’t move back into my house immediately as I was working and living in a different county.  It wasn’t until a year later (2 years after I first left to go travelling) that I finally moved back into my house and was reunited with my stuff.

Five years on, I’m sort of in the same position but this time I don’t have the same concern about parting with my stuff because, having travelled the world for a year with a backpack, I realised that I don’t need lots of things.  So, this time, I have decided to keep some personal effects that I will take to France or leave at my parents’ house and sell or donate everything else.

So, what should you do with all your stuff?

Well, it’s only a decision you can make and one you have to be happy with.  It’s worth taking the time to think it through.  I met a lady who stored her furniture for about six years while she was working in Portugal.  If you are thinking of doing that, it would be worth estimating how much it will cost you to store all your stuff for the period of time you think you will be away for.  That will help you to reach a decision.

There are probably some things you will want to store such as seasonal clothes, some footwear, and personal documents.  You might be able to leave these with family or friends.  If not, you will need a small storage unit for those items.

Have your say?

Have you had to decide whether to store or sell your stuff?  What did you decide to do?

About the author

Teresa Keane

Teresa has been to almost 60 countries. She started travelling independently at the age of 38 when she gave up her job, rented out her house, put her possessions in storage and spent a year travelling the world. It changed her life. She now creates, publishes, & promotes online travel content and is an experienced freelance trainer & EFL teacher.

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