Who knows better than military personnel what it’s like to move? While most of us can take our belongings with us when we go, that is not always an option for soldiers being deployed overseas or assigned elsewhere on a short-term basis. On top of frequent moves, military personnel often head out to new assignments on short notice.
This doesn’t mean you have to get rid of your possessions or even leave them in the ‘safe’ keeping of someone you know. Many storage facility operators are aware of the needs and circumstances of their military customers and will gladly work with you.
Tips for Storing Your Possessions
Search online, and ask around. Find out what others are saying about the facility you’re considering. How do they treat their customers? Don’t just choose a storage facility based on price. If a business gets so-so reviews their discounted price may not be worth it.
Look for military discounts. Most storage facilities offer discounts to members of the military. Also, consider more than just price in your decision.
Label your boxes. Color code your boxes with yard sale dots. For example, if you mark your kitchen boxes blue, you can keep them organized when it comes time to retrieve them from storage. If you’ll be taking them with you, labeling your boxes will make the unpacking process far easier at your destination.
Store your gear efficiently. Put heavier items to the bottom of the stack. Got a box of books? Don’t stack it on top of your kitchen glassware. To save space, some furniture can be stored on its side. Got a prized collection of vinyl records? Store them upright to prevent warping. Packing away any liquids like shampoo or detergents? A few seconds spent tightening the top can save you a box of possessions later on. Also, make sure you store liquids upright.
Protect your electronics. If at all possible, box your computers, big screen TV’s and the like. Be sure to fill the voids with packing peanuts or foam. If that isn’t possible, wrap them securely in blankets or towels and pad them with cushions or pillows.
Store your vehicle. Do you really want to leave your vehicle with that uncle you barely know? It will be kept safer in storage, and the mileage won’t mysteriously increase. Other things to consider when storing your vehicle:
- Change the fluids
- Clean the inside and outside of the car, and put on an exterior protective finish
- Take all your possessions out
- Invest in a cover if it’s exposed to the elements
- Protect the tires by putting it up on jack stands or blocks
- Drain out most of the fuel and add a stabilizer. This will protect your fuel system and prevent rust
- Place an open box of baking soda on the floorboard to absorb odor and moisture
- Look into cheaper insurance options on your vehicle while it’s in storage
Give someone else access to your storage unit. Make sure the facility manager is aware of this person. It’s a good idea to leave their name and number with the manager in case something happens and you cannot be contacted.
Things you cannot store. As with everything, there are some things that you cannot, or shouldn’t store. Make sure you don’t pack any food in your haste to box things up. That unopened bag of chips won’t be much of a treat by the time you get back. Also, don’t put anything flammable or explosive in storage.
Anticipating your deployment or reassignment merits its own stress without the added burden of wondering what to do with those things you have to leave in storage. Hopefully using the tips above will alleviate some of that stress.
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