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I Hate Storage Units

In case you don’t have them where you live, storage units are little rented garage or room spaces where you keep all your extra junk. They are a big thing in Juneau. In fact, many have their own garages so filled with stuff that they cannot pull their cars in (even in the winter) and then need extra space for these precious possessions.

Now that’s dedication to junk. To be fair it’s not always complete junk, but some of it (if not all of it) most certainly is.

When our family moved out of our last house, we had no house to move into since we had about two months between the sale of our home and getting into the new one. People from the church and our relatives held a lot, but we also needed a storage unit until we could move in.

It is now over six months since we moved in and we are still emptying this space out. In fact, this past weekend we got the bulk of the rest of it, but still have at least one more trip. As we loaded up I thought how these units paralleled our lives and why we should avoid them at all costs.

  • Why are you saving this? I have asked myself this question over and over with our own stuff, but we hold on to things in our hearts that we should have let go of a long time ago. Sometimes we hang onto hurt and offense, put it on the shelf, and promise to be back another day to deal with it. Sometimes we have opportunity to do someone else good or show God’s kindness, but we pack it away and save it for another time.
  • Will this have any benefit? Junk, no matter how long it’s stored, will always be junk. The things we don’t want to deal with are still there. The hurts and anger, the disillusionment and pain—they may be hidden, but they aren’t gone. As for the good stuff, if we let it sit, there is opportunity for mold to grow, damage from water, mildew, etc. When we store up the love and kindness we are supposed to show, we may find it unrecognizable when we go to pull it back out. You wouldn’t store fresh bread in a storage space, right?
  • What will it take for me to get rid of this? Perhaps the greatest reason why I hate storage units, it’s so hard to get rid of them. We had intended to have everything out within the month of our moving in, but here we are six months later still trying to get things into our house.  It’s an “out of sight/out of mind” sort of thing. Life happens and there are situations to deal with. That stuff in your storage unit will keep until another day. It’ll be fine to wait, just extend it for one more month. We know this to be true in our lives! We pack things away (and keep packing more away), and it becomes a habit of avoidance. There’s always something more pressing so you leave it all in there, promising to come back another day.
  • What is the cost? The other reason these units drive me crazy. I pay for it every month and it’s not cheap. Do you consider the cost of holding onto the past hurts and struggles? Do you think about what it costs others when we fail to show God’s love or speak that encouragement? It may seem like no big deal, but it’s costing you and costing others. I remarked to my wife that this money could be going to paying off our bills, but the money is tied up here. We don’t realize sometimes what it costs us to store things away, but we need to think about it and let God show us.

If you know you’ve put things aside into your heart’s ‘storage unit,’ there’s no need to be discouraged or try to beat yourself up. Just do something about it! My wife and I could come up with lots of great reasons (you know, excuses) why we should just wait to empty our storage space, but in the end, it’s a lot of hard work that just has to be done.

We don’t have to be held back by the worthless garbage we’ve stored away, and we can offer great life-giving words and deeds to those around us in so many ways. We just have to get rid of the storage units!

…encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. (Hebrews 3:13)

Do you identify with having a storage unit in your life? Have you found this to be true? Please share your thoughts!

30 Comments

  1. And then — there’s the basement, with 24 years worth of accumulation.
    Glynn recently posted..Michael Spencers Mere ChurchianityMy Profile

    • Yeah, we still have stuff in our garage, but there’s something about keeping it so ‘buried’ elsewhere that bugs me. We need to deal with that stuff too though! Thanks Glynn.

  2. I can honestly say that my wife and I are pretty good at keeping our basement cleared out… Not so good about our lives.

    It is definitely time to let some things go.
    Dusty Rayburn recently posted..God AloneMy Profile

    • You are not alone, Dusty! Thanks.

  3. Love the analogy. I, for one, used to deal in antiques so I had a whole storage shed full of stuff. My wife has been making me slowly get rid of everything…because she says it’s junk 🙂

    I don’t want to carry garbage around.
    michael recently posted..Not Holding the Elevator Door OpenMy Profile

    • As far as the stuff goes, my wife and I are the opposite of you and your wife. I offered to take it all to the dump, but she vetoed me. 🙂

      I don’t want to carry garbage in my life either… Thanks Michael.

  4. We rented a storage unit a several years ago when we sold mom’s house, and were waiting to move into the new house. Our old house was too small. We got rid of the storage unit the same month we moved in, but I really have an overstuffed basement. Yep. I need to sort things out and toss. We have a “finished” basement we can’t use as such because of the stuff in there. In my old house, I had my exercise bike out in the open where I used it, and even had a space for “dancing”. I have no room for such movement in my basement right now.

    I tend to do the same with old hurts. Store them in the basement heart, leaving no room for movement.
    Helen recently posted..Different Song- Different Lyrics- I Promise-My Profile

    • That’s sad, Helen! You need a place to dance! You bring up a great point though. You can move the stuff around from one place to another, but you have to deal with it or it’s still in the way. Thanks.

  5. Hey jason! i can relate to this in that we had to rent a hugeous one when we moved several years ago. We were moving in with mother-in-law to help out and her house was furnished. What was bad was how many times I went out to the storage unit to rearrange the stuff in there! I mean, come on! How many ways can you move stuff in a unit? I rationalized by saying, “Well if I move this I can get to it if I need it.” “I might need this book so get it here.” I find myself doing that with my heart too. Stuffing it full of junk and then thinking, “I can’t get rid of this so let’s rearrange it.” Good post today.
    Bill (cycleguy) recently posted..A Huge Big ManMy Profile

    • That’s a whole new dimension to it! Thanks Bill, I love this insight.

  6. Storage units have I none but such as I have…which would be a full garage…I would love to give to thee. However, then you would have to rent another unit! ;-0
    Jay Cookingham recently posted..Sabbath Rest MusingsMy Profile

    • Ha! I’ve got my own garage to deal with. Where do you think the stuff from the storage unit went until we can properly deal with it all? 🙂

      I’m glad we can still get our cars in though. I told my wife that our garage is a living example of 2 Cor. 4:8, “we are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed.”

      Thanks Jay.

      • I love the sense of humor you and Jay are showing here. Makes me laugh.
        Bill (cycleguy) recently posted..A Huge Big ManMy Profile

  7. I started work on excess storage hurts a long time ago and I’m happy to say it was worth the work.

    Moving helped us identify the excess stuff we own which still needs dealing with. It’s not so much useless junk as stuff we need to release back into the wild where someone else can have the thrill of the hunt.

    Recently I was surprised by a hidden emotional storage unit I didn’t know existed. I’ve got some serious prayer work ahead.

    Thanks for your post Pastor.
    Robin Arnold recently posted..In the early morning rainMy Profile

    • Thank you, Robin. I appreciate you and your encouragement.

  8. As you may know, I am anti-crap. But try as I may, it still tends to pile up — in my home and in my heart.
    katdish recently posted..Playing Catch-up by Billy CoffeyMy Profile

    • Yes, I seem to recall your anti-crap stance (that phrasing conjured quite the visual- sorry). It is amazing how the little things left neglected will pile up and and up and up. Putting it off until tomorrow is always more painful…

      Thanks Kat.

  9. Jason,
    This is an excellent analogy. I have read a few books on clutter, as one of my ongoing projects is decluttering, and I find the connection between emotional and physical clutter quite fascinating. I love what you did with the concept though. Best wishes on getting rid of the storage unit.
    susan recently posted..Twelve Things on My MindMy Profile

    • Susan, thanks! I am very thankful we have only one load left & we’ve already given our notice so there’s no turning back! Besides that, my wife and I leave next week so it has to be done this week. It is good to declutter! 🙂

      Thanks again.

  10. If you would have written this a few months ago I would not have liked it. For the past couple of months I have been busy cleaning my house. I mean get things out of my house belonging to my brother, mother and father. I think you hold on to them because it feels like losing them again. I was not ready letting go. But now I am. Not that I get rid of everything that reminds me of them but what has to go. When I started to do that I found out there was a little dark place in my heart I kept hold on the hurt a familymember did to me for years, and the danger to get bitter about him. I asked help for this. I already knew I had forgiven him and I started to bless him and after doing that I realized the hurt was gone and no bitterness. I’m fine now. I don’t want to hold on the past. I have to move on. I’m still not done clearing out, I mean literally my house. My heart I think will always be a storage unit.

    • Ani, thanks for being so honest and transparent. I have to say, I wrote it and I don’t like it. 🙂 I tend to dislike the clutter in my home or wherever, but it takes a lot of work to do something about it. I’m glad you’re doing the work both physically and spiritually. I am definitely trying to do the same.

      Thanks for your thoughts.

  11. I can most definitely relate! We have a garage full of junk that we don’t need! Unfortunately this principle flows into other parts of my life too.

    It’s time to do some cleaning! 🙂
    Kevin M. recently posted..Who can you reach out to todayMy Profile

    • Amen, Kevin. I’m with you on that one.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Jason Stasyszen - Blog Post: I Hate Storage Units « Connecting to Impact http://ow.ly/2ae7X Read & discuss.
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  3. Glynn Young - RT @br8kthru: Blog Post: I Hate Storage Units « Connecting to Impact http://ow.ly/2ae7X Read & discuss.
  4. Jason Stasyszen - RT @Helenatrandom: RT @br8kthru: I Hate Storage Units http://bit.ly/bKXWwb <<thanks Helen & good morning. :)
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  11. Robin M Arnold - RT @br8kthru: I Hate Storage Units http://bit.ly/bKXWwb //Good post about emotional stuff we store. Is it worth it? What does…
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