Storing stuff

Storage boxes
It helps to get boxes that are all the same size

If you’ve never heard George Carlin’s comedy routine about “stuff”, then I highly recommend it because it might help you with the whole process of de-cluttering before you move to Canada.

He talks about how we keep stuff. He says, for example, that “a house is just a place to store stuff”. And after some time you get so much stuff that you have to move to a bigger house to store all that extra stuff.

In fact there is a whole industry devoted to storing and looking after your extra stuff – the stuff you cannot fit in your house, or just don’t want around now. But you might want at some point!

If you are moving from another country you are probably going to be going through your stuff and deciding what to bring and what to leave behind. We thought we were pretty good at de-stuffing, but judging from the groaning shelves in our garage, we weren’t so good. So our advice would be to choose only your best stuff and bring that!

When you get to Canada, your stuff will arrive after you (except the essential stuff you really need with you). Most people probably don’t think about storing their stuff – if anything they’ll be avoiding it. Ideally your container gets delivered to your new home and is unpacked there. However you might want to store some stuff because you want to rent a small, cheaper place while you find work. You can then get your stuff out when you have bought or rented a larger place.

If you decide that you want to store all of your stuff, then your removals firm will be your first port of call. Find out what they offer in terms of storage.

For smaller amounts of stuff – the stuff you don’t need right away, then a self-storage facility might be for you.

I have not used a storage facility personally, but I was thinking of this because we helped our friend Candice move some of her “stuff” into storage after she’d sold her house. She went to one of three self-storage facilities in sight of each other in North Vancouver. She’d done some research and chosen the one she liked most. She found that they were all about the same price. (A guide line for this was a 10ft x 10ft x 10ft unit cost about $200 a month).

These places are basically warehouses that have been sub-divided into lockable units of different sizes. Not pretty, but your stuff doesn’t need to be pampered.

If we were in a colder part of Canada, perhaps it would be worth making sure the place was going to be heated adequately. Here dry is good enough.

When you’re shopping around, look for the deals or bonus offers. For example you can often get the first month free or for $1. One place offers 24 hour access and the loan of a small moving van, though their units were a bit more expensive.

Once your stuff is all hidden away in the storage units, you can get on with your new life in Canada. Beware that you will inevitably be adding a whole lot of Canadian stuff to your pile. like skis, snow shoes, bbq’s, and replacements for all the electrical stuff you left behind!


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