Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom
When Colleen wrote Have Storage Will Clutter, I assumed it would be about storage units, which exist all over the US, some row after row of garages, and others (literally) high rise buildings with full heating and air conditioning services. Some people’s junk in the US lives better than many citizens.
Recently I was at a class with my eldest daughter and was telling one of the fathers about the blog. He immediately told me that his chore for that day was cleaning out the garage. The coach then approached and asked if we were talking about cleaning out a storage unit. The man said, “No, but we have one of those that needs to be emptied too.” Then the coach shared that she has three storage units. She is going on a trip to Europe soon and noted that the units cost about a European trip per year. She claimed that she intends to clean out one unit when she returns (although I have to say, her commitment to this seemed very half baked, like one of those things that you just get used to saying like “I’m going to start exercising”). I challenged her to empty all three units. Bizarrely, she then said, “Oh no, I’m a minimalist” but had to return to coaching before I could find out how in the world having three storage units and being a minimalist could possibly be related. (Ok, truthfully, I was too busy trying not to snort loudly and rudely to find out more.)
I asked the father why he had a storage unit. He said that they intend to turn half of their garage into an exercise room. In order to work toward this goal, they’d cleaned out part of the garage and put it in storage. At least some of the stuff in the storage unit are items that will be in the exercise room. He told me that the unit was about a cheap as they come at $110 per month (about the same AUD, 81 Euro) and that he’d spent over $1000 (741 Euro) on the unit so far. One thousand dollars and no exercise room yet. The gym closest to my house is $70 a month for a family membership. They could have been working out for the past 14 months for the money that’s gone into this storage unit.
The last example of Have Storage, Will Clutter is a couple I know. Their adult children live in Texas. The parents thought that they would move from California, more than 1000 miles away, to Texas. When one of the children got a long-term overseas assignment, the parents packed up their belongings, sold their condominium, and move into their son’s house. Because the son’s house was fully furnished, they kept some of their personal items, and the rest of their belongings went into storage. This makes sense to me. Having their items in storage was cheaper than continuing to pay for a whole condominium for them, and they knew that their living arrangements were temporary. Eighteen months later, their son returned, and the parents moved back to California, leaving their stored items behind. For a while it was unclear what would happen next, but now more than five years have passed. The parents definitely aren’t moving to Texas, and their belongings are still here, still in storage. They don’t seem to have any intention of repossessing their items, which include furniture, clothing, household items, and collectibles, nor do they seem to have any intention of paying to have these items moved to California. Every year when they visit Austin for two or three days, they visit the storage unit – presumably to get something out of it, but I really don’t know. (Maybe to put something in!!) If the average unit is $100 a month, five years of storage comes to $6600 (4890 Euros). In the meantime, they’ve purchased replacement furniture and electronics for their home in California. My estimate is that this folly has cost them at least $10,000. I don’t really know what to say about this story. It truly mystifies me, but I do know that if storage units weren’t so convenient, something else would have been done with these belongings, rather than just having them sit in climate-controlled comfort year after year.
If you have a storage unit, my first advice to you is to leave the house alone and declutter the storage. You’re throwing money away when what you need to do is make some hard choices and probably many easy choices and live within the space you have available to you. All those “valuable” items you may find hard to part with because “they cost good money” are getting more and more costly each day that you pay to store them. Have storage, will clutter, indeed!
Today’s Declutter Item
I bought this carry file about 15 years ago when working as a teacher’s aide in my children’s first school. That was seven schools ago and it has hardly been used for its intended purpose since. I think it is well past time I let it go.
Something I Am Grateful For Today
I had a wonderful day today giving a friend a belated birthday treat. We had a coffee, went to the Hunter Valley Gardens (first time for both of us) and had our favour Tom Yum soup for lunch. Everything was perfect including the weather. See photos below.