More Room For Your Stuff

You don’t have to travel far in South Florida to find what will soon rival the construction crane as our most popular landmark.

You know what I’m talking about … storage facilities. Those windowless, multi-level behemoths with signs that promise everything from 24-hour secure access, to fully air-conditioned spaces that allow you to safely store stuff you haven’t used in 10 years and probably don’t care to ever look at again.

George Carlin once argued that no matter how big our houses, our stuff expands to fill the space. Given the popularity of storage facilities, he’s right.

They’re like giant closets littering the landscape. They leave you longing for the Melaleuca trees that once stood in their place.

But do we really need to store our stuff? Why not just get rid of it?

You might argue that South Florida is a transient community and people need a place to store their possessions while they are transitioning into a permanent palace.

OK, I’ll buy that.

But please explain to my why every time I’ve had the pleasure of visiting one of these facilities, someone pulls up to a unit, opens the door to their kingdom of clutter and spends hours moving stuff around to find a lamp that would have taken them 10 minutes to buy at Wal-Mart.

Why do people pay hundreds of dollars a month to store something that would cost just a few dollars to buy new if they needed it again?

Furthermore, I bet 9 out of 10 people who use storage units don’t even know what’s in them. They simply ran out of room in their garage and now are willing to pay their stuff’s rent so it can move someplace where they don’t have to see it.

Well, if you don’t want to see it, why in the world do you want to pay to keep it!

I don’t know about you, but I see absolutely no reason to keep a couch that I haven’t used since 1984 … let alone pay to store it in an air conditioned facility with a 24-hour guard.

If someone wants to steal it, I’ll make it easy for them. I’ll leave it on the curb outside my house and promise not to look as they load it onto their pickup. In fact, I’ll even pay for their gas. At $4.35 a gallon it’s cheaper than what I’d pay to keep it in a storage unit for months without end, amen.

We live in challenging economic times. Paying to store stuff we don’t need makes no financial sense whatsoever.

If it no longer serves you, let it go. Give it away to someone who needs it and can use it. It’s like making a deposit into your karmic bank account. If that’s a bit too “out there” for you, then sell it on E-bay.

You’ll feel lighter for having done it. And that, my friends, is the easiest way to lose weight without having to give up a thing.

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