If you all don’t know already, I’m in the process of building a house in Austin!
It’s exciting, scary, and confusing all at the same time. But most of all, it is a mental exercise in logistics. My lease ended in late July, but my home won’t be ready until January. Therefore, I have five months of “temporary living” to figure out. In addition to the dilemma, I also take from my mom in that I hate throwing things away. There I was, late July with an apartment full of things, a desire to travel and explore during my “temporary living” situation and no idea how to do it all.
Whether you are a student, transitioning jobs, or just a plain-old millennial who loathes the idea of “ownership” as we hop from one adventure to the next, I wanted to share all that I’ve learned in the process of “living temporarily” in the midst of a transition.
From planning to packing to storing, here are 5 key hacks for your next adventure.
Find the Right Storage Unit
I am going to focus most of this article on this topic because it is the most important thing. There are a number of things that are important in finding the right storage unit. You need climate control and you need it to be safe and guarded both for you and for belongings. There are a number of storage units out there, but I have a bit of a bias after stumbling upon the hidden gem that is CubeSmart. I will tell you about what CubeSmart has and why I recommend any storage unit you have possess the same features.
CubeSmart was the most secure storage unit that I found. The entire facility has 24/7 surveillance with a gated community and a unique key code given to each tenant so that monitoring of who comes in and out. As a young woman, the most important thing for me was security in finding a storage unit and their use of technology was by far the best that I found.
Next, it was really important for me to find an indoor unit that was climate controlled because of all the makeup, decor, and electronics that I needed to store for the short term. Safe from texas heat…. Not only was CubeSmart more than accommodating to my request, but at the Austin location that I am collaborating with they went above and beyond by not just thinking of my need for climate control, but they found a way to give me this while also protecting the environment altogether. All of the CubeSmart elements come together to achieve a net-zero energy result. In fact, due to the well planned architecture, the property is actually producing more energy than it is consuming.
Determine your move plan
As you look over all your things, the most important thing is not to freak out and get overwhelmed. First and foremost, come up with a great plan. Analyze all of your belongings and come up with categories by which to sort them. You will want to always remember that you should come up with as few categories as possible.
Find free moving boxes from the “free” section of Craigslist
Craigslist is a treasure trove of unwanted and most of the time unnecessary things. However, free boxes has an entirely different meaning depending on whether you are talking about the day you are moving out or the day you are moving in. I have always been able to save $40 on moving boxes by getting them for free of Craigslist. If you are meeting someone on Craigslist, just always remember to take a friend.
Create a move day kit
Has anyone been moving and packed up all their belongings, sat in a hotel room or a friends house and realized that you packed your toothbrush and fresh undies too? Then you probably also have been in the position where you’d rather just not brush your teeth or change your underwear instead of digging through hundreds of boxes to find those things. Gross. A move day kit is all of the belongings you will need during or after the move until all your belongings are in a more stable area. I cannot stress the importance of creating a move day kit. All you have to do is pack a weekend bag full of everything that you’ll need. Again, planning makes perfect.
Use everything to pack everything, and reduce space
Most people who move invest all of these funds into things like styrofoam, bubble wrap, storage bins, etc. But why would you do that when you have things like t-shirts, plastic bags, crockpots, and pans? Utilize everything that you have to save space and protect your belongings. Stack plates with t-shirts in between. Use plastic bags with no air to keep your jewelry from tangling. Fill up crockpots and pots and pans with spices to save space. Put cords and remotes in a plastic bag and tape to the TV or electronics they go to. Pack bedding and pillows in garbage bags to keep clean and can be used in-between furniture for extra padding. Everything that you have can be used to pack something!
There is going to be a time in life when you have to find a temporary living solution just like I’m in now. My encouragement to all of you is to embrace the adventure, come up with a great game-plan, and find the other companies out there like CubeSmart who are there to meet your needs in whatever short or long-term transition you are in.