Do you really need to put your stuff into storage? Are you better off getting rid of it.
Many of us find ourselves in a position where we have more stuff than we know what to do with. We simply end up running out of space for our stuff. Many think that there is only one solution for having too much stuff, and that is to find someplace to put it. Sometimes we rent a larger apartment, or move into a house so we can have our stuff. Some people use storage when they move so they can take time to find that perfect place. Many plan to put things into storage as a temporary measure, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. If you are moving, you might also what to take a lot at my article Purge Before you Move.
In the case of my parents, they decided to live the RV lifestyle for a while. They would try the living on the road for a while full time, and then rent a house again when they were done. They took their things and their stuff and put it into storage while they were on the road. They were paying $150 per month to keep their stuff in storage. Well, they ended up liking the lifestyle and have been traveling full time for over 20 years. And guess what, they left their stuff in storage.
After about ten years on the road they still had their things and stuff in storage. That’s right, they had paid $150 per month (with price increases) for about 10 years. You do the math. Never mind, I’ll do the math for you. That’s $1800 per year for 10 years. That’s $18,000 in storage fees to store $2000-$3000 worth of things and stuff. I spoke with my folks about the cost, but they would not get rid of their treasures, and I accepted their wishes. I did however find a better solution for them. I had them buy a 12×12 storage shed and put it in my brothers back yard. For use of the space they bought my brother one too and built them side by side. My folks now have their things and stuff stored for free.
Occasionally I ask my folks what they have in the storage shed, and the typical reply is “I don’t know, I haven’t been in it for years.”
I spoke with a storage expert a few years ago and he told me that there were two square feet of storage per capita (per my memory of the story) in the United States. OK, my memory was off a little, in 214 there was 8.32 square feet of storage per capita in the United States (sparefoot.com). Wow, that’s a lot of stuff. Now look at the dollars spent on storage. Just among the top five storage companies, it’s a $4.77 billion industry (sparefoot.com). This doesn’t include the hundreds of companies like Darrel’s Mini Storage in California that operates 58 storage locations. If you want to get into a great business, think storage units.
Needless to say, most of us fall into the trap of thinking that storage is what you use when you have too much stuff. I believe that the real problem is that we have too much stuff. Instead of thinking that you need more space for your stuff, you should be thinking about having the right amount of stuff for your space.
At the time of this writing, I am a single guy living in a one-bedroom apartment, and it is more space than I need. A friend is single and lives in a three-bedroom house with a two-car garage, and her place is full, with just enough room to park her car in the garage. Which one are you? Which one would you like to be? How much money do you spend on stuff that you don’t need? How much more money are you spending to live in a space that will support all of your stuff?
So, instead of renting that storage unit, get rid of the stuff. I have several articles here that can help inspire to make the right choice.
If you struggled with this issue or can inspire others on this subject I would like to hear your story. Please comment below.