Downsize Your Home with Self Storage

I have strong opinions about self storage units. I’ve written about how my family saves money by selling our stuff instead of storing it. But every now and then, I like to consider a different perspective.

Is it possible that a storage unit could help simplify your life? This guest post is written by Art Decker, a self storage manager.


As a self storage manager, I’ve met people who have used self storage as a way to help them cope with moving from a larger home to a smaller one, and then added self storage to reduce the strain of downsizing.

I know that professional organizers say that self storage is not necessary, and that using self storage to cope with extra clutter only prolongs the inevitable choices that must be made about what to do with it. With respect, however, that’s one of the craziest things I’ve ever heard.

Most of the people I meet every day are not hoarding “extra” stuff. They are storing things they need or will need in the foreseeable future: hand-me-down clothes for a growing child, the inventory for a home-based small business, the boxes of extra nonperishable supplies, the last several years’ income tax returns and related personal documents and files. They just can’t afford to give those boxes of inventory or files or the coats they will need next winter an air-conditioned, carpeted space, complete with kitchen, bathroom, and cable/Internet access, to call their own.

And rightly so. Skeins of yard don’t need a refrigerator, oven, or stove. A winter coat doesn’t need to use the Internet or watch TV. Your income tax returns don’t need a toilet (no, I promise, they really don’t).

But using a self storage unit wisely takes planning, or it, too, can become a source of stress. Try these strategies:

1. Find a self storage facility that is already on your route.

If you can’t find storage close to where you live, look for space that is close to where you work, close to your grocery store or library, or close to your child’s school or daycare facility. This way you will save time by not having to deviate from your everyday route.

2. Consider renting two or more smaller units instead of one large one.

Depending on the facility, you might find that two or three small self storage units are just as inexpensive as one large one. If you are trying to keep your business inventory separate from your family belongings, you may find that it is less work to use two separate units.

The option for climate-controlled units may be worth the small additional price depending on what you are storing. Though your extra lawn equipment or college kid’s sports equipment probably doesn’t need a constant temperature range, if you have treasured photos or other items that may be sensitive to humidity or extreme temperatures such as leather or some art supplies, it would be a smart choice. In the southeast, where humidity reigns, mildew can be an issue, as can the salt air in coastal areas.

3. Store as much as you can on shelves around the outside of the unit.

Leave yourself as large a space in the middle as you can. That way you will be ready if you have to store additional items unexpectedly. More importantly, though, if you have a bit of extra space in the middle (or in a corner, if you prefer), you can, if need be, use it as additional working, living, or hobby space occasionally. But don’t use your space for sleeping, even if you are tempted — a nap may seem harmless to you, but self storage facilities are not zoned for that.

4. Put whatever you can into storage.

Having less stuff around really does reduce your stress, and when your possessions are in storage, they stay organized. Things kept at home tend to get pulled out and disorganized on a fairly regular basis. When you do add to your unit, be sure to take the little bit of time to put it in its place. Though dropping a box off from time to time seems harmless, they add up quick and your storage unit will end up as cluttered and confused as your closets may once have been.

Try to keep an inventory of what you have put into your storage unit, as well. Some people like to keep their self-storage inventory in a three ring binder at home, with tabs for each area or for each family member. Whenever they take another load to the unit, they take a moment to log its contents in the storage inventory. Other people prefer to use an online program so they can reach their storage unit inventory from any location.

Also, watch out for odd-shaped items — the enemy of organization! If you are storing many items with a standard shape, and two or three of rather odd shapes, pull the odd-shaped ones out and put them in their own spot. Even libraries store oversized books in their own special location.

5. Use storage as a way to transition to a simpler lifestyle.

If you would like to have fewer belongings but can’t decide what to get rid of, one way to find out what you can live without is to put almost everything in storage — this time at an out of the way location NOT on your usual route. Then observe what items you find yourself going out of your way to pull back out. Everything else is stuff that you probably don’t really need.

Guest writer Art Decker, a manager with Self Storage Co, leads a stressful life traveling from one self storage site to another. Consequently, he has developed an interest in organization, reducing stress and balancing work and home life.
note from Rachel: I remember the last time we moved, we rented a storage space for a few weeks to hold packed boxes so we wouldn’t have to climb over them until moving day. It definitely made things more manageable during that time. I thought the idea of downsizing your home with utilitarian storage was an interesting one. What do you think?
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.

Comments

  1. I’m visiting from the post/link from Gooseberry Patch. I LOVE your blog!! I can’t wait to read more this weekend!

  2. Sandra Gonzales says:

    I still side with Rachel and believe that it’s smarter to relieve yourself of too many possessions than to put them in storage.

    I can see few cases where storage may be helpful but it’s ridiculous to see how many storage sites have popped up over the years. They are as annoying as bill boards.

  3. I don’t want to store and keep things that I don’t need and love enough to have in my home.

  4. Now that is interesting!!! I have a huge cupboard in our dressing room that I used to keep hand me down clothes in… but we downscaled our clothes so significantly as to not need it anymore. Now I box things that we can’t decide upon and pop them in there if nobody asks after them them they get donated, without a peep inside, after a while. So far none of us has actually missed anything. Shocking I know!!! So I think self-storage would just be my ultimate dream to minimalism!!! Pack up everything we don’t use everyday, but aren’t ready to let go of… After six months we giveaway the contents!!! And have the monthly rental, that we would have go to used to living without, as extra spending money!!! Win, Win!!! I don’t think I will be able to convince my family on this!!!

    se7en´s last post…Se7en’s Cannelloni Beans And Tomato Sauce For Supper…

    • I like your idea of putting things away in a box and if its not needed just donating the box with no peeking! I try to do that but then get to looking at what I’m about to give away and I get all nostalgic…when I would have completely forgotten about it had I not opened the box! I think I’ll be putting this to use…

      Kait Palmer´s last post…Travels to Canada- Bridges and Boxers

      • This is exactly what I do. I seal everything up in a box, make a brief note of what’s inside (ie. “Husband’s T-shirts from the 90s”) and the date three months from then on the top of the box. If it hasn’t been opened in three months then we don’t need it, and it goes straight to the Salvos without being opened :)

        Fern´s last post…Saturday Consisted Of…

  5. I can possibly see using a self storage unit as a temporary situation (3-6 months max), but if I were faced with downsizing, I would start removing things from my life. I wouldn’t even think about renting a storage unit!

    Tammy´s last post…Dishtowel Aprons

  6. I don’t think you’ll find many takers on this site. The appeal of having fewer things FAR outweighs the convenience of storage units. Sure, you can store your Stuff, but you’re paying dividends of money and time trying to keep track of it all.

    My mother got a storage unit after my parents divorced, and we had mountains of stuff in a tiny condo. So she decided to put some of it out of the way for a while until we could whittle it down. Now, five years later, she JUST got everything out and stopped making payments. Five years of $60 a month to hold things we never even thought about, let alone used, was such a waste.

    Sorry, but it’s not worth the hassle. If you can’t keep it around, even for a little while, then just get rid of it.

  7. We rented a small storage unit earlier this year when our intentions were to declutter and stage our house to put on the market. For a number of reasons we decided that our house is actually fine if not ideal in a number of ways so we aren’t selling or moving for now. Once we realized that we weren’t going to move we were so used to living with less that we recently emptied the storage unit and almost everything was donated to an organization raising funds to help in Uganda.
    So, for us renting a unit was an eye opener that we didn’t need that stuff to live anyway.

  8. I have to agree. While storage may be a good idea for someone with a home business, tax records don’t take up that much space (and I could scan them if I weren’t too lazy). The cost of storage would make it not financially profitable to use it just for food. I live in a studio apartment, and it feels very spacious because I get rid of things I don’t use. I recently moved in all four seasons of clothes, and because I weeded out my closet first, it all fits beautifully. I’m sure there are good reasons to rent a storage unit (you’re spending a few months in a much smaller apartment before closing on a new house) but I think the majority of customers are very well described as using the space for excess clutter. I think people with neatly organized possessions and space in the middle to move around are the minority.

  9. I think Art makes some good points here. We recently moved from a house to a rental, and we do have a garage that we currently use for storage. If we didn’t though, I would probably consider a unit. There are lots of items that, while there is no closet or display place for them in my home, and I don’t need them on a frequent basis, I still need them occasionally and do not want to have to get new ones. This includes holiday decorations, power tools, special use dishes (such as my turkey platter or tiered cupcake holder), my bins of sheet music, school yearbooks, and my girls’ clothing that the oldest girl has outgrown and the youngest has yet to grow into. I need to still own these things, but having them off site when in a smaller space can be handy.

    I do agree care should be taken for it not to become a catch-all though. I can see how easily stuff can just mound up and get lost in there.

    Holly´s last post…School Lunches

  10. I think the reasons and results for using storage would differ from person to person. For some it may be a way, as mentioned in the article, to save certain items or to make things easier during a move.

    For myself, however, I know if we ever got a unit I would load it with stuff and then put off ever going back to sort through things. It would sit there…collecting dust…till the second coming!

    When I was working with a ministry called Fashioned Forward, we did use a large storage unit to store 300+ vintage costumes and props because really, who has room for that in their house? So I do see the merit in using the space for ministries or businesses.

    Kait Palmer´s last post…Travels to Canada- Bridges and Boxers

  11. I used a storage unit to store items while I was showing my small house. Most of the items were from a catch all/office/craft room that just looked messy. I hated making the payments even for a short time, but it was nice to have a place to slowly move things out of my house and then into my new, larger home. I ended up getting rid of larger items like furniture that I found I could live without while they were in storage. The craft items, though, they moved right along with me!

  12. Does it really pay? The objects in paid storage are often not worth the cost of storing them. I say this because, at $60 a month, for a year, that would cost $720 a year. Are the items in storage even valued at $720? If the stuff in storage is worth less than what you are paying for that storage, you could easily dispose of all the objects in storage and simply buy them later if you needed them without it costing you a penny more, it might even save you money. After 5 years of storage at $60 a month, that would cost someone $3,600. That’s a big price to pay for storing things like knick knacks, extra blankets, and outdated electronics.

    • I have lived that exact scenario, Mrs. G. I ended up garage sale-ing most of what I had stored and maybe (?) recouped half of what I had spent on storage. Had I saved the money or used it to pay down debt, I would have been able to replace what I missed with something I liked better. If it’s not an heirloom, ditch it. If you’re not sure about the heirloom, and another family member won’t commit to it, give it two months and then call Goodwill. Storage should be transitional, not permanent.

    • I think so too–usually the annual price of storage outweighs the value of the camping equipment and stuff people store. But then I was looking at this from the perspective of actually downsizing a home:

      If you were paying $2,000 a month on housing costs, and then you moved to a smaller house and started paying only $1,000 with a $60 a month extra storage fee, then $60 might start to look worth it. Hopefully you could gradually reduce your stuff to fit in your $1,000 a month house.

  13. I think that storage units can serve a purpose; short-term storage (less than 1-2 years at most)for items while someone is in “transition”; awaiting a move to a larger home, travelling overseas, etc. However I still do not get the need for a permanent storage unit. Sure, you can keep your Winter clothes there and rotate needed items, but at that point I think someone should think long and hard about the cost of the unit versus the worth (material or sentimental) of the items. I think a storage unit manager

  14. (cont’d)
    is prone to finding a need for a unit :-)

  15. Karen (Scotland) says:

    Hmm, these are a completely new thing over here – our town only got the first one a couple of years ago.

    I can see where they would be useful really short term. We lived in a teeny flat when we first moved back to my home town and we spent the whole six months tripping over unpacked boxes that we would need for our eventual permanent home. A storage unit for that term would have been a great idea.

    I looked into the storage units when they first opened here as I have some “nice” furniture that I’d rather the kids weren’t turning upside down to use as sailing boats…
    However, the price was so crazy (£70 a month or something) that what I’d pay in three months would be the replacement cost of the items (they’re not antique or anything, just a bit retro).

    Another good use would be before putting the house on the market. We emptied our last house of loads of furniture and “personal” stuff and stored it in my Gran’s spare room while our house was marketed. The house looked bigger, more spacious, more attractive. And, again, we weren’t tripping over boxes while selling the house.

    So, useful in certain circumstances but not just as a permanent extension to your home space?

    Karen (Scotland)

  16. Karen (Scotland) says:

    Oh, should have added that the storage unit building totally freaked me out! I think I would be terrified to go in there without a pocketful of breadcrumbs and a really, really large maglite! All I could think of was the hotel corridors in The Shining…
    Karen
    :-)

    • Oh Karen I am with you – they are starting to start up here (in Cape Town) and I went to one with a friend… a maze of garages really and I felt totally claustrophobic!!! For all the fresh paint and lovely clean lines I was somewhat – “can we get out of here already!!!” And would never ever go their alone – very creepy!!!

      se7en´s last post…Se7en’s Cannelloni Beans And Tomato Sauce For Supper…

  17. My husband and I just downsized, and got rid of a BUNCH of stuff! But we still have holiday decorations, including the christmas tree, and several boxes of inventory for our business. Our new house has 3 coat closets. That is it! So we stored the seasonal stuff and boxes that we will use on our next move (his drum cases, box for the tv, etc.), and given away any extra stuff that is “everyday” that we would never have used. Otherwise those things would be in a corner in our living room…bleh. The house is way cheaper rent, so we can afford a little extra to store things we don’t need every day. The house + unit is cheaper than the rent at our much larger house, and we had way too much clutter in that house that we didn’t even know we had!

  18. I think storage units have their place. For instance the close friend who was widowed and then given all of her husbands affects by the military. She was able to store everything until a time when she could emotionally handle it. My husband and I also have a storage unit for our household items and my entire classroom that had nowhere to go now that we are unemployed and unable to get a place of our own. Is it an expense, yes. BUT, we certainly think it is worth it to us!

    • This is exactly what I thought when I read this! I know for me, there have been times where I had boxes of stuff that I loved, but it was too emotionally painful to even peek inside them. I didn’t want to just get rid of them, or sell them. But having them in my home, where I could possibly encounter them all the time? Ugh. It broke me down. It was a matter of my own emotional health to find a different place to keep them for the time being.

  19. I think the storage unit manager has a vested interest in people dropping stuff into storage and then procrastinating ever dealing with it – that’s how he makes his money! :)

    Using a unit while moving is nice, if you don’t have close friends or family in the area with spare room in their basement that you could borrow for a bit. :-) When I was younger we had a storage unit, but mostly it was just crammed with stuff mom didn’t want to get rid of yet… eventually I think she got rid of most of it.

  20. Portable storage buildings for sale instead of rental make more sense. If a person wants to keep their things, even for a little while, and keep them at home, it makes the most sense to buy a practical storage building, not rent. Renting storage space is a big waste of money.

    If someone is moving and wants to store things, great, they own the building and good quality buildings can be moved and re-sold or traded back in, or sold back to the place of purchase.

    Dishing money out senselessly to store your items does not benefit your family, who worked hard to earn the money to buy that stuff to begin with. If your desire is to downsize, fine, but decide what you want to get rid of and do so. What you want to store, you will eventually pay in one way or another to store. I say do so in a sensible way and at least own it so you are not “renting” and being raked over the coals. That’s like paying a bank to keep YOUR money there! Rubbish.

    • Not all neighborhoods allow people to put storage buildings on their property due to Homeowner Association bylaws & regulations.

      Renting a storage building also would be a good option for a person living in an apartment.

      Just a friendly thought! :)

  21. We have a small storage unit. Our home does not have a garage, attic or any storage closets. In our storage unit, we keep our Christmas decorations, our lawn mower (we don’t have grass on the property yet, though we are working on that), my husband’s tools and a few other items we haven’t been able to part with yet, like our kitchen table that we also don’t have space for in our home. Eventually I would like to be able to have out “extra” stuff stored here at home, but we need the funds to build a garage first. And the $30 a month we are spending on the storage is not prohibitive for any of our debt reduction plans either. I know someone may say “that’s $30 a month you could be using to reduce debt” but the cost of a permanent storage room comparable in size and quality on our property would cost us at least 3 times that much.

    • I’m jealous! I would love to be rid of our grass and fill the space with a low-growing and possibly fragrant groundcover.

  22. We rent a storage unit for what we consider permanent storage. Our family is big into outdoor recreational activities, so our unit houses two boats (fishing boat size, not cabin cruizers!), three motors, two kayaks, one canoe, fishing/boating/skiing equipment and an ATV. We live very comfortably in a small house which we keep clutter-free, and no, the excess is not in storage. There is no way we could afford (or want!) a residence large enough to accomodate these items. The yearly storage unit rent is substantially less than the costs (mortgage, maintenance, property taxes) of a larger residential property.
    It works great for us.

  23. I had a self storage unit after I closed down my bookstore. I wasn’t emotionally ready to just liquidate everything and held onto some of the inventory to sell on the internet. I easily made the storage unit rent by selling books online-much better than the bookstore rent!
    In the end I did liquidate the rest of the inventory after about a year of online selling. That is a use I can understand. I can also understand not being ready to part with a lot of belongings during a sudden downsizing-sometimes you need a little time to adjust to your new circumstances.

    gretchen´s last post…5-00 am

  24. the Naysayers seem to be stuck in the storage is for clutter. My husband and I have talked about getting a storage unit before, not for clutter, but for seasonal stuff. I am 100% against storing stuff that I might use “someday” but for us, we have our garage filled with 100 year old reclaimed fir flooring that we will use in our house once we get to remodeling that room. We live in a 4 season climate and love being outdoors. In the winter I struggle with where to store the camping gear and the kayak and in the summer I have to figure out where to shove the snow shoes and sleds.

    The point is to maintain a smaller home and still be able to keep some toys.

  25. I live in a very small apartment, with almost no storage. My house waas starting to look like a junk shop. A year ago I started renting a storage unit, it was one of the best ideas I every had. I loaded up almost every thing I owned and dropped it off at the unit. For about 6 months I would go after work and look through everything, picking out what I really loved and needed. I just could not do this at home. Having my stuff out of my home and in that gray box removed all the nostalgia from most of my stuff and it was easier to get rid of.

  26. I have two different experiences with storage units. We rented one to store boxes and all the personal stuff you’re supposed to remove when our house was on the market. It was great – all our moving boxes and stuff out of sight made our relatively small house look larger to potential buyers. Experience 1 – positive, maybe because it was short-term.

    We moved into an apartment while looking for a new house, so all the stuff from the above storage unit, plus furniture, books, and all the outdoor toys went into storage. I hated it – partly because I didn’t like not having all my things in my house, partly because I couldn’t live in a house without my books, but frankly, it felt sad and pitiful to be “visiting” my stuff in a corregated metal cubby. It was necessary at the time, but I would never to it long-term. Experience 2 – negative

    We’ve had our things back in the house for four years, and I still get weirded-out when I drive by the storage place!

    Here’s a link to a pretty interesting article on the explosion of self-storage units and the stuff we pay to store:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/06/magazine/06self-storage-t.html

    deb´s last post…Canvas is done!

  27. I can’t see the point in renting a storage unit, other than a very temporary holding place when in transition from point a to point b. But long term? Never.

    Hubby and I would like to build a nice storage shed in our backyard, to hold the lawn equipment, sports equipment, tools, holiday decorations, etc… but I’d never pay a monthly fee to someone else to store those things! For now, they just live on our patio or in our attic; inconvenient, yes – but frugal!

    My best friend has a storage unit she has rented for the last 5+ years, since her divorce & subsequent move to a new place. She has not opened the door on the unit in that entire time, and has no idea what is stored there. Yet, she keeps paying $50 a month in rent, because she has no place to put whatever the unit holds. I never want to be imprisoned by my belongings that way!!!

  28. We used one for 2 years when we first moved overseas. We came back to the US after those 2 years and were glad we had stored furniture and appliances so we didn’t have to buy everything all over again, so the storage unit definitely served its purpose for us.

    When we moved overseas again, though, we just sold everything. We really didn’t want to hold on to things we might use “someday.” A few special family pieces–an antique piano, a favorite painting, a beautiful old chair–were given to family members for safe-keeping, while my parents agreed to host a cedar chest full of sentimental items plus 3 tubs of other special things. But that was it. The rest all went…and it was very freeing to divest ourselves of almost all of our earthly belongings. We discovered that we don’t really need everything we thought we needed.

    Morgan´s last post…Funny Friday-High fashion

  29. My hubby stored a 3rd car for YEARS. With my car made four. I didn’t want them all in the garage and driveway. And he didn’t want to part with any of his “babies”. He would go check on whichever car was in storage every couple months, check the batteries, wash it, etc. (He is a car nut!!) I think it was around $55 a month.

    After we both retired, and living on a fixed income, he canceled the storage unit and brought the extra car home. Though I still hate having all the cars on our property, the saved money has been put to good use elsewhere.

    don_mae´s last post…Siam Bracelet- 2 Row Flat Spiral Stitch

  30. I think for the most part storage units are not a good idea economically or b/c you aren’t forced to deal with clutter/hoarding issues.

    BUT I totally get wanting to hold onto things that you *might* need, rather than have to buy them again. So many people don’t actually want second hand stuff, and how can you bear to put useable objects into landfill? So although I would rather be clutter free and only have objects I use in my house, from an environmental perspective I’m not too keen on the ‘just buy it again later’ option.

  31. I wouldn’t suggest putting useful items into landfills. Many charitable organizations could use your cast offs. This way you help people who can’t afford to buy things new and you help a worthy cause as well.

  32. I could see the point if it was for a fixed period of time like moving, especially if it was close by.

    I’m lucky enough that my new apartment comes with a storage unit (for free) that is in the building. I can keep my air conditioner, out of season things close buy but still hang onto them.

    Rachel – many people do want second hand things. Have you looked though Craigslist and ebay postings lately?

  33. I disagree with storing too much stuff; after all it is just stuff you have acquired over a time of overspending. If you do not use it sometime in a months time, then it needs to be gotten rid of yesterday since in reality you are just storing junk you don’t use.
    We have been downsizing from a larger home to a smaller one and I find it refreshing not to have to dust, move around or find a place to put this stuff in the new house.
    It is shocking to know I bought ‘tings’ to fill a void in my life when I didn’t need them. Just like clothing, stuff is stuff–your trash is always someone elses treasure. Get rid of it.

  34. I think I’m more in favor in getting rid of stuff that we’re not using than storing it. I read that de-cluttering your home can reduce housework by up to 40% and now I am on a mission :).

    Unplanned Cooking´s last post…Do you have an Away Room

  35. Hmmm.. Joining in late on the discussion but I just had to chime in and agree with everyone who says that its so much better to scale down than opt for self-storage. I love the fact that everything I own is either deeply loved or appreciated or used. If not, then I don’t need it. Simple and easy!

    Prerna´s last post…5 Simple Ways to Green Your Laundry

  36. There is a clear case for and against storage units depending on your situation and what you are storing! Hubby and I live in a city rowhome with no storage for anything beyond our clothes, so we have a 5×5 storage unit for $50/mo. Everything in the unit is needed and used frequently, the type of things that people with an attic/garage/basement would not think twice about storing in their space – off season clothes, Christmas decorations, suitcase. We are able to live in a smaller house with a smaller mortgage as a result, and I consider the $50 a small price to pay for my sanity and an uncluttered home. No need to buy a bigger house when all I need is 25 extra square feet to live more comfortably!

  37. And some of us live in a house that is too small. We figured out to move would cost us more money than it would be to get storage locker. So now we have a bit of extra space to keep our very small house with 4 people in it clutter free. I don’t consider it a waste of money because without that storage locker we would have to move to a bigger home and pay a bigger mortgage. This way we can stay living in our home and still have storage space for our camping gear, winter clothes, keepsakes, etc.

  38. I disagree with the view that it’s always cheaper to buy a new blanket, winter coat or Holiday ornament than it is to store one. Replacement cost needs to also consider the travel time and effort of replacement and the creation of additional waste, not to mention the cumulative costs if its something you need more than once in your lifetime.
    I live in a small downtown space and I love knowing that I can have traditional holidays without having to climb over camping gear and christmas decor the 11 months of the year I don’t need them. It’s cheaper than a bigger unit would be and I plan to live & store here for a long time.

  39. had to chime in. I have a garage and I feel I have done a pretty good job getting rid of stuff we don’t need or want. But there are things I store there and use infrequently but need and want and don’t want to go through the bother of replacing.

    I have been thinking about how, if I finished that space off a bit, it would be a wonderful space for doing art projects and scrapbooking and being able to leave out the projects. It would also be much more tidy for the storage I would want to keep in the house.

    I have been considering a storage space as an anecdote to moving to get the more space to do that. Some of the things probably need to go – but there are other projects that are more important to me now.

  40. Honestly, I’ve always been one to think that self-storage was for people who believed the garage was another living space, and not for your cars! But this article makes complete sense to me. Everything is a balance & obviously people can get to the “extreme” with using a self-storage unit JUST so they don’t have to get rid of anything. But I really wish we had kept a few things when we downsized into our current home. My biggest reason would have been because nothing is “forever”. Yes, we bought this home, intending for it to be our “final” home. But several years into it, I’m already believing it’s only a matter of a few short years & we’ll be looking for something bigger – because our family keeps growing! We got rid of a beautiful oak bedroom set because it didn’t fit in our smaller home. Several other pieces of furniture, wall art, etc. “Stuff” for a larger home. I never even considered the “wisdom” of paying a small monthly fee to store it off-site. It still would have given me the flexibility to sell the stuff later, when life had calmed down, rather than being desparate to get rid of it before we moved into the home & practically giving the furniture away. Interesting post!!

    Vicki R.´s last post…Healthyer Habits- Breakfast- Part I

  41. I agree as well that in most cases, a storage unit is just delaying getting rid of stuff. However, my father used a storage unit in an interesting manner for 6 or 7 years before he passed away. Now it will depend on the rules of the unit, but this is what he did. He had done scrap metal recovery for years. He had a route of places he went and picked up materials people didn’t want. He would then have to separate and sort it into different types of metals before taking it in for money. And believe it or not, he got a fair bit for it. He was retired, and uneducated and did well for himself this way. He had moved from a large house with a yard into a newer mobile home park and could not keep stuff outside of his trailer. So, he rented 2 units in a storage facitily. He kept his stuff there. He had a big fan and a heater as he had electical access. He would typically go work ealry in the morning to avoid the heat. It worked out well for him and he didn’t have to rent a shop!
    Bernice

    Ramblings of a Woman´s last post…A season of change for me- and for my blog

  42. My guy has had two storage units, for about five years. We’ll never have room for it in the cabin. Some of it is junk from his grandma’s. He’s spent $60.00 a month for five years on them. That’s $3,600.00! We could have bought some really nice stuff with that money.

    I had a storage unit a few years ago, and someone opened the lock and took a lot of my stuff, and closed the lock. There was a high fence around the place, and cameras, and you had to put in your password to get in. I still got robbed. I would never put anything in storage again. I hate me being one place, and my stuff being someplace else.

  43. Im about to bite the bullet and use a storage unit for my shop that im moving. I will make sure to buy those super strong locks so i dont end up like Kaylor. Sorry to heaR tha