What if I told you there was a way you could save hundreds of dollars a month? Intriguing, right? Well if you rent a storage unit to store your possessions it’s time to clean it out so it doesn’t clean out your bank account. You’re paying up to thousands of dollars a year to store things that can easily be replaced – that is if you even need them at all. That’s money that can be spent on a pretty nice vacation instead of keeping your old Fiona Apple CDs stored away.
Think about what you have in off-site storage. Is it clothing from your kids that you may use for another baby? Or is it boxes upon boxes of memories? Or even videocassette tapes, CDs, and DVDs that can all be digitized? Don’t let what you’re holding onto hold you back. Free yourself from the monthly payments associated with your stuff. Less is more.
Sure it’s easy for me to say get rid of your storage unit, but where do you put the things you’re storing? Most of the things people store can be tossed or donated. Chances are if you’re living without it, you don’t need it to come back in your life. What you’re left with after the challenge should easily fit into your home on top of a closet or in the garage, or under the bed. And if you ever do need those bags of baby clothes, chances are you’re going to want to shop for new things for your bundle of joy, and you’ll have the cash to do it.
- Look at your possessions with a critical eye: if you wouldn’t buy it again if you were shopping for it today, don’t keep it! Also, if it’s stained/torn/worn, toss it. If you can replace it easily and cheaply, donate it so that someone can use it today and you can stop paying storage fees on an inexpensive item you can easily replace should you ever need it again.
- Digitize everything: CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes, photographs, and books can and should be preserved digitally. I recommend downloading your music collection to iTunes so you can access it from your phone. Scan photos to share with your friends and family rather than having them collect dust and possibly mold away in a storage unit. It’s easy to digitize your media, either yourself of by sending it to a professional.
- Keep the highlights of your memories: pare down your memories to only those that are specific (ex. Plaques that have your name on them vs. just “First Place”), and memories that still hold meaning for you. Chances are there are going to be some things in your memory boxes that you don’t remember anymore! Or there may be multiple things from a single event that you only need to keep the best of. Get rid of any items that bring up bad memories.