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Give Me the Simple Life: So Long, Storage

Suzanne Simple Living

Years ago, my husband was transferred to Hong Kong for a two-year assignment (which turned into four years). We knew we’d be living in a high-rise apartment–very small quarters. No garage, no storage, no family room. We decided to take only the essentials–basic furniture, clothing, kitchen needs.

Before we left, we gave away everything we could think to part with. In between the essential things and the get-rid of things was still a lot of stuff. We went through everything one more time, culling and weeding, and finally ended up with nearly-essential stuff. All of that stuff went into a storage unit.

Four years later, I couldn’t tell you what was in that unit. Not a thing! When we moved back and unpacked the storage unit, over 90% of it was given immediately away. That life lesson has stayed with me. 1

According to the Self Storage Association, one out of every 10 households in the country rents a storage unit. The average 10 x 10 unit costs about $100-200 a month. Furniture is supposed to be the most common item in a storage unit. Fifteen percent of storage unit renters say they are storing things they no longer need or want.

That, my friends, is kind of sad! At least $1200-$2400 a year spent on storing something that nobody wants. Think about how that money could be used–a sweet vacation, a bathroom remodel, a donation to a charity.

I don’t mean to bash a booming industry. But if you’re one of the fifteen percent, like I was, it might be time to make some hard decisions about the stuff you’re paying to store. Don’t spend your hard-earned money on them unless it’s absolutely, positively necessary.

I’m curious. What makes it hard for you to give something away that you’re not using? Sentiment? Indecision? Please share! I know this isn’t a high self-esteem topic–but it’s helpful to all of us to figure this clutter issue out. One lucky comment-er will receive a free signed book! 

Source: New York Times, Self Storage Association

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