Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Monday, June 8, 2015

Lesson Learned #3 - Over stuffed?

  I've spent many precious life hours over the last 10 years moving stuff out of my house.  
In the last year, the highway of departing clutter has become an absolute speedway.  
Here is a lesson I have learned in the process.

Lesson Learned #3:

Live with less stuff than your house can hold.

I have never been a big proponent of Rental Storage Units. This lesson has not been learned from actual experience - just common sense.

Yes, these rental storage units serve a short list of purposes.  Temporary storage of household goods between moves or inventory storage for small businesses are two examples that quickly come to mind.  I bet you could suggest a few other good uses as well.

But too often families use these units for years to store household items they cannot contain in their home.  Apparently the need for external storage is a growing trend because the sprouting of "You Store It" buildings continues to grow.  If there wasn't a demand for this kind of storage, the buildings of this type wouldn't be built.

It boggles my mind that folks pay money for these units every month for years to store personal stuff - stuff they don't use and probably don't remember they have.  It is an over-stuffed life for sure.

I also scratch my head when I drive by a house with cars that are always parked outside of full garages. Now I am not talking about garages that function extensions of living space - like a place for large exercise equipment or an expansive tool collection with workbenches ... those changes make sense.  People actually use this space.   But folks who leave vehicles ($$$) outside and use their garage as storage for old bikes, boxes of broken and/or discarded toys, old unused refrigerators, old unused kitchen cabinets, party decorations from last New Years, an old kitchen chair with the broken leg, trash, and the like ...  so that there is no room for their cars - well, the garage is protecting the wrong stuff.

We have never had a garage or a storage unit.  But about 5 years ago we were floating in a sea of our stuff, my mom's stuff, other inherited stuff and there wasn't one space that was open.  My husband causally suggested that maybe we should rent a storage unit for a while - just to give us some breathing room.

Imagine ... paying for breathing room.

We did not get that storage unit.  What I did do was reorganize stuff and buy more things like containers to snuggly store our stuff into our current space, giving us the sense of breathing room.  Not actual breathing room, you understand!  Just the appearance of breathing room.



  1. Overstuffed. I want to get more organized and give away more stuff.

  2. TV shows about these storage units are becoming popular. My mind boggles at the thousands people spend on them over the months and years. We used one once for about a month between house moves. I keep threatening to put my daughter's stuff into a unit. She has moved out and doesn't have room for everything. It's only the cost that is stopping me!

    1. I have seen those TV shows about people bidding on storage units. They are pretty interesting. When you see what is inside and you know someone was paying rent on that stuff. Just amazing.

  3. We had a storage unit for over a year after my mother died. It was full of her stuff that we thought my disabled brother might be able to use if he ever moved to a larger apartment. That day did come and he does have some of that stuff. The rest we took to a Salvation Army store with two or three van loads within a few hours. We couldn't believe it was that easy, and so liberating! Now that I think about it, we could have bought him everything he needed and more with the money we spent on that storage unit....


  4. Your lesson learned posts are right on the mark....about too many things packed away, enjoying the important items and not going for that storage unit. Well said.

  5. I have a cousin who has storage buildings in two towns that he used to live in. One of them he has been paying the monthly rent on it for over 20 years!! The other one he has had for more than 10 years. It was in the town he lived in until a couple of years ago when he moved. I cannot imagine how much money he has spent over the years on storing things he hasn't even laid eyes on for more than 20 years. Just plain crazy!!

  6. Oh my, do I agree . . . Why pay to store things . . ,. down size, get rid of is my motto!
    (Looks like you are back, I have some reading to do!)

  7. Renting a storage unit is a good option. At the very least, you won’t have to deal with too much clutter, and you can store important stuff in a secure environment. Anyway, it’s good to know that you resorted on renting one, otherwise everything would be cluttered in your house.

    Refugia Stein @ Container Domes Australia


Yes, you do want to comment! I can see it in your face:-)