Do you have a storage unit that stores all the stuff that won’t fit in your home? We are here to help you get out of that storage unit or to prevent you from getting sucked into the black hole of the storage world. There are 48,500 storage facilities in the US that total over 2.3 billion square feet of stored “stuff”. The rest of the world combined only has a total of 10,000 facilities. So why do Americans need so much storage? It is simple, we have too much stuff!
We have talked in previous sessions about the “more is better” mindset of Americans, that we need the latest and greatest of everything. This mindset, along with our habits of holding onto everything that has a memory attached to it adds up quickly and makes us feel like we are splitting at the seams.
If you do have a storage unit ask yourself these questions and be honest with yourself when answering them:
- How often am I at my storage unit?
If you have a storage unit that you only visit once or twice a year, are the items in that unit really that important to you?
- If my storage unit flooded what would I miss?
If there are only a few items you care about losing in a flood, maybe you need to keep those items and get rid of the other items.
- Do you have an inventory list of what you have in storage?
Do you know what is in your storage unit? A lot of people we work with don’t even know some of the items we come across in their homes and if you don’t even know what you are paying to store, why store it?
- If you needed to find something from storage could you get to it in less than 5 minutes?
When you take the time to go to storage do you spend an hour searching through piles of unlabeled boxes before being able to find the one thing you came for? Not only are you taking time out of your day to drive to your storage unit, now you are wasting time trying to find what you need.
- Are the items you are storing yours?
A lot of times we are working with clients and they are storing items for other family members or keeping items that they think their kids might want them to keep. Talk to your family members about items you are storing for them, ask them to take their items or make sure they want you to hold onto in. Ask your kids what items they want to keep, they might not want as much as you think.
- Is the value of the items I am storing worth the amount I am paying per year?
Take a good look at what you are storing and determine if the value is worth more than the amount of money you are spending per year. People often save old papers or photos that they don’t need.
The first thing to do when getting out of your storage unit or when you are thinking about getting a storage unit is to look around your home for storage solutions. There are some great storage spaces that aren’t always optimized. Some of these spaces include:
- Under the stairs
- At the top of closets
- Attics or basements
- Under beds
These are all great areas to store items you don’t need access to on a regular basis such as holiday decorations and family memorabilia. First, go through your home to remove unwanted items to clear out some space for the items you are storing in your storage unit. Optimize the storage in your home by installing shelving or by organizing items in bins that can be stacked and are clearly labeled.
We live in a digital age and items such as VHS/DVDs and pictures take up a lot of space in our homes. There are now many different companies that will take those items and convert them into digital files that you can save on your computer or on a hard drive. This will eliminate boxes and boxes of items we are storing in our home and storage units.
So if you are ready to get yourself out of the storage unit rut, or thinking about getting a storage unit, go through your home and get rid of unwanted items. This will free up space for items you really want to keep. Then go through your storage unit and only bring home the items you want to keep. Store these items in the storage spaces that already exist in your home and let these spaces set limits the amount of items you can keep. Convert bulky items to digital files to eliminate a few boxes from storage. Lastly, check with your family members on items you are storing for them to see if you can eliminate unwanted items. We already have so many things going on every day, managing a storage unit is one less thing to worry about. So, are you ready to ditch your storage unit?