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I took a couple of big steps towards my impending move today.  First, I turned in my 30-day notice at my apartment complex's office and signed the necessary move-out paperwork.  Because I'm breaking my lease, I'll have to pay an "administrative fee" equal to one month's rent, plus a pro-rated amount which I assume is the March rent, for a total of $1559 (I'll call the main manager on Monday to make sure this includes March rent).  The office girl couldn't find any evidence of the $500 security deposit I should have on my account from when I first moved in, so I need to call to get that straightened out as well.

While I was out running a different errand, I decided I may as well go over to Storage USA and rent a unit.  I'd settled on them after doing some pricing research; they also happen to be the closest facility to my apartment.  I had been thinking about a 10x20-foot unit but the 10x30 was only $3 per month more.  When I took a look at the unit, I was impressed — the one he showed me had a 12-foot ceiling rather than the normal 8-foot ceilings they also had.  I doubt if I'll need to stack things that high, but it's nice to know I can if I want to.  It's no problem to store my car in there as well; I found out many facilities don't allow that because of the combustibles but Storage USA doesn't seem to mind (I asked if I had to drain the gas).  The first month was free on a long-term lease; if I pay 12 months at a time, the 13th month will also be free (I might go ahead and pay that next month, but I did sign up for automatic credit card debit).  The rent also includes an individual door alarm and 24-hour video surveillance.  I didn't opt for their insurance since my existing renter's insurance will cover anything I store in the unit, except for my car of course.  I did buy a nice lock; I'll buy some larger boxes from them at a later time (when I'm ready to pack such things as the television and computers).

I have access to the unit from 6am to 10pm each day (24-hour access was available for an extra $6 per month but I didn't feel it was that necessary).  I'll probably move my first loads tomorrow morning — I can probably fit six or seven banker's boxes in my car at a time if I don't stack them on top of each other, so it will take quite a few trips.  Yes, the ball is starting to roll and I'll feel better once I start getting some of this stuff out of the apartment.

As I move forward with this new stage of my life, I hope to record many of the mundane details.  Once I get to Thailand, these should become more interesting as I relate things often taken for granted.  I'm sure it will be much different doing tasks like opening a local bank account and paying monthly bills.  I've already done enough research to give me an indication of how some of these things are done in Thailand and I know that my experiences in dealing with them will make for interesting reading.  By writing about these as they happen, I can refer to them in the future to see what mistakes or minor victories I made.  And, perhaps, I can help others in some small way (I've already found I can answer some rather obscure questions on several expatriate forums that I've recently joined).