Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Organization - Storage Sheds/Units

This is another organization post. How do I deal with the sheer volume of stuff that is part of my business as well as the sheer volume of stuff that was left from parents downsizing and the sheer volume of stuff we already had that we still love and can't find space for in the house?

I was reading Sweet Tea's post - The Need to Know  (Monday) where she was thinking about and questioning the why of renting storage. She wrote (a direct copy of her questions)
Today I’m wondering why so many storage unit facilities are being built all around town.  Who uses these things?  And, what the heck are they storing in these units?  Are the units mainly used by businesses or rather by individuals?  Do you use them?  Maybe I need one and I don’t even know it!
Sweet Tea's post engendered a great many comments and you can check them out on her blog (direct link above).
Winter wonderland view of my lovely sheds

I commented:

I have two sheds linked with a four foot space between. Added a 10x24 ft deck, roofed the entire group. Its packed. I figured that the cost of building would be less than two years of renting space and everything is in my back yard so I can deal with stuff a box at a time. Who knew that 5 years later it would still be packed and I haven't dealt with everything, more stuff keeps getting added. I will say that I do run a reselling business and about 70 percent of the stuff business related. I have been doing the will it sell, then sell it, do I love it, donate it and bin it and have taken 3 van loads to the dump this year, two van loads donated and so it goes.

My goal is to turn one 10 x 12 wired/lighted shed into a workshop. It is already insulated, and I had it wired for the table saw as well as separate circuit plugs, and have florescent fixtures as well.

My dream.

I read the many responses to Sweet Tea's questions on her blog. Obviously a very interesting topic. Answers ranged from would never use a storage unit, give stuff away to moving, have to store to inherited, blending family, small living quarters and more. Some discussion on the TV reality show Storage Wars.

How are you dealing with the overflow from your own homes? Do you let it go, donate, bin, sell, give away or pile it high?

After watching several episodes of the reality TV show The Hoarders I find I am letting some things go much faster than previously, especially paper (shredded), recycled and donated (magazines/books). I feel comfortable donating/discarding things that are mine and that I long longer use or enjoy. I do not donate/discard things that belong to other adult family members. DGS and I go through his outgrown toys/clothes/books and he decides what items to give away.

Another on-going organization basic - keep, donate, bin.

The 'keep' items need to have their own storage area and that is part of the ongoing work I am doing this year (see previous January Organization posts here, here, here, here, here).


  1. Aside from my craft supplies, camping, and seasonal items, I've tried to adopt the attitude of "If I haven't used it in 2 years, I probably won't." and then decide if giving away, selling, donating, or just throwing it out is a viable option.

  2. I keep a Goodwill bag somewhere in the house at all times. When it gets full I put it in the trunk and next time I am near one - it goes in their collection bin. I have sold quite a few things - books, etc, on ebay.
    STUFF seems to GROW around here and our back yard looks like Sanford and Son on a bad day!!

  3. I never sell stuff. That, for me, would be too much work. But I do donate a lot and a keep a box on the go so as I bring stuff in, I can send stuff out to donate. I do have a ready outlet with our daughter who is setting up house. We find we can unload a lot there. : )

  4. Cathy is very lucky! My kids don't want my stuff! LOL! I am trying to get my house on the market (not that it will sell but a girl can dream) but need to "de-clutter" and organize and get rid of stuff first. My problem is I moved into my parents home after they passed and all their stuff was here also so I have like 2 houses full of stuff in 1 house. Thank goodness it's a big house! LOL! Then I went almost blind for 2 years right after I moved here...NOT GOOD...after 2 operations I could see again but wasn't sure I wanted to! LOL! But with blogging and reading other blogs it is motivating and encouraging and keeps me from feeling overwhelmed.
    Right now I'm doing the kitchen and although I HATE the old carpeting and old paint/wallpaper, I am trying to just make it look nice "as is" and clean of course but I SO want to rip that paper off and paint and rip up the carpeting but WHY...I'm not getting any younger and if I don't get a move on I will die before I finally get back to my hometown where I want to live.
    Anyway...I have sold on Ebay, donated to charities and thrift stores, had garage sales and also have some stuff at consignment stores. But I must admit I hate throwing things out! I'm of that generation where there's a use for it and I might need it later and I can't afford to buy another one if I get rid of it. I am making progress though...I think!?! LOL! Thanks for your blog...I don't feel so alone in the mess! LOL!

  5. I have a small house with limited storage--no attic, no basement, few closets. And I love vintage, antique and unique stuff. So the challenge is ongoing. I do regular cleanouts, although last summer I was close to feeling overwhelmed because I couldn't keep up with the gardens, storytelling schedule, family and eBay stuff. This winter I've been doing some serious sorting and re-organizing and the house is back under control except for my "eBay room" that used to be just my storytelling room. I have much work to do there. I have some bins in the garage too, that I want to sell. And like Linda above, I keep an ongoing Goodwill/donate bag going and drop it off almost weekly. But I love to go junking and this is the price I pay--the constant decisions about STUFF.


Thanks for visiting. I read and appreciate all your comments. Joy

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