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How much is your storage unit really costing you?

Do you have a storage unit? How about two or three? If you have one, do you even know what’s inside of it? If I gave you a pen and paper and told you to write down a list of everything you’re storing, how far could you get before being stumped? There are so many people who have storage units that are throwing thousands of dollars away every year, just because they have a hard time letting go. If this is you, let’s change that today!

As a professional organizer and declutterer, I declutter hundreds of storage units every year. People rent them with the best of intentions, “I will only keep it for 6 months until we ….”, and the next thing they know 5 years have passed and tens of thousands of dollars have been auto-deducted.

With every single storage unit I see, we are lucky if there are a handful of items that the owners actually end up wanting to keep. The rest is just stuff that we donate or trash. Without fail, by the end of the job they always say to me that they had no idea why they kept their storage unit for that long! Each client is able to turn in their lock and key, and finally stop the waste of money.

If you need a storage unit while you’re renovating your house or while you’re moving, don’t think you’re off the hook! I have clients that had me declutter storage units they rented for these purposes, then never got rid of them.They started thinking that it would be temporary, that they would only have it for a few months while transitioning.

But then a few months went by, and then a few months more, and now they have a new set of cooking utensils and a new dining room table and the old ones are long forgotten. When getting a storage unit with the idea of only having it temporarily, give yourself a deadline that you have to have it cleared by. Stick to it, and don’t let yourself be consumed by those unnecessary bills!

Then there is the case of the emotional storage units. The ones that are housing a whole life’s story within its walls, usually someone else's. The ones that were rented when a loved one passed, and you couldn’t bear to get rid of everything that they owned because it felt like losing them all over again. I’m here to tell you that your loved ones are not their stuff. Your loved ones are the memories that you cherish, the moments that you shared.

They aren’t the fancy china plates that were never eaten off of, or the collection of porcelain dolls that still kind of freak you out. Your loved one wouldn’t want this burden on you. They don’t want you to be weighed down by their stuff, and they don’t want you to be throwing your money at it unnecessarily. Honor them with your memories, and you can let the stuff go.

If you have a storage unit (or more than just one), I want you to take a good hard look at everything in there. I want you to confront those items that you haven’t seen in years, and decide if you really want to keep paying to have them someplace you don’t get to appreciate them or even use them. How much are these items worth to you? Are they worth buying them over and over and over again? That’s what you’re doing when you’re paying for a storage unit.

You are re-purchasing that item ten times over in storage fees. I know it’s hard to let go, no matter what the circumstances may be. I know that after years, even DECADES, of having this storage unit, you don’t want to face what’s inside. Grab a friend, schedule a trash pickup, and let it all go.

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by Anonymousreply 39May 26, 2024 1:03 PM

I'm guessing that 25% of DLers have storage units.

I do think people waste money on renting these units. Most of what's stored is not necessary. If it were necessary, it would be in your actual house or apartment.

by Anonymousreply 1May 25, 2024 6:58 PM

I wonder how many storage units are used illegally?

by Anonymousreply 2May 25, 2024 7:07 PM

I got rid of mine. Was sick of paying $450 a month for a 5’x10’ space.

by Anonymousreply 3May 25, 2024 7:45 PM

R3 what were you keeping in it? Did you ever take a man back there to plow you?

by Anonymousreply 4May 25, 2024 7:59 PM

[quote]If it were necessary, it would be in your actual house or apartment.

Not if you live in a big city in a 2 bedroom condo or apartment. My partner for example works from home, he has to keep tons of paper document on all his clients business. He's a computer geek, so converting them is not the issue, there are just some things that need to remain in hard copy paper form as original documents.

by Anonymousreply 5May 25, 2024 8:34 PM

That's a new phrase.

I need an Emotional Support Storage Unit.

by Anonymousreply 6May 25, 2024 8:35 PM

Everything this woman wrote, describes me.

I have paid out thousands of dollars for my storage units, only to dump everything years later.

Even now, I have one storage unit that's costing me $300/month, the contents of which I will probably never use.

by Anonymousreply 7May 25, 2024 8:36 PM

I've never had one. I just don't have a lot of "stuff." They seem like a complete waste of money to me. If you have something that needs to be stored away, just sell it. You'll likely never need it again anyway and as you get older, you realize you want less and less stuff for your relatives to have to deal with when you croak.

by Anonymousreply 8May 25, 2024 8:49 PM

[quote] what were you keeping in it? Did you ever take a man back there to plow you?

Furniture and no. I don’t believe in public sex or PDA.

by Anonymousreply 9May 25, 2024 10:05 PM

I own >1,000 shares in Public Storage, so please keep renting those units!

by Anonymousreply 10May 25, 2024 10:09 PM

You're worth $27,200 as of today, R10.


by Anonymousreply 11May 25, 2024 10:12 PM

R9 ok Miss Prissy.

by Anonymousreply 12May 25, 2024 10:23 PM

Wow, my husband is on the phone renting a storage unit as I type.

It's the size of a garage and is about $300/month with insurance ($35). It's about 90 minutes north of San Francisco, where we hope to buy a house. We met randomly about 5 years ago while on vacation in Mexico (It was Bear Week/Beef Dip in PV, and yes, we are old and fat). He's from Boston, I'm from SF. We commuted back and forth for a long time until he retired last year. We got gay married and he moved here. I retired last week.

Soon, we'll be going back to New England to sell his condo and have his stuff that's already been packed into bins and is sitting in his building's storage basement. He'd spent two months going through his things and getting rid of half of it. It was emotionally draining for him. He's a big guy, but is a major Shoe Queen. And let's not leave behind the paintings of Bette Midler, Liza Minelli, and Barbra Streisand. We have to move ($3,800) the remaining stuff to California to the storage unit that he just rented. Note that the moving company he hired is called "Mayflower" ("Mayflowaah" in his native tongue).

Next, we must sell the tiny house I've had for 33 years in SF and put crap from there into storage until we find a new, permanent home suitable for old people somewhere norther and cheaper from here. I could just light a match and divest myself from everything. Except for the boxes of yearbooks that Brian Simonetti signed. He was so cute. I think he let me kiss him on the cheek that one time. Waffle iron that I actually use once per year, on average. The drawers full of 29" waist Levi's 501 jeans because now that I'm retired, I will go to the gym. And my Redwood trees! Planted them three decades ago and now they're 60 feet tall, but will need to go into that storage unit, too. Because you just don't abandon trees.

We have to leave so that the house can be staged. Moving is scary. We need a storage unit until we find our final resting place.

by Anonymousreply 13May 25, 2024 10:58 PM

r11 You left off a zero. And I'm worth WAY more than that.

by Anonymousreply 14May 25, 2024 10:59 PM

My unit? What about it?

by Anonymousreply 15May 25, 2024 11:08 PM

r13, toss the waffle iron and the jeans. you can buy a new waffle iron and the jeans. Redwood trees? Come on now.

by Anonymousreply 16May 25, 2024 11:09 PM

R13 did you get a prenup? Did you fuck on the first date?

by Anonymousreply 17May 25, 2024 11:10 PM

Some things just can’t be kept anywhere else.

by Anonymousreply 18May 25, 2024 11:15 PM

R18 Look inside yourself.

by Anonymousreply 19May 25, 2024 11:18 PM

I wonder how many dead bodies are in storage units, sealed up til the end of time

by Anonymousreply 20May 25, 2024 11:32 PM

r16, bless your heart.

r17, it was right after brunch, so within 3 hours. It wasn't a "date"; we were just sitting at the same table. No need for pre-nup. We are older than dirt. If either of us wanted to divorce each other, by the time we managed to find one of our phones to call an attorney, we'd have forgotten what we were doing and just taken a nap.

by Anonymousreply 21May 25, 2024 11:34 PM

R21 you're only in you're sixties, not eighties. Clearly you still had a sex drive as of a few years ago. Stop talking like you're about to keel over and get your fun. Good luck to you both!

by Anonymousreply 22May 25, 2024 11:38 PM

R13 is the guy who posted on a thread a while back, who signed over his house in his husband's name so that he could build equity, or something like that.


by Anonymousreply 23May 25, 2024 11:52 PM
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by Anonymousreply 24May 26, 2024 12:14 AM

[quote] We have to move ($3,800) the remaining stuff to California to the storage unit that he just rented.

Moving stuff from Boston to California? Stuff from Boston going straight into a storage unit?

by Anonymousreply 25May 26, 2024 12:19 AM

I can relate to r13. When "Me and the P" hitched and moved in together a lot of personal junk was sacrificed on both sides. The furniture is still in the extended family, with some surprisingly great results but it wasn't easy and there are still regrets.

When we finally found a place we both liked, second floor of an older duplex condo, it came with a small finished basement space two floors down, about the size of a small studio apartment. Great! Like a hotel suite for guests.

Only no. It has become a storage locker and archive. Just as well. P's Mom would want to move in otherwise.

by Anonymousreply 26May 26, 2024 12:26 AM

r22. sending hugs for your thoughts. One of us has renal cancer and the other has severe cardiovascular disease. We know what time it is. Maybe we'll get to Paris next year. Maybe go SCUBA diving in Fiji while all of our stuff is in an expensive storage unit (ya gotta dream big). Mr. Viagra is our best friend. We have frequent 3-ways with him. We are lucky to have found each other and we appreciate every. Single. Day.

r23, your post makes no sense. One builds home equity by paying down one's mortgage, plus appreciation value in the housing market. My guess is that you have no equity in anything -- especially in your brain. Might want to consider investing in a new one. Memorial Day Weekend sales are happening now at your Piggly Wiggly. Don't wait.

by Anonymousreply 27May 26, 2024 12:34 AM

I remember a thread about a guy signing over a house to his partner so that his partner could build credit. That did sound kind of dumb.

by Anonymousreply 28May 26, 2024 12:51 AM

We got two storage units because we sold our weekend house and needed to store furniture, tools, etc until we bought a new place. We assumed that would be just a year or two, but it stretched to five years. In the end it probably cost us $15k for the storage over five years. So it hurts a bit to think how much we spent, but there was certainly more than $15k in furniture and equipment in the units. So I don’t regret it, but I wish we had pared down what we were storing so it cost a little less.

by Anonymousreply 29May 26, 2024 1:06 AM

Can't believe you guys are paying $300-450 /month.

Just closed my unit out yesterday and was only paying $85/month.

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by Anonymousreply 30May 26, 2024 1:09 AM

r25, yes. It's mostly his "Winter and Summer clothes" which I don't even understand. We're of similar size and he used to dress me in them when I'd visit him there, but I'd refuse to leave the building because it was either inhumanely freezing or hot and despicably humid. I felt like Kenny from South Park (who was often killed) .And space heaters. And electric fans. And that fucking accent associated with every item that's now coming to California. I've purchased dozens of the letter "R" for his convenience and he's not allowed to add them where they do not belong. You have no idear how expensive it is to ship the "R" letters that I bought him back to California and send the unnecessary ones into landfill. We will need an entire storage unit just for R's. They can't be composted - believe me - I've tried.

by Anonymousreply 31May 26, 2024 1:27 AM

That's the classic American business model these days - run a business right up to the edge of legality, gouge your customers till they see what's going on, and then bail. They don't even try to hide it anymore.

by Anonymousreply 32May 26, 2024 1:44 AM

[quote] Just closed my unit out yesterday and was only paying $85/month.

Storage space is just like any other type of real estate. More / less expensive, depending on where it's located.

by Anonymousreply 33May 26, 2024 2:02 AM

[quote]There are so many people who have storage units that are throwing thousands of dollars away every year

Me. $21,000 between 2013-2023.

[quote]Not if you live in a big city in a 2 bedroom condo or apartment. My partner for example works from home, he has to keep tons of paper document on all his clients business.

I was one of those people, R5. I had a lot of my father’s things I hadn’t gone through yet, but I also had garden tools and planter pots - it was my first time living without a deck or private yard.

They do it because they can, R32. I had three rate increases in one year in either 2020 or 2021, but it's too much of a pain in the ass to empty a storage unit so you deal with it.

by Anonymousreply 34May 26, 2024 2:14 AM

I don't have one but I do own a shed for my lawnmower and various tools. I've been getting rid of a lot of stuff lately and I'm not done yet.

by Anonymousreply 35May 26, 2024 2:18 AM

^ I started with a unit in the city but moved to one in the suburbs - despite being ½ hour drive away, it was more convenient parking-wise.

Both units were near multiple colleges so students store things they don’t want to take home during the summer.

In the city, I’d see people coming and going with golf clubs, bicycles, camping & fishing gear, etc., and I walked by people in units full of banker’s boxes.

It took me a few months to get organized before moving out of the suburban facility last summer so I was there a lot. The guy in the unit next to me was in a band, his unit was full of drums.

A guy a few doors down, and a woman down the hall were slowly going through their mother’s things.

Outdoor units are popular with landscapers, contractors, and Ebay sellers. Contractors and Ebay sellers use storage facilities as warehouses.

Plumbers and sprinkler companies kept unused, packaged hardware, plumbing fixtures, etc. neatly organized on wire shelving. One day I saw a unit full of what looked like boxes of new hard drives and monitors, and another unit full of TVs.

Saturdays are busy days - on nice days Ebay sellers and people wanting to get rid of stuff sat on lawn chairs outside their units with the door open to sell to anyone who happened by. Sometimes there would be music and snacks - it was an odd sight to see. I didn’t notice any active effort to sell anything, it was more social, but I saw kids loading things into people’s cars at least twice. This was in Delaware County, PA - hanging out at a storage facility on a Saturday and listening to the Phillies game is a Delco thing to do.

Landscapers are there mornings and afternoons picking up and dropping off mowers and other lawn equipment.

One day I heard someone fixing what sounded like a chainsaw but it was a guy working on his car. I don’t know if he secretly kept a car in the unit or if the unit was full of automotive supplies.

by Anonymousreply 36May 26, 2024 2:18 AM

I know people who are living in their car but paying $500 a month to keep a roof over their sofa.

by Anonymousreply 37May 26, 2024 2:22 AM

I live in a studio apartment and need my storage unit to store my vintage Barbie collection and Mother's Hummel figurines!

by Anonymousreply 38May 26, 2024 2:28 AM

Just get a bigger house, silly!

by Anonymousreply 39May 26, 2024 1:03 PM
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