Sunday, April 27, 2008

Do you have a storage unit?

(Get Rich Slowly has a great post about self-storage units.)

I do. It's not full of my stuff though. It's full of my mom's. I haven't had the heart to go through it yet. Neither has my sister. Oh, both of us have poked at it. Last time I visited it, I brought out an oriental-style runner rug that she used in her hallway. Now it's in mine and I think of her every time I see it.

Every month, I call the storage company and pay for another month's storage. I haven't set a deadline for how long I'm willing to keep paying. It's been over a year now. Still, I feel the loss every day.

I've occasionally toyed with the idea of getting a storage unit. I do my decluttering best when I'm able to let things "age", that is, to have some time where they're out of the house and out of sight. A month is good, sometimes it takes longer. This allows the attachment to fade, usually, and then those items can be donated or sold. I've used our garage, but have been tempted to try a storage unit just so I can do more at once. I fear though, that it would be far too easy to just keep paying the bill and avoid making decisions. Clutter comes from unmade decisions, postponed decisions. Every choice that can be made right away? That's a gift, of time and space.

How about you? Do you have a storage unit? If so, why?


Clutter Buddy said...

I don't have a storage unit, I don't need one because all my crap is in my garage. Well, everything but my van!

I think for you it could be a good idea but with a few rules. You'd have to set aside a weekend or something to purge your house all at once and place stuff in the unit. And most important, you'd have to set a limit and stick with it, like pay 3 months up front and that's it!

Jay Bazuzi said...

When we moved from a 2100 sq. ft. house to a 1200 sq. ft. house, we seriously considered getting a small storage unit, mostly for things that we're holding on to for relatives until they are ready to receive them.

The house we moved in to has a big garage, so we decided to use that, instead.

I'm glad, because I fear that storage units make it easy to accumulate the most stubborn kind of clutter: the clutter you don't see.

Anonymous said...

My almost 89 year-old aunt had storage units that postponed looking at her memorabilia from the past that we consider junk, such as notes from 1950 convention planning meetings. Five years, and 3 moves later, we still see many of the same boxes though she is making some progress. She MUST shred everything. I hope I have learned from my elders, but I, too, have a couple of boxes that will amuse my children!
Momma Pauline

Anonymous said...

I read your whole blog last night. Found it wonderfully interesting to see the transformation, not in the house, but you.
I have never been a clutter, in fact, if I had my way, we'd own a bed, a dresser, and something for my computer. I like wide open rooms. But my mom was a packrat. Not a hoarder, in that she just has too much stuff. No trash, mom is very clean and her organization, which drives me crazy makes sense to her, even if it's in piles in the Living room floor. I have a place for everything and everything must be in its place for me to be peaceful.

BUt then I had kids and with kids comes stuff and that gave mom, who's love language is spending money, a reason to buy lots of stuff, times three. When my oldest was born, I finally said, enough. And started decluttering. She's ten now, and we just redid her whole room and decluttered to her TV, VCR (we don't have cable or get get local channels well, so the VCR allows me to control what she can watch). Her desk, her bed, her stuffed animals that she really loved and a few toys that she got for Christmas.
No I don't own a storage unit. I won't even pay $10 for a storage box for something unless it is going to have value over many years to my family and needs a home when it's not being used, like Christmas Decorations.
We are redoing our kitchen now too. I am painting the cabinets, since they are only 13 years old, and just needed some refreshing. May have to have the floors replaced due to a leak, so we may be getting new floors, if so, that may mean new counter tops, which saddens me because I love the old ones.

I just wanted to say, congrats on changing your environment to change yourself, but I believe you really have changed a lot. You should be proud of the house transformation, but also the you transformation. I think you've learn to breathe freer since you've gotten rid of the trash. (I like to call it trash, since clutter sounds like a few toys out instead of put away. Trash sounds like things I need to get rid of, even if they are still good.)

Now may a date with your sister and go through mom's stuff. Stuff you cherish should not be in a storage unit. It should be blessing your home and family. Stuff you don't cherish should bless someone who will. Mom's not in that unit, she's in your heart. (even if she is a little like mine, hard to deal with at times. ;) )

And remember, once it's done, you can spend that money on the girls each month as their inheritance from their grandmother. Do something that she would have done with them and spend that time talking about the ways she blessed you, not the ways she drove you crazy. Everyone gets to be a saint once they are dead is what my boss used to say. ;)