Most of our belongings have been in storage since we sold our condo in West Sacramento in June of 2008. We had expected to be settled by now, but when we realized it would still be a while before we would move into an apartment we decided to move our belongings into a smaller storage unit.
We had been inspired by the blog Man vs. Debt. Adam Baker’s philosophy is to “Sell your crap, pay off your debt, and do what you love.” Visit his blog to read about his financial advice and world travels. We took his message to heart and started looking for ways to decrease our monthly bills.
We started with small changes, like removing text messaging form our phone plans ($5/month). We had been thinking for a while about getting rid of some of our stored belongings, and George came up with the idea of moving our belongings into a smaller storage unit to save on the monthly rental. We had been renting a 10′ x 19′ unit and decided to down grade to a 10′ x 10′. The owners of Horn Road Self Storage in Rancho Cordova are very nice people, and they offered to give us the same move-in deal we got the first time around for our new unit- pay for 3 months, get 3 months free.
When we rolled up the door on the 10′ x 10′ unit I thought, “there’s no way we are going to fit all of our stuff in here!” Then the work began- separating and moving. We sorted through the many boxes and furniture items and separated them into items to give away, including donations for Salvation Army; garbage; and items to move into the new unit. Many trips to the Salvation Army and cart fulls of belongings transferred, and we had done it! We parted with old clothes that we had forgotten we owned and furniture that could be replaced later for less than what it was costing us to store it. Our 7 months of traveling had made us realize that we really don’t need all of our stuff. If we had been happy with the clothes that fit in our suitcases, why did we need five more boxes full of clothes? We kept our bed, washer and dryer, dresser drawers, pecan table and chair set, two fancy couches, kitchen accessories, and clothes and personal items we thought we would still want three months from now.
We had been rushed when moving our stuff out of our condo and into the storage unit, so we hadn’t organized it very well. This time we were able to start with the large items and then pile the boxes as high as possible. So we were able to fit our chosen belongings into a space just a bit bigger than half of the original one, by getting rid of about 1/3 of our belongings. When we finished the move and closed the door on the 10′ x 10′ unit we felt a wave of accomplishment and relief to have been freed from some of our possessions. When we do move everything out of storage we plan to sift through it again and get rid of some more!