August 16, 2019


In what is mistakenly called the civilized world, we like our houses. We have houses for people, and then separate houses for our cars, which are often attached to the house for the people. 

Lots of yards also have smaller houses for lawn and garden tools.

Many people also rent off site mini-houses (more like apartments) for all the extra stuff that doesn't fit into the people house, the car house, or the yard and garden house.

The USA has 2.63 billion square feet of self-storage apartments for stashing excess and lightly loved stuff. That number represents 90% of the global inventory. 

All that extra stuff storage is costing consumer/storagers. US industry revenue is over $30 billion annually, and grows in the region of 3% in recent years. More stuff!

Frequently, once stuff goes into a storage unit, the storer never pulls it out again. For various reasons thousands of storage units are abandoned and put up for auction every year. 

This seems like a good example of how we value things less when they are in great supply.

Stuff in a consumer society is in great supply, and all of it has to go somewhere. If the people house is full, and the car house is full, and the yard/garden house is full, that somewhere is a dusty storage block. 

It seems sad and futile, to spend a life working hard to get the money to support the acquiring and curating of your own unique set of stuff, only for some, or all of it, to be forgotten. 

What, then, is it all for? We have so much stuff that we need special places for all of it to live, and often, die. Is this the special purpose of human life? Is this civilized? Am I missing something here?


A self storage locker is an obvious opportunity to do some downsizing and decluttering. Eliminating off-site storage, and all unnecessary, unwanted, and unloved stuff, saves money and promotes peace of mind.

We have known for a long time that having more wealth and stuff than we need does not increase our level of happiness.  

The happiest people on our planet are those that know what enough is, and are content with that. No storage required.


  1. Once again I'm faced with getting rid of the possessions of someone who has died. Mom and I had been ridding ourselves of extraneous stuff over the past several years or so, but still there is more than any one person ever needed to be sorted. Some family members want me to store it away to be dealt with later. Some want everything to stay just as it was when Mom was here. I'm all for having a "Giving It Away" sale. Just put it all out and give it to anyone who needs or wants it. What was it all for? That's the question I keep asking myself.

    1. Anonymous8/17/2019

      Marla, I am so sorry to hear that you have lost your mum. To then be faced with the task of re-homing all of someone's stuff at this time must be very difficult. If others want things to be stored away perhaps they can then take responsibility for it. You can always photograph things for the memory without having to keep them physically in your space.

      Take good care,


    2. Oh, Marla. People have different views about stuff, I realize. I am all about letting it all go. When my dad died I did not take any of his stuff. I wanted more time with him, not with his stuff. He didn't even like his own stuff, and left most of it in boxes in his basement.

      I love Madeleine's suggestions. "You want it? You deal with it."

      Sorry about your mom, and about her stuff. At least you have a healthy attitude toward it all. We stand with you.

  2. Anonymous8/17/2019

    Nine days before my late husband passed away the whole issue was taken out of my hands: a frozen pipe in the apartment next door burst, created a flood and wiped out 75-80% of our possessions. I have tried to be very mindful of the things I have put into my new home. A home doesn't have to be sparse and bare to be thoughtfully put together, but it is an ongoing process and it does require some thought. And, in some areas, we simply have to deal with certain realities--like the fact that living in Manitoba requires two wardrobes: one to accomodate weeks of 30C + humidity in the summer, another to protect us against -30C + horrific windchills in the winter. More so if one choses walking as their main method of transport. Mela
    "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." ~ William Morris (still good advice)

    1. Wow, Mela. That is quite the story, and sorry about your late husband. Sometimes events like you describe are excellent cleansing opportunities. I am glad you saw it in that way.

      Love the Morris quote. How differently we would live if we were to adhere to his advise.

  3. Anonymous8/19/2019

    I just read a great little book by Karen Kingston, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui.
    I am a longtime clutter-clearer, and regularly let stuff go. But I loved the reminders in the book about how energy really works. There is a reason we are happier and healthier with less stuff - it's not just about aesthetics. We make space for old energy to leave us and new, healthy energy to come in. I was inspired to clear even more "stuff" from our house. Oh, it feels good!
    Great post, Gregg and Linda!


    1. The book sounds right on target. I love the idea of leaving room for "out with the old", and "in with the new" when speaking of energy flows.

      It DOES feel good to get rid of the dead weight that accumulates in our homes over time. Once we have enough, more is only a burden.


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