How Much Is Your Stuff Costing You Every Month?
How much stuff is in your house, your garage, or your shed? I saw a TV show on Sunday that spotlighted a speaker talking about stuff. He talked about some of us having our garages overflowing with so much stuff that we must park our car or truck outside. He gave statistics about carports, single-car garages, two-car garages and three-car garages. I can’t remember the stats, but I had to laugh and giggle at all of them. Yes, I am part of the statistic since I have a three car garage, but one stall is full of my emergency prep stuff so parking a car there isn’t an option!!
We have a three-car garage, although that third stall would have to be for a very small car. That’s where I store my emergency preps on heavy-duty Costco shelves you can only buy online and they have extra sturdy wheels. We can park two cars in the double-car side. Thank goodness we only have one car because whoever designed these garage stalls must not have had very big cars, or medium cars, only small cars. Very small cars. You get the picture.
I have talked about decluttering our stuff for a few years now. I guess because I just had a garage sale on Saturday with our junk and made a whopping $16.00. I will NEVER have a garage sale again. I decided to donate everything leftover to the local thrift store. Now, my friend made over $200.00 so that was a good day for her. I’m still decluttering, I think it never ends.
I have made a point to explain when I give something to one of my daughters that they could use and I no longer need, that they need to get rid of something. I don’t want them to overload their homes. I have to laugh because the last time a few of my kids came to visit one of my grandsons said: “My mom is a hoarder.” First of all, she is not a hoarder like you see on the TV shows. No way. But, I have learned a lot from my older grandkids that are worth considering. They don’t want things. Nope, nada. They want to live a more simplified life. I’m very proud of them for that. They don’t want stuff. Proud grandma here.
I decided to break down how much our stuff is costing us every month to have around the house. Some of you may have your homes paid off, your rent may go up or down, every situation is different. I want you to think about how much you spend on rent, your house payment, taxes, and insurance. Look around your home or apartment, you may have a couch, a lounge chair, tables, chairs, bar stools, beds, clothes, towels, food storage, emergency preps (had to throw that those in), shoes, socks, computers and so much other stuff. Take your payment and utilities and divide the amount by the square footage of your home. It may be a little or a lot. Does it matter? It’s all about the budget. So each room costs so much to “store” our items.
I went so far as to figure out how much a certain bedroom cost us. I think of my daughter who lives in California since she is the one people always love to stay with. She loves the company, but with the price of renting a home there, it would have cost her $500.00 more each month to accommodate the guests if they only needed one bedroom. I told her to have them bring sleeping bags when they visit and skip the larger more expensive apartment. For the short time the guests stay they can sleep on the couches and floor, particularly the kids.
I have counseled former clients to get rid of those pricey storage units. Often the reason people rent them is that they can’t make a decision about which items they need to keep, so they “store” their stuff. Or maybe they think they may need those items someday, so they can’t part with them. A typical 10′ by 10′ unit is approximately $165.00 a month where I live. Now they can be more expensive if you need climate-controlled units.
Here’s the deal, I am not saying get rid of your belongings, let’s be clear here. I just want us to think about how much that storage unit would cost us to store our stuff for say five years at $165.00 a month, that equals $9900.00! YIKES! Sometimes those units are worth it if you are building a new home and need a place to keep the items until you move in. But if you look at the numbers, does it make sense to continue to store and make payments for long periods? You need to decide that for yourself, but often the rent paid is higher than the value of the items being stored.
Why We Hold Onto Stuff
- I can’t part with my belongings, I may need them one day.
- I know someone who has every “Rolling Stone” magazine for the last 20 years or more.
- I don’t want to do a Garage Sale.
- I don’t have time to sell the stuff.
- I’ll go through the stuff in a few months. Then the months turn into years. And so does the payment.
- These items are going to be worth a lot of money one day.
- These items are too sentimental to give away.
- It’s too overwhelming to go through all this stuff.
- DVD’s, CD’s, and gadgets we accumulate that could probably be found on Netflix or Apple Store.
- Books, magazines we can’t part with for some reason.
- Old VHS tapes that bring back the good old days.
- Empty shoe boxes that can come in handy some day.
- I don’t know where to start when it comes to getting rid of things.
I hope today this post makes you think a little about what it costs to store/house our stuff. Life is good, enjoy a simple life. May God bless your family. Stay well and stay safe.
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Clutter picture: AdobeStock_27654526 by Sixninepixels
12 thoughts on “How Much Is Your Stuff Costing You Every Month?”
Another great wake up call and article! I have been cleaning out for a couple of months now. I have my mosaic teacher coming this morning to haul away al my supplies, a 3’ X 5’ closet in my garage. I’ve been dreaming about how I can organize that empty closet tomorrow with food storage stuff! Craft room is next on my list. If my husband would have to deal with all my stuff after I die, he would get so mad at me. ha ha ha
Hi, Debra, I love your comment! My sister and I decided we were going to “make all-occasion cards” one year. Well, by the time we were done at the craft stores we could have bought the whole card display at Walmart with cards already made! Just kidding but almost! LOL! Your craft room is our secret, I totally get it! Mums the word! LOL! Linda
Very interesting ideas! I keep working on de-cluttering too. My sister took an actual class on this, so she got me started about a year ago. I found your pointer on “sentimental” stuff very good. We lost my dad last year, so in summer went thru his storage place together as siblings. Took items we wanted, then had a garage sale. Truth is, he also had a lot stored at my sister’s house too. She had been keeping most of it for sentimental reasons, even furniture. What was left after sale, we had an organization who provides things to families for free pick that up. Dad would have liked that. I don’t store much sentimental stuff: I use it as decor. There’s not much love shown if things are packed away, I think. Lol, I have my dad’s first hand drill hanging on my wall. Built his first tarpaper shack with it….and my family continues to use it. It’s pretty handy. But, as to my Clutter? Lol! I don’t even know where I got some of this stuff or why.
Hi, Wendy, I hear you on the where did I get this stuff and why?? LOL! I love that you hung up your dad’s first-hand drill, what a treasure! I do not want my kids to have to go through my so-called treasures. They will not be treasures to them! The only sentimental furniture piece I have is a beautiful (in my opinion) rocking chair that I rocked all 14 grandkids in, I can’t part with that one! It’s still so comfortable and I know one daughter who is waiting to get it. I will have to Google what a tarpaper shack it!!! Is that for roofing? Great comment! Linda
yep, I have also been decluttering. Gave away tons of beautiful jackets, skirts and blouses that I no longer use or need. My friend’s friend will get pleasure from them. But I did gulp a couple of times as I glanced at all the hangers with my memories all attached to them. LOL…Finally, got to the garage. It looks Mar-velll-ous da-ling. ((grin)) and then I moved to the chicken coop. Well I didn’t actually move there though there is plenty of room. Pulled everything out, created a platform for the food and stuff, cleaned everything down with vinegar and water and pretty much nearly broke this old lady’s back. But not. I am fine now. Basement is organized and thinking seriously of making a romp room and art studio down there. I have decided to place walls in front of my “canned treasures” with a door to enter when needed. So if I pass quickly in the next few remember to come get the hard earned canned food that I slaved over! LOL It’s behind the wall!!! Oh dear, this crazy world is so mixed up right now. But we must keep our sense of humor least we fall and “can’t get up”. Love you GF and pray for your safety during your journey. Take care and God Bless.
viv in Cincinnati
Oh, my, sweet girlfriend, Vivian, I love it when you say Leeen-da, I think of the YouTube, I get the giggles!! I remember a few years ago giving away my expensive business suits all cleaned and pressed from the dry cleaners, it was so hard. Well, first of all after semi-retiring I wouldn’t fit in them! LOL! Secondly, I don’t need the pressure from my old careers anymore. It feels so good donating while the clothes we no longer need or want can be gifted to a friend or a thrift store. I like your idea of the “secret door”!!! Stay safe, God bless you my friend, Linda
I have a dear friend,very clean with herself but a hoarder & a terrible housekeeper. She asked me to come help her declutter (and clean) but didn’t want me to toss anything without asking first. I came across a cheapie little votive candle in a dollar-store holder with a bedraggled ribbon tied around it. It was caked with that “greasy-like” dust. I almost tossed it but thought okay, maybe one of her kids had given it to her years before. Here’s our conversation: Me: Does this candle have sentimental value?Her: Oh, I got it from a girl at church at a gift exchange. Me: Was she someone special? Her: I can’t remember her name; I didn’t like her much. Me: Then I’m going to toss it. Her (with horrified look): But it was a gift! I gave up. Lol
Hi, Linda, this is the best comment ever! I have helped people who were being evicted dozens of times in my neighborhood and of course, we had to pack them THAT DAY! We would have one hour notice, you know they had at least 1 months notice in order to get evicted or more??? So there is a group of chicks in the neighborhood, all 65-85 (me 68) who rush over to “pack” the house. I sometimes wonder why people keep things when they know they will be moving. Like “cheapie little votive candle in a dollar-store holder with a bedraggled ribbon tied around it”. LOL! I love that comment! I don’t judge but I’m thinking to my self if I was moving I would want less to move to save on the size truck I will need to rent to haul my stuff to the next rental, home, apartment or whatever. But who am I? One of the cute cleaning packing chick is 85 and wears makeup and has her hair done every week. She’s beautiful and she usually scrubs down the bathrooms. Good grief! We just have to laugh and move on without judging. Life brings us interesting experiences, huh? Linda
I downsized 2 1/2 years ago with the help of my daughter. I need to do this again!! Something that I have been in the process of doing is thinking of my furniture (my daughter and SIL do not want any of it when I depart this earth) so, I have made a list of my furniture, collectibles, etc. I have included in the list what should be done with those items. For example, we have a local ministry that works with homeless families when they are transitioning to housing. They need furniture, kitchen items, linens, etc. I listed that ministry/contact info with the furniture, kitchen and linens (towels, sheets, blankets). My daughter will only need to contact the ministry, let them know when and where to pickup the items or where to take them to dispose of them. There are a few items that I have on the list with the approximate value and with direction to try to sell them for the money before just donating them – my sewing/embroidery machine, serger, antiques, TV, etc. And letting her know that if, after a month or so, they don’t sell, then to give them away.
As for my real personal items – photos, genealogy, family heirlooms, I have those boxed and with instructions to save them for a period of time before disposing of them or asking a relative if they want them. I also have my genealogy saved on the Cloud so it is accessible without having any “item” to deal with.
Oh, Leanne, you have a great plan! You have down-sized, labeled and have instructions, perfect!! I LOVE this comment! So many people will love the things you give to the ministry, AWESOME!! You rock, your family will be so grateful for you planning ahead instructions! Love it, Linda
I love leanne’s last comment I do hope I can get it together and do this very thing I love all the comments and your input Linda thanks
Hi Debbie, thank you for your kind comment. I think we all learn from each other, isn’t it wonderful? Linda