Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ruminations: The problem with storage

We met some interesting people when they came buy to pick up the items we'd posted on Craigslist. One of the people who came stopped to talk awhile about his storage problems. He said he and his ex-wife own a huge, two-story warehouse filled with stuff! The stuff had been accumulated while they managed properties, things like bathtubs and sinks, plus personal items collected over both their lifetimes. He says he isn’t sure what they’ll ever do with it all, but for now the warehouse just sits there, draining resources, because they can’t figure out how to remove all that stuff from their lives.

Stories like this are common, and this one brings to mind two thoughts. One: if you think you have a ton of useless stuff and can’t imagine being able to get rid of it, there are people out there with even more than you do, which puts your task in perspective. Two: though he probably doesn’t see that warehouse and its contents every day, or even think about it every day, it is a very real drain on mental and physical resources (including cost of not using the warehouse for something profitable, property taxes, security risk, etc.). Letting a huge building full of things sit there won’t make it go away. This man also told me he has five children. What happens if he never does anything about that warehouse? The problem will eventually become a burden to them.

Sometimes the things weighing us down seem too big to face, but inaction is much more harmful than doing something about it, even if you take tiny steps. They'll add up to true change over time. Take action today!

Lelah Baker-Rabe is a Los Angeles-based professional organizer. To discuss your organizing needs, call her at 818.269.6671 or email

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