One of the things that we have been considering is what to do with all of our worldly possessions while we are out sailing the world. We plan to rent out our house but that means we will have to have some place else to store our furniture, electronics, books, etc. We will be judicious about what we keep but we don’t want to have to repurchase an entire household worth of furniture once the sailing part of our adventure is over. We’re both pretty insistent on using a climate controlled storage facility since going through large swings in temperature will age our stuff much more quickly. This past week I’ve been looking at some alternatives (never too early to start planning!).
The first option I looked at was PODS. PODS, for the uninitiated, is a service that will bring a large storage container to your premises which you can load at your leisure. Once it’s loaded, they will come pick up the container and store it at one of their regional climate controlled storage centers (turns out there’s one about 12 miles from us) for as long as you want it stored. When you’re ready to get your stuff back, they will deliver the pod back to you and pick up the empty container when you’re done.
It looks like PODS works purely by the month…no breaks on longer term storage (though the operator that I talked to implied that something could perhaps be worked out if we knew we’d be storing our belongings for several years). You pay a slightly higher rent the first month to cover the delivery and pickup cost (likewise on the back end when you get your items back).
Renting their largest storage container, sized 8ft x 16ft x 8 ft, runs about $2,400 per year. Given the list of items we are planning on keeping, I think we may need more than one of these pods, but we may be able to use a smaller second pod. PODS also offers a $5000 insurance policy for your items at an additional charge but given that our bedroom set alone will exceed that limit, I don’t think we’ll take them up on it.
I also looked at a climate controlled unit at a standard self-storage facility located near our house. The closest equivalent unit I could find was a 10 ft x 15 ft x 8 ft unit that will run about $1,600 per year. They also have larger units available, meaning that we have a higher likelihood of getting away with just one unit whereas we may have to get two PODS to accommodate all of our stuff. It will mean having to haul all of our stuff from our house to the facility ourselves and we will probably have to figure in the cost of a U-Haul truck since my small pickup wouldn’t be able to carry much per trip. Then again, we can stretch out the move over an extended period of time and just use our van and the pickup.
Right now, the self-storage option seems more attractive but we will keep looking at this as we make our plans. We also need to see what to do about our cars. We’re already pretty sure we’ll sell my 12-year old Honda Accord, but we may want to keep Cindy’s van since it’s only three years old and for all we know we may be back sooner than planned. No real great ideas yet on what to do there yet but we’re working on it and will let y’all know what we come up with.