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A Twelve Step Program For Mini-Storage

Real Estate Agent with The Hudson Company Winnetka and North Shore

A Twelve Step Program For Mini-Storage


The last time we moved was August of 2006.  We were downsizing at the time, and we were very fortunate (and lucky) to have sold at that time because as things turned out, this was precisely the peak of the market in Winnetka.  Unfortunately, we also purchased in August of 2006 but we did purchase a much less expensive home.


Many of our clients find that culling through all of their stuff and getting rid of much of it is a difficult yet cathartic experience.  It’s been said that many people feel a sense of a weight being lifted from their shoulders when this process has been completed.  


This was not our experience.


We essentially packed everything, and whatever didn’t fit in our house went to mini-storage.  We had a lot of “stuff”.  Susan started out as an antique collector and eventually started her own antique business.  We had a lot of inventory from the business.


I wouldn’t say that we are hoarders, but we did save every art project, diorama and stuffed animal that our three daughters had ever assembled or collected.  


We had all kinds of furniture that wouldn’t fit in the new house and we knew that our children would soon be moving into their own apartments and would cherish the old desks, dining room tables and bed frames that we couldn’t possibly give away.


We ended up renting two mini-storage units that were each 10 x 20 and were totally packed from wall-to-wall and floor to ceiling.  


We’d visit the mini-storage every few months to search for something in particular or just to visit our “stuff”.  


We were on an auto-billing system so while it was posted on our credit card statement, we didn’t receive a bill or have to write a check every month.  The initial price seemed somewhat reasonable, but every six months or so, we would receive a notice that the price was being raised 4-8%.


We have been slowly taking things out of both units.  Our children have actually brought some of the furniture to their apartments.  We have filled the SUV on many occasions and donated things to various local agencies.....We even through some things away.

empty mini-storage

We have been talking about and working toward consolidating the two units for the past several years.


Fast forward 92 months.  Today was the day.


Have you heard the expression….”The happiest day for a boat owner is the day you purchase the boat and the day you sell the boat”?  



This may apply to some mini-storage tenants too.


(For full disclosure....some of our closest relatives are in the mini-storage business. In the past I have been an investor in their business. It is a wonderful business and our personal addiction to it should not be construed as anything other than our own issue).

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Susan and Howard Meyers

The Hudson Company

851 Spruce Street

Winnetka, Illinois  60093




Comments (12)

Gerard Gilbers
Higher Authority Markeing - Asheboro, NC
Your Marketing Master

I am waiting for the day when we too can start getting rid of storage units, we have three of them!

May 01, 2014 01:46 PM
Howard and Susan Meyers
The Hudson Company Winnetka and North Shore - Winnetka, IL

Gerard....easier said than done, my friend.

May 01, 2014 01:59 PM
Pete Xavier
Investments to Luxury - Pacific Palisades, CA
Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide

Reminds me that I need to take care of my stuff in storage on the East Coast.

What a great business these storage centers are, considering it as a business.

May 01, 2014 02:05 PM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

My client's who rent storage units find that after a year they tend to throw out 75% of the materials they decided to store. That's an expensive lesson...

May 01, 2014 02:28 PM
Howard and Susan Meyers
The Hudson Company Winnetka and North Shore - Winnetka, IL

Pete....glad that I could help.

May 01, 2014 10:26 PM
Howard and Susan Meyers
The Hudson Company Winnetka and North Shore - Winnetka, IL

Paul....75% is a conservative estimate.

May 01, 2014 10:27 PM
Than Maynard
Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma - Purcell, OK
Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862

LOL, love the disclaimer. It is amazing how many units just end up being abandoned.

Unfortunately my parents have several shops and barns, plus a pretty large house. All are full. Heck, half the bedrooms in my house have her antiques in them. It will be quite interesting what happens when I sell my house this year (Positive thinking!).


May 02, 2014 02:26 AM
Randy Shamburger
Movement Mortgage - Greenville, SC
FHA, VA, USDA and Conventional Mortgage Expert

Great information, thanks for sharing.

Have a Big day,


May 02, 2014 02:39 AM
Howard and Susan Meyers
The Hudson Company Winnetka and North Shore - Winnetka, IL

Than....my recommendation...donate or throw away the bulk of it.  You won't miss it.


May 02, 2014 06:55 AM
Howard and Susan Meyers
The Hudson Company Winnetka and North Shore - Winnetka, IL

Thanks Randy.  Hope you have a good day too.

May 02, 2014 06:56 AM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Howard:  Just now getting a chance to stop by and read this post .. and got to say, I'm chuckling.  So many things are familiar!  The treasures we kept of every little things our kids did ... the antiques ... and the uphill battle of downsizing!  We thought we'd done a pretty good job of it, until we got to the new, smaller home.  We're still "culling" to this day ...


May 09, 2014 01:12 AM