Tips to Finally Let Go of Your Storage Unit

Storage units have seen a significant rise in the past decade. Many people own them and pay thousands of dollars a year to keep them even though they don’t know what is in them. They dread going to their unit(s) because they haven’t been there in years and the thought of tackling it is unbearable so they just keep it.

I will start by saying I know that storage units do serve a purpose in some circumstances such as storing items during a renovation, between moves or items that have been inherited. On the other hand, keeping a storage unit for long periods of time is like having a monkey on your back. You always have that nagging feeling that at some point you are going to have to deal with it. You feel guilty because you are paying a lot of money to store items you can’t even remember. You also start to keep it a secret and that is when you know its time to let go! If this all sounds familiar you are not alone. As an organizer, I go to homes to help people purge and organize but many times after we finish I hear “I didn’t tell you about my storage unit or units”. Honestly, it never surprises me because I hear it so often. 

How can you finally break free from your storage unit? Go there! I just heard gasps as I’m writing this. Don’t worry the first visit is to get your ducks in a row and make a game plan. Enlist the help of a local mover or a strong friend so you can see everything including what is in the very back. Take an inventory of what is in the unit by taking photos and making a list of the items you don’t want to keep. Lastly, if you feel you can not tackle this on your own hire a professional organizer to make the process less stressful.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when looking inside your storage unit.

Do you need an antique dealer to appraise furniture or an art appraiser?

Do you want to sell or consign some of the items? If so where?

Do you need to schedule a donation pickup?

Do you need family members to pick up items?

Do you need a junk removal company?

Do you just need to say goodbye?

The last question is the hardest one of all but once you say goodbye you will never look back. You will feel less stress, save money and only keep the things you need, use and love! Start 2020 with the monkey off your back!

 

How To Downsize In 10 Easy Steps

Downsizing, just the word can sound scary. Going through each room and thinking to yourself how am I going to fit all of this into my new place? Where do I begin? It doesn’t take a mathematician to know you cannot fit the same amount of items from a large house into a much smaller space without getting rid of things you do not need or use. As an organizer, my job is to come in and make the process as stress-free and seamless as possible. These are a few of my tips to begin the downsizing process.

Start Early
When clients hire me to help them downsize the first thing I suggest is to start early. The immediate reaction I get is panic which is exactly what preparing early will avoid. If you wait until the last minute to begin it will cause stress, frustration and you will feel that nothing is getting accomplished. It’s never to early to get your move ready and organized.

Purge on the Front End 
I’m often asked when I help a client downsize should I purge now or wait until I move into my new home? Always in my opinion purge before you move! You don’t want to start in a new home with things you don’t need, use or love. Leave those items behind and start a new beginning by simplifying your new space.

Keep Lists
This one tip is a lifesaver. Keeping lists in a notebook or on your phone will enable you to check off what you have completed and also see what still needs to get done.

Hire A Professional
Sometimes when people are downsizing they are saying goodbye to a home filled with years of memories and it can be a difficult task. Hiring a professional will guide you through the process and help you decide what to keep and what to let go. A family member may be as emotional as you and it can become counterproductive if they pick up each item you have decided to get rid of and ask  the dreaded question “you’re not getting rid of that are you?” Hire professionals who will make the transition easier not more difficult.

Find An Appraiser
If you feel you have valuable art or antiques find an appraiser in your area to let you know the value of an item and if it’s worth keeping and moving.

Keep, Toss, Donate
Keep, toss and donate are three words that sound simple but can be very difficult. Start by designating an area in your home for all the items you want to keep. Toss the items you can’t donate and try to coordinate that task before garbage day. I recommend scheduling donation pickups at least once a week before you move. It will motivate you to start the process and remove items you no longer want so that you can focus on what you are taking with you. If you don’t need the appointments you can always cancel them. Use Post-it notes to label items that you are donating, moving or giving to friends and family that includes art, lamps, and furniture. It is so simple and definitely alleviates some of the stress especially weeks leading up to the move.

Take Photos
Now that we are in the digital world it is easy to sell items online. Take photos of items you want to sell and also the items you want to move. Compare the cost of shipping or moving an item to your new location vs. selling or donating. Now is the time to decide what you will do with the furniture items you no longer want to keep.

Downsize Your Books
Books take up a lot of space in a home but especially in a smaller home. Keep the ones you love and donate the rest to a library or homeless shelter.

Relax and Settle In
Once you have moved and unpacked relax and live in the space for a while. You may have more items to purge and I suggest getting into a normal routine so you know what organizing items you need to buy. Do you need more storage under the sink? Drawer organizers in the bathroom? Living in a space for a few weeks allows you the time to make lists and figure out what you need in order to call your new place home.

Don’t Forget About The Storage Unit
When you are downsizing the whole point is to purge the past and start a new future. If you are still holding onto storage units that you never go to and you have no idea what is in them you really haven’t completed the job. You will save money, feel less guilt and stress by finally letting go of the storage unit or units!

One thing I hear from many clients that have downsized is how freeing it was to purge their lives of all of the things they thought they would use, and never did, and stored for many years. Their life is much simpler. They have less maintenance, fewer taxes, less to insure and more leisure time to enjoy the things they like to do. I look at downsizing as the start of a new and exciting chapter in your life. 

Organize Your Dorm with Neatly Designed and Amazon Prime

1. Mini Fridge  2. Power Strip  3. Drawer Organizer  4. Jewelry Organizer  5. Over-The-Door Shoe Organizer  6. Steamer  7. 3 Drawer Organizer  8. Printer  9. Light Up Vanity Mirror  10. Hangers 11. Drawer Storage

Are you getting ready to go to college and need help getting organized? Small spaces can be a challenge, especially in a dorm room. These are some of my favorites on Amazon Prime which means fast delivery.

A Mini-Fridge is first on my list because it’s nice to have a place to keep some of your favorite foods. It also has a hidden handle so it’s easy to carry which you will appreciate when the elevators are crowded and you have to take the stairs. A power strip is essential when sharing a space with limited outlets. This one allows you to charge multiple devices with USB ports and traditional outlets. These drawer inserts are inexpensive and will keep drawers neat and organized which can be a challenge when you live in a dorm. This jewelry organizer looks great, allows easy access and keeps necklaces tangle-free.

I always remind people to use the back of the doors when living in small spaces. This shoe organizer will give you added storage for shoes and more room in your closet. A steamer can be a lifesaver when you need to quickly get the wrinkles out. It stores easily and is lightweight. This is great to store makeup, hair accessories, dental, contacts or any other items you want to keep organized with easy access.

This printer is a favorite not only because it is inexpensive but it looks great sitting on a dorm room desk. A makeup mirror is important when sharing bathroom space with others. This is lighted and has an area to keep all of your makeup essentials. These hangers really do make a difference when it comes to saving space. Small closets will look larger and organized by using matching hangers. Extra drawer space is a premium in small spaces and this is easy to assemble and gives you the added drawers under your short hanging or in a room. It’s also easy to move and use again in your new space.

Dorm living can be an adjustment but if you keep it simple and make it your own with some of your favorite things you will be surprised how quickly you adjust! If you want to see more of my favorites visit my storefront on Amazon.