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90 Comments

  1. Hah, I was a chump too! I used to own 400 bottles of nail polish and other various junk. When I decided to move to SF from NYC (shocking how my small bedroom even fit the stuff!), I had very little money, so I couldn’t afford to ship everything.

    I was moving to SF for a training program and would be unemployed for at least 3-4 months. I spent weeks going through my precious belongings, and threw it all in a storage unit promising myself I’d come back as soon as I got a job and ship everything.

    Needless to say that didn’t happen. I paid $50 a month for a year and a half. When I went back to the storage unit, I hardly remembered what was in there. I chuckled as I found a box labeled with “Pipettes”…I had decided it was worth storing 100 pipettes I had ordered off Amazon that probably cost $6. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I ended picking 6 boxes out of 20 to ship, and half the glassware I ended up shipping broke anyway…

    D’oh. Lesson learned.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      400 bottles of nail polish? Don’t they dry out? $50 a month is cheap for storage in NY but it’s still a chump expense — especially when you’re storing pipettes! I had to Google pipettes, LOL. It’s funny how we don’t even remember what we’re holding on to.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  2. Ahhh…this post made me laugh out loud. I was foolish enough to do the same thing many years ago. Except I was a student and was renting a unit for $75/mo (not temp controlled) because I moved home so I could afford college and couldn’t keep my apartment. But hey, I could certainly still swing $75/mo to keep my couch and lamps I had bought at Kmart. OMG. How stupid was I?!

    And here we are preaching FIRE. Times sure have changed 🙂

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Times have indeed changed! I wonder why we think our stuff is valuable enough to pay to hold on to it. And who really uses their furniture again after putting it in storage long term? Thanks for your comment Mrs. MMM!

  3. My son and his wife have just rented some storage, but for a good reason. They are trying to sell their apartment, and they have far too much stuff (particularly books). They are buying a bigger home, so it should be only temporary.
    On the other hand, if it was me, I would just say – get rid of the extra stuff! Hence I agree with you.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Knowing what I know now I’d definitely get rid of the stuff. But I didn’t make that choice when I had the stuff and wanted to hold onto it! Hopefully it will be very short term for your son and his wife. I think I’ve grown less attached to things as I’ve gotten older. And I have little patience for cleaning and organizing so it’s far easier for me to dump, donate, or sell.

  4. If you don’t use it , then it is useless! The only time anyone should use a storage facility is if they are staging a home to sell it. Clear out the crap to make the house look spacious. In our house if we do not use something for a year, it is out! Glad you guys finally got rid of yours.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      I totally agree! A storage unit should only be used as a very short-term solution to a problem. Thanks for commenting DDD!

  5. So many of these same principles apply to clutter of all kinds. Although we aren’t shelling out for a storage unit, the purpose of our garage has become just that. We are currently going through a major decluttering process with plans to host a yard sale in June and then donate or give away everything that remains. While many of the items may not be worth much, I have been thinking of it like a factory holding too much inventory. It’s inefficient. Time to liquidate some of those cluttery assets and reclaim our garage! 🙂

    • Mrs. Groovy

      That’s a great analogy about holding too much inventory, Melanie. And a yard sale would be ideal. Where we live we can only do a community yard sale once a year and I don’t find that appealing. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Great post! When we moved in with my mom for a short time before buying our second home, we stored everything in her old rickety shed through a brutally cold winter and a sweltering summer.

    We were constantly asked why we didn’t get a temperature controlled storage unit. I always said it was a waste of money. If it’s out in the shed, obviously it wasn’t a top priority anyway for us (though our amazing kitchen pots/pans were out there). After six months, we moved and our stuff was absolutely fine. A few spiders, but otherwise nothing had to be thrown out and we saved hundreds on it.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thanks, FM! We went with temperature controlled because it didn’t cost terribly more here. Your weather situation probably provided good motivation to move your stuff out of the shed, just in case. Thanks for commenting!

  7. David

    My neighbor owns a small storage facility. It’s only 4 units but they are 12’X24′. Two are rented to a contractor who offers his clients a safe place to store their furniture and household items during remodeling jobs. It’s one small service that separates him from his competition.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      That’s a really great idea, David. Plus he’s offering a service people need. Thanks for commenting.

  8. Intellectually, I absolutely agree that it is a waste of money to have long term storage commitments.

    That be said, I have been thinking of getting a storage unit myself. My mom passed away when I was 25, and I inherited everything. I have tons of boxes of stuff that holds priceless emotional value, some monetary value, but mostly just junk.

    My partner has been extraordinarily patient with me, but he is itching to use the basement for more than just a place to store my childhood memories. The immediate step is to inventory again and see exactly what I want to keep and then decide if storage makes (emotional) sense (I already know it doesn’t make financial sense.)

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Perhaps you can get storage for a limited time and set a goal for going through your mom’s things. Among my mother’s things when she passed were many photo albums. I thought about keeping them. But I decided to just pull a few photos from each one and put them in an envelope. And the envelope has been sitting in a drawer since then. It’s possible you might find when going through the stuff that there’s less you wish to keep than you had thought. Then again, maybe not. Either way it might be good to tackle it.

  9. For a couple years we lived in a cheaper place but needed to rent a storage unit to make it work. SIx months ago we bought a house and it allowed us to get our crap out of storage which is nice and put it in a nice shed in the backyard. After paying $63 a month for 2 years all I feel like I got out of it was that I didn’t even miss the stuff. A big part of this summer will be going through these items and either selling them or getting rid of them. I feel like it is just weighing us down and most of it is my stuff that we’ve haven’t used in years. Time for me to let go.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      I think pretty often people won’t miss the stuff they sock away, if only they’ll admit it! Good luck selling your items. It will be sweet if you can pocket a little extra cash for them.

  10. Lila

    I think the U.S. is such a wealthy country (generally), that it’s easy to acquire stuff even in this economy, I don’t really see the problem of storage or hoarding in third world countries.

    I know you’re not hoarding, but usually in third world countries, people don’t have a lot of stuff to even rent a storage container.

    It’s not tough to get stuff because of dollar stores, thrift stores, consignment stores, etc. Many people wind up with more stuff than they need or even want.

    Oh that was an interesting article, paying $200/month to live in a storage unit, the lowest I can go in rent & still stay in a safe neighborhood is $565.00 (current rent).

    I wish I could get away with paying $200 for rent. 😛

    • Mrs. Groovy

      I know, right? We’re blessed to have extra things we don’t need when you think about it.

      $200 a month for rent would be some deal! I was wondering how that guy might have gotten away with living in the storage unit but there are many cameras in those facilities. I’m surprised he remained hidden as long as he did.

      Thanks for stopping by, Lila. I hope all is well with you!

  11. Yeah for small victories! I didn’t realize the storage unit market was still so huge. Shocking to see those percentages of storage unit users who also have a garage, attic or basement.

    I did use a unit for a couple months about 6 years ago to aid in moving but have worked to eliminate a lot of stuff since then.

    So agree that “clutter can be the enemy of good personal finance habits.” It can also wreck havoc on other good habits. Hard to hit the walking or running trail when you can’t find your shoes. 🙂

    • Mrs. Groovy

      I feel six months is a reasonable amount of time to use a storage unit if it helps with a move or a transition. Hahaha so true about not finding your shoes messing up your exercise schedule! Thanks for stopping by, Amy!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Good for you! I know the feeling. Sometimes I open some of our kitchen cabinets that are empty and just relish the extra space. It calms me to know that not every corner is filled to the brim. Thanks for stopping by ATL!

  12. Storage and stuff has been on my mind this week as well.

    We don’t have a storage unit, but I admit I’ve thought about getting a POD for one reason: to give us a designated space to sort for the massive clean out we need to do. And I think that could work, if we limited ourselves to a couple of dedicated weeks where everything got moved out, evaluated, and then kept/tossed/given away. If it allowed us to do that (and we actually tossed/gave away the stuff we need to) it would actually be well worth it…for a month.

    We’ve never pulled the trigger on the idea for fear of running into the same issue you did…keeping too much stuff we don’t need for years, and paying extra to do so.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      When I commented on your post this week I noticed our thoughts were on the same subject! That’s not a bad idea with the Pod. Knowing you, it would motivate you to get the job done because it would annoy you to pay good money, and not meet your goal. Thanks for commenting, Emily. I’ll watch for updates on your website.

  13. Great post, Mrs. Groovy!

    Storage units must be used strictly for a very short term if you are in a transition in life.

    For your amusement, I would like to share that I wrote a similar post in 2015, calling Self Storage “A Terrible Mistake” http://stretchadime.com/self-storage-terrible-mistake/.

    I share how I chose not to put things in storage when we moved from TX to NJ.

    Three years later, work / life has brought us back to TX but that’s another story 🙂

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thanks, Michael! I just read your article. You were very disciplined to pull off that move/downsize without spending one cent on storage. Congratulations!

      The statistic that really surprises me is the occupancy rate of almost 90%. No wonder the self-storage industry continues to grow.

  14. I honestly don’t know if we’re chumps or not. Our teardrop camper is in a storage unit as well as the tools for building our tiny house, which we’ve thought is reasonable at $100/month. I think we could move the camper, but we have no room for tools and no desire for a shed BUT we’d have half. Argh. LOL

    • Mrs. Groovy

      That’s a tough situation Claudia. But your house is 536 square feet right? And of course your tiny house will be smaller. You’ve got to put the teardrop and the tools somewhere. (Looking forward to your post on this topic next week!)

  15. We struggle a bit with getting rid of stuff, because we want to be resourceful and either sell the item or repurpose it. My biggest issue is probably clothing, because of my occasional hobby of refashioning old things into something new.

    That being said, we would definitely never let things get so bad that we would need a storage unit. My crazy aunt moved here from across the country with TWO big U-Hauls filled with crap that went from the truck, immediately into THREE storage units!!! Mr. Smith was kind enough to help and said everything was a complete mess and there was all sorts of random stuff that was obviously thrown into the trucks at the last minute. And, the three units weren’t even enough.

    At the one Christmas, she started dropping hints about how we must have lots of storage space at our rental property . . . I just walked away. No way!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Are you kidding me? Your aunt wanted to dump her stuff on you? I’m glad she didn’t pursue it any further.

      I can understand not wanting to toss clothing when you’re so good with crafts. I’ve seen some amazing pieces on YouTube videos showing how an old piece of clothing was repurposed with just a little cutting and sewing.

  16. There will be some major downsizing going on when we move, but I still won’t be tempted to get a storage unit. It will just be a great reason to purge a lot of that stuff.

    Around LA, we noticed storage units everywhere… Then we realized, oh, you can’t have a basement and the attic is a sweltering heat box 9 months of the year. Right, storage units…

    I’ll have to look into the storage units REIT’s because it seems pretty solid, at least in the Gulf South anyway. 🙂

    • Mrs. Groovy

      I’d love to know what you think if you look into REITs with storage units.

      When you downsize it’s an ideal time to purge. And that also helps you feel like you’re making a fresh start.

  17. Wow! $300/ month?? I had no idea. We’ve never rented a storage unit (though we had plenty of stuff several years back). We have paid for a spot to park our camper for the winter and that usually ran around $50/month. Even that was painful.

    Your table story reminded me so much of my in-laws. They have at least 5 (yes, 5!) dining room tables in their house. WHY??!!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      At least you can’t help needing storage when you have a camper, unless you live in an unrestricted area where you can park it on your front lawn.

      Five tables? Do your in-laws invite the entire neighborhood for Thanksgiving?

  18. Great post Mrs. G, and that guy living in the U-Haul unit..haha, brilliant. We are a family of five living in 1200 square feet, along with 2 dogs! For years I assumed that as the kids got older we would HAVE to upsize. But our son is almost 17, and our daughters 14 and 11.
    At this point, upsizing seems pointless. If we were to move for other reasons, I would probably get a little extra space, however.
    As a family we’ve become accustomed to being in close quarters. I would say the only frustration is only having one main living area.

    So, I will be working on my blog on the laptop, while my wife is running on her treadmill, my son is listening to music on his headphones and my daughters are watching TV. Simultaneously in the same room!

    But the cool thing is that our kids enjoy our company, and a lot can be said for that, I guess. : )

    • Mrs. Groovy

      The guy living in the storage unit certainly didn’t lack ingenuity!

      Working on your laptop surrounded by your family sounds wonderful to me, MMM! I grew up in a small apartment where 4 people shared 1 bathroom. It made getting to school/work on time interesting. When we downsize, the ideal space would be around 1400 to 1600 sf. Thanks for your comment!

  19. I recall a friend years ago renting a storage unit because “she paid a lot for that furniture.” I’m not sure what kind of gold plated fancy lamps she stored in there, but at $80 per month, over AT LEAST 3 years of renting one, she could have had almost $3,000 towards purchasing new furniture.

    In addition, she could have sold her old furniture for cash and invested the proceeds. However, this isn’t the way many people think.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      To me furniture loses it’s value fast because design styles change. Also, I don’t like the idea of keeping anything with fabric stored away for too long. Pieces get musty and buggy. Your math is irrefutable, FP, but like you said, people don’t think that way.

  20. I have a lot of extra space in my basement – I’d gladly rent it out to hold peoples junk for a few hundred dollars a month! I’ve had a storage unit for exactly two days. We used one when moving from the condo to our house – since we were moving ourselves in a truck, and it was local, we stored all our things in the unit the day before the move, and then took them out again the day of the move. Total cost = free! They had a 30 days free deal going on, so our two days cost us nothing.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Seriously then, you should look into renting out that space, Liz. Very smart of you to take advantage of that freebie but I’m not surprised. We don’t call you the Chief for nothing!

  21. We are buying two new sheds this week, instead of renting a storage unit. As we get ready to downsize, we will lose a one car garage and a storage crawl space under our house. The square footage of the new house is about 2/3 of our current house too! Putting a bigger shed at our rental will allow us to move a lot of tools and a mower there. A bigger new shed at our downsized house will allow us to store some of current garage items. It will definitely be a work in progress the next few months. (And yes, I did call and check on storage unit prices when I started panicking about all our stuff!! $70/month here…)

    • Mrs. Groovy

      That’s a great idea, Vicki. You save the money you would have spent on storage, plus you can resell the sheds when you no longer need them. I’m curious, what what’s the price tag on the sheds?

  22. It is with great shame that I post this: we pay $80 a month for 10×15 storage unit in Douglas, GA. It’s the last monthly expense that we have. (I prepaid the Netflix account for 18 months!) The storage unit is where we keep the last of our things; it is stuffed to the max.

    I promise it’s not full of junk; it really is all of our possessions. Can we be granted a dispensation or are we really chumps? Ed

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Well, Ed, because you’re a really cool dude and Mr. G and I like you so much – we’ll give you a pass, THIS TIME. We don’t have the heart to classify you as a chump. And I do think special dispensation is in order considering you and your family left the country and you no longer pay rent here.

  23. We just cleared out of our storage unit about six months ago. We used to live in a 1,200 sq-ft house and downsized to a one-bedroom apartment when we moved. My husband is also a carpenter, so he’s got tools and machines up the wazoo.

    We put most of it in a tiny 5’x5′ storage unit. They kept jacking up the price, though, till we were paying like $65 a month. Finally I had enough. We didn’t sell or get rid of our stuff, rather we packed it up in our apartment because my husband still needs his tools. It looks like we live in a hardware store, but at least we’re saving the money! Now if only I could get him to get rid of his video game memorabilia collection instead…

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Oh, Lindsay, I feel for you about that video game collection! Maybe you have a nephew he can “lend” it to? Good for you for getting rid of the storage unit. I’m sure management feels they can keep raising the prices because people feel stuck. But not you!

  24. I did use a storage unit for less than a year when I moved in with my wife. It was mostly filled with furniture which we sold or otherwise disposed of and I vowed never to pay for a storage unit again. And despite having no attic, no garage and no basement (I have a condo), I still have no storage unit. So I was feeling a bit smug until I got to the clutter part where you asked if I could find things in my home. Uh, not always. In fact, in an infamous incident, we bought a second set of inexpensive camp chairs rather than get through all the clutter to find the ones we already owned. We definitely need to work on the decluttering.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Hah! Serves you right for feeling smug! It could have been worse if you couldn’t find something you needed that was very expensive. I hear you, though. It’s frustrating. Just the other day I took our house and garage apart to find a $12 power cord. I was about to order a 2nd one on Amazon but decided to relax for a few hours and see if I could remember where I stashed it. Sure enough, I found it later in a basket.

  25. Your story is a duplicate of mine, Mrs. G. I was teaching for a while, and when done I took out a 1 x 1 metre storage unit for all of the resources (just in case I ever taught again – which I knew I never would). It was a new unit, so pretty cheap at first. Then 12 months later the price rose. 12 months after that and it was going to double! I had 1 month to clear and give notice, which I did. Sold it all at a garage sale.

    I have to say, looking back, I think the storage was a way of “letting go” – processing the idea that teaching wasn’t for me. I think I needed the time to put it aside without seeing it regularly. I probably didn’t need as much time as I took, though!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      I can understand your hesitancy to let go of resources, Mrs. ETT. They’d be hard to replicate. It’s only natural to need that time for processing and letting go.

      In our area there are many enticing promos for renting storage units – first month free, etc. It’s too easy to fall into the trap.

  26. I’m such a minimalist, that a storage unit would drive me nuts. When I did live in a house, I always had a clean garage, while most neighbors had piles of junk. Like you said, how do they really know what is in there?

    The US Green Building Council gives LEED certifications to buildings and they actually have a category for storage units! I heard a writer once criticize it as “a LEED certified landfill”.

    Also, I used to own small airplanes and manage an airport, so I’m aware of the monthly maintenance and storage costs…. like the saying goes: “If it flies, floats, or f**ks, it is cheaper to rent.” 🙂

    • Mrs. Groovy

      LOL, I love that saying! You should see our neighbor, PP. She’s a lovely woman who lives by herself. The interior of her home is nice and clean and she dresses very nicely. But her 2-car garage is filled with heaps of junk. She can’t even fit her car in it.

  27. It always surprises me how hard it is to let things go initially, but when I find them at the back of a drawer or a closet I wonder why I kept them so long.
    I’d imagine it’s the same with storage, and good for you for clearing out the clutter!
    We now have a ‘purgatory’ box in our garage for things we’re not sure we want to get rid of. Every few months I’ll donate the whole mess, and in the last 6 years there have only been one or two items for which I changed my mind and decided to keep.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thanks for the idea, Julie. I love the purgatory box! Letting go of things is like flexing a muscle. The more you do it, the more you get used to it and you don’t miss things.

  28. The only storage unit we’ve ever used was a temporary “pod” unit they drop on your front lawn. We needed it for about two months when we were doing some renovations years ago.

    I can’t image having that amount of stuff to have to pay a monthly fee to keep. ebay, craigslist anyone?

    • Mrs. Groovy

      I left it out of the post because it was a gross thought, but I stumbled on an article about a couple who used a pod to move. And when they opened it up they found their belongings had been taken over by mice! The article stressed getting insurance. Glad you had a better experience!

  29. Storage unit companies seems like a great business idea because of the high demand! Maybe I should invest in one…hmmm. I’m surprised…though not really…not many people with a garage/attic/basement need additional storage. We lived in a 650 sq foot apartment, now it’s about 850 sq feet with 2 little kids. Space is pretty tight and we did store some baby clothes/strollers etc in my parents’ basement. But for the most part, I think people have this hoarder type mindset and have a tough time getting rid of stuff. That and they buy too much stuff to begin with! And then they continue paying monthly to store them…crazy!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Our condo in NY was app. 650 sf and it was tight for 2 adults and 2 cats, although they don’t have as many toys as kids do. So true about the hoarder mindset. I think, also, some people are just very attached to things and they fear letting go of them because they might “need” them later.

  30. Congrats on closing that storage unit door for the last time!
    My favorite question is “Do I know anyone who can use it today?” That has helped us get rid of a lot of stuff. It feels so good to know that our neglected stuff is now out there being put to good use by other people.
    We are lucky that with our next downsize (in a little over a year!) Mr. Grumby’s sister has offered to store our remaining belongings in her basement for free.
    Here’s to blog posts like this inspiring people to find the joy in owning just enough!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      During one of our moves we gave away an IKEA dresser we had painted over to a next door neighbor who just had a baby. They were so happy with it and it made us feel really good.

      How lucky to have a great sister-in-law! Let’s all drink to “owning just enough!” Cheers, from one Mrs G to another!

  31. I have to say that the storage unit companies are making a killing off of people. There has to be at least 10 storage places within a 10 minute drive of my house.

    I don’t normally buy individual stocks but I have to admit that I have researched Public Storage (PSA) and U-Haul to see if it makes sense to buy.

    I haven’t pulled the trigger but this is a great reminder about how much people buy and then store 🙂

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Check out those REITS I mentioned. It might be better to invest in a bundle of commercial real estate as opposed to just one storage corporation. I agree there’s A LOT of money to be made. Keep me posted if you do pull the trigger. Thanks, MSM!

  32. Susan

    LOL our “short term” need for a unit lasted over 10 years before we relocated. Now in all fairness when we moved I had all new items stored in the unit- however I couldve bought sold & rebought everything probably 10 times after I added up not only the rental $ but the necessary insurance that goes along with it!!!! DONT DO IT DONT BE A CHUMP!!!!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Gee, your story sounds “vaguely” familiar, LOL! It’s also the ultimate testimony – ya hear that folks? Take it from Susan. DON’T DO IT!!!! (Thanks, Sue.)

  33. Am I the only one who read this post and is now thinking about monetizing my extra storage space? I’ve only ever rented storage space in college while away for the summer. Does anyone you know rent out storage space, I’d love to hear pro versus con.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      See Tonya’s response above! You can also check out Spacer for testimonials. Perhaps it serves your geographic area? Keep me posted. Thanks, FFT!

  34. Storage has to be the biggest waste of space out there! The amazing thing is that it’s so easy to sell all this stuff that it makes no sense to pay to store it away. Either use it, sell it, or give it away (please, please, please don’t throw it away – that’s just such a waste too).

    Admittedly, my garage is pretty full right now with all the trash I’ve picked up, but it’s sort of a quasi business I’ve got going there and my attempt at helping prevent waste, but I’d never pay to store any of my stuff.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      We’re totally on the same page as you and would never rent storage again. I like the idea of helping to prevent waste but I wouldn’t my garage to end up looking like it belongs on “Sanford and Son.” I hope Mr. Groovy doesn’t bring anything home when he begins picking up garbage. Thanks for commenting, FP!

  35. I’ve rented storage units twice in my life. Both times were less than three months and we needed temporary storage while we were moving.

    A few years ago, for about a year, I would buy abandoned storage units at auction and then resell the contents. That was a very interesting experience (it was also exciting, humbling, sad, and depressing at the same time)

    • Mrs. Groovy

      I’m all for making a buck off of selling contents. I’m glad to hear you were successful with that, Ty, although I can just imagine the depressing parts. Another way of making money off of storage is to purchase REITS with storage facilities in the holdings. Storage isn’t going away anytime soon.

      Good for you for having the discipline to keep your personal storage rental experience short. Thanks for sharing!

  36. Huh! I had no idea there was a sharing economy already in place for storage. Seems a little silly to me. I’m sure there are situations where you need to have storage, but 99% of the time it’s unnecessary. If you have a house that’s full to bursting and you still need a storage unit, it’s time to purge!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      Thanks, Mrs. PP. It seems like we’re heading towards a sharing economy for almost everything.

      We used to have “purge day” every few months in my office. It might not be a bad idea for some to institute that at home.

  37. What strikes me most about that list of most common storage unit contents is how easy and cheap all those items are to buy and sell on Craigslist (or at garage sales and Goodwill). Why pay to store that junk when you can sell it and re-buy something similar if you ever need it again? At least meth-cooking equipment, marijuana, and firearms are valuable! 😉

    • Mrs. Groovy

      If Heisenberg didn’t have an RV to cook meth in on Breaking Bad, would he have rented a storage unit?

      You’re right about the common contents being worth little. What a waste of space and money. Thanks, Matt.

  38. Don’t tell my landlord but I rent my garage to someone who doesn’t have enough storage in their own garage for $250 a month. He’s been renting for several years with me. I just don’t have that much stuff so it feels great (albeit a little nerve-wracking if my landlord ever found out or something happened to the garage) to earn money from being more minimalistic!

  39. When we downsized a year ago, we absolutely REFUSED to put anything into storage. We forced ourselves to sell/donate everything that we weren’t taking to our new, smaller home.

    It was difficult, given the time constraints, but effective. Don’t take the easy route. Deal with the junk, and deal with it now! Great post.

  40. I have to admit, sometimes I wish we had a garage or attic. But even they become hiding places for things we don’t really use. We took a good chunk of time during our year off to go more minimalist with our stuff. Making sure each item is actually earning it’s keep. Now the 7 of us fit rather nicely in our 1650 sf home. I drew a line in the sand and said our home couldn’t be a refuge place for barely used things. Plus it’s so much easier to keep the house tidy now. Even with 5 little kids trying to destroy it!

    • Mrs. Groovy

      That’s less than 250SF per person, Ms. M. If you were 7 adults that might be a little tough. Good for you for drawing that line in the sand and for using your time off productively. Thanks for your comment!

      • Actually, I think it might be easier with adults. Little kids have a lot of big toys . As they get older “toys” get smaller. Although their clothes will get bigger and we are short on closet space. =)

        The baby takes the most space, 4 and 5 year old less, and 8 and 9 year old the least of all.

        The one advantage with little kids, is that they hate privacy at this age. That will change as they get older. =) More space will give us more options for people to find a quite spot.

        I think our long term ideal space would be about 2000 sf. Mostly to allow for more cooking/food storage space. The more they eat, the more prep space I will need. =) When they are teenagers and eating a box of cereal in one sitting, I’ll need space to store 30-40 boxes aka a 8 day supply. =)

        • Mrs. Groovy

          Good points about kids I was unaware of. Gee, our house is exactly 2,000 SF – maybe we could swap for a few months?

          Seriously, it looks like we’re planning a trip to Glacier in the fall. Hope to see you.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      If your barn has rafters I can’t even imagine how much stuff you can cram in there. But I can understand it because when you have the room it’s hard to get motivated to purge. Good luck! And thanks for commenting!

  41. $249 a month for a storage unit? That is a steal compared to $300 a month…

    Unless you are looking to hide something, I don’t really see the point of a storage unit if you have a garage.

    It would make sense if I had a house and needed to downsize to an apartment in the event of a divorce or emergency or something… I don’t know, just throwing things out there.

    Thanks for share – Erik

    • Mrs. Groovy

      I agree with you, Erik. It makes no sense. In an emergency situation as you mentioned, it might be an option. But staying firm on short-term is key. Months have a way of stretching into years. Thanks for stopping by.