Leaving your home country after living in an apartment inevitably means boxing up your old place and putting it in storage. It seems like a good idea to put everything in boxes and into storage but that quickly unravels when you look at the economics of storage.

Assuming you’ve gotten rid of all your furniture, because that’s going to cost an arm and leg to pay for a giant storage room to keep all that stuff, you’ll have one or two boxes of personal belongings (i.e. pictures, sentimental mementos etc, etc) and then you’ll have a bunch of boxes of things that it takes to live. I’m talking about dishes, towels, sheets, tools, etc. The logic is that you’ve paid for all this stuff so you should keep it stashed as it will be ready when you return.

But if you’re a long-term expat storage just doesn’t make sense. A decent size storage space say 10x10x10 feet is going to cost you around $100 a month. If you’re gone for a year then you’ve spent $1200 on keeping all your old stuff. Two years $2400, etc, etc. Unless you’re keeping gold plated utensils in your cheap storage locker that means that probably within in a year you have spent more money on storage than the stuff you’re storing is actually worth.

When you look past the emotional connection you have with the sofa, where all your conquests took place or the dinner set that you stole from your ex-girlfriend, you’ll realize that it’s actually cheaper to just unload everything before you leave.  Then when you return to the motherland just buy a whole new set of stuff for your apartment from the money you have saved from not using storage.

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