Our feelings about storage units

Posted On: Wednesday - February 21st 2018 8:23PM MST
In Topics: 
  General Stupidity  Economics

As related to, and promised in, last week's post on "Taking out the Proverbial Trash" I will now write our Peak Stupidity blog opinion and advice on storage units. How much less political would you like us to get here? We can crank up the politics again any time, with just a 1-minute perusal of the stupidity discussed on the web.

In fact, there is not any real stupidity involved here at all, so the reader should not take any of this as indicating there is. On a Peak Stupidity site, you would think one could still take a break from it one day out of the year or so.

When discussing the lightening of the mental burden, and sometimes physical, by just getting rid of stuff, whether browser tabs or old washing-machine motors, thoughts come to the idea of where to store all the stuff that "I just have to keep." People have a lotta, lotta stuff here in America, as "there is a lot of ruin in a nation" (continued here and here).

I have been lucky myself to have never needed a self-storage unit, just due to circumstances of my moving around, so this is not even a self-stupidity post. Granted, I did leave a lot of stuff for most of a decade all piled up, but it was in a place I didn't have to pay for. So as not to give the wrong first impression, no, I have nothing against storage-unit businesses or anyone involved. We have much respect for small business at Peak Stupidity, and the business idea of self-storage, as seen in the image at the top, was a very good one in fact. It's much harder to come up with great ideas in the brick-and-mortar OK, cinder-block and corrugated sheet metal, world than in the virtual world. The real world has been around quite a bit longer, and competition on ideas has been fierce.

That behind us, the point here is that, just as with the stuff I left for a long time in my free storage, most of us will realize that the stuff is not truly necessary for life after a few years. We can't even remember what's in there by some point. The business idea is great for those who really do need a temporary place to put some things, for lots of reasons. The thing to be wary of, is the mindset that one can get in after some months or years of paying $75, or maybe $250 monthly. Whatever is in there has to be disposed of eventually in some way, sooner or later. The important thing is to take care of it sooner. Even that little 5 ft x 8 ft x 6 ft high unit that you have that old motorcycle in, for $75 monthly, will end up costing as much as the bike in, what, from 1 year to maybe 5 years.

The mindset is, and the way you get burned monetarily, is that it is always easier to stick with the status quo and pay that $75 (only going up long-term) when the bill comes. It is lots more effort to a) move the stuff, b) sell the stuff, and often even just c) get rid of the stuff. (I guess you could just stop paying, and (c) will happen pretty soon.) I've seen boats, planes, and (originally) expensive cars that need work that have been sitting a decade in spots that cost money too. That's an even stronger version of the same dilemma. Lots of work may be needed ... or, yeah, you can just pay the monthly bill again and think about it next month. I would say "that's how they got you!", but it's just a business that can be a good deal for some.

Sometimes you've got to nip these deals in the bud. Think back on whether you already paid more in storage than the item or stuff was worth, or will have soon. You've got to bite the bullet and do something. It's another burden lifted.

That's just some advice for this evening, neither stupid nor political (those usually go hand-in-hand though).

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