The price of using self storage

A friend recently sent me the following confession in an e-mail:

I just cleaned out my storage unit that I have had for 7 years. (I think I opened it when I moved from the townhouse to my apartment.) What a bunch of crap! I saved a couple boxes of books I’d been missing, and some high school stuff I pulled out — medals, trophies and plaques.

So, I did the calculations on what this storage unit cost me. 7 years = 84 months times approximately $120 a month = over $10,000!!!!! I am flabbergasted I spent so much on storing what was basically crap. It’s just so easy when it’s $120 a month. Think of what I could have done with $10,000! That’s a costly uncluttering lesson!

I think that self storage is a good idea when used temporarily, such as for a few months when settling someone’s estate or if you’ve sold your house and are staying in a hotel while you’re waiting to settle on a new house. Once the word years is involved, though, it’s no longer temporary and uncluttering is in order.

Had she tossed out all of what was in her self storage unit seven years ago, my friend could have repurchased the box of books and even commissioned someone to remake her medals, trophies and plaques, and still had more than $9,000 left in her bank account. (I doubt my friend would have had someone remake her medals, though, I’m just saying she could have and it still would have been far less expensive.)

If you have a self-storage unit, consider taking the time to clear it out and save yourself a good amount of money. If the idea of cleaning out the space overwhelms you, hire a professional organizer to help you. The fee you’ll pay to the professional organizer will be less than what you would pay to continue storing your stuff.

More facts about self-storage:

  1. The state of self-storage in the U.S.
  2. Organization facts from Mother Jones

51 Comments for “The price of using self storage”

  1. posted by Noel on

    I had items in storage for less than a year. The books were chewed up, boxes knocked over, and rodent poop everywhere on everything. I complained to the manager, but said he didn’t guarantee pest control.

  2. posted by Deb J on

    This is so true. We are so good at hanging onto things because we might want them later. Then after carrying them around the country or storing them for ages we finally get rid of them. In the meantime, we have not only paid the cost of transporting or storing them, we have paid the cost of the weight of owning them. Sometimes that is a heavier price than the monetary one.

  3. posted by Rue on

    I have never understood why people store things for years in a storage unit. If you don’t ever think to use any of the items (and how could you if they’re in a storage unit), why bother keeping them in the first place?! I’d rather use the money for a bigger home and store all my junk there.

  4. posted by chacha1 on

    My DH stored his motorcycle for 7 years. It was damaged in an accident right before we moved in together and he basically didn’t want to spend the money to fix it right away. So instead … seven years … $70/mo … %*@$&*%!^@&!$# !!

    It still isn’t running, but at least it’s in *our* garage now.

  5. posted by lh on

    Totally agree with this article, but I have one potential scenario where it might make sense to use storage on a non-temporary basis. As someone who rents an apartment and doesn’t plan on buying a home any time soon, I’m paying monthly for a certain amount of living & storage space.

    I have ski equipment, camping gear, a kayak, and some car maintenance stuff that’s currently stored in the basement. This is all stuff that, while not used on a weekly (or even monthly basis) gets used regularly enough that it doesn’t make sense to rent or borrow it. In short, it isn’t clutter, but it also needs to be stored somewhere other than in my living space.

    While I’ve never done this before, I am considering the possibility of renting storage space for these large, seasonal things. Renting a storage space would add a rental cost, but it also changes how I’d go about finding an apartment. Previously, storage space has factored in to my apartment choice — if a place didn’t have enough storage space, it was automatically off the list. Using self-storage could allow me to rent a significantly cheaper apartment — if the savings significantly exceed the added storage cost, this seems like a win to me.

  6. posted by Adventure-Some Matthew on

    Like LH, I have a “good” excuse for my long-term temporary storage. My wife and I have an apartment now, while we’re in school. However, we have some furniture that we previously owned that won’t fit into our apartment. It is stored away, for the day when we have a bigger, more permanent place.

    Of course, we also have family who is storing our furniture for us, at no cost. If we had to pay to store it, we could likely just buy new items to replace those we are saving.

  7. posted by Glenn on

    The little things really add up. I almost put a piano into storage when I needed to move because my new place didn’t have enough room for it, but ended up selling it instead. I was sad to see it go, but not only would I have been continuing to pay the loan on the piano, but I’d be paying to store it where I wouldn’t be able to play it. It wasn’t clutter, but still… Now we have an attic packed with stuff. The only good thing is we don’t have to pay extra for the room. Still need to unclutter though!

  8. posted by Young Mogul on

    All I can say is….WOW! This is the REAL cost of clutter. But, if people reevaluated every area in their lives, I’m sure they would find a significant amount of waste in many different areas.

  9. posted by Beth on

    This is so true and luckily I’ve never had the need for a storage unit. What’s kind of funny though is that Google ads is popping up an ad for a self-storage place. HA!

  10. posted by Taylen on

    there are so many things in life that are just small payments…monthly, weekly, whatever…that add up to so much if you let them get out of hand…and what did they really get you in the end? great example!

  11. posted by Kari on

    We’ve rented one once–when we were moving cross country, had a small short term apartment and were looking for a house. We had stuff in it for 6 weeks–the length of time it took us to hit town to closing on the house. That is the only way I would use one!

  12. posted by Dawn F on

    I have never understood why my in-laws continue to keep so many things in storage – almost 15 years now. I have given the whole “let’s add this up” speech and calculated how much money they are spending on monthly fees, insuring their stored items and gas to get there, and they still refuse to SEE THE LIGHT and either use, sell or donate the items.

    I have even offered numerous times to review and organize the items with them to see what items truly need to be kept or what needs to be given to other family members or just trashed. “We’ll do it someday.” Yeah, right. They’re almost 80 years old now.

    Plus, like a previous commenter stated, you run the risk of having damaged goods from pests and humidity. Your things could even be stolen!

    In my opinion, long-term storage seems to be a horrible decision from every angle.

  13. posted by paul on

    Like lh (above), I believe there are times when it makes sense to have a long-term storage unit.

    We’ve had a storage unit for 6 years. We use it for camping equipment, and other items we don’t use on a weekly basis. Originally, I thought of the storage unit the same way as the article describes – and it bothered me that in xx number of months I would pay more for storage than the items being stored are worth. I finally realized I was thinking about it the wrong way. Instead, I started thinking about the storage unit as an extension of our house.

    We live in a small one bedroom loft in San Francisco. The cost of storage is far far less than the cost of moving to a larger place. We actually save money by staying in our current place, and renting a storage unit for our overflow.

    To use the same scenario as the article, if you’re living in a apartment that costs you an additional $500 month to get the storage / space you require, at the end of 7 years you’re paying an additional $42,000. You’re much better off downsizing your apartment and getting a storage unit.

    Of course, this philosophy only works if the items you’re storing are actually worth keeping. If you’re storing a bunch of junk that never gets used, you’re just throwing money away.

  14. posted by Mike Harris on

    “It’s just so easy when it’s $120”? Wish I had her budget!

  15. posted by infmom on

    Uh… you do realize that the ad on your RSS feed and on today’s post is from a self-storage company? LOL!

  16. posted by Mletta on

    Paul writes:
    “Instead, I started thinking about the storage unit as an extension of our house.”

    Agreed. Rest of his post is our logic as well.

    For those of us who live in rental apartments, and this is the case for many people on a long-term basis, the cost of storage is really a monthly fee added to rent.

    In many cases, having long-term storage actually represents a savings…because you are NOT paying more for an apartment rental. Example: I have a friend who has a two bedroom apartment. That second bedroom is basically his storage area. Local self-storage for that same amount of space as the second bedroom is $75 a month.

    Cost of a one-bedroom apartment, on average, in his area is $800 to $900. he’s actually paying $200 to $300 more a month for that room in the apartment, when he could be paying less each month for his actual apartment. Even with cost of monthly storage, he’d be saving a lot per year.

    Yes, a lot of people waste money storing stuff that would be better off given away, sold off or tossed. BUT…there are people who have things (financial papers, family heirlooms–they still exist, furniture that cannot be easily replaced or is one-of-a-kind and that will be re-used) that are worth the storage space.

    Finally, I have an issue with folks who live in big houses, with attics, basements, and garages where they have tons of stuff. Because it’s part of their house, nobody usually says: You’re wasting money. But they are. Even if they don’t have outside the home storage units. That seems to be OK with most of the world to buy BIGGER so you can have more stuff. But when people use storage space as that equivalent, it is considered wasteful. Pot calling kettle black, is what it is.

    Try living 20+ years, working from home with a home office, files, library, equipment,etc in a 500 square foot space. To rent an office? $1,000 and up per month. Storage space for items displaced so you can work from home: $150 a month (and up in big cities, along with cost of apartment and/or second office rental space.)

    So, really, waste is a relative issue.

    A lot of people run small businesses with inventory out of homes and apartments. For them, that rental space is actually a business cost.

    I hate this sort of broad sweep painting of self-storage as wasteful. Especially when a lot of times it comes from folks who have very conveniently stored their stuff in others’ places for no fee!

  17. posted by Dorothy on

    I hope your friend plans to continue to “pay” the $120 per month — right into a savings account. She’s used to paying it. Why not go right on paying herself?

  18. posted by John Soares on

    If you travel for a lengthy period, be sure to pay your self-storage fees in advance.

    A friend entrusted a “friend” to do this for her. The “friend” didn’t, and the self-storage company sold everything in her unit and kept the proceeds.

  19. posted by TheMightyQuinn on

    We got a killer deal on bedroom and dining room furniture and we really didn’t want to sell it all when we moved from our house into an apartment, so we got a storage space. We were spending thousands of dollars to store furniture we would someday use when we buy a house again. And there it sat for years decaying.

    Finally after spending $6000 in storage fees I convinced my wife to let me sell it. We made back a few thousand dollars but not as much as the cost of the storage space. We could have given away all our furniture when we moved and still saved money over a storage space!

    One other lesson we learned: putting things in storage didn’t clear up space in our place, since new stuff was bought to fill up the space. It’s much better to live in a place full of stuff you already own, than to buy more junk to fill it. This may sound stupid to single folks or those w/o kids, but with a wife and kids it’s the reality I live in.

  20. posted by Dawn F on

    My main problem with storage units is when people (my in-laws and friends specifically) fill it up with stuff that they honestly have zero intention of ever using or incorporating into their current or future home – boxes of old dishes, totes full of papers (who knows if they are important or not), old furniture, children’s clothes, stuffed animals, records and tapes, family photos (sadly), silk plants, tools, etc., etc. PAYING MONEY to store items that will more than likely NEVER be touched as long as they live is beyond insane.

    It’s unfortunate that people waste so much money on things and stuff they obviously do not treasure or they would find a way to incorporate those treasures into their current living situation without any additional financial burden.

  21. posted by Sky on

    What a waste. Isn’t it a shame we put so much emphasis on “stuff”? Children starve while we throw money away to store crap.

  22. posted by Lose That Girl on

    I used storage when I moved back home to my parents for a spell, but once I had my one place a year later, I got rid of the unit and have never looked back. I think once you make that step and don’t clear up the problem within a year or two, you’re definitely in the storage game for the long (pricey) haul.

  23. posted by KateNonymous on

    I’m with those who say “It depends.” Over four years, we spent a few thousand (less than $5K) on storage. We were living in an apartment and acquired a bunch of my family furniture when my dad remarried. Throughout this time, we wanted to buy a house–but this was during the housing bubble, when prices were out of our reach. When we did but, we emptied the storage unit and ended our contract there.

    It would have cost us far more to buy furniture of a similar quality, and when we were figuring out how much we could afford to pay on our mortgage each month, we factored in the cost of the storage unit.

    The problem is what many people store, but used wisely, long-term storage can be a useful tool.

  24. posted by Kate on

    We actually just had this debate in my house because we’re probably going to be moving to someplace a little smaller soon, which will necessitate being pretty diligent about getting rid of some of the junk we’ve held on to because we had a lot of closet space. My husband said “We could get a storage unit..” and I basically said “No way!” Although we might have to get rid of some pieces of furniture that one day we might want to replace, they’re not such great quality now that I care about keeping them and the cost of buying new stuff some day will be a lot less than what we’d pay for in storage in the long run.

  25. posted by WilliamB on

    Generally I think paid storage is a bad idea but the exceptions have shown up already:
    – to store expensive, bulky, seasonally used items;
    – when you know you’re between places;
    – in lieu of having a larger home.

    I rented a unit for two years while I was in grad school. I knew I’d want the good quality, tailored-to-me suits, the perfect bookcases I’d searched for for years, etc. I found an inexpensive place far from the city, put wooden pallets & moth balls (the nasty chemical ones) on the floor to protect from damp & critters, labeled all my boxes very thoroughly, and kept an inventory list.

    In comparison…
    Over the weekend my roommate and I sorted through unneeded stuff. He wanted to hold on to it till his brother could use it in a year or so. I wanted it out of the house, the sooner the better. Roommate’s solution? Put it in rental storage. Aaarrgh! I had to explain that it would still be mental clutter for me but with the added stupidity of paying extra for it.

    Having a big basement is not an unmitigated bonus.

  26. posted by Barbara on

    After living in my house for 23 years, things have gotten out of control. It would be easy to fix up a room if I had an empty room to move everything to but I don’t. I’ve often thought that the only way I’m going to really get de-cluttered is to move the stuff out to a storage unit, fix things up, then move the right things back in and dispose of the rest.

    But, knowing myself like I do, I’m afraid the moving things back in part wouldn’t continue until the storage unit was empty and I’d end up paying for it much longer than I should.

  27. posted by April D. on

    @Barbara, I’ve had the same thought … how can I declutter when there’s no room in my apartment for a staging area where I can lay stuff out and sort it? So I have had the thought of asking if I could sort of “rent” an empty apartment as storage space temporarily. (Much more convenient to store things in a nearby vacant apartment than to have to drive to a storage facility, and my complex currently has lots of vacant apartments.) But like you, my fear is the whole process would drag on too long and I’d be up a creek.

  28. posted by queen stuss on

    I would say my decluttering journey started when we put our things in storage while we went overseas for two years. We were fairly sure it would only be two years, and we found a place that we could store what we needed to store for just over $1000 a year – insured and in a facility that looked after pest control. Newly married friends were renting our house, so we were able to leave 80% of our furniture in the house for them. It worked out that we paid less to store everything than it would have cost to replace it all.

    BUT. I remember saying to my husband at the time that I felt stupid storing all these clothes that I didn’t even know if I would still want in two years time. (As it turned out, by the time we’d gotten everything out of storage I’d had a baby and half my clothes didn’t even fit anymore!) I wanted to have a garage sale and sell off as much as we could, but my husband thought that was a silly idea.

    His idea is still that if we don’t use something just store it in the garage, and that if we move house we will have to get something with far more cupboard space. I would rather just get rid of it if I’m not going to use it anymore!

  29. posted by Ellen Fischel on

    I recommend keeping an excel spread sheet of the items in the storage unit, this way you don’t forget what is inside.

  30. posted by Laura @ PARING DOWN on

    No self-storage for me. If I have that much stuff, it’s time to get rid of it.

  31. posted by Ruth G on

    Ditto! We stored our things in a N. California self storage while we lived in Japan for a year. Unexpectedly, we decided to go to grad school and to move back East with our also unexpected baby. When we visited the unit 6 years later…only about 5-10% of the contents were worth shipping back East. Clothes were musty and out of style. Books were replaceable and…well, we’d read them already.

    Pitch it pitch it give it away to someone who can use it recycle whatever. It was freeing to let that stuff go.

  32. posted by The Simple Dollar » The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: High Alert Edition on

    […] The Price of Using Self-Storage Self-storage is a double whammy. Not only are you retaining more stuff than you have room for or have time for which could be liquidated and turned into cash, you’re also paying for the privilege of storing it. Not good, all around. (@ unclutterer) […]

  33. posted by timgray on

    Honestly if you store it for more than a year there is never a “good excuse” for storage fees. $120 a month times 4 years = all new furniture unless you have trendy high priced fancy stuff. I’d rather save the $120 a month and buy all new stuff when I need it than in 4 years populate a new home with old stuff that will stink like a storage facility and possibly have rodent damage.

    my wife and I live by a single rule. if it is not touched for 13 months, it goes away. Sold, donated, it goes away and out of our lives. It has saved us more money and grief than anything else. We recently found a old box of videotapes, after borrowing a VCR to even view them we tossed 3/4 as junk and paid to have the other 1/4 transferred to dvd and then threw them away and kept the 2 dvd’s of old home video.

    That said, I have a friend that we recently helped move her storage… she had it for 10 years and all of us were asking her why she was holding onto the junk in there. the “new” dining table she had stored in there was warped so bad it was nothing but firewood. Because she was unwilling to pay for $250.00 a month for climate controlled storage and everything was ruined.

  34. posted by Rosa on

    My folks have a storage unit – a small one, I think 5×5 feet. They are living full time in an RV, but they expect to eventually settle down somewhere.

    I’m just grateful they didn’t expect to store all their stuff here – a lot of their friends have a lifetime of possessions crammed into their kids houses while they travel around the country fancy free.

  35. posted by Kris on

    My father-in-law has had 3 storage units for years. He is storing clothes, camping gear, gold panning equipment,furniture and knick knacks from his mother who passed several years ago – furniture mind you that none of the other famiy members wanted. My hubby and I have tried numerous times to get him to at least reduce his storage to one unit, instead of 3. (One of the units is in southern California and he lives in northern Calfornia now so it’s an expense in itself to drive to that unit.) He finally agreed to clear out the southern unit and he tried to donate the items to Goodwill/Salvation Army. They wouldn’t take his items because they were too old and junky so he took them back to the storage unit rather than pay the fees to dump the items. He is paying over $100 a month to store items that Goodwill refused!! He’s retired and on a fixed income and needs dental work and medical procedures but can’t afford them because he wastes his money storing junk. When we add up all the money he has spent storing junk, he could be living a very comforatable life. I recognize that short-term storage (months) is necessary for certain events, but it’s a complete money pit if it’s used as an extention of your house.

  36. posted by Sam Lowry on

    Nice timing on this one for me. I have a storage unit and I fit into the category of “stuff I inherited recently from my father’s estate”. Though I have already been clearing it out – my guess is that at least 50% of it is junk – you have further motivated me to do some serious thinking about what I really need. I should at least be able to reduce to a smaller unit.

  37. posted by Mel on

    Hmm, I’m with lh and Paul–I’d like to have seasonal camping gear out of the apartment (it takes up a lot of space), but getting rid of it is not an option because we enjoy camping and would like to do more, not none. A $50/month storage unit would probably take care of it easily, and that’s far, far cheaper than moving to a three-bedroom apartment (which are rare around here in the first place) or a house. And if we HAVE the storage unit for the camping gear, we might as well put some furniture in there which is not practical for an apartment but would be for a house.

    I’m still pricing it out.

    For long-term apartment-dwellers who do outdoor activities, a storage unit is a cheap apartment extension.

    Incidentally, many people spend around that much on cell phones–they could just use landlines, right?

  38. posted by *pol on

    Excellent arguments both for and against storage units. You forced me to reconsider my stand on them.

    The storage unit for crap over 7 years is a bit extreme though… and I personally could never justify $120 a month on something I don’t use regularly!

  39. posted by Rosa on

    Kris – if you let your father-in-law give you some of the furniture and stuff, and then it quietly disappeared, would he freak out?

    My grandmother used to give me all kinds of stuff, and I mostly recycled/donated/tossed it – but she didn’t have the mobility to visit us, so it never was an issue. She just didn’t want to have to throw it away herself, and I don’t blame her.

  40. posted by Sunshine on

    True Story. My parents had their storage building broken into. Evidently, the burglar(s)took one look & moved on. They didn’t steal one thing. I tried to convince my folks that if the stuff wasn’t worth stealing that they should donate it to Goodwill. Unfortunately, they didn’t heed my advice. It’s sad really that they can’t let go & that they continue to pay storage fees for junk…

  41. posted by The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: High Alert Edition on

    […] The Price of Using Self-Storage Self-storage is a double whammy. Not only are you retaining more stuff than you have room for or have time for which could be liquidated and turned into cash, you’re also paying for the privilege of storing it. Not good, all around. (@ unclutterer) […]

  42. posted by Kris on

    Rosa – great suggestion – I had thought of this but we live in Phx, AZ and we’d have to rent a trailer to move his junk from southern CA to our house – which I am willing to do. However whenever we try to schedule a time when we can meet at the storage unit he finds some excuse. He’s too attached to his junk I guess. Except the funny/sad part is that I doubt he even knows exactly what he is storing. IF we ever get him to agree to give us the items, I seriously doubt he would ever think twice about them – and I will have no problem finding other homes for his items. Thanks again for a great idea!

  43. posted by The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: High Alert Edition | Frugal Living News on

    […] The Price of Using Self-Storage Self-storage is a double whammy. Not only are you retaining more stuff than you have room for or have time for which could be liquidated and turned into cash, you’re also paying for the privilege of storing it. Not good, all around. (@ unclutterer) […]

  44. posted by Rosa on

    The blogger at theboxcarkids is going through her storage unit, trying to get down to a smaller one and send really irreplaceable items to a sister for safekeeping:

    She makes a really good point about the how many people hold on to storage spaces as a form of optimism – well, we’re going to have more space soon, right?

  45. posted by All Kind Mortgage » Blog Archive » The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: High Alert Edition on

    […] The Price of Using Self-Storage Self-storage is a double whammy. Not only are you retaining more stuff than you have room for or have time for which could be liquidated and turned into cash, you’re also paying for the privilege of storing it. Not good, all around. (@ unclutterer) […]

  46. posted by Brooks on

    My wife, a kindergarten teacher, got a temporary assignment in the district office. The district doesn’t pay for storage of all the stuff she’d amassed over the years that wasn’t school property (books, toys, decorations, etc). We priced out the cost of a storage unit and bought an 8′ x 10′ shed instead. After purging things she realized she had but didn’t use or want anymore (teachers are notorious packrats! “I might be able to use that _______ someday.”), we got it all in.

    Then, after she goes back into the classroom, we get a craftroom/playhouse out of the deal! (Or maybe a mancave. Hmmmmmm)

  47. posted by Sasha on

    Our apartment is on the small side, and doesn’t have much storage space. But it’s also far cheaper than the average rent for equivalent apartments in my area–equivalent apartments go for $600 more per month in my area.

    For us, it’s a perfectly reasonable decision to get storage space. (Though we haven’t done so yet–but we plan to.) We plan to get a regular sized storage space while we’re putting up a better shelving system, and then move some things to a smaller storage space. In this case, decluttering will still save us money, because we’ll be able to get pay for less space. But getting a storage unit itself? Definitely worthwhile.

    Although you know what, I’m going to use this as a reminder when I start feeling uncomfortable about spending the money on shelving–it’s a one time only expense, so it’s cheaper than it seems.

  48. posted by Erin on

    Funny, but when this blog was sent to my inbox there was an ad for storage units “attached” to it. 🙂

  49. posted by Good Read$ on

    […] The price of using self storage. (Don’t miss the comments where the bottom line may not be so cut-and-dry as you […]

  50. posted by becky on

    There was a fascinating article about storage units and what they mean in America in the New York Times Sunday magazine back in September. I don’t know how you feel about links in your comments, but if you go to and search “The Self Storage Self” it comes right up.

  51. posted by wonderworld on

    Because of what I thought would only be a temporary move out of state, due to a family emergency, I put everything (everything!) in storage. Ten years later I finally was able to “go home” to empty out the storage unit (a 10 x 20 space at $130 per month for 10 years!).

    Holy crap! Literally! What wasn’t mold or insect damaged ended up being the head scratching “Why the heck did I save this?” item. Also, furniture items can only handle the weight of boxes and other furniture piled on them for so long before legs begin to bow & couch cushions become permanently reformed! I ended up having to pay junk haulers $800 to haul off the ruined furniture & other trashed items (boxes & boxes & boxes!!!). Then, after many car loads (and gallons of gas) of hauling the salvageable stuff to the donation drop offs, I was able to pare everything down to 5 small boxes of keepsake things that couldn’t ever be replaced.

    All the years I had been “temporarily” living somewhere else I was faced with the dilemma of buying a new item every time I thought I needed something. But I would say “Why should I buy a new dish rack/ironing board/ coffee mug/etc. when I have one in storage?” (only 1,500 miles down the road! LOL!) That forced me to live minimalisticly for sure, though I more often than not found the item I needed for free by going to Freecycle or just asking someone if they had one they didn’t need. The important word here is “needed”! If I didn’t “need” it I wouldn’t get it. And with a storage unit full of stuff for all those years I wouldn’t get something just because I “wanted” it. Remember, I was only going to be there temporarily!

    So then I had a household of stuff in one state (temporarily), while paying storage on a household of things I couldn’t access in another state! A state of financial insanity to be sure!

    The funniest/saddest part about this whole scene is that while living “temporarily” in another state I went & fell in love, got married, bought a house, & started a family! Meanwhile a day didn’t go by when I didn’t say: “I’ve got one of those in storage!” Finally my new husband couldn’t stand it any longer. So together we took a vacation & went & cleared out the storage. I was actually embarrassed by all the junk I had saved & more embarrassed by all that money wasted! He was patient, non-judgmental, & understanding- however, he occasionally asked as we unpacked another box of stuff: “Explain to me again why you’ve been paying storage for 10 years for 3 shower curtains/a toaster/a cracked vase/etc.?!” And of course I had to laugh at myself- followed by tears for all the money wasted! And of course there was all that psychological & emotional stress attached to things that were meanwhile slowing decomposing in storage anyway!

    I found that most of the “sentimental” stuff was ruined & actually didn’t mean all that much any more anyway. Why should I hold onto fotos & ticket stubs & coffee mugs, etc. from former lovers if I am now married to the love of my life?! (Besides, the guy who gave me the coffee mug turned out to be a jerk anyway, that’s why I never married him!)

    Self storage is just a metal box that we pour a lot of money into & there is no return on the investment!

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