Friday, 2 September 2011

Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind?

When I first saw a sign to ‘self storage’ I was confused – why would I need to store myself? [Mind you, for a long while I thought Boot Fairs were where they just sold discount footwear!]


But it appears that this practice of putting ‘stuff you own but rarely use’ into storage is taking off in a big way, according to the BBC Website.

In the USA there are 50,000 such facilities. Here in the UK just 800 – which is the same as in all the rest of Europe together!

The idea was originally intended as a temporary stop-gap; for people in the middle of house moves, or having extensions built. Box up the stuff you aren’t using, then in a few weeks time, when everything has settled, you can get it back and re-arrange it in your new home. But somehow that idea has been lost – now people box it up, store it away…and forget it. They do not visit it, and remove items, or swap possessions around, they just leave it there, safe and sound and secure. What’s worse is that they pay rent every month on their  little unit – month after month after month – but have little benefit.


Now I freely admit to hoarding. And I’m aware that I have a large loft fully insulated by The great Stash of fabric, and a large garage full of other stuff. I’m so fortunate to have space to keep my things close at hand.

But at least it is constantly being moved around and used, items are taken out and repurposed, lengths of fabric turn into play costumes, crafty bits end up at Holiday Club or Sunday School, Bob solders a few salvaged components together and fixes someone's PA gear, or takes some old wood and builds something useful with it.

I think if these things were out of sight for a year, I’d probably forget them, and manage without them – but then I would wonder why I was paying someone else to keep them safe for me!

I am very fond of the Beaver And Tapley furniture in our lounge. We got these beautifully made wooden storage units for next to nothing in 1985, when they were advertised in the “Orpington News Shopper” [our local free paper back then] The owners had bought them around 1970 [and they were originally quite expensive!] but then he had been sent off to work for the EU, and they had lived in an apartment in Brussels for a number of years. They’d left all their own furniture in storage. On their return to the UK, they purchased a house ‘and we really don’t like our old stuff, so we are buying all new’ they said. And selling the old for peanuts!  So I suppose this practice has been going on for longer than I thought.


Dawna Walters, the Life Laundry expert has this advice for decluttering; Put it in a bag, and label it with the date. If you haven’t opened it six months later, then you can get rid of it [sell it, give it, donate to charity, recycle, whatever] I think there’s nothing wrong with having stuff, as long as you can find it and use it! After all…

Jesus said, "Then you see how every student well-trained in God's kingdom is like the owner of a store who can put his hands on anything you need, old or new, exactly when you need it." [Matt 13;52]


  1. I do admit to having boxes in the attic.....

  2. I'm quite taken with this idea of self- storage. Where would I store myself? What would I store to keep me comfortable avec? And would Jesus come along and put his hand on me just when he needed me? I think I'll store myself right here in Strawberry Land and sit tight!

  3. yes my friends boy saw a self-storage site and asked what happens to all the stored people :)

  4. over here in Canada and the States we have television programme called "Storage Wars," and was it is basically about is when people default on paying their storage locker fees, the owners of the storage lockers put them up for auction and people bid on them. People make a living buying abandoned storage locker contents. There is more about the show here:

    I love the show.

    Gill in Canada

  5. would you mind asking Mrs Bent's Diary and Tales from Beyond The Nook, that I cannot leave comments due to their settings on their blogs. The easiest way is to let anonymous comments through, so then I can comment. However if you change your settings a bit more I should be able to leave a comment under my own account.



  6. My mind is boggled by the "organizing" stores. I admire people who are very good at it!

  7. Not going to store myself...I'm going to use all of me by my 'use by' date.
    Jane x

  8. K's inlaws have been paying for storage for years since they moved house- I don't know if they ever go to look at the stuff. I have stuff in the garage and the loft which I haven't yet unpacked, but I have only been in the house since April, and they will come out of there once the house is renovated.
    Gill - settings now changed so you should be able to comment as anonymous, though all comments will now be moderated before they appear.

  9. Hi Gill, I have now enabled this, thank you for bringing it my attention as I'm not accustomed to all of the settings x

  10. Shameful... stuff, stuff, stuff.

    Blessings, Debbie

  11. I think I'd do a good decluttering before I rented even more space to store stuff, but I know lots of folks who rent storage. I think it's mostly for old stairmasters ...



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