Wish you were $6000 richer? The truth about Self-Storage and clutter.



“America has a problem with overaccumulation” says Peter Walsh in his book It’s All Too Much. “It’s abundantly clear if you spend one minute noticing how many self-storage facilities have sprung up in your neighborhood.”

While there are times that renting a storage unit can make sense, if you are one of the many people with stuff in storage, maybe it’s time to reevaluate this choice.  Let’s say you rented a storage unit 5 years ago because you moved and the new house had less room. You didn’t think you’d stay in the smaller place that long, but here you are, 5 years later.  Let’s say the unit runs you $100 a month.  You’ve spent $6000 storing all that stuff!  Have you gone back to access any of it?  Are you really sure what is even in that unit?  It’s time to accept that whatever ‘temporary’ reason you had for renting the unit isn’t actually temporary, and starting living your actual life.

Is there anything that you could use $6000 for right now?

Don’t waste time regretting that lost income, but also don’t waste another dollar storing all that stuff.  Put a deadline on the calendar for when you will cancel the agreement, and get to work!

Three common problems and a hint to help:

1. It’s my daughter’s or son’s stuff.  What are you teaching your kids?  To value the things that they own.  If these items are important they should come and get them.  If they aren’t important, they should go to Goodwill so someone else can use them.

2. It’s family heirlooms. If it is stuffed in a box, covered in dust or mildew, and hasn’t seen daylight in 5 years, it’s NOT precious.  Stop pretending you care about it if you can’t honor it enough to have it out and appreciated.  Give your extended family a chance to have the heirloom items, but if they don’t care enough to take them either, it is not your responsibility to be the family storage facility.

3. It’s overwhelming.  Set a timer, only work on the project 2 hours at a time.  With each item simply ask “Can someone else use or enjoy this more than I am?”  “Does this item add value to the life I want to live”  “Is storing this item worth $1200 a year?”  Don’t hesitate to call a friend or a professional to help, they (we) can make it much less overwhelming and even fun!

You CAN do this, and you will feel freer and richer as a result.  Good luck, and happy un-storing!

Hi! I’m Rebecca West.

I’m not your classic interior designer because, frankly, I don’t care if you buy a new sofa. I do care if your home supports your goals and feels like “you.” Remember, happy starts at home!