Michael and I sold our house in Connecticut 6 years ago and have been living in Atlantic Beach, Florida (part of Jacksonville). We had a great rental house on a small lake, five blocks from the ocean and we were very happy there. However, we LOVE to travel so when we retired recently we decided to put our prized possessions in storage, sell off most everything else and begin the adventure of moving into a fully furnished house in a new location every three months.
GETTING READY or jettisoning a lifetime of belongings – in our case 40 years of living together. We didn’t own a home, so that was a blessing in disguise since the market has been so bad and it may have been tough to sell and probably at a loss. Still, we had a lot of decisions to make on how to make this dream a reality. We gave ourselves 2.5 months to complete everything and be on the road.
The first step was getting an appraisal for the fabulous art we have collected and the precious things we have inherited – things we know we can’t replace and will want to have when we finally establish a new permanent home. I contacted Emilie Paulk, a well known Jacksonville antiques specialist, to inventory and appraise the items we wanted to keep. This was both fun and educational. Emilie and her husband, Larry, were great to work with and gave us a polished, professional assessment.
Next was finding a secure place to store our stash. This probably sounds easy but remember we live in Florida where a weak category 2 hurricane would flood almost to the roof of our house and the highest point in Northern Florida wouldn’t even be considered a hill in New England. After some serious research, we located a climate controlled facility outside the flood plain……
BUT, the facility only offered $15K in insurance so we needed to find a separate insurance policy. Most companies will add a rider to your homeowners insurance, but we don’t own a home. Other specialty companies we checked would insure only a portion of the value of our possessions and wouldn’t let us purchase multiple policies for one storage unit. Finally, I stumbled on Collectibles Insurance Services, LLC who was able to insure all our appraised items. Whew! I was getting seriously worried that we would have to rent multiple storage units and break things up to satisfy the smaller insurance cap which would have been much more expensive for us.
Next up – determining where to go, getting rid of everything we weren’t taking with us or storing, plus all the myriad of details to separate us from our current location.