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  • Leah Cee

The scourge of storage facilities

I was driving along a busy road in Adelaide's northern suburbs yesterday and noticed a large piece of land cleared and ready to be built on. The signage indicated a popular storage facility was set to be constructed and with an eye roll and a huge sigh, my thoughts instantly diverted to all those people set to lose thousands of dollars just to hide away their unused, unwanted stuff. People who will jump at the chance to grab a shiny new storage unit to finally solve their clutter issues at home.

Heads up. It won't solve your clutter problems but it will cost you a bucket load of money. It's going to cost you on a monthly basis. It's going to cost you to move your belongings to the storage unit and it's going to cost you to remove your belongings. And it may not cost you in cash to move, but it will cost you in time and mental energy.

You are going to get far more value out of hiring a professional organiser or a declutter coach to sort your stuff once and for all and never have to succumb to the need for a little lockable shed profiting a huge company and leaving a rather large environmental footprint.

Now I need to preface this with the fact that I was one of those people once upon a time. I did hire myself a little storage unit whilst I was between rental properties and trying to work out where I best fit in Melbourne's uber cosmopolitan vibe in the early 2000's. I did it for about 12 months at a cost of about $2400. Was it worth it? Probably not in hindsight.

But there is a time and a place for storage facilities. And just shoving your stuff in one because you can't squeeze all your unused belongings into your house is probably not the best financial decision you're going to make.

Storage facilities are fabulous for:

  • Defence families who are on the move every 12 - 24 months and need to house their belongings for when they get a more permanent posting.

  • Those who are awaiting a home to be constructed, in the middle of a renovation, waiting for settlement or in between housing.

  • Those who have had to quickly evacuate due to natural disaster, water damage, smoke damage etc.

  • Business storage / market craft storage where it may be used as a business tax deduction.

  • Temporary storage after the death of a loved one. This needs to be treated with sensitivity given everyone grieves differently and over varying time periods. It will still be just as hard dealing with a loved ones belongings three years down the track as it is one month after they pass.

Be wise when thinking about storage. Do you really need to store it? Do you really need it?

Can you re-home your stuff?

Can you invest in shelving units in your garage to better house your stuff?

Can you sell your stuff and make some money instead of spending money to keep it?

Can you recycle, upcycle, trash or donate your stuff?

Think carefully about the time, energy, stress and money it takes and whether or not it truly is worth it.

Enjoy the lightness of less.

Although an American take on self-storage, Australia is heading down the same road. Read Joshua Becker's take on storage facilities here:

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