PTSD-Pondering the Storage (Unit) Dilemma

“Just like fish, magazines tend to stink up the place after awhile.”

-Allison Carter, retired Professional Organizer

If you’re ever looking for a decluttering project, I vote for magazines. You can quickly make a judgement based on the year and the cover page. Relevance can be determined by how much dust there is, how buried in the clutter they are and how likely you’ll have the time and/or energy to read and apply anything IN the magazine.

Letting go of magazines is easier than you think – it all starts with one!

PTSD – Pondering the Storage (Unit) Dilemma

To store or not to store? That is the question of anyone who has items that do not fit in a current space but could possibly be used in the future. POSSIBLY is the key word. Here’s a question to consider before you slap down your first month’s rent to your local storage facility:

Realistically, how long will you be needing this storage unit?

If you’re honest with yourself and the storage unit is going to be kept for a year or more….quickly estimate your storage costs and there’s a good chance you can afford to buy a replacement item for less than what the storage will cost.

Two storage (cautionary) tales:

Situation one – family moving out of state, didn’t want to take a lot of clothes and furniture but thought they better keep these items ‘just in case.’ Three years later, they contacted us to empty the unit and sell whatever we could. A good bit of the furniture was ruined by mold/dampness but we were able to sell a ton of stuff and help them to recoup the costs of all the storage fees. There was NOTHING in the unit that they wanted to keep. Absence did not make the heart grow fonder..more a case of out of sight, out of mind.

Situation two – musician client had tons of instruments in storage because it didn’t fit in his tiny house. Fast forward 10 years and he was willing to let Howard sell a bunch of items which allowed him to empty the storage place and make quite a bit of money. So a double win – no more storage fees and money in his pocket from sales.

I tell these tales as a cautionary story to ANY of you contemplating storage. There are times when storage is a necessity –

  1. Short term solution when you are in between living spaces
  2. Getting a house remodeled and need to store stuff temporarily to get it out of the workspace.
  3. Moving out of state and unsure if you’re going to buy a small place to have in your home state so you want to wait a year and see.
  4. Closing up an estate and don’t have time to sort through items and aren’t emotionally ready to deal with it right away.

Reason #4 is probably the most dangerous scenario as most people will not dive into this type of sensitive matter very quickly. If at all possible, it’s preferred (and less expensive) to go through the items rather than pack them all up. We have a cousin that joked that he had a $10,000 coffee table, which totaled the cost of storing the table for his daughter for MANY years until she decided she didn’t want it.

Little known fact – 90% of the world’s self-storage is in the United States. About 1 in 10 US households are self-storage customers. Wow. Delayed decision making is costly – hope you can decide what to do with stuff in the present verses the future.

Declutter Challenge Club

I am motivated because of your positive feedback, encouragement and suggestions. Little did I realize when I walked into your class 1 1/2 yrs ago, that I would be decluttering my house. You have been a blessing to me.” -Diana, Club Member

The Aim 4 Order Declutter Club members are making great progress and

  • Appreciate the short, motivational emails.
  • Love the group Zoom calls where members interact and share decluttering challenges and achievements
  • Feel accepted – no judging or shaming permitted
  • Are making amazing progress in most cases!

Membership is open to all, you can start today or whenever you want. Would love to see you there!


Please email me if you have any questions or need additional information.

Got Stuff to Sell?

Let us eBay your items.

Howard is happy to speak with you about items you may want him to sell on eBay. Email or call 443-255-8960.

“Helping Baby Boomers and their Parents Lighten their Loads”

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the amount of stuff in your home, contact me. Together, we can transform your home into a happy, tidy place where you can feel at peace. We can also get you ready for your next move… more enjoyably, faster and easier. We specialize in senior moves and helping families find new homes for the things they no longer have room to keep. We can also take care of clearing out homes that need to be listed quickly for resale. Contact me to schedule an appointment.


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