Storage Units... The American Way

I don't know about where you are, but where we live there are a whole lot of storage units. Over the years they've sprouted up all over the place around Tillamook County. We even have some in Netarts right on Hwy 131. Now this may not mean much to you but these storage units are on prime ocean/bay view property and right next to the road. I've never asked how much it costs to store stuff there, but it must be a lot if you have ocean view potential.

We watch a television show called Storage Wars on some of these rainy days, and it's pretty entertaining. I am amazed that people would walk away from the things they have stored. I find myself trying to make up a story to fit the treasure left behind. Why would you walk away from your entire household? Why would you leave family heirlooms and a beat up Big Wheel behind? Why would you pay to store boxes full of old cookware and tea towels?

For every one of these questions there has to be an answer. If I was more adventuresome, I'd try and research some of these units and track down the real story of what happened. I'm sure some people lost their lodging and stored what they had, hoping to get it back. Perhaps some of those units are filled with estate items that no one wanted. Maybe they planned a sale but never got back to it. What if they hit it big and moved away? Perhaps they passed away, and no one else cared about what was left behind.

We celebrate our 37th anniversary this week, and we don't have a storage unit. This seems kind of UN-American to me. In fact, we've never had one. We must not of kept enough of our stuff. When I look around the house it seems like we have just the right amount but this is America. We have the right to have too much... otherwise there wouldn't be storage units in every town across the Nation.

Clearly, a lot of those units out there are filled with collections. If you love something enough to collect it... why hide it away? We collect otters, and I will admit that we have so many that not all of them can be displayed. The wall hangings are hidden in a closet and no longer available to please the eye.

I'll bet all of you collect something. Until I started writing this column, I didn't realize how much we have collected over the years.

When I look around the house, I start seeing other collectibles. They wouldn't mean anything to anyone else, but they are important to us. If someone put our stuff in a storage unit, the buyer would wonder why we saved a glass gecko, glued in two spots. How about that jar full of rocks from the beaches we've been to? What about the thousands of photos? Of course, in the beginning I dated them and wrote who was in the photo. Then I got busy and just started pasting them in albums and after that I stored them in boxes and then I put them in plastic bags.

Well, I guess we do have a storage unit. It's called our house! While it may look sparse to you... we've got all storage space filled with important stuff. The newest additions to our collections are the cast iron pots, pans, griddles, and miscellaneous important things in the garage Man Kitchen. Anyone viewing the collection in a real storage unit would wonder what the heck we had all that for. Sometimes we wonder the same thing, but you can trust that not one piece of this is going anywhere. The garage has room for lots more and I am sure it will be completely filled before it's finally the perfect man-space.

I have a rule about clothing and shoes: one in, one out. Mr. S does not have this rule, but lately his reluctance to part with his clothes has paid off. While I was recuperating from hip surgery, he was a busy guy. His brief nursing career helped him lose more than 20 pounds. Of course, I've had to eat a lot of crow over this situation as he parades around the house in all the things he saved and can wear again. I have to admit he was right, and now he's got a whole new wardrobe that didn't cost a cent.

Maybe I've been too harsh about keeping things we don't use, but I never want to have a storage unit. Of course, I never want to be on TV in an episode of Hoarders either.

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