There’s something liberating about the moment you first decide to get rid of all your worldly possessions (or at least most of them), pack up your life, and head overseas, either permanently or for an extended period of time.
Yet when it actually comes down to tackling the task of deciding what to keep, what to sell, and what to take with you, it can suddenly turn into a task which is more stressful and emotionally fraught than you originally planned. Discovering old belongings you forgot you even had, parting with your favourite wardrobe items, and letting go of precious
Here are some options for what to do with your stuff while you’re gone.
Nothing gives you the “warm and fuzzies” like donating your items to those who need them more than you. If you want to be more methodical than just bagging up your items and dumping them in a charity bin, there are plenty of charities which specialise in collecting certain types of items and then distributing them to third world countries or people less fortunate. Have a look online for details on how to donate your things to these charities.
For items that are still of value, there are plenty of ways to sell them – eBay, Gumtree and Craigslist are the standard options for thousands of people. Yet if you’ve got clothing which you paid quite a lot for, many online fashion retailers have a marketplace section of their websites, which allow you to sell your clothing to other fashion-savvy individuals who know the value of a particular brand or unique piece (ASOS marketplace comes immediately to mind). So if you’re looking to give your unworn but beautiful items a new home, this is a great way to go about it.
For the things you just can’t bring yourself to part with (and can’t convince your friends or parents to hang on to for you), there are also plenty of options for long and short term self storage, and it can actually be much cheaper than you think. Do your research and choose a reputable company, and you should be able to find a payment plan that suits your needs and budget.
Remember, your stuff is just that – “stuff” – and you’re moving away to experience bigger, better adventures. Whatever you get rid of will be better put to use by somebody else, and whatever you put in storage will be there for you when you return. So pack it up and go! There’s no time like the present.
Author bio: Alex Taylor is a freelance writer and avid traveller who frequently finds herself packing up her life into storage. Auckland is her home for now, but she never quite knows where her heart will lead her (and how long her things will be kept in storage). Sydney, Madrid, and New York are all on her list of places to visit next.