Should You Keep it if You Can Store it?

Posted by Mrs Money on September 10th, 2010

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It seems like the majority of people are realizing that less is more, and a minimalist lifestyle is rapidly gaining popularity.  I definitely lean more towards minimalism, and I’m always decluttering and trying to make more space in my house.  I feel better when I don’t have a bunch of stuff laying around and taking up space.

One day I was listening to my mother tell one of her friends that I don’t even like my attic cluttered.  Maybe I’m a little OCD; maybe I just don’t like stuff.  It’s probably a little bit of both.  After I thought about her statement for awhile, I started to sway to keeping more things.  I’ve got the space, so why not keep it?

I think having more Stuff in your house can cost you time and money.  When you’ve got more stuff in your house, you have to keep it in good condition, clean around it, put it away, and maintain it.  It’s much easier to clean when you don’t have a ton of knick knacks cluttering your shelves.

On the other hand, I know there are times when I look at something I’m going to donate and then I can’t do it because I think I may need it someday or I can repurpose it into something new.  Nine times out of ten, I really won’t need that item in the future.  About half the time I keep the item and then end up not repurposing it.  That makes me crazy!

I guess overall I believe you shouldn’t store things just because you have the space.  Do you think you should keep it if you can store it?

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15 Responses to “Should You Keep it if You Can Store it?”


  1. I think you are on the right track. To manage resources wisely includes two steps: use and disposal. I have known some that are often buying because they too quickly discard and very good items are going to the dump. To me that is worse than the storing. Whenever we discard if we ask 1.) Did I get my money’s worth? 2) How can I extend the life of this item? 3) Can me getting rid of the item help someone else and how? If we think of each item as a resource and try to figure out how to use it to it’s top efficiency then we will make the best decisions.

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    Mrs Money Reply:

    Carol- Thanks! It’s so hard sometimes to find a good balance between too much and not enough.

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  2. I’m with you 90%. Which is to say, I agree completely with your philosophy – now, if only I could execute it! ;)

    I think there’s a feng shui idea that keeping things you don’t need or love distracts you and tugs at your brain. The fewer distractions and mental tugs (i.e., the less unused stuff), the clearer your thoughts. For example, if your nightstand is covered with a stack of ‘should read’ books, it makes you feel a little stressed to see it. Similarly, if your attic is filled with things you don’t need or use, it makes you feel a little uneasy. So – if you’re OCD about your attic – come help me with mine!

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    Mrs Money Reply:

    ami- I would love to come help you declutter. I think we would have a great time!

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  3. Heather says:

    For me, the happiness that comes with space being decluttered includes closets and storage spaces, so I would say, if you don’t need it or love it, pitch it! (Or sell it. Or recycle it. Or freecycle it. Or donate it.)

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    Mrs Money Reply:

    Heather- I agree! I went through my bedroom recently and cleaned it and organized it and it feels so much lighter and makes me happy! It’s definitely worth it.

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  4. My husband says it costs more in electricity when the house is cluttered. Ours is rather cluttered. I think it makes us feel overwhelmed and then we end up not doing anything. Hubby was just telling me he felt a little bit better since he heard on the news that many families have a two car garage filled with their clutter but we don’t have a garage, and we don’t have an attic, basement and don’t rent a storage unit. So maybe we’re actually ahead of the game?

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    Mrs Money Reply:

    Mrs. A- Your comment wins! This is too funny. I find it hard to maintain a good balance between too little and too much.

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  5. Sandy H says:

    We put a ton of stuff in storage when we put our house on the market 2 yes ago. We sold our house & moved into a much smaller apartment. We don’t have room for any of it!!

    It would have been better to get rid of it 2 years ago. We are currently going through it and giving stuff away. It would have saved us a lot of time to just have given it away instead of storing it! Not to mention the. $ we’ve wasted!

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    Mrs Money Reply:

    Sandy- Oh, wow! I have a friend who moved recently and has a storage unit plus a garage at her apartment. It’s interesting to see how different people are when it comes to keeping Stuff.

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  6. No, you’re not wrong! We’re dreading having to clean our parents’ homes when they move or die because there is too much accumulated stuff.

    We just cleaned out the closet in our office/guest room and have two tvs and a baby walker to get rid of. They’ll be on craiglist this month.

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    Mrs Money Reply:

    Kay Lynn- I am RIGHT THERE WITH YOU. I told my parents they have to be around forever because my dad has a huge barn PACKED full of crap (it’s got at least 3 vehicles in it that are in pieces) and he keeps OLD TIRES. My mom’s whole garage is full and the attic and crawlspace too. *shudder*

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    Sandy H Reply:

    I am the same way with my parents house! My mom has every inch of ‘extra’ space filled with stuff. And a barn full of stuff they got at auctions- buy a box of filled with items that they have never went through. When they pass away we are calling the show Pickers to come out and see if they’ll take any of it!! Actually I threaten them with that right now. haha

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  7. Becky R says:

    My grandfather died last year and had 62 tires, 300 milk cartons, and 50 something vacuums. It took until now to get the house cleaned out and ready to sell. He kept everything so he could fix old things, and mostly he did, but getting rid of all that junk was a huge job.

    I think it is a good idea to store out of season clothes that still fit, and as one child outgrows clothes that a younger child can wear in near future. My closets are too small to store all season clothes.

    Also I teach preschool so I store stuff to teach (I do units, so in my shed I have boxes, like one is dinosaur, one might be bugs, and so on. When it is time to teach that unit I pull out the box.)

    So storing some stuff is good, but not too much.

    Good friends of mine ending up having to move back home. They got a storage unit for $400 a month and had things in there for three years. Then they bought a house and 99% of what was in storage went in garbage when they found mice had eaten through the couch and tv. That was $14,400 wasted. They should have sold everything then still put $400 away each month. In new house whatever they couldn’t get used or free they could use some money to buy new, and still have had money left over. What a waste!

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