We live in what is considered a “throw away culture” yet storage units are everywhere! Is it quantity over quality? I estimate that 95% of the client storage units I’ve been in have been delayed decisions – the clients all knew what needed to happen with the items inside, but they couldn’t bring themselves to take the next step.
I'm not the only one who sees this throw away culture. Jim Gaffigan gives us some spot-on insight into this trap we've set for ourselves. Take two minutes (actually 1 minute 58 seconds) to watch his views on the subject.
Are you holding on to a storage unit? What’s inside? Have you ever figured out what the unit is costing per year and then salivated over what could be done with that money instead? What’s keeping you from taking action on emptying the unit? Inquiring minds want to know – please share below!
We keep searching for things that fit. The right shoes. A comfy pair of jeans. Maybe even a career or relationship. It is the struggle to right-size - make decisions based on the life we are living today - and preparing for changes we might encounter in the future.
A great example is the baby boom generation - they've raised their kids, had careers, and are now retiring and moving on to the next "life chapter". This phase can mean a smaller house with less maintenance, more free time to spend with the grandkids and for traveling, or even launching a new, entirely different, career.
A Closer Look at Right-Sizing
Right-sizing our homes doesn't have to involve grand, dramatic changes. In fact, right-sizing can often be a series of related steps that work together to make sense for your personal situation.
For a baby boomer, right-sizing might look like moving from a four bedroom where we raised our kids, to a one or two bedroom just for us. We let the space itself define what we keep - 2 beds instead of 4 mean we "need" fewer sheets, blankets and pillow cases. These simpler, smaller decisions that can be made right now pave the way for the harder, more emotionally laden ones we might face later.
The less we have to maintain the more free time we have to spend with loved ones, or pursuing new interests. Those big lawns, gardens, and driveways and the machines that helped us maintain them can be right-sized as well.
Remember: Just because we've always done it one way doesn't mean we can't ask ourselves what it would look and feel like if we changed our strategy - perhaps doing less of something - letting go of a time and energy-taker. The answer can, and often does, surprise us!
What have you right-sized in your life that has freed you up to spend time and energy elsewhere? Do you wish you would have done so sooner or was the timing just right?
That got your attention, didn't it? Who'd turn down that offer? Not me....
Here's my little rant for Thursday - according to the Self Storage Association, we spent $24 BILLION on storage in 2014 in the U.S. alone. Ummm....HELLO.....that means we are spending money to shop, then spending more money to store and organize the things we thought we needed or wanted. The smallest storage unit can run $50/month. That's $600 a year spent on something we obviously aren't using, probably don't need, and definitely don't love (because if you loved it, it wouldn't be in storage!). That $600 is just the beginning - climate controlled units start at $100/month. That would buy A LOT of good coffee!
Yes, of course there are times when storage units can ease the burden of moving, or provide needed space for transition periods. These are not the cases for the majority of the renters, however.
Enticing thought to move our excess clutter into a storage unit and out of our living space? Absolutely! The Self Storage Association even offers a marketing campaign called "Declutterfy - Your Home, Your Office - Your Life!" which encourages you to move the clutter into one of their storage units.
I'll end my rant here, my friends. Please, if you don't use it, need it, or love it - don't buy it in the first place and PLEASE don't spend additional money storing it!!! Sell it, donate it, or find a friend who truly needs it. Don't pay to put it in a giant closet. Then treat yourself to that good cup of coffee!
Those things that make us tick - our passions and interests - sometimes stick with us for a lifetime and others are more passing fancies. Whether it be a sport, hobby, craft, career - the possibilities are endless. Regardless of what that is, when we are "in to" something we tend to collect items that have to do with it. I used to be a big sewer/quilter. Couldn't pass a quilt shop without stopping. Heck, I planned trips around quilt shop locations! Did I collect fabric? Yes! Patterns? Yes! Sewing machines? Well, yes!
Eventually my life moved in different directions and as much enjoyment as I got out of the sewing, the time I had to do it in decreased and I spent less time in and around quilt shops and fabric, not to mention in front of the sewing machine. My passion for organizing, and running We Love Messes, gradually took over and commandeered my sewing time.
What happens when we are over it? Our passion has decreased either by necessity or declining interest and we've moved on to something else, yet the things we collected over time that to support our hobby remain - unused, gathering dust, and taking up valuable space in our worlds.
Take a look around - do you see items that you used to use a lot but haven't touched in months, maybe even years? Might be clutter! Ask yourself the following questions to see if they are truly worth the space they take.
How about you? Have you given away something from a hobby or special interest and not given it a second thought? Or given away something and regretted it later? Inquiring minds want to know!
welcome to our blog!
Tammy Schotzko is a Certified Professional Organizer who