December 27, 2008
Four and a half years ago, when Michele and I moved to Kansas City we went from a 2000 square foot house, with ample storage and a huge three-bay garage, to a comfortable apartment that had but a single garage stall, barely large enough for the car, and only a 1000 square feet of space. We ended up with two 5x10 foot storage lockers. I liked to tell people that the difference between a 2000 square foot house and a 1000 square foot apartment was 1000 cubic feet.
Since July 2004 I have made numerous trips to the lockers, sometimes to get things, sometimes to search for things, sometimes to add more the already cramped contents. It was easy, especially with an automatic payment setup, to forget about the lockers for months at a time. At least once a year, however, the monthly rent was raised, and, over time, the lockers became burden; a mental and financial weight.
One of the goals Sibylle and I had for our move to Manhattan was to eliminate the lockers. Living in the same town with them was one thing, maintaining them from 125 miles away was another thing entirely. Plus we could use the savings every month by not having to pay their rent.
My sense was that many of the items buried in the boxes were no longer meaningful to me and could be donated. We did clear a lot of old clothes, board games, and three CRT monitors, among other things, to donate. After just a couple of trips to the locker we managed to empty nearly half of it, and it felt like actually getting all of the stuff out ourselves would be possible.
Friday evening we rented a U-Haul truck and emptied both lockers. Emptied. Completely. The sense of weight was gone
Today (or tomorrow, weather depending) we will transport those items, and a good portion of the boxes we've packed at home, to the house we are renting in Manhattan. Initially the things we've kept from the locker will be stored in the garage. However, the goal is to unpack everything and either find it a home inside the house, or get rid of it through selling, throwing it away, or donations. Emptying the lockers makes our move with Allied next week less complicated. We will save weight charges on the move, as well as charges for an extra pickup point, and distance/elevator charges at the locker facility. That we are also able to move some things from the town house ourselves is an added bonus. Not bad for a couple hundred dollar U-Haul rental fee and some sweat equity.
In addition, we'll save $180 a month on locker rental fees.
Best of all, the weight of the locker is gone now. Stuff that I've been mentally dragging around for over four years is now being dealt with. This is good. It feels wonderful.