We’ve all been there, that moment of panic we all know too well that stops you in your tracks: did I lock the front door? Did I leave the oven on? Oh my god, what if my flatmate eats my last biscuit?! These moments of fear are tough enough when you’re close enough to pop back home and check, but what about when you’re off travelling thousands of miles away? That paranoia can keep you up at night, and there’s no chance of rushing home to calm your nerves.

So to avoid these moments of dread while you’re travelling, it’s best to get organised. Apart from your family and friends (who we hope can look after themselves), the two main stress points will be your stuff and your home. Knowing that both of these are safe and sound will bring you the peace of mind you need to enjoy your new surroundings to the max, without worrying about your stash of Hobnobs. So here’s our top advice for sorting your life out before you head off on your adventure…

So what do I do with all my stuff?

No matter what’s happening to your home while you’re globetrotting, you need to shift your stuff out of there and into somewhere secure.

– Is your housemate going to be there? It’s best to keep your things out of the way, rather than have them trip over your bike for the next few months. Giving them a bit more space is not only a nice thing to do in itself, but it also means you’ll stay on great terms for when you eventually return. Double whammy.

– Will you be subletting your place? This is a great way to keep hold of your rented home without the expense while you’re away, or even to make a little extra to fund your trip (think Airbnb, Wimdu etc.). You’ll need to make space for the new tenant, and protect your belongings while you’re at it. No-one wants to come home to find their favourite mug smashed or their best cushions covered in red wine stains.

– Are you leaving your home altogether? You could always ask friends and family to look after your stuff, but chances are they won’t be best pleased about inheriting a lifetime’s worth of stuff to store away in their home for who-knows-how-long.

Your number one solution – unless you’re lucky enough to have a mansion-dwelling friend with a spare room or three – is gonna be a storage facility. Even better, have an on-demand storage service collect your stuff, and then redeliver it to your door whenever you decide to finish your adventure. So now there’s no need to call in favours from van-driving acquaintances. That’s one less awkward party or boring wedding to worry about…

And how do I keep my home in one piece?

Luckily, if you’re leaving your place altogether to go travelling, you only have to think about keeping your stuff safe. But for those of us planning to return home at some point (no matter how distant or vague the date), keeping your home from falling apart is definitely a top priority.

Unlike the catch-all solution of storage to take care of your precious belongings, when it comes to stopping your home from collapsing, you’ll need to think about different things depending on who’s gonna be there and for how long.

Leaving the place empty? It’s best to arrange for someone to check up on it every now and then. Even though all your valuables will probably be in storage, it’s good to be sure that someone hasn’t broken in to squat in your living room.

Super important: set your heating to a constant, low temperature. No-one wants to come home to burst pipes, which are a lot more expensive to fix than the cost of the gas you’ll use. It’s also worthwhile clearing out your fridge and freezer. Sure, that jar of pickles should be fine in there for the next couple of months, but what if your fridge breaks down? Then there’ll be a lot more than just pickles in there when you return…

Are you one of those savvy subletters? Make sure you have someone reliable back home to handle all tenant-related issues for you. No-one wants to deal with calls about their broken toilet 6,000 miles away when they’re trying to immerse themselves in Peruvian culture. Bribe a friend or relative with the promise of cakes/beer/gig tickets (delete as appropriate) to take care of these hiccups on your behalf.

Will your housemate be staying around? Then, apart from stashing your stuff in storage, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Just ask them politely not to let the place burn down, and you’ll be good to go (you’d hope…).

So there you have it. Whether you’re going away forever or for a few months, leaving your place empty or leaving it altogether, with these tips you can rest assured both your home and your stuff will be in good hands. Now the only thing keeping you up at night will be wondering which adventure you should head off on next…

Natalie Andrews 
Junior Online Marketing Manager at SpaceWays

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