Christmas is behind us and the New Year’s is looming. We are in the process of making our New Year’s Resolutions and one of those, for me, is the clean out my room and decide what I want to keep, what I want to sell, what I need to throw away and what I need to bring with me. Of course, I will have to bring my laptop, some clothes (Good thing I am not a clothes horse), my printer, load up my KINDLE with reading material, and of course, our craft supplies. I am a pack-rat by nature and have a tendency of keeping everything. I have all kinds of stuff crammed into boxes and on bookcases that I will have to go through. Most of it will need to be tossed. I just hope I don’t throw away something important. Most of our pictures are scanned into my computer and I have them backed up on an external hard drive as well as burned onto a disk. I cannot stress how important that is. I cringe every time I think about the 2 times my computers crashed and I hadn’t backed-up my files. I lost a few photos that will never be replaced. With all the websites that I own and write for I have to back each of those sites with their accompanying databases onto my laptop and external hard drive and then onto a DVD. External hard drives are not the most reliable medium but are very necessary for quick retrieval of data stored on them and can hold all of your stuff in one place. You just have to be very careful not to drop or bang it on anything. You can add things to it every week in an hour or so depending on how many files you copy over.
DVDs are now limited to 4GB of space. That may sound like a lot but for me with all the pictures, music, and videos I have it takes a few DVDs to back up my stuff and once you finish the burning process that is usually it. Re-writable DVDs are okay but still a bit expensive. Regular data DVDs can be burned once, place in a plastic case and stored until needed. Unless they are badly scratched or broken you can always copy your data back without too many problems. Just make sure you “COPY” your data and not use your computer’s BACKUP feature. The Backup programs for most computers are used strictly by that computer’s version of the system software or program that you used. If you have a replacement or new computer there is no guarantee that you will be able to RESTORE your files. Anyway, I will have to make sure that all my files are copied over to the external hard drive and burned onto a new set of DVDs. The DVDs will probably be stored and if needed I could always ask my oldest daughter to send them to me where ever we happen to be at the time.
To that end we will be looking for at storage units within the next week or so. Committing to a storage place is important if you plan on coming back to your hometown after traveling. We have to consider how big of a space we will need, whether it is climate-controlled or not, who will have access to it while we are away, and whether the space is secured. So, we are looking for a place down the street from our house and close to where my oldest daughter lives. She will be able to check on it once a month or so and put things into it for us. Let’s face it when you travel you do have a tendency to collect new stuff along the way. It would be nice to be able to send that extra stuff home for storage. RVs and travel trailers are extremely limited in space and weight so we have to restrain ourselves as much as possible. Climate-controlled spaces are more expensive, of course, but with all the books, DVDs and computer equipment we have a climate-controlled unit will probably be required. Some of our local storage places are offering specials when you pay months in advance and/or half-priced months for signing a short-term lease, etc. We will be looking into those as well. Shopping around and comparing is key. Don’t be too quick to settle for something that doesn’t suit you or cost too much. After all, if you are not able to pay for your unit and cannot get your stuff out before the end of your lease, they will sell your stuff or just throw it away. Then you will have to get insurance for your stuff in the unit. Usually, your home-owners insurance is supposed to cover any loses from a storage unit. However, if we are selling our home then we will have to look into another avenue.