Do you pay for storage space? Why? If the things you own don’t fit in your home, you own to much and it’s time to clean out that storage unit. At least that is what I tend to think. I know some of you have other ideas, so I sought out some alternative viewpoints. What I found was people working through their life transitions and the resulting clutter, a little at a time.
A couple years ago I was eavesdropping on two women having a conversation at TEDxABQ. We were all there for inspiration. I happened upon them as they were chatting about clearing out their storage units. I listened to their excitement and found it fascinating that they both were trying to eliminate a storage space. So, of course I interrupted, and introduced myself.
Turns out both of them eagerly talked to me about the experience of paying for a storage unit and then deciding to let it go. Also, they are going about it. So generous of them, and I got a lot of insight into something I have never considered for myself and wanted to understand better for my clients.
… the plan was never to pay for space for stuff forever.
Amazingly they are both going through the same kind of life transition. They are in love, have recently gotten married. The cohabitation part of that equation supplied the need for the storage units. Not that they didn’t want to get rid of things to start this chapter fresh, Neala and Dee just wanted to give themselves time to see what pieces would serve them in their new futures.
A few months later and it’s time for them to consolidate and eliminate, the plan was never to pay for space for stuff forever. Dee took a little longer to get to it because she has been happily traveling with her man. Now that they are home, it’s time to make the decisions. Neala’s husband has no problem with letting things go and it’s rubbing off on her – she is starting a few months earlier than she thought.
That’s where the obvious similarities end.
Dee is on her journey, as she puts it, to knock the edges off the rocks and be left with the polish. Her process is more of a methodical consolidation. She tests the emotional connections to the objects she acquired through hard work and need to be squeezed into space that was occupied by similar objects her husband also acquired through hard work.
A few things have made their way back into the house, and a few are still missing. Inheriting a house full of antiques also complicated things for awhile, essentially combining three households not just two. It’s getting easier as the lives meld and new, together memories are formed. She finds opportunities to give things to those that will best appreciate them.
Neala’s going to have a great yard sale. Well, her husband is. They have been evaluating one box at a time after not seeing it for a year. This staged approach has helped them let go of more than they originally thought.
They each have their own sacrosanct space at home for the items they can’t part with. That has helped them simplify the shared spaces. The main goal is to not pay for storage. The bonus goal is parking in the garage. The few things that made it back into the house were better versions of what was originally kept. Neala’s metal mixing bowls are replacing her husband’s red plastic ones. (Something similar happened to me once – but that’s another story.)
Do you have a storage space? Are you paying for it? Would you like to let go? Post your comments, I’d love to hear your take on the need for storage units.
Super special thank you to Neala and Dee for letting me stand there gawking at their conversation.
Want deal with your stuff before it even reaches a storage unit?
Check out our article, Keep Just the Right Stuff.