Friday, August 20, 2010

Storage Units: Do You Have One?

I recently came across a very interesting article in the New York Times about storage facilities in the United States: NY times article

It's an interesting article about how people store things (and sometimes forget about them) in storage facilities all over the country. I know that it seems like everywhere we drive, we see tons of storage facilities. And they seem to keep popping up everywhere.

Twice when Handy Man and I moved, we had a gap in between leaving our old house and buying our new one. The first time, we looked for a storage facility, and there were no openings in any facility in the surrounding area. We ended up storing our things in a neighbor's garage. He had one garage bay open, and we had to make it all fit into that spot. Our stuff was piled up to the ceiling.

The next time we needed storage, we used my parent's garage and basement (thanks Mom and Dad)! We were dirt poor from not being able to sell our second house, renting a new house, and had to move twice. We also weren't sure about where we would end up moving.

The article says that while storage units were first built to help people through transitional periods (like a new marriage, divorce, moving, deaths), as time went along, people began to use them for overflow of personal items. 

With the recent recession, many storage units are going into foreclosure. The contents of the units are auctioned off. A lot of the stuff inside the units is "junk", according to the owners of the storage facilities.

This part of the article was really striking to me. It says:

The Self Storage Association notes that, with more than seven square feet for every man, woman and child, it’s now “physically possible that every American could stand — all at the same time — under the total canopy of self-storage roofing.”

Wow! Just let that sink in for a moment.

Do you have a storage unit? If so, can you try to clean it out, especially if you don't use the items and probably never will? It would be a good way to cut out an extra bill. Did you ever use a storage unit for a transitional period in your life? How did it work out?


Beth R. said...

No, No, and NO! :) We all know that I am a purger, not a hoarder. When I die, they will engrave on my tombstone, "Clutter Made Her Cranky!". Hahahaha.

larsinnh said...

LOL! I just can't imagine paying for a storage unit, if you aren't in one of those "transitional" periods. I'm too cheap!

Nicole said...

We have never used one, but we know lots of people that use them long term. Mostly that's due to the fact that we live in military housing and it doesn't have a lot of storage. My neighbor has all her holiday decorations in a storage unit just a couple miles up the street. They fully plan to keep one for as long as they're in the military, and once they settle down for good they'll only keep what their "real house" can hold.

When my grandmother died and my parents were living out of state they put her stuff in a storage unit for a couple of years till they moved closer. Now it's all in their basement and they're finally getting to go through it. and a lot of it IS junk, but some of it is good stuff!

I read an article recently about how many people have lost their homes so they've put everything they have in those storage units while they crash on a friend's couch or guest room. It was supposed to be transitional but it's turning into long term.

Brenda said...

sadly I do have one. My current home has no extra storage of any kind. I have the smallest unit available and keep my Christmas tree/decorations in there as well as some unused furniture and garage sale stuff. My husband also had camping stuff, tools, and a tailgate in there. I pay $40 a month for it. I am currently trying to persuade my husband to build the metal storage building we bought 2 years ago and is still in the box so I can get my stuff out of storage. Also, on September 11th my town is having it's annual village-wide yard sale so I plan to get rid of a lot of stuff. I'm hoping the hubby will see how much of the stuff in storage is actually his and not all mine!

Pittypat Paperie said...

Never had one of those units. My DGD just rented one because she is between apt. for college. I'll bet she doesn't forget about her stuff. She lovvvves her stuff, lol.

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larsinnh said...

Brenda - do that yard sale! You'll earn some extra moolah! Village-wide yard sales attract more people than just a single yard sale, so that will be to your benefit. $40 a month isn't too bad, but I just faint when I read about people who spend over $100 (or MORE) per month for just seems like such a big bill for storage!

Nicole, I can see why people who are in the military would be using storage units. And yes, sadly, when some people lose their homes and go live with a friend or family member, they need to put their stuff somewhere, until they can get back on their feet again. When they get a new apt or house, they'll still need their furniture.

Annie said...

I've never rented a storage unit and I don't remember any family members doing so. All our treasures (junk?) are contained in our homes/garages/outbuildings. We're too cheap to pay someone for storage space!

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