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  • Writer's pictureStacy Gooding

Storage Units and What They Are Really Costing You

In the United States, we have a disproportionate amount of the world’s storage units, statistically speaking we own and use nearly 83% of the world’s storage units.

Hallway full of storage units

That leaves just 17% spread around the remainder of the world! What is America’s obsession with keeping and storing our belongings in such excess that we require rented space outside of our homes and at great financial and emotional expense to ourselves? Storage spaces are an extension of the clutter many of us have accumulated.  

 

Generally speaking, year over year, the cumulative expense of storage units far exceeds the value of what is inside of them. There is value in short-term storage solutions during relocations or renovations. What are the costs beyond the financial one? Let's consider the following collateral impact.  


 

Storage Units Embody the Emotional Burden of Procrastination

Storage units can harbor more than just our belongings—they can hold onto our unresolved emotions, unfinished business and procrastination.  Remember that clutter is delayed decisions.  There is a domino effect,  hindering us from moving forward with “unrelated” aspects of our lives. Each monthly payment serves as a reminder of what we haven't faced, adding to the emotional albatross that clutter becomes.


Consider Storage Fees Missed Financial Opportunities

Beyond the monthly fee (excluding insurance), storage units eat into our finances in more subtle ways. Consider the missed opportunities to invest that money elsewhere or the possible savings from downsizing our living space. Hidden fees and rate increases only exacerbate the financial drain. If you’re storing old sports equipment, ask yourself: is that dusty tennis racket really worth more than a potential trip to Hawaii?


Storage Units Increase Your Carbon Footprint

Storage units in America account for 2.3 billion square feet of space! Add in the hydro costs for climate control & lighting. Storage units not only consume resources in their construction and maintenance but also contribute to environmental strain when items degrade and are eventually disposed of. It's a double hit for the planet. Imagine your grandkids inheriting not just your collection of vintage magazines, but also the carbon footprint they left behind.


Physical Clutter Hides in Storage Units

While storage units may clear our living spaces temporarily, they don't address the root issue of accumulation. Without changing our consumption habits and organizational skills, we're just shuffling clutter around. Think of it as sweeping dirt under the rug – it’s out of sight, but not out of mind. 


Three moving boxes labeled "Donat, Purge, Keep".

Your Storage Unit is Holding You Back

Make space for growth. Relying on storage units holds us back from embracing a more minimalist lifestyle. Letting go of excess belongings creates space (physically, mentally, and emotionally) for new experiences and personal growth. It's like pruning a tree, cutting back on the unnecessary allows for new, healthy growth.


When you consider all these other “costs”, you can consider all the possible impacts before making a choice to extend the reach of clutter and detriment to your well being.

For alternatives to storage units, reach out to me about upgrading your home's storage and organization systems.


 

Stacy Gooding, owner at Good Order, LLC in Beverly, MA. Smiling blonde woman looking directly at the camera smiling in a jean jacket.

Get your house in Good Order, and follow me on Instagram and Facebook (@goodorderllc) for inspiration. Subscribe to my blog for more tips like these.


— SCG




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