Do You Have A Storage Unit Problem?

How much is enough? It’s a common question Investors ask when planning for retirement. Financial planners offer several rules of thumb about how much is enough, like the 4% of your assets rule or 80% of your employment income. One of my indicators is storage units; you have more than you need if you rent a few units.

There are thirteen storage units within a ten-mile radius of my home. Thirteen! I grew up in Los Angeles, a city of excess, and I don’t recall seeing more than one or two. However, we now live in a consumer-driven society, and we can’t stop buying, especially with Amazon’s help. And the more we purchase, the more space we need to store our goods. We are building more barns rather than living with less.

As the giving season draws near, consider culling your stuff and donating it to organizations that support others. If you have not used your treadmill or Peloton since the outbreak of COVID, give them away. Do you rent a unit full of work clothes that you will never wear again now that you’re working from home? How about boxes of books you plan to read again someday or an extra appliance or two? Are you still holding on to your daughter’s crib though she is now working full-time in another city? If so, unlock your storage unit and get rid of your junk. In addition to helping others with your charitable donations, you can eliminate your storage unit expense, allowing you to save and invest more money.

Managing multiple storage units is stressful because you must keep track of your items, combinations, and payments. It’s complex, and eliminating clutter can simplify your life. Spend time taking inventory of your items and separate them into three piles: keep, donate, and trash. After you have compiled your list, review your keep pile once more, and then give it away. Also, your kids don’t want to inherit the items you have hoarded for the past few decades.

Here are a few organizations you can call to donate your old items.

  • The Salvation Army
  • Goodwill
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • The Arc
  • Dress for Success Austin
  • Project Smile

In addition to the list above, check with your local church or civic organization like Rotary or Kiwanis, as they may offer services for donating items.

As my family and I have moved around the country, we lopped off about a thousand square feet with each move, so we needed to eliminate items we couldn’t store in our home. At first, it was challenging to give stuff away, but it became easier with each move, and we no longer miss the items we donated to others. In fact, it’s been liberating. If we can do it, so can you!

For the longest time, I thought I needed to be more organized. Now I know I just needed less stuff. ~ Alysa Bajenaru

September 12, 2022

Bill Parrott, CFP®, is the President and CEO of Parrott Wealth Management, located in Austin, Texas. Parrott Wealth Management is a fee-only, fiduciary, registered investment advisor firm. Our goal is to remove complexity, confusion, and worry from the investment and financial planning process so you can pursue a life of purpose. Our firm does not have an asset or fee minimum, and we work with anybody who needs financial help regardless of age, income, or asset level. PWM’s custodian is TD Ameritrade, and our annual fee starts at .5% of your assets and drops depending on the level of your assets. We have waived our financial planning fee for the remainder of the year, so your cost is $0.00.

Note: Investments are not guaranteed and do involve risk. Your returns may differ from those posted in this blog. PWM is not a tax advisor, nor do we give tax advice. Please consult your tax advisor for items that are specific to your situation. Options involve risk and aren’t suitable for every investor. I must confess; however, we rented a storage unit when we moved our daughter into her new home, but it was temporary.