I’m in the middle of a project. Not a fun one, but a necessary one.
I’m down-sizing! Stage 2.
Stage 1 happened nearly seven years ago when we sold our large single-family home and I moved into a two-bedroom condo. After sending half the contents away with the other party, I still had way too much stuff.
I knew this condo was a good short-term solution for me; I had no idea how long-term it might become.
I also knew that, having recently moved on from relatively full-time construction, I was still on the hook for some of that work. And who knows how many more small projects I would pick up into the future. I definitely needed to keep all my tools. And a lot of construction odds-and-ends that might come in handy for those projects.
I needed to buffer my transition, keep my options open.
So, I rented a storage unit to house the precious possessions that didn’t fit into my condo but I couldn’t yet part with, and other goods that just might be useful in the future. After all, why buy something new for a project when you just might already have it in your storage locker?
Besides, how temporary would this condo be? And would I be happy with the way I’d decided to furnish it, or soon realize that some of the things in my storage unit should exchange places with some of those in my living space?
I filled a pretty large storage unit. (Of course, my kids took advantage of it, too.)
Over time, I gradually divested myself of some of those items. Eventually, I gave up that large unit for one half the size, but three-quarters the price.
Some years ago, long before the whole storage locker rental business made its big surge, I speculated that one of the best businesses one could probably get into was storage locker rentals. Its future looked blindingly bright.
I should have!
Simple math tells me that the amount of money I’ve been spent on locker rental over these six-plus years is more than the value of the goods stored inside.
I suspect many other renters would come to the same conclusion if they did the math.
The passage of time tells me that much of the product I’d stored away for future use will likely never be used, unless it’s deposited at a goodwill store for someone who needs it far more than me.
This spring I took several vehicle loads of stuff from my locker to the massive garage sale our curling club put on to recover some of its covid-induced losses.
Good-bye tables and chairs. Good-bye shelving units. Good-bye shovels and rakes. Good-bye cordless tools. Good-bye stuff I’ve already forgotten about.
The locker was half empty. Why not completely empty it, and end the monthly expense?
“Come get your many boxes of Lego!” I advised my offspring. “I can keep storing them, or you can one day have an inheritance. But not both.” He’s obliging.
“How much of the rest will the ReStore take?” I checked that out, too.
Stage 2 downsizing is in full swing.
Still, it’s hard to decide what to part with. Some things are still dear to me, and some things might still be needed. Where can I find room within my condo, within its small storage locker, or on my patio?
Some things just have to go into the trash bin.
It’s not fun!
But then I remind myself of the despicable job I had last year cleaning up after a hoarder who passed away (because her estate wouldn’t clean it up, and I was responsible for the property). That experience gives me great incentive never to leave too much stuff for my offspring to eventually deal with!
. . . one last look at some of these things, briefly relive their memory, then cast them out.
I’m discovering that it’s also a cathartic experience. It’s good for the soul, besides the wallet.
At least, that’s how I see it . . .