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Storage for the Long Haul

At times in our wild journey of the last decade, we’ve had a substantial amount of our household stuffed in a storage unit.

It only made sense, when we were roving in our RV, but knew we’d be setting up housekeeping again within a year or two.

But what makes sense when it’s longer?

Things have shifted in such a way that we are more seriously considering taking an overseas contract job. This would likely be for a period of five years, and could extend to ten.

When you get to thinking about the cost of renting a storage unit for ten years, the perspective on everything changes. The cost to store something for ten years just about can’t help but being more than the cost of shipping it overseas, then back home again, don’t you think?

Not to mention that in long a span things will degrade and decay, no matter how carefully stored. And hey, what if the storage center goes out of business while you’re an ocean away?

Before a move like that, you’d obviously go through and pare down your belongings to a bare minimum. But really, in this case, that needs to be even bare-er.

The cost to store something for ten years just about can’t help but being more than the cost of shipping it overseas, then back home again, don’t you think?

We are book lovers. That will be the first hurdle.

We’ve pared down the books over and over again… And I still can’t even shelve them all on seven full sized bookcases (and that doesn’t even include the kids’ books!). But really. Surely, in some cases, if I was ever going to read them, I would have by now, right? And I could always get another copy if I really decide I need it later? I keep telling myself that…

But something I can’t even conceive of is what to do about our vehicles.

Nick and Wolf drive old beaters, which we would simply sell in advance of our departure. But that’s only half the story.

Wolf also has a classic Volvo. It’s a derelict, non-driveable old monster at this point, but he does hope to have it driveable within the next year. Still, is it worth it to ship over there? He certainly doesn’t want to get rid of it…

My vehicle is another situation entirely. You might consider it unremarkable – a 1999 Suburban. Surely we could sell it off and obtain a comparable vehicle when we return. Yeah. The trouble is, there are a number of features about the vehicle which have been changed, and in some cases discontinued, in later models (and other makes) leaving it uniquely suited to our needs and preferences.

So then what? How do you store a vehicle for that long?

Surely it involves either draining all the fluids and putting it up on blocks, or finding someone to store it and drive it periodically.

In either case, ten years is (once again) a long commitment. Aside from the cost, even. What if the storage facility goes out of business, or the person has a change in their life situation?

Any advice?

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