Travel the world

What Do You Do with Your Stuff When You Travel?

What we did with our stuff when we traveled for 2 years:

  • got rid of 70% of it (You really don’t need all that stuff you have – really).
  • We put the rest into a storage unit.

This week, we’ve had a case of:

Out of The Box And Into…

The Box

By the box, I mean the 5 x 10 storage unit we had, trading up to a 10 x 10 storage unit.

Our old small storage unit

Our old storage unit/garage


Some of you know that Carrie and I have been shopping for properties for over a year now.

We’ve primarily been looking at condos.

We want to find something that we can live in ourselves that will later have a positive cash flow from a renter.

As you might imagine, there are many obstacles:

  • Lenders are (mostly justifiably) very finicky these days
  • Lots of people believe it’s a good time to be buying properties in the US (and they’re right), so there’s lots of competition.

In any case, after 18+ failed offers and after looking at over 200+ properties in person, we found one in downtown Denver.

We closed on it just before the end of the year.

We’re in the process of renovating it.

It’s going to be very cool.

Right now though, it appears much of what’s there…  has been there… since 1967.

The place was built in 1967.

We’re also working on other properties as well.

In any case, the timing is a bit difficult.

We’ve been living in an apartment while property hunting over the past year.

But the apartment is raising rents and is charging an additional month-to-month fee if we stay.

So that’s the background.


Many people ask us what we did with our stuff when we traveled.

The good news (for anyone worried about this question) is that there is always someone who is happy to safely house your stuff for you (in exchange for a small monthly sum).

This week, because of timing difficulty, and because we bought a new table this last year, our stuff moved from a smaller storage unit to a larger storage unit.

We were hoping to move it to our new place.  But at the moment (renovating, etc.), it makes more sense for us to move it to a larger storage unit

The new storage unit we just moved stuff into

Out of the box, and into… the box.

So what should you do with your stuff when you travel for an extended period of time?

Well, you should do whatever you want to.

Here’s what we did:

  • We got rid of at least 70% of our stuff.
    (We now know for certain that we’ve been better off without it.  You’ll be freer and happier with all that stuff gone.)
    I have no idea what most of it was anyway.  I don’t miss it AT ALL.  I remember some martini glasses… that’s about it – the rest is distant memory.
  • We researched storage units, and rented one.
    (Our climate-controlled unit at StorQuest had cost us about $50/month.  The new, double sized one costs a little more than double that, but we hope to have our stuff moved out of there within 1-2 months).
  • We asked a family member to store some of the remainder of our stuff in their basement (Thanks Mom and Dad for storing the stuff that we needed during our quick trips back to the US during our travels).

We had packed our first storage unit completely full.

Our fery full storage in October 2009

Very full storage Unit, October 2009

You’d be surprised how much room stuff takes up (even when you’ve gotten rid of lots of it).

Here’s to hoping for and planning for this larger storage unit to be short-term as we complete our renovations and continue or property searching!

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