Why a Storage Unit is the Gateway Drug to Financial Ruin

Storage Unit


in General

Much like the foosball table was the harbinger of doom during the dot.com era, the storage unit foreshadows the danger lurking on the other side of those macrame plant holders. Now give me a minute of time and I think you’ll come around to my way of thinking here. I’ll also play the “that was the way I used to be” card so that I can make fun of storage unit lessee’s without fear of reproach. At least that’s how I’m justifying it.

How a Storage Unit Defines You as a Person

What does it say about you that you will pay someone 50, 100 or even 250 dollars for the privilege of storing your crap. In fact the amount of storage space in the United States is in the billions of square feet. That’s a staggering number all leading to the same conclusion. We are hiding our problems. Yeah that’s right. I don’t want to deal with the emotional baggage of dealing with crazy Uncle Ivan’s estate so I’ll shove it in a storage unit. I can’t possibly scale down my beanie baby collection so I’ll get a storage unit to preserve them. Oh no I can’t part with my collection of civil war chess sets those will be worth millions some day. No they won’t. They’ll sit there for ever, sucking money from your checking account every month and will be your kids problem someday. This behavior can very easily transition into your personal finances.

The Next Step? A Home Equity Loan

The Home Equity Loan or the more insidious debt consolidation loan are the storage units of the finance world. I can’t deal with all of these various credit cards that I opened and used so I’ll lump them all into this home equity loan which is much more manageable. My crap is safely encapsulated in one monthly payment to be forgotten in a few months as it’s automatically debited from your checking account. Give it a year and you’ll never remember why you have a $35,000 loan in the first place. It’s now part of your “housing.” Better yet, now that you have that taken care of all your credit card balances are reset and you can start over in an infinite cycle.

Decrapify your Life

It’s time to put some labels on things figuratively and literally in the case of a storage unit. Take a moment and think about what lives in your storage unit or your home equity loan. Think about the cost of maintaining that “stuff.” Then get angry and get rid of it. Craigslist, donation, your friends and family are all good recipients of your excess junk. In the case of your second mortgage or loans, attack them with reckless abandon and move on.

But I Need Somewhere to Move My Stuff While I’m Overseas

I’m not applying a global statement here, I’m trying to make a point. There are legitimate uses for storage units no doubt. People need a place to put their stuff when the move, or change jobs, or have short term assignments, I get it. But I’ll wager the overwhelming majority of storage units are filled with the stuff of broken dreams and promises.

What Was in My Storage Unit

As I stated I’m guilty of both transgressions. I have had multiple storage units and several second mortgages. My current second mortgage contains many refinance fees and a whole bunch of consolidation that I can’t even begin to identify. It would require a full time forensic accountant to reverse engineer that train wreck. But to prove my own point here is some of the stuff I’ve had in a storage unit.

  • A 4×8 Sheet of Plywood with a half built N gauge model train layout
  • 2 broken office chairs
  • A mint condition complete set of Topp’s Hockey cards from 1999
  • Easter baskets
  • 24 boxes of Christmas decorations
  • A weight bench
  • Several couches
  • 2 boxes containing the unfiltered contents of multiple junk drawers
  • 10 Hockey Sticks
  • Skis
  • An Inflatable Raft
  • Approximately 8 backpacks
  • A motorcycle
  • 2 House Refinances
  • A patio
  • No Clog Gutters
  • Most of the restoration of a 1972 Chevelle

I’m as guilty as the next person and this doesn’t even begin to touch the crap I’ve stored. That reminds me I’ve got some stuff to sell. What are you hiding in storage?

Photo courtesy byebyeempire

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