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Free Storage! - Downsizing 3

Do you have things you don't use but can't bring yourself to get rid of?  Perhaps you have read Downsizing Your Life and/or Downsizing 2 but find that you still have too much "stuff".  I have found the perfect storage facility!  It's available throughout the USA and in many other countries of the world.  They will store things for you like kitchen appliances, gadgets, plates, silverware, garden tools, clothing that no longer fits you, and many other items that you rarely or never use.  The best part? There are no monthly storage fees, items stored there often come back in better condition than when you left them, and clothing that didn't fit when put into storage always fits when you take it out!

  Despite all of these great features, they only have a nominal charge per item when you go to retrieve it, and if you never retrieve an item, storage is completely free, making it one of the best storage deals ever!  You are probably wondering what these magical places are?  They go by many names you may recognize depending on where you are located: Good Will, Salvation Army Stores, Op Shop, Thrift Store, Charity Shop, Hospice Shop, etc.

NOTE: for those of you from other countries who aren't familiar with these places or who for whatever reason don't get the "joke", these are stores (often non-profit operations) that take donations of used items and sell them very cheaply.  What I am suggesting is that you give them items you don't use, clothes that don't fit, etc.  When you find that you need something which you "put into storage" at your local shop, you can go there and buy very cheaply, clothes (which actually fit!) and other items in good condition comparable to what you left there.

I, like many people, had problems getting rid of things that I didn't use because I "might need them some day", then I finally realized (since I was trying to save space) that the local Good Will store would be a great way to store things I don't use.  Since this realization I have stored all sorts of things there, including most of my old clothes which either didn't fit or I just didn't wear: an electric wok, glassware  I never use and many other things.  Okay, the goods you get back may not be the original item "stored" there, but does it really matter?  You weren't using these things anyway.  Of course you are technically "buying" back the item, and it may seem like what they charge to get back the item is a little high ($6 per shirt, $5 for a lawn trimmer, etc. - last time I checked), but what does it really cost you to store all of these items in your house or apartment?  For many of us, each month we are paying for a larger place to live in than we need just so we can store extra items, and having a larger place (depending on whether we own or rent) means higher mortgage / rent payments, higher insurance, bigger bills for heating/cooling and higher property taxes.

The fact is that if you can "store" enough stuff to empty one room where you live, depending on how you live, this could easily account for 10 to 25% of your total monthly expense for housing (and if you can get rid of more, even better).  Even if this only amounts to $50 per month (and for most Americans living in anything larger than a one or two bed room apartment, it is almost certainly a lot more), that is $600 per year that you could save on housing.  $600 would buy 100 replacement shirts (which actually fit) or quite a few other items, which given that you probably weren't actually using any of them, basically means $600 in your pocket each year that you don't keep this stuff in your home and live in a smaller place.  Of course to actually realize the savings, you would have to either move to a smaller place, cancel a move you were planning to a bigger place because you are currently out of space, or rent out the room you have just freed up (which would put a lot more money in your pocket).  But in any case, you now have options open to you that you didn't have before "storing your stuff".