The self storage business has become a $38 billion dollar business. Which is fantastic if you own or invest in storage facilities. Not so great if you are one of their customers.
There is a good reason the storage unit business is booming. First, as a culture we are exploding with extra stuff: our memorabilia, our kid's stuff, our parent's stuff, our business stuff, our hobby stuff, our home remodeling stuff, I'll get to it soon stuff, or just our not sure what to do with stuff. You get the picture.
Once our stuff gets removed from our home and into a big metal box...it will usually stays there.
There is a law of physics that says:
Things in motion tend to stay in motion, things at rest, tend to stay at rest.
Storage units puts our things at rest...and there they sit.
5 ways to effectively use or not use storage units
1. Always have a plan and exit strategy. Be very clear why you are getting a storage unit and have a exit date from the beginning.
2. Use storage unit for transitions: moving/remodeling your home, families in transition, kids in transition. By using a storage unit verses filling up your own home, you keep from overwhelming your life with other peoples stuff. It's hard to remove other peoples things from your home once they have taken root. Again, have an exit strategy upfront.
3. Use the storage unit to support tiny homes. I have several clients who live in tiny spaces- boats, condo's etc. In this case, think of your storage unit as another room. Create this space as a working space. Put like with like and let it be a workable addition to your home. Add the cost of the storage unit in your budget as part of your rent/ home cost.
4. Thoughtfully create the storage unit as a working space. Don't just throw in boxes. Organize by category- think like with like. Put your taxes all together, your suitcases together, your grandmothers dishes together. Label clearly and with detail. If you can, put boxes around edges so you can find and sort your stuff with little effort. The more inviting the storage unit, the more likely you will be to use and downsize the space.
5. Downsize instead of storing. If you are feeling overwhelmed in your own home, a storage unit won't make it all go away. Consider hiring help to downsize your home. The money and effort spent in uncluttering your life is worth a 1000 storage units. If you find it difficult to unclutter your home...you will find it even harder to dig out from a storage unit. An ounce of prevention is priceless.
If you need help, get support. Many hands do in fact make more effective work. With help in downsizing, your focus and efforts are exponentially improved. The freedom you gain is priceless. My own specialty is making work fun, keeping your stress at ease and regaining your life. When you are having a good time, work stops being work. While we work we create a healthy nourishing home and discovering your new life... free of stuff.
Sign up for my March 6th class: Happily Uncluttered- click here to register.
Learn effective skills and tools to lightening up the emotional weight and energizing your work
Happy travels to a lighter life,
Healthy home & vibrant life coach, trainer and speaker.