I just read there are four times more storage units in the United States than there are Starbucks. Since 1987, Starbucks has added an average of two stores daily and now has almost 7,600 company owned stores and 4,000 licensed stores. Multiply that by four, and you have close to the 58,000 listed storage units in America. Frankly, there are days when it seems my tiny state, alone, has 58,000 Starbucks – except when I really need a cup of coffee…
Each year one of my resolutions is to reduce the amount of clutter and stuff that occupies my home. Clutter creeps into my head and takes up valuable brain space. On my birthday a friend suggested I make a point of getting rid of one thing every day, a baby step effort to finding mental harmony. I never got around to it because I was too busy making sense of the junk in my house. Now it’s almost time for another New Year’s Resolution…
Getting rid of stuff isn’t really about eliminating the objects that occupy real estate. It’s about letting go of habits that tie us to our ways of doing things. It’s about changing our ways, our histories and patterns that don’t serve us anymore.
I think storage units are so appealing because they allow us to feel like we’ve accomplished something without having to make an actual commitment to change.
When I was cleaning out my parent’s house, I made a conscious effort (attempt?) to eliminate and re-purpose many items I knew I’d never use. I still ended up with two storage units packed to the brim with crates and boxes and sentimental pieces of furniture. I’m not even taking into account the things that were moved to my new home until once more, I was swarming in clothes, pottery, accessories and books that rob my energy and keep me from important tasks at hand.
Moving things into a storage unit indefinitely isn’t the solution. It may work for awhile, but then the monthly bills start piling up, and you realize you’ve only deferred action. This year I’m going to try a different approach. Rather than getting hung up on getting rid of stuff and boxes, I’m going to try to truly repurpose and eliminate items that don’t add value to my physical and mental space. I want to unearth energy and focus on what I know is buried under a pile of paper on my desk. Of course, the real trick is not to replace the old clutter with new clutter.
I have my work cut out for me. Good thing there are 12,000 Starbucks that can keep me caffeinated while I get things done!