While this may seem a strange topic for becoming your best self, the reality is that the number of  storage units Chicago in the Uni...

The Ugly Side of Storage Units

While this may seem a strange topic for becoming your best self, the reality is that the number of  storage units Chicago in the United States has reached epidemic proportions. I have long thought about running for President with a single-action platform: to outlaw storage units, except for 1 or possibly 2 valid reasons (such as a need to store all your belongings between houses or large seasonal objects like boats). I realize that I would get very few followers because that is a pretty limited scope for the President to have, but it's the one thing I feel passionately about changing.

I don't know what it is like in other countries, but in the States, a storage unit is a room (of varying sizes) that you rent in a building not on your property where you put items you don't have room for but think you might need one day. If you think having a garage full of boxes is bad, what must it feel like to have the burden of an external room of 'stuff' that has no place in your life today? It seems to me that such a feeling would leave you feeling burdened and stuck, not to mention the stress of having another monthly bill to pay.

Why am I so against such storage units? Because I truly feel that every single item, we keep that we don't use or love prevents us from being our truest self. It is like a weight that keeps our energy, physical and emotional, tampered down. There is a responsibility to owning extra stuff that is only released through disposing of it. I'm not talking destruction, I'm talking about sending it out into the universe again. Sell it on Ebay, give it to charities, find someone who will truly love or use the item. Release the item with love and gratitude for being part of your life, but allow the energy to flow again by letting it go.

If you're one of those people who have felt the need to rent a storage unit, take some time with a clean piece of paper and list what items are in your storage bin, as detailed as possible. It is not enough to say "household items", you must list the items individually: china set from Grandma, extra kitchen utensils I could use in a bigger place, books that outgrew my bookcases, old magazines, etc. Once you have listed the items, write down next to each item the reason you are saving it. For example: to give to my kids, because Grandma gave it to me, I like it but no room for it, etc.

After you've completed the list, visit our storage unit, taking the list with you. The first thing you want to do is get rid of the stuff you forgot to put on your list. There will probably be more than you'd expect, but the old adage of "Out of sight, out of mind", is never truer than when applied to objects we bring to storage units. The energy you'll feel once you're let those pieces go will refresh and renew you and give you a boost to do the next harder task. It is to look at each item on your list and have an honest dialogue with yourself. For example, if you're saving it for your kids, ask yourself "Will any of the kids even want this item? Is it their style, taste, etc. If not, why burden them with the storage of it. Or, if you're saving something because Grandma gave it to you, ask yourself "Why exactly did she give it to me?" Was it so she could replace it with something she liked better, but couldn't justify the expense with a perfectly good set of china before her? If it is truly a treasured family heirloom, it would be in a place of honor in your home and not in some storage unit miles away.

Be ruthlessly honest with yourself about each item. Does it still have a place in your life or not? If yes, keep it. If no, pass it on to someone who will love it. Goodwill and Salvation Army have donation centers just for this purpose. In addition, you get the benefit of a tax deduction by contributing it to charity. A benefit to this can also mean being able to give up the storage unit, or at the very least, move into a smaller (and therefore less expensive) unit.

A question that might help you: After I'm dead, what will my heirs do with this stuff? If you are sure it's to get rid of 99% of it, then do it now and free up a lot of time and energy now and in the future. With that new found energy, you'll also find other areas of your life you want to work on, like taking that next step on the road to becoming your best self.