Making the decision to move to Europe was easy. I had the opportunity to accept a job I knew I would love and to live in a city that I’ve adored ever since I spent a couple of semesters studying there in college. In virtually every way, moving to Europe was a dream come true. Unfortunately, the logistics of moving to not just another country, but another continent, promised to be a nightmare. There was no way I could take my whole household with me, and I knew I was bound to need some extra time to find the right place to live in my new home base. Plus, I’m pretty environmentally conscious (I try to travel green, Conscious Travel and stay at Environmentally Friendly Hotels) and I wanted to make the whole process as green as possible. I needed a strategy to make it all work.
I could see that I would have to donate or otherwise give away some of my possessions. Moving it all to Europe wasn’t feasible. Surprisingly, getting rid of a bunch of stuff was liberating. I had little difficulty getting rid of items to my local Goodwill when I knew the reward was getting to live and work in such a wonderful place. Of course, I made sure to keep certain things that were particularly special, useful or sentimental to me. I’m as attached to my stuff as the next person!
Still, I knew that a good portion of my belongings was going to have to go into storage at least for a few weeks or months. I was familiar with self-storage units from my time in college and just after when I always seemed to be on the move. I’d learned a thing or two about which facilities I could trust and which ones I needed to avoid like the plague. Since I’d also become more environmentally aware, I had a long list of requirements for my self-storage unit. If you are migrating to Europe, FN Worldwide is one of the best. They also can assist with your storage needs as well. I found them extremely knowledgeable and helpful.
Store Your Possessions Responsibly
One of my requirements was that the unit be climate controlled. Anyone who has ever stored their possessions in an unfinished basement or garage knows how dangerous that can be. A really cold winter, an extremely hot summer or a severe storm can cause a lot of damage to things that are stored in space that doesn’t have climate control. I didn’t want my belongings to end up in the landfill, so climate control was an absolute must.
However, good climate control has to go hand in hand with energy efficiency. When I started looking for self-storage places, I was paying attention to the ones that talked about having a lot of insulation. It might seem like a weird thing to consider, but it actually makes a lot of sense from an energy efficiency standpoint. A structure that has sufficient insulation doesn’t put so much of a strain on its heating and cooling system. Essentially, good insulation means less output from the central heating and air system, and that means cost savings.
I also paid particular attention to the lighting in the storage facilities. It was important that the hallways not be lighted 24 hours a day. After all, some storage facilities just aren’t accessed all that often, so why do they have to be lit all the time? Fortunately, a number of self-storage places have gotten on the energy efficiency bandwagon. It’s becoming far more common to find places that put their lights on a timer and perhaps also use motion sensors so that lights only come on when it’s necessary. I also found that many places have made the switch to more energy efficient bulbs, so that definitely makes me feel better about using those businesses.
Believe it or not, I even gave consideration to the landscaping. Some of the most environmentally conscious self-storage facilities are using particularly well designed watering practices so that they don’t waste water when taking care of landscaping. They’ve also taken care to protect against soil erosion and use rainwater barrels. I can’t ask for better environmental responsibility than that. I was so relieved that I would be able to responsibly store my possessions while I transitioned between the U.S. and Europe. There’s great peace of mind in knowing that the belongings I just can’t part with will be safely stored away and that I can have access to them whenever I’m ready. It took a bit of extra work, but being able to choose an eco-friendly facility really meant a lot to me. I made my self-storage experience even more responsible by opting for cardboard boxes that were made from recycled materials. Even better, I chose packing peanuts made from cornstarch to protect the things I wanted to make certain wouldn’t get broken. Moving to Europe was still a lot of work, but it has definitely been worth it. I’m glad that I was able to make the move while still living green.