Self storage helps people all over the country to keep their belongings safe. Whether you use storage as a seasonal closet, for business inventory, or for items that you need but that don’t currently fit in your home, self storage can make your life easier.
When you store only what you need and what has important sentimental value, you’ll feel good about your unit. You’ll also rent a unit that’s the right size for your needs and save money over renting a larger unit.
To this end, it’s important to figure out what’s not worth sharing.
The Six Month Rule
This is more of a rule of thumb than a hard rule, something you’ll want to keep in mind as you go through your belongings.
Here it is: If you haven’t used something for six months, there’s a good chance you’re not going to use it again and you can get rid of it.
There are exceptions. These include seasonal items, such as clothes you only wear in winter or summer, or sports items, like ice skates and skis for the winter, or surfboards for the summer. It also includes many books that you’ll want to keep in your library, sentimental items like baby books, necessary paperwork such as birth certificates and passports, and tools like screwdrivers, drills, and hammers.
If you haven’t worn a particular piece of clothing in the last six months, chances are, you can get rid of it. As mentioned, seasonal items are an exception, as are clothes you wear for special occasions, such as nice dresses and suits.
This will mostly apply to your children, of course. Toys can really pile up, and often our kids end up with tons of toys they either have outgrown or have lost interest in. You can generally get rid of toys they haven’t played within the last six months or so. Exceptions here include figures used as decorations, such as small statues, dolls, and vinyl character figures.
Go through them with your child. This may be difficult the first few times but will get easier as they get used to it. Sell what toys you can, and use the money earned to get your child something new they’re currently interested in.
We believe that most books are worth keeping, including novels, non-fiction books, and reference books you’ve enjoyed. Books you may want to get rid of include old textbooks from college, books you’ve read but didn’t like, and books your child has outgrown, Instead of putting these in storage, sell or donate them.
Go through your kitchen supplies, like silverware, plates, and cups. Do you have a silverware set you don’t use, such as mismatched forks and spoons you don’t need? Do you have bedding or towels you haven’t used in the last six months to a year? Those are also items you can get rid of.
Mattresses and cheap furniture generally aren’t worth storing, unless you know you’re going to store them short term. If you have to rent a larger unit because of these items, you may later realize that you spent more rent than it would have cost to purchase replacements later.
You may be wondering what to do with all this stuff we’re suggesting you get rid of. We have a lot of articles on cleaning, organization, and decluttering. Here are the basics.
Sell what you can, donate what you can’t sell but which is in good condition, recycle things you can neither sell nor donate and throw out what you can’t even recycle. Call your local recycling center to find out what they take. This may include things you don’t expect, like electronics, old clothes, and wood.
Once you’ve gotten rid of what’s not worth storing, you’ll be able to rent a unit that’s exactly the right size and save money every month. If you’d like to learn more about cleaning, decluttering, and self storage, we have plenty of articles to peruse.