In October I was gifted the opportunity after 4 years of having a storage unit to finally close it out. It was a momentous task to say the least and definitely was not a solo project with my years of accumulated stuff.
It takes a village. My hometown “village” of friends came to my rescue. I sure needed their help with a lifetime of things in there which included my childhood, my deceased Momma’s stuff, my previous marriage things, and odds & ends of pieces that ended up in there before I moved to Austin, Texas. Now Home in Minnesota I was ready to tackle it.
Legacy of Life. So, I headed to my hometown with confidence. Confidence that it was time to plow through my little legacy of life’s stuff. I kept reminding myself on the drive down to Collect Memories, Not Things. It was time to become a minimalist and remember I had lived fine without most of the stuff for the past four years. My intention moving forward was to keep things with meaning and love, not out of guilt or ties to the past.
State of Storage Affairs. Once I arrived and opened that steel sliding door. I was confronted with a reality of things being in there for 4 years. There were layers and layer of dust, destruction from mice (eww) and climate change deterioration to furniture and exposed items (my unit was not climate controlled). So, with that said. There was a lot of throwing away of things, but first some organization.
Organization 101. My Momma years ago taught me to take bite-sized tasks to organization. First creating piles: (1) KEEP Pile. (2) Second-Hand Store Pile. (3) Burn Pile. (4) Recycle Pile. (5) Trash Pile. Once the piles were in place, then the discarding and sorting began.
Objects that Spark. Most of us have read the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up. If you haven’t-go get after finishing my post:) It truly is a life changer when it comes to organization and taking on tasks of decluttering your life. The main principle of keeping only things that spark joy is spot on. It especially resonated with me, when going through my mothers things. When she first passed away, I wanted to keep everything and whoa I did. Do I blame myself? No. It was a way of ‘keeping’ her with me and now I was ready to let go of her everyday things and hold onto only things that sparked Joy and Love.
Layers and Layers of Loss. So, far reading this you might think, wow you really had this storage clean out under control. Actually it had its moments...crying, grieving and even anger. It was quite overwhelming at times. I am so grateful for my friends that would check on me as I went through the layers of my life that had gone before me.
Light my Fire. My friend Kyle offered for me to burn things that had been damaged at his property on the outskirts of town. Thankfully one of his careers is doing controlled burns, so the big pile went up into flames safely. It was also therapeutic, burning things from my mother and childhood that did not serve me anymore.
Letting Go. My dear ‘brother’ Adam and I made several trips to Second-Hand stores in between the burn fest. We stayed away from For Profit Donation Centers (IE, Goodwill and Savers). So things would truly help others. Each of the numerous trips were bittersweet. But, as we left the stuff behind, I knew I did the right thing by letting go.
3 Days. The whole whirlwind process was completed within 3 days. I honestly felt like a huge burden has been lifted, which included financially. Going forward now I don’t have to ever worry again about losing my stuff. Also in those three days I experienced such closure to my past and opportunity to look forward in a whole new way.
Home Studio Home. Then by the last day of October. Adam graciously with another friend Ely up packed my things into a moving truck and Adam brought them to my studio apartment in Downtown Minneapolis. Once he arrived, we unpacked the truck quickly. At first once stuff began piling in, I began to panic. I have grown so accustomed to living so minimally and having boxes every where seemed like a clutter nightmare.
Settling In. So for the past few months, I have taken my time going through, cleaning and organizing things. It has been so nice to be reunited with my favorite things. It has been a blast styling my Studio to make it feel more like home. *And yes everything fits nicely. Don’t get me wrong, the boxes and piles got a bit much at times:)
What I Have Learned. I hope these tidbits will help you if you have your own storage war on your hands and might be looking towards that option. Collect Memories, Not Things. If it doesn’t create a spark in your life get rid of it. Label. Label. Label. It so helps in the unpacking process and even if you are looking for something. I always write the room it goes in and quick list of most important contents. Plastic vs. Cardboard Boxes. For Short-Term climate controlled storage cardboard is the way to go. But, in my case Plastic was Prime. If everything would of been packed. The mean mice and weather changes wouldn’t of damaged so many things. Always get a Climate Controlled Unit for Long Time Storage. You might pay a little bit more, but the piece of mind is worth it. I hope this advice helps:)
Again I am so grateful to my dear friends that allowed this project to happen. The daily joy I have of waking up to having my objects of affection around has been priceless. And I love having old, but now new again to me books to read:)
Now I am totally curious to hear if you have any stories of storage and thoughts on decluttering your life?