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I am still alive, and operation storage unit downsize is complete…

Did you miss me? Did you think I dropped off the planet? I’ve missed being here. Believe me! The past month has gone by in an absolute blur. I had some fun during the month, but most of July was spent making trip after trip to storage unit #1 & storage unit #2. Uggghhhh! The process was exhausting and at times overwhelming, but simplifying step number(?) done! (I’ve sort of lost track of which step I’m on by now.) What started the month in a $100+ per month 10′ x 15′ climate control storage unit has now been reduced to a $21 per month 5′ x 5′ non-climate controlled unit. Operation storage unit downsize is complete!

The end goal is to simplify down to the point where all of my possessions will fit into a truck and the tin can. I think I almost have it down to that point. At the moment I don’t even own a truck; thus, I suppose if it will all fit in the tin can, a truck and my car then I’ve been successful.

I will admit some of the purge has been a bit difficult. The items left in the storage were the ones I didn’t have the will to get rid of last fall. Parting with my beloved serger, fabric stash, books, and figuring out what to do with old photographs has been a challenge. However, once I started placing items on e-Bay the challenge became a little easier to cope with. I’ve sold enough to pay off some outstanding taxes, register the car, and buy a plane ticket! Other items will be donated to a yard sale benefiting a local family who has fallen on hard times due to the father’s health. Other’s have been given to friends. I am also fortunate enough to have a sister willing to store a few treasured family pieces that I just didn’t want to part with completely. The good thing with this arrangement is I can still see these pieces displayed in her home when I visit.

I forgot to take before and after photos of the storage units. I wish I had because they would provide a decent glimpse into what a big accomplishment this was. I suppose I should be embarrassed about sharing some of the photos below, but I want you to know it’s a normal part of the downsizing process to experience some chaos before the calm.

2014-07-20 15.05.26

New storage unit…of course it is much more filled to capacity now.

2014-07-22 19.54.01The storage unit vomited in the tin can! Oh the chaos! 2014-07-31 17.49.47At this point I seriously felt like committing myself to a mental institution…2014-07-22 19.54.42 Had to move things from the bed to sleep, then move them back to walk through the tin can. At least the cat could still find a small space to sit…2014-07-31 17.49.53 Stuff stacked in the back storage area too…2014-08-02 12.56.17 New bookcase in place, and I can see the floor!2014-08-03 18.44.46Almost back to looking like a home…

It is difficult to truly express what a great relief it is to have this project near completion. The money I have made from the project and the money I will save going forward are only part of the benefit. I feel like a weight has been lifted by removing the clutter from the storage unit and my mind. I no longer have to think about what I am going to do with that stuff or pay a bill each month to store things I’m not actually using and probably never will. How did I gather all of this stuff in the first place? What a change I have made in my thinking over the past few years! I love it. Do you have items sitting around which you haven’t let go of but really will never use again? Is the clutter in your storage or garage making it difficult to reach the things you do use? Are you paying money to store things you will never use? I highly recommend taking the leap and letting go of it.

I know it can be a challenge to let go, but the following tips helped me: Set a time frame for completion. In my case, I gave myself the deadline of being out by the end of July. Set a limit to how much stuff you can keep prior to starting. I decided everything must fit within a 5′ x 5′ storage unit and the tin can. (exception for the few items held at my sister’s) Ask yourself if you will honestly use the object or work on the project in question over the next 3 to 6 months. I had to ask myself that question a lot regarding my fabric stash and craft items. The honest answer in most cases was no. The item had to go. Finally, stick to the limits and rules you set when starting out. Try not to make many adjustments to the goal as you proceed, or it will become far too easy to make exceptions. You will end up with just as much stuff as you started with. (Speaking from past experience on this one. This time I stuck with the limits I set out in the beginning, and it worked!) 

If you have any other suggestions for clearing out unused items from storage, please share in the comments.

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