For the past year, I’ve been paying $187 per month on a storage unit. Based on the number of storage places around town, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one wasting money to keep old junk we just can’t seem to part with. But, enough is enough. It’s time to let go of the past.
The past means something different to each of us. For some, it’s memories of our own childhood. We’re not ready to give away our high school varsity jacket or the single bed we slept in. Others of us are holding on to baby items from our children who are now in their 20s. While some of us are holding on to a life that no longer exists.
I recently dragged my son and a few of his former football-player friends to my storage unit. There wasn’t much left. Mostly just the big stuff that I couldn’t throw in the back of the car during one of my frequent visits to the unit. This time I had a truck and brute strength with me to get the job done.
The boys—or should I say, young men—filled the truck with the items. I let them organize everything, not wanting to micro-manage the situation. Nothing was so valuable that I’d cringe at it getting damaged. So, I let them have at it.
I knew the toughest item would be the large, wooden desk/hutch that sat in the middle of the unit. It had taken five other young men to get it in there. I wasn’t sure three were going to be able to manage it. Then again, it’s not as hard to move things when you don’t have to worry about their well-being. And, for the first time in 20 years, I wasn’t worried about what happened to this particular piece.
I remember when we bought it. It was one of the first “fine” pieces of furniture my ex-husband and I had shopped for. We found it at a store outside of Denver. It was the perfect thing for our new house.
Back then, computers took up a lot of space. You needed a shelf for the monitor and one for the keyboard, as well as a place for the awkward hard drive tower that had to be attached. I didn’t have an office space so I wanted something that could hold everything but also hide it when company came. This piece did exactly that. It had shelves and drawers for everything, but doors to close and cover it all up. It was perfect.
That furniture followed us everywhere we went; one house after the next. It eventually morphed from a desk to a television cabinet that was kept in our bedroom. And, when I moved out during our divorce, it was one of the first items loaded on the truck.
Since then, however, I’ve moved again. My current house is too small to hold such a large item.
And, so, it sat in the storage unit along with all of the other items that would never find a place in this new home. Until recently.
When I lifted the door of the storage unit, it all of a sudden hit me. It was time to let go of that desk/hutch/television stand/oversized item. Fantasies of posting it on Craigslist to find a new owner vanished. It finally appeared as it actually was—a large pile of wood that needed to be disposed of.
When the boys started inspecting the item for how they would carefully get it on the truck, I suggested we get a sledge hammer and break it to bits.
They looked at me a bit bewildered and then one of them said, “Well, if you don’t care what happens to it, we can just scrape it along and push it into the truck.”
“That’s fine,” I said. “We just need to get it out of the unit.”
They got it onto the truck rather quickly after that. We drove home and I backed the truck to the edge of the curb.
“Just drag it out and put it there,” I said, pointing to the curb. “Someone will take it.”
And, they did.
I was out for the evening and came home after dark. I didn’t notice it until I got out of the car. That piece of furniture that I had held on to for all of those years was gone. Taken away by some faceless, nameless person. I had no idea where it went or what would happen to it. It was just gone.
Strangely, I didn’t shed a tear. In fact, I was relieved. Somebody else could deal with that huge, heavy item from now on. It was gone from my life. It was in my past, and my future seemed that much brighter.
As for the rest of the items, they will hopefully be sold in a yard sale. It’s the perfect way to get rid of a lot of junk at once. And, with no more storage unit, I now have an extra $187 per month to spend on a cleaning service. Life really is good.